EU Council targets child sexual abuse material with removal orders and reporting obligations

The new EU Council text mandates hosting services and messaging apps to report and remove suspect content, while giving member states the authority to decide who can issue removal orders.

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A new EU Council text focuses on combating child sexual abuse material (CSAM) through removal orders, reporting requirements, and governance. The draft law requires hosting services and messaging apps to report and remove suspect content. The Swedish presidency circulated a new text discussing these obligations, which will be addressed at the Law Enforcement Working Party in the next few days. 

On removal orders, the text states that they can be issued by judicial or administrative authorities, with member states having the discretion to decide who can issue them. The EU country should inform the European Commission of their decision, which applies to blocking orders. Member states should also allow for post-review of competent authorities’ orders in accordance with national law. 

On reporting obligation, they involve informing the new EU Centre about suspected CSAM. The providers must specify whether they voluntarily disabled access to the material or if urgent action is required. Additionally, the text urges coordinating authorities, competent authorities, and the EU Centre to provide mutual assistance. 

Finally, the text promotes direct exchanges between coordinating authorities, service providers, and victims. It mandates appointing a contact officer and a representative on the centre’s Board of Directors and drafting an annual activity report at the national level.