technologies for the detection of new CSAM referenced by Commissioner Johansson

Felix Reda made this access to documents request to Migration and Home Affairs

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Dear Migration and Home Affairs,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

in a blog post from 7 August 2022, entitled "Children deserve protection and privacy", available at: Commissioner Ylva Johansson writes:

"As for the detection of new CSAM, the accuracy rate lies significantly above 90%. There are technologies for the detection of new CSAM whose precision rate can be set at 99.9% (i.e., 0,1% false positive rate, which will then be subject to human review)."

I am requesting all information held by the cabinet of Commissioner Johansson and/or DG HOME concerning the existence of technologies for the detection of new child sexual abuse material that has a demonstrated accuracy rate above 90% and/or whose precision rate can be set at 99.9%. This includes information related to the preparation of the blog post in questions, including early drafts and discussions thereof.

For the avoidance of doubt, the term "information" should be understood as broadly as possible and it should definitely include such information and documents that the Commission considers "short-lived" or "unimportant", including letters, correspondence, memos, drafts, meeting notes, records regardless of medium, language or format.

If you hold information in an electronic format, I am asking for an electronic copy of such information in its original data format.

I am happy to grant you a reasonable amount of time for the required third party consultations regarding the release of content in possession of the Commission provided by third parties, such as lobbyists, outside legal counsel and member states. If permitted by applicable law, I am looking also for the names and affiliations of people who have submitted such information and I am asking for only the mimum amount of redaction of such names if required by law.

And really, really, since this has been an issue in the past: If a Commissioner, Cabinet or staff member of a DG unit is sending a comment, email, text message, draft or any other piece of data to another Commissioner or staff member in its own or a different DG falling under the scope of this request, I want a copy of this document. If you - for whatever reason - do not consider it relevant to be included in the EU eDomec or ARES system, it does not lose its property as a document under Regulation 1049/2001.

Yours faithfully,

Felix Reda, Migration and Home Affairs

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your request for access to documents.

Unfortunately, you have not indicated your postal address. This is necessary for registering and handling your request in line with the procedural requirements.

Please send us your full postal address at your earliest convenience. Pending your reply, we reserve the right to refuse the registration of your request.

Alternatively, you may use directly the electronic form available on the Europa website:

Best regards,
HOME Access to Documents Team

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Dear [email address],

while I enjoy conversing with you as much as the next guy, the request for my postal address is abusive. The European Ombudsman has found that the European Commission's practice of requiring a postal address as a precondition for registering an access to documents request constitutes maladministration and considers the Commission's position "wrong on the facts and the law", "archaic for the 21st century" and "disrespectful of citizens and their fundamental rights under the EU Charter". The request to provide my postal address is also rather unnecessary as the European Commission has stopped sending out physical letters in Access to Document request procedures during the pandemic anyway.

There is no legal basis for requiring my postal address as a prerequisite for processing my freedom of information request, which is my right under Regulation 1049/2001. I regret that the European Commission appears to make this procedural requirement for the sole purpose of discouraging citizens from using the portal asktheEU, which is making an important contribution to the transparency of the European institutions. Rather than pushing me to choose between publicly disclosing personal information and ensuring the transparency of the freedom of information request, the European Commission should be embracing and actively supporting asktheEU's important work.

But that is a topic for another day.

My postal address is:

Felix Reda
Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte e.V.
Boyenstraße 41
10115 Berlin

Yours sincerely,

Felix Reda, Migration and Home Affairs

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your e-mail of 8 August 2022. We hereby acknowledge receipt of your application for access to documents, which was registered on 8 August 2022 under reference number GESTDEM 2022/4500.

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, your application will be handled within 15 working days. The time limit will expire on 30 August 2022. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

You have lodged your application via a private third-party website, which has no link with any institution of the European Union. Therefore, the European Commission cannot be held accountable for any technical issues or problems linked to the use of this system.

Please note that the private third party running the website is responsible and accountable for the processing of your personal data via that website, and not the Commission. For further information on your rights, please refer to the third party’s privacy policy.

We understand that the third party running the website usually publishes the content of applicants’ correspondence with the Commission on that website. This includes the personal data that you may have communicated to the Commission (e.g. your private postal address).

Similarly, the third party publishes on that website any reply that the Commission will send to the email address of the applicants generated by the website.

If you do not wish that your correspondence with the Commission is published on a private third-party website such as, you can provide us with an alternative, private e-mail address for further correspondence. In that case, the Commission will send all future electronic correspondence addressed to you only to that private address, and it will use only that private address to reply to your request. You should still remain responsible to inform the private third-party website about this change of how you wish to communicate with, and receive a reply from, the Commission.

For information on how we process your personal data visit our page Privacy statement – access to documents.

Yours faithfully,
HOME Access to Documents Team

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HOME NOTIFICATIONS D4, Migration and Home Affairs

[1]Your application for access to documents - GESTDEM 2022/4500 -
Ares(2022)5990959  (Please use this link only if you are an Ares user –
Svp, utilisez ce lien exclusivement si vous êtes un(e) utilisateur d’Ares)

Dear Ms  Reda
We refer to your e-mail of 8 August 2022  in which you make a request for
access to documents, registered on the same day  under the above mentioned
reference number.
Your application is currently being handled. However, we will not be in a
position to complete the processing of your application within the time
limit which expires on 30 August 2022.

An extended time limit is needed as different Services must be consulted
to identify documents possibly concerned by your application. Therefore,
we have to extend the time limit with 15 working days in accordance with
Article 7(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to
documents. The new time limit expires on 20 September 2022.
We apologise for this delay and for any inconvenience this may cause.
Best regards,
European Commission - DG Migration and Home Affairs
Unit D.4 Security in the Digital Age

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Please pass this on to the person who reviews confirmatory applications.

I am filing the following confirmatory application with regards to my access to documents request 'technologies for the detection of new CSAM referenced by Commissioner Johansson'.

The request was registered a long time ago. There was no response after 15 working days, nor after the extended deadline expired. The reason given for the extension also failed to meet the requirements of the regulation. According to DG HOME, an extension was necessary to consult different services, but my application was limited to information held by DG HOME and the cabinet of the responsible Commissioner. According to Article 7 (4) of Regulation 1049/2001, I am allowed to file for a confirmatory application.

A full history of my request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Reda, Migration and Home Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear applicant,

Please find attached the reply to your request for access to documents
registered under reference GestDem 2022/4500.


Please note, that in light of the Commission’s pledge to become a
paperless administration, unless there is as a particular reason to send a
reply by registered mail, we only send replies by e-mail.


We would therefore appreciate if you could confirm receipt of the present
e-mail by replying to [1][email address].


Kind regards

Secretariat HOME D4




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