The European Council, comprising European Heads of State and Government, is aiming to set up an e-mail monitoring system. This initiative being extremely unpopular since it would undercut individual freedoms even further, it is promoted under the noble pretext of curtailing child pornography.
The point would be to deal with paper and electronic mail differently. The former would be regulated by the Universal Postal Convention which guarantees their confidentiality; the latter would all be scanned and screened to spot contentious messages.
Already, several operators like GoogleMail have come out in favor of scanning all emails. They simply ask not to be burdened by too many obligations all at once.
For its part, the European Commission, represented by Margrethe Vestager (Commissioner in charge of “A Europe Fit for the Digital Age”) voiced concern over this project which violates European e-Privacy rules, in particular the standards of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Once the monitoring system is in place, it can be used for any purpose by simply modifying the filter criteria.
As for the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, it greenlighted this new system on 26 May 2021.