Dear friends of freedom and democracy from all over. For the mainstream media this is not front page news. But the implications for democracy are huge.
We already had the unseen censorship of big tech companies on social media. On top of that, we now face the prospect of censorship by the state.
The European Parliament adopted the Digital Services Package, consisting of the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA), with an overwhelming majority in the plenary vote.
Because they combined so many different aspects of social media regulation, it’s hard for the public to understand what this is all about. We think any good open public debate requires they should split this package into different laws. In our eyes they abuse legitimate worries about, for instance, privacy protection to install nothing less than legalised censorship.
In short, they mix up many things in one big package:
The first one is partially a good thing.
🔹Transparency and protection of private data
Privacy is an important right and gives power to the public. Transparency is needed in how social media operate.
The second one is somewhat questionable:
Often the example is given of “restricting publicity in regards to kids”.
The third one is often misunderstood by the public
🔹“Make activities illegal online that are illegal offline”
The most misunderstood part about the package. Mind you, this already is the case in many circumstances. Selling drugs online or stolen goods will get you in trouble in most countries if they catch you. It’s about how the platforms react to it. So it’s not like all of these activities are currently legal.
They use these points to defend the package and all of them are up for debate. But the absolute worst part, which no believer in freedom and democracy can ever defend is this:
Explained as the “fight against disinformation”, they want to fine companies that “allow disinformation” on their platforms. A lot needs to be cleared out, but one thing we already know for sure when it comes to the big players: The European Commision will have the last word! In this they are fairly unique in the world. You have to look at states like China with a long history of governmental control over the internet acces of its citizens to find examples to match this.
Don’t be mistaken, this rule is one of the biggest attacks on democracy and free speech in the world we have seen in a long time! This is no conspiracy theory. It’s a reality.
They still have to be adopted by the European Council. This will happen later this month for the DSA and in September for the DMA. The DSA will then not become official until fifteen months later at the earliest, or 1 January 2024 at the latest. For the DMA, the law will take effect six months after its adoption by the Council.
So for the upcoming year, we are preparing World-wide huge demonstrations against this coup. We ask every organisation in to please do the same. If we don’t stand up now, it might be almost impossible to organise something later because it will be much harder to reach and inform each other via the internet.
This is a struggle for freedom and democracy we have to win. And we will win! Together, all of us, we can do this.
UNITED WE STAND.