EU Parliament's 'More Thoughtful' Approach To Regulating The Internet Still A Complete Disaster

from the regulating-human-behavior dept

For a while now, the EU has been working on its latest big update to internet regulations, mostly under the umbrella of the Digital Services Act (DSA). Multiple people who have been following the process there have noted how much more thoughtful the process has been for the DSA as compared to internet regulatory attempts in the US, which seem to mostly be driven by which senator thinks they can get the biggest headlines for misrepresenting which particular outrage this week. A more careful, thoughtful approach is definitely appreciated, but that doesn’t mean the results will be any good. Last week, the EU Parliament approved the latest version of the DSA in what has been seen as something of a mixed bag.

Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer described the final vote as having both “huge success and major setbacks.” I’m actually a bit surprised that the EFF seems mostly happy with the result (with a few caveats), though that seems to mainly be because a few really bad ideas didn’t make the cut. But, it still seems like an awful lot of bad ideas did make it through.

The good parts are that the new DSA mostly retains the E-Commerce Directive’s “conditional liability regime” and rejected a proposal that would require “general monitoring” (i.e., faulty filters to try to screen “bad stuff”). There was an attempt to go even further and ban upload filters entirely, but that was rejected. Similarly a proposal to say that courts could not require ISPs engage in full site blocking was rejected.

On the good side, this version of the DSA includes a right to pay for digital services anonymously, though it rejected a limitation on requiring a court order for government’s to snoop through your data. It also rejected a proposal that would require a court order to remove content — banning the practice of enabling government agencies to order content removals. This is extremely unfortunate, and an attack on due process.

There’s a lot more in there that’s a mix of good and bad, and the whole thing isn’t truly final yet either. But, I still think that overall the DSA will have a hugely negative impact on internet freedoms and free speech, even if it got some small things at the margin right.

In the end, I do think that any big “sweeping” set of internet regulations — whether prepared thoughtfully or not — are always going to be a disaster. They can’t take into account how complex the world is, can’t take into account context, and can’t take into account the general dynamism of the internet — and how quickly things change. Not only that, but just the very process of opening up such sweeping regulations that cover so much of how the internet works for users is going to get hijacked by special interests who want this or that thing included in the final regulation.

Is the process more reality-based than the US’s grandstand-o-rama? Sure. Will the end results be any better? Doesn’t seem like it.

Filed Under: , , , , , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “EU Parliament's 'More Thoughtful' Approach To Regulating The Internet Still A Complete Disaster”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
RayF says:

No one disagrees that firm government regulation of the worldwide internet is absolutely critical to its proper functioning.

U.S. regulation is hopelessly mired in special interest politics, as usual.

The EU government regulatory model however does offer some hope for U.S. regulatory reform. Some Asian nations also have a thoughtful overall approach to defining the common sense limits of internet activities and harmful growth excesses.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Some Asian nations also have a thoughtful overall approach to defining the common sense limits of internet activities and harmful growth excesses.

Eh. They could be thoughtful when it comes to defining them. More often than not they’ll shrug things off as "it’s a necessary evil" and "it can’t be helped" before playing the "we have to keep up with international standards to stay competitive" card.

Anonymous Coward says:

One example uk proposes a law that wants content that might upset children but is legal yeah the Web is gonna be rated pg13? EU regulators don’t understand the web that make laws that try to regulate all. Content txt video audio music fair use is not really in force in the EU each country has different laws plus the Web changes every few months
Who predicted gen z would use memes to communicate or make a political statement who predicted a new app would come along that has more viewers than YouTube tik Tok
Some country’s want a link tax that would cripple startups and free speech and is not really any good for journalists
Some idiots think copyright good oh more copyright must be better
Yeah those software patents worked out great
If big legacy corporations start pushing link taxs readers will simply go elsewhere or else use american websites like
Newser drudge etc
Plus lawmakers simply do not understand how the Web works
And laws effect small creators not big media corporations
Result bad news for the public and ordinary users who don’t have paid lobbyists to speak up for them

Raymondjoype (user link) says:

ТОП популярных инстаграм аккаунто?

Systematically visiting the four hands massage for clients, you guarantee himself excellent sexual relaxation.
The energy massage inSoho it today skill give away bliss. The Soapy massage – on the influence on clients is meant practically unlimited available opportunities actions on bodily, and consequently, and psychoemotional state of health friends.
In school sensual massage women will hold erotic 4hands massage. Similar swedish massage, as in principle, and relaxation, influences on some area human body, this give a chance male gain strength.
And while, french massage and not violates practically any prohibitions, for the reason it's not about sexual contact.
Dear gentlemen!

<a href=>Зловещее ковидное молчание sapojnik ЖЖ</a>

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...