from the new-sheriff-in-town dept
The EU is well on its way to fundamentally destroying the internet. Two giant new regulations are set to become law soon: the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act. And while neither is ridiculous in the same way that laws in the US and the UK and some other places are just pandering to grandstanding nonsense, that doesn’t make these laws good. Both regulations went through long, convoluted bureaucratic processes… and came out with long, convoluted bureaucratic regulations that simply don’t match with an internet that is designed to be an open system for innovation.
Between the DSA and the DMA, the EU is basically setting up a fundamental shift in the internet, away from the permissionless innovation that allowed anyone to experiment, and iterate, and figure out what people wanted… to a new, “mother, may I” approach to innovation overseen by fearful bureaucrats.
To basically put an exclamation point on how these two new regulations are designed to bring Silicon Valley companies to heel, the European Commission has announced that it’s setting up shop in Silicon Valley, to allow its bureaucrats to get closer to the services they wish to tie down with overly burdensome compliance requirements.
The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union government, is opening a San Francisco office on Sept. 1 that will liaise with Silicon Valley companies affected by EU tech regulation.
While the Commission is trying to frame this as a chance for “improved relationships” between the Commission and tech companies — and a chance for both sides to learn from each other — it sure feels a lot like a foreign regulator setting up shop to watch over its new regulated industry.
A central part of Mr. de Graaf’s work in San Francisco will be meeting with companies that must comply with EU tech rules because they do business in the 27-nation bloc. Big tech companies often bring more than a dozen lawyers to meetings, and Mr. de Graaf said he could help ensure companies adopt a more strategic approach to EU laws and not one that is driven by lawyers alone. Still, he expects companies to file lawsuits against coming tech legislation. “A relationship between the regulator and the regulated is always a bit complicated. A regulator is always like a bit of a policeman,” he said.
Yes. A regulator is always like a bit of a policeman. So, welcome to Silicon Valley, our new internet overlords.