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The Dawning of Blatant EU Totalitarianism
The EU’s “Digital Services Act” No Longer Conceals Brussel’s Mission to Kill Free Speech
A significant shift has occurred in the realm of the Internet, yet the majority of individuals residing in the United States may not be fully aware of its implications. Recently, the European Union implemented a totalitarian new regulation known as the “Digital Services Act,” and its enforcement commenced last Friday. This legislation ushers in an exceedingly rigorous regime of online content control, surpassing any previous forms of authoritarian oversight.
Under this new regulation, legions of European officials will act as the arbiters of what qualifies as acceptable discourse on the Internet. If they come across content on a major online platform that they deem objectionable, they possess the authority to compel the platform to remove it, all because someone in Europe might encounter it. While this law is specific to Europe, its ramifications are poised to exert a substantial influence on a global scale.
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A seismic shift is underway, signaling a transformative moment in the digital landscape. Reports are surfacing that the Digital Services Act (DSA) has ushered in a profound change, one where major technology corporations are held legally responsible for the content that populates their platforms.
This paradigm-altering development essentially means that these tech giants, previously operating with a degree of immunity from content accountability, are now bound by the law to monitor and regulate the material posted on their platforms. The DSA imposes a legal obligation upon them to ensure that the content aligns with stringent standards and does not violate established guidelines.
In essence, the DSA marks a watershed moment, as it not only underscores the growing importance of digital responsibility but also demands a significant recalibration of how these tech giants function in the online sphere. Consequently, the implications of this legal shift are poised to reverberate throughout the digital world, shaping the future of online content and user interactions.
The European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) has officially gone into effect. Starting on August 25th, 2023, tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and more must comply with sweeping legislation that holds online platforms legally accountable for the content posted to them.
Even though this new law was passed in the EU, we’ll likely see far-reaching global effects as companies adjust their policies to comply.
However, commencing February 24, 2024, the Digital Services Act will extend its applicability to a significantly wider range of online platforms boasting fewer than 45 million monthly users.
We've been informed that this fresh legislation will lay out precise guidelines that online platforms are obligated to adhere to. This encompasses the regulation of content deemed “false or misleading” as outlined in the Strengthened Code of Practice on Disinformation.
So, what types of speech does the DSA aim to regulate? The Strengthened Code of Practice on Disinformation from the previous year defines disinformation as “false or misleading content that is disseminated with the intent to deceive or gain economic or political advantages and that may lead to public harm.” This code has already been applied during elections and in response to crises such as COVID and the conflict in Ukraine.
These measures are often presented as innocuous and non-political, merely steering users away from unfounded claims like 5G towers causing COVID or countering deliberate foreign interference. However, the reality is more complex. To illustrate this point, consider the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO), an EU-funded fact-checking hub whose goal is to “detect disinformation, uncover its sources, or mitigate its impact.” This organization, which claims to be “independent” and “impartial,” can be seen as the EU's equivalent of a surveillance entity. Launched by the Commission in June 2020 with a budget of €13.5 million, it compiles reports on online discourse within the EU. These reports include regular “fact-checking briefs,” “disinformation reports” for specific countries, and “early warnings” regarding anticipated disinformation trends, all aimed at “prebunking” falsehoods. “Prebunking,” as one EDMO presentation explains, is the process of exposing falsehoods before they gain traction.
The output from EDMO exemplifies how the notion of 'disinformation' is cynically wielded by bureaucratic entities. Consider their 2023 briefing on disinformation in Ireland. EDMO informs us that it routinely monitors 12 online platforms within this EU member state, encompassing mainstream platforms like Twitter, WhatsApp, and YouTube, as well as their less regulated counterparts such as Gettr, Telegram, and Odysee. In this briefing, they enumerate various “disinformation trends” observed in Ireland, which are purportedly causing “harm.” These trends encompass:
“Nativist narratives” opposing migration, exemplified by hashtags like “Ireland is full,” the slogan “make Ireland safe,” or the prominent use of the Irish tricolour.
“Gender and sexuality narratives” addressing drag queens and trans issues, considered part of a broader “anti-woke” narrative that satirizes social justice campaigns.
“Environment narratives” critiquing climate change policies and figures like Greta Thunberg, seen as contributing to broader anti-elite and “rural Ireland versus Dublin” narratives.
It's evident that the common thread among these narratives isn't that they constitute 'disinformation,' defined as “false information intended to deceive.” Instead, they represent political viewpoints dissenting from the European Union establishment. They embody the European public's opposition to unpopular policies championed by European elites—specifically, policies related to mass migration, transgender ideology, and Net Zero eco-austerity. This revealing document underscores how the technocratic campaign against so-called disinformation is fundamentally political and undemocratic. What's labeled as 'disinformation' is, in reality, any political narrative that runs counter to the preferences of the globalist EU establishment (even the term “globalists” itself is stigmatized as unacceptable).
The actual veracity of content deemed “false or misleading” by European bureaucrats becomes irrelevant in this context. What holds significance is that online platforms must comply with the directives they receive, or they will face severe consequences.
“Online platforms that don’t comply with the DSA’s rules could see fines of up to 6 percent of their global turnover. According to the EU Commission, the Digital Services Coordinator and the Commission will have the power to ‘require immediate actions where necessary to address very serious harms.’ A platform continually refusing to comply could result in a temporary suspension in the EU.”
Major tech corporations will go to great lengths to evade such fines, leading them to unquestionably adhere to the directives. This implies that hundreds of unelected EU bureaucrats will wield significant influence over online speech.
We are informed that these EU bureaucrats will collaborate with “trusted flaggers” to assist in pinpointing content requiring censorship.
Under this Orwellian framework, an assembly of hundreds of unelected EU bureaucrats will determine what qualifies as disinformation and instruct major tech companies to enforce censorship. Faced with potential damage to their reputation and financial penalties, these companies will have little choice but to comply. This censorship can take various forms: human moderators removing content, shadow-banning problematic content creators to limit their reach, demonetizing specific content, and adjusting algorithms to promote or demote certain subjects. While the DSA technically applies only within the EU's legal boundaries, once integrated within major tech firms, this extensive content-regulation apparatus is likely to impact users worldwide.
You might be inclined to believe that you can escape this censorship because you don't reside in Europe. Regrettably, that's not the case.
If you publish content that could potentially be viewed by someone in Europe, your content falls within the scope of this alarming new legislation.
Prepare for an unprecedented level of Internet censorship that none of us have experienced before. Moreover, it's worth noting that the majority of the major tech companies subject to this new law are headquartered in the United States.
Moreover, European regulations have a tendency to influence global standards, a phenomenon referred to as the “Brussels Effect.” For example, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a digital privacy law enacted in 2018, has become a global benchmark. Numerous countries, including Japan, Brazil, post-Brexit Britain, various U.S. states, and tech companies, have adopted equivalent regulations. The possibility of a similar global influence occurring with the DSA should raise concerns for everyone.
It has come to light that the Federal Trade Commission dispatched representatives to Europe in March to aid in the implementation of this new law within the United States.
U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today sent letters to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Lina Khan and the head of the European Union’s San Francisco office, demanding answers regarding the degree of coordination between the FTC and the EU to enforce the EU’s Digital Services Act (“DSA”) and Digital Markets Act (“DMA”) on U.S. soil.
Both foreign laws were written to weaken American tech companies, particularly in Europe. There are no corollary federal laws to the DSA and DMA, making the FTC’s efforts to conspire with foreign regulators against U.S. businesses unprecedented.
The FTC announced in March that it was sending agency officials to Brussels to assist the EU in implementing these laws, while the EU opened a San Francisco office to pressure U.S tech companies to comply with them.
From this moment onward, the ability to express alternative perspectives on the Internet is poised to become significantly more challenging.
On a personal note, there will be certain topics that I can only share with my paid subscribers to my Substack newsletter. This is why I'm currently offering a substantial discount on annual subscriptions, ensuring that as many people as possible can access all the content at an affordable rate.
I'll need to exercise greater caution in what I choose to share, as any public statement on the Internet that offends European bureaucrats could lead to serious repercussions.
This predicament extends to every other independent journalist as well. For a considerable duration, the Internet provided an avenue for ordinary individuals like you and me to disseminate truth to a world hungry for it.
However, the gatekeepers are now asserting a stringent level of control, forever altering the landscape of the Internet.
While the extent of the DSA's censorship measures is indeed concerning, it is indicative of the EU's growing instability rather than a demonstration of its strength. The German economy, a cornerstone of European industry and critical to the stability of the Euro, is facing a significant downturn due to soaring energy costs, making it the sole G7 economy projected to contract this year. This has given rise to the right-wing populist Alternative für Deutschland, which now enjoys a 20 percent approval rating and stands as Germany's second most popular political party. The fragile German government coalition is even contemplating banning this party.
Simultaneously, insurgent populist movements throughout the EU, spanning from Sweden to Austria to the Netherlands, have garnered substantial support in recent elections by opposing green policies and immigration. EU elites find themselves entangled in the Qatargate scandal, a disgraceful corruption affair where top EU officials are accused of accepting cash bribes from the Qatari government. With the European Parliament elections slated for the following year, the EU's political establishment is rightfully concerned about an impending surge in populist sentiment. In fact, even the center-right European People's Party is shifting toward more conservative positions.
Consequently, the audacious and openly authoritarian nature of the DSA emerges as a product of a beleaguered and increasingly unpopular EU establishment. While this development may be welcome news for critics of the EU, it appears that as the EU's legitimacy diminishes, it becomes more determined to cling to power.
The true power to shape this world has always lain in your hands. Choose well!
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