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The EU Could Force Companies to Sell Off Assets, Like Trump, But With Discussions and Meetings and Stuff

Illustration for article titled The EU Could Force Companies to Sell Off Assets, Like Trump, But With Discussions and Meetings and Stuff

Picture: Kenzo Tribouillard (Getty Pictures)

In an astonishingly cool, levelheaded interview that rocked this U.S.-based tech blogger’s world, EU Commissioner Thierry Breton informed the Financial Times that the EU is contemplating various laws that might lastly break up massive tech and maintain platforms accountable for disinformation. Sounds precisely just like the conversations we’re having within the U.S.! Besides in modest statements to the press and never tweetstorms, human trafficking bills, tarmac press conferences, and govt orders.

Breton informed the Monetary Instances that the EU want to undertake regulation that seems like a extra official, simple path to perform what Trump is making an attempt with the ByteDance/TikTok “deal” (or shakedown, relying in your take). Solely in dire circumstances, Breton says, the EU may resort to forcing tech monopolies to interrupt up or promote their European belongings altogether. It appears to be framed much less about blah blah “nationwide safety”—a official concern, however not the one meaningfully addressed by the proposed TikTok deal—and extra per the EU’s current incremental antitrust regulation.

It’s unclear how that’ll be carried out, however Breton stated that proposed laws shall be prepared by the top of the yr. Gizmodo has reached out to Breton for extra particulars and can replace the publish if we hear again.

Breton additionally says European regulators are serious about the longterm preservation of free speech. (Wild!) He desires to take care of unlawful content material and disinformation with out dismantling the liability shield for on-line intermediaries ensured by the 2000 E-Commerce Directive. Shielding platforms from legal responsibility is incredibly important, and EU regulators perceive this; “The secure harbor of the legal responsibility exemption will keep,” Breton informed the Monetary Instances. “That’s one thing that’s accepted by everybody.” As a European Parliament report famous earlier this yr, they could reform it by additional clarifying mechanisms to take away already-forbidden unlawful content material.

U.S. lawmakers’ struggle over moderation, however, entails firebombing legal responsibility exemptions. Legislators on each side of the aisle need to dismantle Part 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which prevents on-line platforms from being handled as publishers and due to this fact free from legal responsibility over user-submitted content material hosted on their platforms. (Amongst different causes, Republicans want to modify it to be able to grant them more power to troll, and Democrats want to hold Republicans accountable for mendacity.)

The Monetary Instances additionally mentions “harder sanctions” on corporations that make it not possible emigrate knowledge to different platforms (Fb). Breton additionally floated the concept of a “ranking system” that will present corporations’ observe document on moderating disinformation and paying taxes, for which EU and member nations have pursued Amazon, Google, and Apple.

What do they assume after they have a look at us? Typically I’m wondering.



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Author

Whitney Kimball