What is the aim of our proposal? The Internet is an empowering tool that allows us to communicate globally, meet each other, build networks, join forces, access information and culture, and express and spread political opinions. Unfortunately, platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok filter and moderate with a lot of collateral damage: too often, hateful content—especially targeting minority groups—remains on-line. On the other hand, legitimate posts, videos, accounts, and ads are removed, and the platforms make it difficult to contest. [Read More]
A Christmas gift
Proposal for future Internet regulation
On December 15, the European Commission will issue a proposal for legislation which will govern the use of Internet services that we use every day (social networks, e-commerce platforms, file hosting, sharing services, and similar). The proposal will be sent to the Parliament and to the Council to amend it. Situation in the Parliament In the meantime, the Parliament has already adopted its preliminary political views (not legally binding) on how the future Internet legislation should look like. [Read More]
Trilogue on terrorism content on-line
What's at stake?
How to handle terrorism content on-line? That is a question that European lawmakers are about to answer soon: The next trilogue on the regulation setting rules on removals of terrorism content on-line shall take place tomorrow, December 10 . For its far reaching measures, the regulation has been heavily criticized by NGOs. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, and the UN Special Rapporteur point out the very same problem: without effective safeguards, the regulation could lead to overreaching suppression of content and could, therefore, undermine fundamental rights, especially the freedom of expression. [Read More]
Position of the European Parliament on Artificial Intelligence
Disappointing in not addressing mass surveillance properly among others
Last month, the European Parliament voted on several reports regarding the future legislation on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Namely, these were reports on the framework of ethical aspects of AI, robotics and related technologies, on the civil liability regime for AI, and on so-called intellectual property rights for the development of AI technologies. I voted against all these reports for numerous reasons. Let’s take a closer look at them. In many respects, these reports reacted to the white paper on AI: a European approach to excellence and trust, which the Commission published in February. [Read More]
Act now to prevent national governments from dismantling encryption!
Two months ago, I questioned Commissioner Johansson in the plenary about Commission’s plan with the regulation derogating from ePrivacy; however, I didn’t get a satisfying answer to my concerns. Now, citizens' privacy faces another attack. This time from the Member States. Following the Commission’s plan to create exception from the ePrivacy rules and consequently weaken encryption for the purpose of investigating child sexual abuse material on-line, the general subject of encryption is in front of Member States in the Council. [Read More]
Position of the European Parliament on the Digital Services Act
Acceptable with reservations
Last month, the European Parliament voted on the Saliba report on the Digital Services Act. Overall, it’s an acceptable compromise that takes on board many of the suggestions I tabled. Having said that, some parts of the text could be improved. Let’s take a look at the particular components of the approved report. What it means for the future of the Internet From the user point of view, numerous aspects are crucial. [Read More]
Introducing: My content, my rights
In preparation for the upcoming Digital Services Act legislative proposal, we launched a campaign with my political group: My content, my rights. What is it about? The campaign aims at addressing the specific issue of unfair on-line account blocking and removal by on-line platforms. If you ever felt your rights were violated, share your experience on our take-down wall of shame, and empower yourself by contributing to the future European rules for user rights and big tech. [Read More]
How can I verify my vote?
Why remote voting needs to be roll call
Democracy needs to be preserved even during pandemics. The European Parliament, therefore—in order to make decisions—has been voting remotely since March. There is not just one single voting procedure used in the Parliament at this moment. How the Bureau of the European Parliament enabled remote voting The Bureau of the European Parliament temporarily allowed voting by e-mail back in March. In addition to it, some committees started using an internally developed voting application, which is fully dependent on the proprietary Apple platform. [Read More]
Independence of public media
Lessons from Warsaw
The election of new members of the Czech Television Council in May raised concerns about the direction and independence of the Czech Television. One of the worst-case scenarios of what could happen to public service media is the TVP in Poland. Unfortunately, it has been transformed into a propagandist channel of the government party Law and Justice (PiS). The last months and weeks of the gripping presidential campaign between Andrzej Duda and Rafal Trzaskowski demonstrated, why we can’t just stand by while others are trying to delegitimize and paralyze the Czech Television. [Read More]
Czech presidency of the Council of the European Union
An already wasted opportunity?
Since last week, Germany took over the presidency of the Council of the European Union from Croatia—the youngest Member State. Their main priorities include the recovery after COVID-19 as well as the fight with climate change. Another important goal is digitization. Two years from now, the presidency will be in the hands of Czechia, which will take over this venerable position from France. Hence, Czechia will have a unique opportunity to be heard in the Union. [Read More]