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Showdown on DSA: Pirates demand protection of fundamental digital rights against censorship and espionage

European Parliament Freedom, democracy and transparency Press releases

On Friday, representatives of the EU Parliament, Commission and Council will meet for what is expected to be the last round of negotiations on the EU Digital Services Act (DSA). After MEPs from the Pirate Party were able to successfully make important contributions to the protection of the privacy of users in the parliamentary position, it will now be decided where the EU governments under the leadership of the French Council Presidency are willing to go along.

The MEP of the Pirate Party and digital freedom fighter Dr. Patrick Breyer sits as rapporteur for the LIBE Committee at the negotiating table in Brussels and explains:

“The final negotiations will decide central issues of fundamental rights protection on the net: If the French Council Presidency wants to protect digital freedom of expression and ensure online documentation of Rus-sian war crimes, for example, error-prone upload filters must not be mandatory. If EU governments want to stop foreign spying and defend Europe’s digital sovereignty, there is no way around a right to secure encryp-tion. And if President Macron really wants to enforce our fundamental rights against the surveillance capita-list power of global internet corporations, citizens must be able to protect themselves from annoying consent banners and ubiquitous surveillance ads via “do not track” settings!”

Pirate Party MEP Mikuláš Peksa, DSA rapporteur in the Committee on Economic on Monetary Affairs (ECON), adds:

„It is essential that no unnecessarily restrictive rules will be included in the new law. Users must still have free access to services on the internet. Moreover, the negotiated agreement should, above all, support small and medium-sized European companies, which can bring much innovation to the market. The Pirates’ aim is also to ensure secure encryption of our private electronic communication, which is crucial for safe-guarding our fundamental rights online.”

Before the final vote in the EU Parliament in January 2022, the four Member of the Pirate Party in the European Parliament were able to make important contributions in some points to improve user privacy. Here‘s some exampes of the European Parliament‘s demands in the negotiations:

Upload filters

The Parliament had learned from the protests against Article 13/17 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market and wants to exclude additional filter obligations in the law on digital services. The error-prone “censorship machines” often delete video documentaries of Russian war crimes, for example, as alleged terrorism propaganda.


The Parliament made a commitment: the right to secure encryption is to be guaranteed in the DSA.  This is to prevent individual EU states from single-handedly forcing securely encrypted global Internet services to introduce backdoors.

Surveillance advertising

Although the systematic monitoring and creation of personality profiles of Internet users for advertising purposes was not demanded by Parliament, users should for the first time be able to generally refuse tracking in the browser or app (“do not track”) and thus also be spared annoying consent banners. It should be just as easy to refuse consent as it is to give it (ban on dark patterns). In addition, targeting people based on their political views, health status, sexual preferences or religious beliefs should be prohibited.