Vote on Digital Services Act: Civil Liberties Committee pushes for digital privacy and free speech online
This Thursday (20 January, subject to change), Members of the European Parliament will vote on their position on the EU Digital Services Act. The Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) will put a series of amendments to the vote that propose, among other things, to introduce a right to use digital services anonymously, to restrict government surveillance online, to better protect personal and media content against error-prone upload filters and removal orders, and to disable surveillance-based timeline algorithms by default. The amendments are expected to be voted on Thursday morning. However, the largest political groups seek to avoid amendments to the proposed bill.
The LIBE Committee‘s rapporteur for opinion Patrick Breyer (Pirate Party) explains:
“The Digital Services Act needs to become a gamer-changer for protecting our fundamental rights online from unscrupulous tech giants and surveillance-hungry governments. The time has come to take back control of the digital age!”
Specifically, the LIBE amendments propose:
- Protecting digital privacy and the right to anonymous internet use
- Limiting government surveillance of online activity
- No access blocking
- Removal orders to be issued by courts only
- What is legal offline shall stay up online
- Ensuring the free exchange of lawful information and media content online
- Bringing upload filters in line with free speech and media freedom
- My timeline, my choice
A detailed description and the wording of the amendments can be found here.
An analysis of the IMCO Committee’s unamended report can be found here.