Europe wants dumb and obedient citizens

Europe wants dumb and obedient citizens

by Hashtable.

Bureaucratic inertia is not a myth: thus, it is not because France is agitated or the peoples of Europe are beginning to grumble in the face of more or less subtle diktats from Brussels that European legislative production finds diminished, on the contrary. And it is therefore no surprise that the European Union has just greedily added a new repressive arsenal that undermines freedoms in the digital field.

And before even going any further, rest assured that this new Niagara of articles of law, directives and additional constraints will above all be presented as beneficial and benevolent in a press otherwise not very eager to talk about it.

It is true that the subject is not quite simple: using the willingness displayed by certain governments of member countries of the Union (always the same, unsurprisingly) to absolutely want to fall head over heels for certain companies in the digital world , the Commission and MEPs have subtly introduced a whole panoply of articulates and well-considered paragraphs to broadly extend European control over the Internet, to the delight of small and large statists.

Mainly intended (for the moment) for very large digital companies, and with the stated aim of finding a simple way to spit in the tax basin these companies that are a little too clever with the laws in force, the text on which the Commission and Parliament are are agreed establishes a whole series of principles and obligations that digital platforms will have to follow scrupulously.

We will admire the speed with which parliamentarians reached an agreement to – in the media – target the big American firms and find ways to regulate and tax them, and – much less in the media – to lock the digital identity on the citizens in a very near future. The bill started in December 2021 thus quickly found a taker with a good majority of deputies who saw only good points in it: always under the pretext of securing individuals on the intertubes of the Far West, finally will you – we can corset the European citizen, constantly track him and leave him almost no margin of freedom, starting with that of expression.

It is difficult to resist such a proposal when we take into account the overall trend of European institutions over the last few years.

And how does this text manage to finally close the door on recalcitrant citizens? As usual for several years: by drowning him in the stifling sweetness of good intentions and his sacrosanct security.

By demanding, for example, an increasingly firm and rapid fight against nasty and ugly disinformation, this Digital Service Act (DSA) will make it possible to close down or at least banish all dissident platforms that have the nerve to present alternative information. or seditiously eccentric for example. Who will judge what is outlandish, riotous or disinformation? But the current powers in place, of course, which guarantees quality information, as we have seen in recent years!

Thus, under the pretext of transparency in the moderation of content on the platforms, the DSA will authorize recognized actors (I let you imagine who will obtain public anointing) to intervene in moderation to remove content deemed dangerous, or on the contrary impose the presence of certain content deemed compliant.

If you liked KYC with banks, you will have a new ration with e-commerce platforms.

As a reminder, these KYCs (Know Your Customer) require financial organizations to collect very detailed information about their customers in order to fight against corruption, fraud or illegal trafficking. The fact that this information makes it possible to track every citizen for tax reasons and allows the authorities to quickly “unbank” someone without trial is of course completely coincidental. The fact that these KYCs are now propelled to e-commerce platforms (Amazon, eBay, etc.) is, we assure you, for your good, your security and again, the fact that this leads to a further reduction commercial freedoms for everyone is purely fortuitous.

And beyond these little legislative candies which we know will pass very well, at least with the authorities, who will immediately see benefits in terms of extending their powers, let us add the pious hopes of limiting targeted advertising, a fight against “revenge porn” or reinforced protection of minors in various areas, the reality of which we already suspect will be much more subject to caution: in addition to the obvious technological challenge that these good intentions foreshadow, we is already eagerly awaiting all the workarounds that will be quickly put in place both on the business side and on the consumer side, again immersed in a thick bureaucratic molasses.

(As an illustration, we will remember the brilliant European idea of ​​imposing a consent clickodrome for cookies – the famous GDPR – which turned into a stupid automatism for the average Internet user, making the situation worse since now, there is no longer any doubt that consent to the collection of personal data has been obtained where the previous situation at least implied that it was not given by default.)

Of course, these little legislative nuggets are just the beginning.

We already know, in particular because it is the clearly stated goal of the Union for the years to come, that digital identity will soon be imposed on everyone and that it will be embedded without concern in the legal landscape already shaped by this Digital Service Act (which comes after the Digital Markets Act which made it possible to get the job done well). Equipped with a unique online identity, with an almost impossible anonymity and a permanent tracking of his actions and gestures on the Internet, the fickle European citizen will then be ripe for complete social control, like the prototype currently being implemented. place in Bologna for example.

The Western trend (difficult to hide as articles – like this one – multiply to announce the same measures on the American continent) is clear: the free western citizen has lived. Now make way for the cash cow taxpayer, the millimetric freedom of expression and the capacity for revolt that is almost nil.

source: Hashtable