Thursday, October 03, 2019

EU starts to try to order some content takedowns to apply worldwide, even the US, challenging sovereignty

Foo Yun Chee of Reuters News reports today that the EU Supreme Court has told Facebook it must remove some content worldwide, even if only illegal in one EU country.  

The ruling could apply to other social media companies and theoretically even to hosting providers. 

There was some concern immediately that it could apply to “the right to be forgotten.”

Yet, curiously, a case in French resulted in a different judge deciding that the “right to be forgotten” would only apply in the country affected in Google cases.

The Facebook case just reported today started in Austria with a particular green party politician seeking to squash criticism. It’s obvious that politicians or dictators anywhere could use this ruling to squash dissent.

As with the Article 13 controversy and Copyright Directive, here is a case where European law could be in a position to force Internet companies to scale back user generated content worldwide.
There is also an obvious question about national sovereignty, which Donald Trump uses to play both sides of any issue against each other.

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