EU Commissioner confirms DSA prohibits arbitrary blocking of online platforms
Commissioner emphasised that any suspension of services will be a last resort measure and will adhere to international human rights and due process safeguards.
EU Commissioner Thierry Breton assures that the Digital Services Act (DSA) will not permit arbitrary blocking of online platforms and emphasises that any suspension of services will be a last resort, aligned with human rights and due process safeguards.
Previously, there were concerns about the DSA being misused to shut down platforms for not removing ‘hateful content.’ Commissioner Breton responded to civil society organisations and clarified that the DSA will always respect democratic processes and the rule of law.
He reaffirmed that Europe opposes unjustified and arbitrary blocking or degradation of content, services, and applications. The DSA will impose proportionate sanctions based on a platform’s behaviour, with temporary suspension only applied in extreme cases like incitement to violence. Any measures leading to service suspension must follow proper legal processes, including adherence to national laws, international law, and the European Court of Human Rights’ jurisprudence.
ARTICLE 19 highlights the global significance of EU legislation like the DSA, as it serves as a model for digital space regulation in other countries. The organisation stated it would continue monitoring the EU’s enforcement of the DSA to ensure its commitment to this principle.
Why does it matter? Concerns that the DSA might be misused to shut down social media during EU riots arose after comments made by EU Commissioner Breton in response to violent protests in France. Activists are worried that such a statement could set a precedent for governments in other countries, like Iran and India, to use online blackouts as a means to suppress dissent and restrict political discourse. This highlights the potential global impact of the DSA, as it serves as a model for digital space regulation in other countries.