Mozilla and 66 civil society organisations call on the European Commission: The DSA is not a justification for censorship

Mozilla and 66 civil society organisations call on the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, to clarify comments he made in response to the protests in France. Commissioner Breton implied that arbitrarily blocking online platforms can be justified under the EU’s Digital Services Act, which is a dangerous over-interpretation of this new regulation.

We also urge the Commission to ensure that the national implementation of the DSA respect’s the regulation’s objectives and upholds fundamental rights. The French draft law to secure and regulate digital space (Projet de loi “Sécuriser et réguler l'espace numérique”, SREN), which is supposed to implement the DSA and other European legislation to the national level, risks doing the opposite. The bill currently includes a clause that would force browsers to create a tool for the French government to choose which websites to block. This would undermine the objectives of the DSA, as well as net neutrality and internet health worldwide.

Browsers are user-agents, not tools of government censorship. This kind of dystopian technical capability does not exist anywhere in the world. Mozilla raised the alarm on this early on, since such a move would overturn decades of established norms and provide a playbook for authoritarian governments.

A world in which browsers can be forced to incorporate a government-selected list of banned websites at the software-level - that simply do not open, either in a region or globally - raises serious concerns around freedom of expression and other fundamental rights worldwide.

Download the full statement here.

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