Cybersecurity » Will US and UK Tech Regulators Ever Be On The Same Page?

Will US and UK Tech Regulators Ever Be On The Same Page?

August 14, 2018

Increased regulation of the big tech companies is in the cards, both in the United States and in Europe. This post from online publication Lawfare looks at likely future trends in both venues, finding root similarities but also a few pronounced differences. The source for this analysis was two recently released reports, one from each venue. Similarities include what the reports consider the main target areas for policymakers, namely disinformation that undermines trust in institutions, consumer protection, and problems for competition and innovation posed by the dominance of a small number of huge platforms. But there are sharp differences, including a basic difference in tone, with the UK report chiding the big tech companies for their “obstinance both in acknowledging problems and in providing candid information…” An even more striking divergence is the degree to which the two reports take seriously the impact of social media, particularly the spread of disinformation regarding international political issues. The U.S. report largely fails to address that phenomenon, while at the same time it appears more forgiving of what the UK report characterizes as “hyper-partisan views which play to fears and prejudices.” Possibly, the writer suggests, this divergence in approach is the result of “the unique First Amendment culture in the U.S. that is more absolutist in its conceptions of free speech.”

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