The Coming Collision Between EU Privacy Regulation And American Free Speech

"Earlier this week, we wrote about the EU Court of Justice's decision that the NSA's surveillance of the internet meant that the EU-US data protection safe harbor was invalid. As we noted, there's a lot of mess in all of this, but losing that safe harbor would be tremendously problematic for the internet. And the impact could be that the NSA basically screwed things up royally for American internet companies by spying on European users. But, the issue actually goes much deeper. As that ruling recognized, the crux of the matter was dependent on the EU's Data Protection Directive. And that Data Protection Directive is about to be updated. 

And the end result may be very, very bad for the internet. 

That's the conclusion of Daphne Keller at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society, who is writing a series of blog posts detailing the problems with the current drafts. At the core of the issue, as Keller notes, the worlds of "privacy protection" and "free speech/intermediary liability protection" are two separate worlds -- and people on both sides don't seem to realize just how much the two can and do overlap."