US Capitol attack is tech's '9/11' says EU commissioner | Inquirer News

US Capitol attack is tech’s ‘9/11’ says EU commissioner

/ 09:58 PM January 11, 2021

US Capitol attack is tech's '9/11' says EU commissioner

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: Trump supporters gather outside the U.S. Capitol building following a “Stop the Steal” rally on January 06, 2021, in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol earlier, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation’s capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

BRUSSELS — A top EU official on tech policy said Monday that the attack on US Congress by sympathizers of President Donald Trump would be seen by history as social media’s September 11.

“Just as 9/11 marked a paradigm shift for global security, 20 years later we are witnessing a before-and-after in the role of digital platforms in our democracy,” EU commissioner Thierry Breton wrote in Politico.


The fallout from the attack has led to Twitter banning Trump outright from its platform, in a move that has been welcomed by some but criticized even by the president’s opponents.


Breton said the incidents in Washington revealed “the fragility of our democracies – and the threat that under-regulated tech companies can pose to their survival”.

The former French finance minister expressed serious doubts about whether social media companies alone should have the power to block accounts of a US president.

“The fact that a CEO can pull the plug on (Trump’s) loudspeaker without any checks and balances is perplexing,” Breton wrote.

“It is not only confirmation of the power of these platforms, but it also displays deep weaknesses in the way our society is organized in the digital space,” he added.

Breton also defended the EU’s recent proposals to more closely regulate big tech, including the Digital Services Act that could see platforms face fines for failures to curb illegal content.

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TAGS: 7-11, Capitol, Computers, Democracy, Donald Trump, Internet, Politics, September 11, Social Media, tech, Unrest, Violence

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