I witnessed firsthand how the tech titans enticed the EU

By Shiva Kumar

Silicon Valley used shady lobbying to undermine critical new regulations. Google and Meta must be held accountable.

As the Digital Services Act package was being finalized, the very public clash between Elon Musk and the European Commission on Twitter made headlines.

It is unlikely that Brussels has ever seen such large-scale campaigns and practices that are so contrary to the requirements of a democratic, open society.

It is unlikely that Brussels has ever seen such large-scale campaigns and practices that are so contrary to the requirements of a democratic, open society.

When it is finally implemented this year, it will enable Europe for the first time to mitigate some of the harms caused by social media platforms.

However, the compromises made to get here reflect the extraordinary power of technology companies to influence decision-making, and thus to subvert our democracies.

However, it has been clearly either too weak or ineffective in reining in the Silicon Valley behemoths. On June 17, 2020, Nick Clegg will meet with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Dublin.

He defended Facebook's decision not to take action against Donald Trump's inflammatory posts, claiming that "defending free expression is important."

People wanted to believe that technology was advancing, that its leaders were good, that net neutrality and democracy went hand in hand, and that the US regulatory model was the one to emulate.

Neelie Kroes, who was in charge of the powerful competition portfolio between 2004 and 2009 and later the digital agenda, was a strong advocate for the platform economy.

The full picture must include platform-friendly EU governments like then-member Britain, which valued strong transatlantic ties and interests.

After leaving the commission, Kroes went on to join the boards of US tech companies Uber and Salesforce, and Nick Clegg is now, of course, Meta's president for global affairs.

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