Speechbag is a podcast that focuses on human rights and democracy issues across Europe. It is brought to you by Liberties, an EU-wide civil liberties watchdog.
EU’s Big Step To Rein In Big Tech — And What Comes Next
The internet is changing – for the better. Last week, the EU passed the Digital Services Act (DSA), landmark legislation to restore users’ rights and rein in the dangerous business practices of Big Tech.
The new rules will put you in charge of what you see and what you share. MEP Alexandra Geese and Eliska Pirkova of Access Now join the Speechbag podcast to discuss what the DSA means for you. The highlights: more safeguards for your data, limits on targeted advertising and so-called dark patterns, and clearer rules for removing illegal content.
The Secret Meetings, Lobbying, and 'Horse Trading' of EU Lawmaking
The EU may be a beacon of democracy, but its laws are still being finalized in secretive meetings that are closed to the public. But they’re not closed to lobbyists, meaning Big Tech and others have the last word.
European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly
Max Bank - LobbyControl
'We Must Not Feed Our Inner Putin'
As the war in Ukraine and the results of the Hungarian elections make clear, the need to protect media freedom and the rule of law is at a critical juncture in Europe. Far from waning, authoritarian tendencies are becoming even stronger.
And, at the EU’s doorstep, we see with horror the consequences of unchecked authoritarianism.
German MEP Sergey Lagodinsky joins the Speechbag podcast to discuss concrete steps for protecting civil society and rule of law in Europe. And he speaks of the need for the EU to “de-Putinize” itself and stand united not only on sanctions but on the importance of strong democracies and free and plural societies.
“We should not forget that we have our own Putin, and we should not be feeding our own Putin in ourselves,” he tells Speechbag.
Do mandatory vaccinations violate human rights?
Many European countries have considered mandatory vaccination schemes, and some, like Austria, are pushing ahead with them.
That's brought protesters into the streets by the thousands. They claim mandatory vaccines violate human rights. But do human rights groups agree?
Orsolya Reich, a senior advocacy officer at Liberties, joins the Speechbag podcast to discuss why this is not necessarily a human rights issue.
Countering Smear Campaigns And Protecting Civic Space
To mark International Human Rights Day, held every 10th of December, Liberties is releasing a new guide to help progressive campaigners connect more effectively with the public using values-based framing. It offers a new approach to responding to negative press and smear campaigns, which is something quite handy for activists in Hungary. Marta Pardavi, the co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, discusses the current lay of the land in Hungary and how her organization is using values-based framing to grow support despite the constant attacks from the government.
Privacy, Propaganda And The Future of Online Advertising
It’s been three years since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, and yet the daily theft and abuse of internet users’ personal information continues. Will the EU finally take action against abusive online targeted advertising?
Your location, religion, political convictions, even sexual orientation – it’s all information that online platforms like Facebook track about the users and then offer to advertisers. This allows them to create advertisements that are specifically targeting you, using information you never thought they could have.
And when it’s used for political parties, it can threaten our democracy and free and fair elections. By feeding people only information that will interest or even enrage them, they become tracked in echo chambers that prevent them from hearing opposing or alternative viewpoints. This makes people angrier, more polarized, and less informed. And we’ve seen the consequences of this on election day.
Member of the European Parliament Paul Tang of the Netherlands, Karolina Iwanska of the Panoptykon Foundation and Eva Simon from Liberties join the Speechbag podcast to discuss the threats of targeted advertising and what the EU could do about it.