afraid of running afoul of the GDPR requirements on handling personal data, simply shut out all visitors from the EU. A few of the more enlightened ones like the Washington Post have a separate tracking system for EU visitors. Since the USA is generally far behind the EU countries for any protection of private data, these restrictions are one way at this time.
The internet used to be a “Wild West” – with minimal protection of copyrights, content, and trademarks. But now the pendulum is swinging the other direction. If approved, the new EU trademark legislation – in particular Article 11 and 13 – will reduce the pool of available information by limiting the abilities of platforms to post links and mandating the use of filters to keep potentially copyright violations from even being posted in the first place.
The internet pipeline of information is vulnerable – and the various social media channels on it – to being simply shut off as the regime in power desires. This is particularly an issue in smaller countries such as Turkey or Venezuela where there are limited global connections. This makes shutting down Twitter or Wikipedia easier. It also can cover a range of technical “issues” that disrupt connectivity during an opponent’s speech. While the new Russian and Venezuelan attempts to restrict negative comments or give the government greater oversight of permissible activities may seem laughable, they might not be for long.