The European Union has recently passed something called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The full implications of this are still unclear. Will it protect people from spam and abusive treatment by corporate behemoths, or will it impede the free flow of peer-to-peer communications?
The cynic in me is inclined to suspect that the regulation may be intentionally designed to destroy the greatest threat to centralized control, our ability to communicate with, and inform, one another without being driven through the filters of the propaganda machine that is so ably served by the mainstream media.
Here below is the English translation of a message I received from a correspondent in Germany, which illustrates the chilling effect the GDPR will have on peer-to-peer communications.
This is my last newsletter.
The new EU General Data Protection Regulation will apply from 25.5. and forbids me to email you my newsletter as usual in the future.
The European Parliament wants to protect us – against data abuse, against loss of privacy. A well-intentioned bureaucratic attempt to save the freedom of European citizens. The opposite of “good” is mostly “well meant”.
With the threat of absurdly high fines I face an opaque jungle of prohibitions and regulations. The lifetime is too precious to me to deal intensively with the question: May I and if so, how legal it would be to send a newsletter to 3,000 customers, friends and cooperation partners?
If there were not so many state interventions in our most intimate private lives at the same time – surveillance cameras in every public area, data collections and evaluations, small and large eavesdropping attacks – I would be happy to receive so much political care. In context, I feel this law as a bumbling, hypocritical harassment. An attack on the biggest capital of individual entrepreneurs and artists: Our network of relationships.
I’m tired of being a one-person entrepreneur by the legislature constantly equal to a group – and thus discriminated against – I’m fed up with unnecessary, bureaucratic stupidities, I’m sick of wasting my valuable, limited life with pointless administrative clutter. I prefer to focus on my clients, work, family, friends and art.
Relevant information you will find in the future on my two homepages, please take care of it yourself.
[Signature and personal information omitted]
Happy about old-fashioned calls, paper letters, e-mails, meetings at the Heuriger and in the coffee house.
See you soon in the woods!