I’m thrilled to welcome the new Director of CDT’s Europe Office, Iverna McGowan, an established leader in human rights and technology policy advocacy in the European Union. Iverna joins us after serving as a Senior Advisor to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Europe and as the Executive Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. Her commitment to protecting civil liberties, human rights, and democratic values makes her a wonderful addition as we look to expand the scope and scale of CDT’s work in the European Union. Iverna will be working to build our capacity in Europe, and to bring her own and CDT’s expertise into the fold to bolster the efforts of civil society in the upcoming EU debates on EU tech law and policy.
Iverna joins us at a critical time for technology policy in Europe. This summer, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the Digital Services Act (“DSA”), which seeks to update the e-Commerce Directive that has served as the foundation for internet regulation in Europe for twenty years. The DSA consultation raises complex questions about protections for intermediaries from liability for content posted on their services, the regulation of online advertising, competition policy, and more. CDT’s response emphasized the importance of maintaining a clear and strong intermediary protection framework at the heart of the DSA, while recommending specific improvements and clarifications to secure a harmonised, transparent rights-protective notice-and-action framework. CDT hopes to play an important convening role in the DSA negotiations, and ensure we help amplify voices in particular from groups who suffer from discrimination.
Meanwhile, the European Commission is also wrestling with issues critical to the future of democracy, such as external interference in elections, the transparency of online political ads, media freedom, and mis- and disinformation. CDT is also engaging on the EU’s most recent efforts in the proposed Terrorist Content Online Regulation, and the European Commission’s increasing focus on artificial intelligence. These diverse issues require nuanced, technology-informed thinking as we seek to ensure that reform efforts put users first and preserve digital rights. I’m thrilled to have Iverna at the helm, working with our Europe team and our U.S.-based policy staff to advance meaningful policy.
Iverna is preceded by Jens-Henrik Jeppesen, whose tenure at CDT included the formation of our Europe office and its growth as a trusted voice in Brussels’ digital rights community. All of us at CDT are deeply grateful for Jens’s service, and look forward to continuing his legacy as CDT Europe continues to grow.
As our world becomes ever more connected, with regulation in one region having direct effects for users around the world, close collaboration is essential between U.S. policy efforts and policy efforts in Europe and internationally. CDT’s active role in Brussels is a core component of our effort to advance transnational dialogue. We welcome Iverna, and look forward to the important and timely work ahead!