• If amendment 51 will be decided, The Digital Markets Act is demanding compulsory interoperability from hypercapitalistic surveillance monopolies to the end-user.
For example twitter stream → mastodon
• The Policy group wanted to create a good lobby with edri and amendment 51 is a first goal.
ActivityPub to be the Interoperability protocol for the Digital Services Act (the law “to create a safer digital space in which the fundamental rights of all users of digital services are protected;”)
So, I talked with the EU Lead:
• The Commissions proposal by Prabhat was ready and now amendment 51 entered the legal board.
For the law there will be compiled 3 forks: 1 Commission, 1 Parliament, 1 Council …
Minutes of the meeting with Prabhat Agarwal
(EU Lead for the Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act)
We had a supernice talk in german language which was about 50 minutes.
We decided to say “you” to each other [<- joke about german language *(1)]
First we did short introductions:
He grew up in Hamburg, studied physics and earned a doctorate for core particle research.
Agarwal worked for DESY and so he was present when the CERN was birthing the www.
He was active in the very first dev phase of the web.
After a period in Horizon “future and emerging tech” he was working in the Netherlands for Phillips (semiconductor technologies).
Then he worked in standardisation and changed 2012 in the Netzpolitik (“network policy”).
Now he is EU Head of Unit and has the lead management for the DMA and DSA.
First, I quickly summarised the current threat of GAFAM hypercapitalist-monopolies from my view as journalist.
Then I described ActivityPub and all of its possibilities, motivating use cases.
It really seems to be a common misconception that mastodon is an equivalent of ActivityPub and so we should work more towards presenting the whole diversity of ActivityPub software, projects and the spritely future.
I gave an overview about the history, the vocabulary and the protocol, the world’s leading federated social web standard …
The named links were
Conf 2019 https://redaktor.me/apconf/
Conf 2020 https://conf.activitypub.rocks/
Public discussion, official forum, software
← “we answer anything here”
Fediverse Overview https://fediverse.party
Specs ActivityPub & Activity Vocabulary & Activity Streams 2.0
Finally I mentioned the W3C Social CG and the Policy SIG meetings.
And I outlined the vision of an EU funded Fediverse of trust and tried to describe “generic servers / diverse clients” and the different motivating use cases.
One question where I was a bit unsure about [Please help, your opinion?]
“Do you think ActivityPub can also mean interoperability in messenger service” –
I thought, realtime communication is maybe not the primary AP use case but named ActivityPub/mastodon bridges.
In the second part, we talked about the Digital Services Act and implications.
The amendment 51 is a great chance and it might get a good majority in the parliament.
Prabhat said that “not only” Woelken and Breyer worked on this amendment, so we should look for everybody involved.
I tried to raise awareness for “Fördern statt Fordern” which means that you can’t only demand interoperability as a government but must also fund it.
And I re-iterated the idea of an EU funded fediverse, an idea described e.g. already in the german parliament by MdB Anke Domscheit-Berg …
Prabhat was very open and confirmed my impression that the commission in general finds it difficult to fund Open Source.
“This has a long history and is a known flaw.” […] “Some of us became distressed.”
He named the case of Minitel France which was an alternative to the net but not used.
I answered that the opposite is the case cause ActivityPub is a worldwide standard and W3C recommendations.
What I found very useful was the argument of how much the protocol was supported with US money …
I think, it is received now that also the EU has to support worldwide standards.
Agarwal acknowledged that to reach Interop within DSA, a “Technischer Unterbau” (technical foundation) has to be funded.
We agreed to this as action point.
We also quickly talked about the DID specification and I said that also the W3C DID WG would like to meet with him.
He is not directly responsible for eID etc. but will relay it.
Preferably would be a joint event, which could, as said, be together with edri.
Prabhat confirmed that edri is well connected to all policy makers etc.
If no “legislative process date” he would attend the event.
Prabhat said “It is a big success of the ActivityPub Community that it is known and debated in the parliament.”
How will the legislative process go on?
As said, it will be a long streak.
Prabhat thinks that the votings in the “Ausschüsse” [boards (?)] will take until December/January.
Then the parliament and European Council (“Rat”, member states) will do their “forks” of the law.
And then all 3 proposals will be written together.
*1) “You can say you to me” (Helmut Kohl),
because it was
“Free from the liver” (Günther Oettinger)
and “We are all sitting in one boat” (Günther Oettinger)