POLITICO Pro Morning Tech
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With Laura Kayali, Melissa Heikkilä, Mark Scott, Bjarke Smith-Meyer, Hanne Cokelaere and Steven Overly


— Edward Snowden on Europes privacy rules: “Its a paper tiger.”

— Stablecoins like Libra should be regulated on a case-by-case basis, global body argues.

TikTok is becoming the new Huawei in Washington D.C.

Its Tuesday, youre reading Morning Tech. Good Morning! Email tips to [email protected], lceru[email protected], [email protected] and, [email protected].


WEB SUMMIT STARTS WITH A BANG: Everyones favorite former NSA contractor took to the stage (via webstream) on the first night of the Web Summit conference, and he came out swinging (also selling his book, but Morning Tech wont quibble). “Is GDPR a real solution? I dont think so,” Edward Snowden said in reference to Europes new data protection rules.

The problem isnt data protection, its data collection, Snowden said. He then highlighted how everything on the internet eventually leaks, and because Europes authorities have yet to really fine a tech company for bad behavior, the current rules are “a paper tiger.” Snowden thinks the situation has only gotten worse since he made his revelations in 2013. More here.

Next on stage: Michel Barnier. The EUs chief Brexit negotiator will speak today about the “EU after Brexit.” We will keep an eye out for comments on a future data flow deal or his ideas on cooperation between regulators.

Reminder: Mark and Nick are at the event, reach out at [email protected] and [email protected] if youre in town.


In Brussels, the Councils working parties on telecom and competitiveness meet to talk about the e-commerce directive and the Digital Services Act. The second session of the copyright stakeholder dialogue starts around 9.30. Audiovisual, sports, visual and printed content (book, press, news…) are on the agenda today.

At the parliament, the Committee on Culture and Education is meeting.

And in Paris, the Senate debates the mobility reform, more on that below.


LIBRA LIMBO: Stablecoins like the Facebook-led Libra initiative are too new to regulate for now but policymakers could target parts of the new payment method to get a head start, the global body of market regulators said Monday. The International Organization of Securities Commissions made the point in a statement that follows up work of finance ministers from the G7 countries this fall on stablecoins, which are pegged to a basket of currencies to stabilize their value.

Madrid-based IOSCO said national regulators likely would have to address stablecoins on a case-by-case basis, given their recent emergence onto the financial-technology scene.

But but but. IOSCO hinted that stablecoins payment systems and safeguards against money launderers and terrorist financiers could be scrutinized in the meantime, pointing to suggestions in a G7 report. A similar approach could work when it comes to protecting payment data.

“It is important that those seeking to launch stablecoins, particularly proposals with potential global scale, engage openly and constructively with all relevant regulatory bodies where they may be seeking to operate,” said Ashley Alder, chairman of IOSCOs board.

**Will the EUs approach towards regulation and development of AI technologies give the bloc a global competitive edge? Drive the conversation by partnering with POLITICO's 3rd AI Summit on March 16-17 in Brussels. Get involved!**


CONFLICT OF INTEREST ASSESSMENT POSTPONED: The European Parliaments legal affairs committee wont assess the potential conflicts of interests of the new commissioners-designates (including Frances Thierry Breton) this week, three Parliament officials told Morning Tech. The assessments were scheduled on November 6 and 7, as “to be confirmed” items, but have been postponed. The new date is not known yet.


A DIGITAL 101 WITH URSULA VON DER LEYEN: At 11 a.m., the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU)s Secretary General Paul Ziemiak is set to present journalists in Berlin with an interactive online platform that the party developed to make lawmakers fit in the basics of cutting-edge technology, ranging from artificial intelligence to blockchain, and the incoming Commission president will be a guest star in the presentation, Morning Tech has learned.

Internally referred to as CDU Milla, the platform will be officially unveiled on November 22 at a party convention in Leipzig. Lectures come as videos, in which around 25 CDU lawmakers as well as external experts speak about “what the Internet of Things means for politics” or how to make “Germany the Silicon Valley for Blockchain.” In one of them, recorded when she was still Germanys defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen speaks about founding the Bundeswehrs own “Cyber Innovation Hub” to make Germanys armed forces fit for the digital age. Want a first impression of von der Leyens venturing into tech lecturing? Here are two screenshots.

Not only for lawmakers: Depending on how things go, the small “CDU Milla” could become the blueprint for a Germany-wide Milla — a massive online learning platform mentioned in Merkels current coalition government agreement that would be open for everyone across the country.


FRENCH SENATE DEBATES MOBILITY REFORM: The draft legislation includes a voluntary charter and new rights for platforms workers such as Uber drivers and Deliveroo bikers. The French Senate doesnt hold any real sway over the governments gigantic mobility reform, now that the texts second reading is running to a close. As senators debate the overhaul in plenary today, there are three possible scenarios: If they adopt the text the National Assembly approved in second reading without any tweaks, that effectively wraps up the scrutiny process. This scenario is unlikely, as the two houses failed to see eye to eye during the first reading. Senators could also adopt new amendments. Or they could follow the example of the sustainable development committee in October by suspending the debates and rejecting the text.

Whats next: The National Assemblys final vote could take place on November 19, but the date is to be confirmed.


MAAS DOUBTS HUAWEI: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Monday cast doubt on whether Huawei could be a part of the countrys 5G network. “Maas told reporters in Berlin that Huawei was a company dependent on the Chinese state due to its national security laws, which meant Huawei was obliged to pass on information to the government there,” Reuters reports. “Germany therefore wants to add a test of trustworthiness to the 5G security catalogue that so far had mainly envisaged an evaluation of technical criteria, Maas said.”


TIKTOK IS THE NEW HUAWEI: U.S. lawmakers and tech policy types are welcoming a reported federal probe into ByteDances (TikToks parent company) acquisition of Musical.ly, suggesting it could be a chance to uncover whether and how much user data flows to Beijing, our U.S. colleagues reported.

Two U.S. senators asked for a national security investigation into the Chinese app, reiterated fears that ByteDance could be funneling information on the video apps 26.5 million U.S. users to the Chinese government. Personally identifiable data like names and email addresses, if shipped to servers in China and in turn obtained by the government there, “could reveal information about individuals and groups that is useful to Chinese intelligence services,Read More – Source