Developer issues are going to be widely debated behind the scenes even as politics takes center stage
If you live inside the Brussels or DC bubble, you already know that regulating tech is the newest big thing. AI regulation in the US, EU, and now globally through the G20. Age verification and user identification everywhere. Platform dis-assembly in the EU. And threats to encryption, AR/VR hearings, not to mention software CE marks, liability for software defects, and the ongoing pressure to make developers the front line in the online speech wars.
Most developers have no clue and little concern for what government officials are doing in far off capitals. The challenge is the new feature, next release, or upcoming funding round – not some bureaucrat in another country. So you’d be surprised to know that the UK was days away from mandating access to all encrypted systems, or that the EU has plans to fine you for bugs in your open source project, or that the US is banning online censorship and mandating it at the same time. I assume you have plans for all that …
Bad regulation often happens when nobody’s paying attention. With a former US president facing 90+ indictments, elections ramping up in both the EU and US, and global issues from climate change to war and recession taking up the front pages, it can be hard to uncover the tech issues that threaten you directly. We do that for a living, and even we struggle to keep up.
In the US, we are reaching out to Congress on how AI regulation and kids online safety could impact developers. While there are opportunities to do some good, many of the current proposals cause tremendous collateral damage to the developer community along the way. At the same time, states like California are racing ahead and creating a legal mosaic that devs will need to manage in real time.
In the EU, the laws that regulate and break-up the big tech platforms are going live, and legal challenges are soon to follow. Whether Europe succeeds in redefining the global internet or simply fragmenting the existing order, internationally-focused apps and services will soon have to run separate streams for EU and non-EU markets. And the looming liability, testing, and mandated (or prohibited) software update rules are going to impact everyone and everything.
And globally, there is a growing trend – overtly acknowledged now – to make national laws that apply to any digital service that a citizen can touch. The UK, Australia, EU and others are writing laws that US companies serving US customers will have to meet. I, for one, do NOT welcome our international overlords.
So, DC, Brussels, London, Canberra and Ottawa need to be acknowledged in your project plan. Lucky for you, you have people advocating for you in exactly these places. What we need from you is for you to add your voice to the many that are already fighting (for you) inside our community. Click here, and we’ll keep you informed of what’s going on and add your voice to the thousands of developers that are already speaking out for our community.