The Mozilla Corporation is known for among other things the Firefox web browser and the Thunderbird e-mail client, and its current CEO has written an open letter to the European Commission on the upcoming Digital Services Act (DSA) (warning for PDF). In it she vaguely addresses transparency, accountability, online advertising, and digital markets for a European internet, without addressing The Internet itself. The DSA appears to include proposals to split off a European internet from The Internet at large and model it after the great firewall of China in regards to control and isolation.
In the document, New Developments in Digital Services: Short-(2021), medium-(2025) and long-term (2030) perspectives and the implications for theDigital Services Act, the great firewall of China gets praised repeatedly as something to emulate should the EU split of an internet from The Internet:
To make sure these predictions become reality and to prevent the misuse of digital tools, we advise the European Parliament to take a le ading stance in the global digitalisation. Three main recommendations are given in the study: A European cloud / European internet could secure a reliable, trustworthy digital ecosystem in Europe. Funding programmes for eGovernment would use the innovative capabilities of start-ups throughout Europe to create the most digital and advanced government in the world. And all this should be communicated in a visionary and exciting way, making sure the right regulations are in place, but also encouraging boldness and showing a willingness to change (see Figure 2).
[...] Action Plan 1: European Cloud / European Internet
A European firewall/cloud/ internet would foster a digital ecosystem in Europe based on data and innovation. It would drive competition and set standards, similar to what has happened in China in the past 20 years. The foundations of such a European cloud are democratic values, transparency, competition and data protection.
[...] Technologically, it would require a top-level infrastructure, high-speed 5G or a 6G data network and a firewall. Setting up such a network would promote many European companies and therefore boost business and drive innovation.
Like the Chinese firewall, this European internet would block off services that condone or support unlawful conduct from third party countries.
[...] As e-commerce and remote working solutions became widely used and even smartphone tracking to prevent infections met very little scepticism. Now in the aftermath of this pandemic it's the perfect time to act and to push for ambitious goal in digitalising Europe.
[...] Update 2 of the Visionary Communication Programme: i.e. crypto, quantum computing. Here it is important to include visionaries, think tanks and influences to communicate the update to the public.
Phase 2 of the eGovernment Venture Programme: Testing and evaluating first technologies and ideas developed in the programme.
Initialising the European internet: setting up think tanks to creating the cornerstones and possible pitfalls of such a project.
Long term 2025 – 2030
Update 3 of the Visionary Communication Programme: i.e. 6G, European internet, DNA products. Further communication within the Europe of the new digital goals.
The EFF has also responded to the EU Commission on the Digital Services Act, with a request in the opposite direction, that of putting the citizens back in control and avoiding a situation where there are gatekeepers consisting of only a handful of large corporations.