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Social Networks - on the European Commission's Agenda

8 October, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media, gave her first public speech on social networks at the Safer Internet Forum on 26 September 2008, which confirms the interest of the EU bodies on this topic.

The commissioner emphasized the growth of the social networks in Europe: "56% of the European online population visited social networking sites last year and the number of regular users is forecast to rise from today's 41.7 million to 107.4 million in the next four years. In 2007 9.6 million British belonged to the country's social networking community, with 8.9 million and France and 8.6 million in Germany.

House of the German Pirate Party spokesman raided by Police

24 September, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The Bavarian Police searched the house of the German Pirate Party spokesman on the 11 September 2008, searching for information on some leaked plans regarding a Skype wire tap project, that were published by the Party.

The Pirate Party published some documents received from an anonymous whistleblower that show the Bavarian government plans to develop a Trojan horse able to eavesdrop on Skype conversations.

Dutch University sued to stop publishing research on chip technology

16 July, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors has sued the Dutch Computer Security Group of Radboud University in Nijmege in order to stop the publication of research results showing security flaws in NXP's Mifare Classic wireless smart cards used in transit and building entry systems around the world.

The technology is used for the transit system in The Netherlands, in the subway systems in London, Hong Kong and Boston, as well as in cards for accessing buildings and facilities, covering 80 percent of the market.

The security researchers of the Dutch university have checked the Mifare system used with Oyster cards for transport in London and recently succeeded in cracking the encryption on a card and clone it. They added credit to it

Social networking sites might be regulated in EU

4 June, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

On 27 May 2008, the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) called for new legislation that would regulate social networking sites. ENISA, which was created in 2004 to oversee online security measures in the 27 EU countries, issued a preliminary report of its General Report in which it pointed out that social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace need more regulation to protect their users against security risks. "Social networking sites are very useful social tools but we must make recommendations for how to better protect people from the risks these sites create," said Andreas Pirotti, executive director of ENISA and author of the report. He suggested the EU legislation should be expanded in

UK government loses personal data on 25 million citizens

21 November, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had had to apologise to Parliament after two computer discs containing the personal data of 25 million citizens were lost in the post.

The disks contained the database on child benefit - a welfare payment made to the families of all children in Britain. The data include children's and parents' names, addresses and dates of birth, together with parents' national insurance numbers and bank account details. The disks were not encrypted but merely "password protected". Britain's most senior tax official, the head of HM Revenue and Customs, has resigned.

The story has spread to a number of other systems that the government is building to make ever more information on citizens available to ever more

Human Rights in the Information Society - rediscover the proportionality

26 September, 2007

On 13-14 September 2007 the French Commission for UNESCO, UNESCO and the Council of Europe organised the conference "Ethics and Human Rights in the Information Society" in Strasbourg, to which EDRi was invited to contribute.

This conference was the third in a cycle of regional conferences on the ethical dimensions of the information society, which aims to contribute to the WSIS process and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The first two regional conferences took place in Latin-America and Africa. While the Latin-American conference contributed to the exchange of views in the region, the African conference was suffering from a lack of participation of local stakeholders. There, mainly African expatriots from the USA and Europe and representatives of South Africa were present.

UK Government asks for the encryption keys

24 May, 2006

The UK Home Office is planning to implement Part 3 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). That would allow the police forces to ask for the disclosure of encryption keys, or force suspects to decrypt encrypted data.

RIPA was promoted in 2000, but until now the officials have not implement Part 3. There were still voices that considered that parts I and III of the Act should be reviewed to consider whether the Act was effective in meeting its aims. However, until now, the Act has remained in its initial form .

The Home Office have indicated that a consultation will be launched on the 5th June. It is expected that this will say that the Part 3 is needed to fight against an increased usage of encryption by criminals, paedophiles, and terrorists.

The Home Office minister of state, Liam Byrne, told Parliament last week

Commission progress report on electronic signatures

29 March, 2006

A new progress report by the European Commission on the evolution of the electronic signatures in the European Union was made public on 17 March 2006. The report highlights the low usage of the qualified electronic signatures by European businesses and citizens.

The report focuses on the "Directive on a Community framework for electronic signatures" adopted in 1999. The directive has introduced legal certainty with respect to the general admissibility of electronic signatures, all the general principles being now included in the legislation of all 25 Member States.

The commission sees a much larger use of the qualified electronic signatures - based on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology - in the future with the introduction of the electronic ID cards and in some e-government services, such as on-line income tax returns.

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