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A new EC proposal on e-identities and e-signatures

6 June, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Neuer Vorschlag zur elektronischen Identifizierung und E-Signaturen


On 4 June 2012, the European Commission published a new draft regulation on e-signatures and e-identities that is meant to extend the existing e-Signatures Directive to include new services such as e-stamping or e-seals that would guarantee the origin and the integrity of an electronic document.

“The proposed Regulation will ensure people and businesses can use their own national electronic identification schemes (e-IDs) to access public services in other EU countries where e-IDs are available.”

Researchers say smart meter technology is privacy intrusive

18 January, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Smart Metering: Forscher sehen Verletzung der Privatsphäre


Two German researchers presented a talk entitled "Smart Hacking for Privacy" at the 28th Chaos Computing Congress that took place between 27 and 30 December 2011, on the privacy implications of "smart" electricity meters. These devices, installed in homes, collect information to determine the power consumption.

Recommended Action. Smart meters: Let's be clever and team up

15 June, 2011
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Mitmachen! Smart Metering: Seid klug und schließt Euch zusammen!


The European Union decided that 80% of all users are to have a smart meter in 2020. These instruments will then measure the consumption of gas and electricity. They can be integrated in a smart grid, a network of users and producers that ensures better tuning of supply and demand. When solar generators produce electricity, the washing machine can best do its work.

This part sounds good? What about civil and digital rights?

MEPs approve body scanners on airports on a voluntarily basis

1 June, 2011
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: EU-Abgeordnete befürworten Nacktscanner-Einsatz auf freiwilliger Basi...


As the European Commission plans new rules to add body scanners to the list of EU-authorised methods for passenger screening, the European Parliament, which has the right to veto, made its position known on 24 May 2011, by approving a report that backs the use of body scanners provided they don't interfere with passenger privacy or pose health risks.

MEPs on the Transport Committee agreed that the use of body scanners in EU airports would enhance security but considered the method should be used voluntarily.

The report, that is to be voted in the plenary on 23 June, asks for several conditions to be met o

Cloning e-passports

27 August, 2008
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Jeroen van Beek, a computer researcher at the University of Amsterdam, has shown in some tests conducted for The Times that the new micro-chipped passports, introduced in UK to protect against terrorism and organised crime, can be easily cloned.

The researcher has succeeded in cloning the chips of two British passports in which he introduced the pictures of Osama bin Laden and a suicide bomber and in passing the cloned chips as genuine through Golden Reader, which is the standard passport reader software used by the UN agency setting standards for e-passports and which is also recommended for use at airports. The cloning operation took less than an hour.

Automatic face recognition in UK airports

7 May, 2008
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Starting this summer, the UK Border Agency will use facial recognition technology at automated unmanned gates. A machine would accept or reject the match between the scan and the computer information on people with biometric passports.

The pilot project will be open to UK and EU citizens holding new biometric passports. "We think a machine can do a better job (than manned passport inspections). What will the public reaction be? Will they use it? We need to test and see how people react and how they deal with rejection. We hope to get the trial up and running by the summer" said Gary Murphy, head of operational design and development for the UK Border Agency, during a biometrics-related conference that took place in London in April 2008.

IP rules to be changed to give access to environmental technology

5 December, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

On 20 November 2007, the Members of the European Parliament (EP) approved a report that asks for the revision of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in order to allow the compulsory licensing of patented environmental technologies.

The European Parliament considers developing countries should be able to have free access to the technologies developed to target the environmental issues such as climate change. This action comes also as a result of the environmental activists' criticism of the EU Global Paper stating the intention to ask for a high level of Intellecutual Property (IP) standards on European markets. According to environmental activists, such a policy

CoE to address the impact of technical measures on human rights

12 April, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

With its seventh meeting held on 26-27 March 2007 in Strasbourg, the Council of Europe Group of Specialists on Human Rights in the Information Society (CoE MC-S-IS) is pursuing its mandate for another two-years period, as affirmed in its revised terms of reference. There are little changes in the group composition among voting members (member states of the CoE). EDRI remains a non governmental observer to the MC-S-IS group. For 2007, the group elected as chairman Thomas Schneider (Swiss federal office of communications), who, inter alia, has been active in the Swiss delegation to WSIS and then to IGF, and as vice-chairman Michael Truppe, from the Austrian Federal Chancellery.

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