Friday 24 October 2014

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Cybersecurity in Europe must remain focused on critical infrastructures

Posted by on 20/10/14

By John Higgins, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE

The 28 member states of the European Union run the risk of undermining a new cybersecurity  law that will play a central role in protecting Europe’s critical infrastructures from cyber attacks.

Earlier this year, the European Parliament narrowed the scope of the proposed Network and Information Security (NIS) directive to focus more specifically on critical infrastructure – including banking, energy and transport networks. The Parliament’s version passed with overwhelming support.

However, as the three institutions – the European Parliament, Commission and Council – begin final stage negotiations on the wording of the directive, a growing number of Member States are pushing for the inclusion of so­‐called “over the top” services like cloud computing, application stores, search engines and social networks within the scope of the law.

Inclusion of these broader “information society services” would not only threaten the innovative capacity of this sector in Europe by creating a burdensome regulatory regime with no corresponding security benefit, it would also heighten the workload for often struggling regulatory agencies, and it would expose citizens’ personal data to unnecessary risk.

Incident data should be reported by the critical infrastructures themselves, as only they have a 360­‐degree view of the incident. They in turn pass on their reporting obligations to their technology vendors through contractual obligations.  This is what the industry advocates and is a proportionate way of protecting critical infrastructures.

Widening the scope of the directive to cover web­‐based services would mean that technology vendors would be obliged to pass customer data, including personal information, to regulatory agencies without any guarantees of what would happen with this data, or how it would be shared between national authorities in other EU Member States.

Many EU member states have limited capability to handle incident reporting within their government departments and agencies. It’s going to be challenging and costly for them to acquire enough capability to develop and maintain robust reporting systems just to cover critical infrastructures, let alone internet enablers and over the top services providers.

Calls for a broader scope of the NIS directive therefore risk undermining the law’s ability to protect what really needs to be protected. There are not enough IT-­security experts in the world today to protect everything that is connected to the Internet equally. While defenses have improved, attackers have also become much more sophisticated. In this constant race where cyber defence tries to keep up with cyber offense, prioritization is key.

Those who call for this law to “protect everything” will end up less secure than the starting point today. And Europe will have missed a unique opportunity to prepare itself for cyber attacks against truly critical infrastructures which could lead to catastrophic impacts on public safety, national security and the broader economy.

Europäische Familienplanungen?

Posted by on 17/10/14

Sieht so die schöne neue Welt aus? Wird das Baby 2.0 so in den Lebenslauf programmiert, dass es die Karriere nicht stört, am besten also kurz vor der Pensionierung? Der Vorstoß der IT-Giganten Apple und Facebook, Mitarbeiterinnen das Einfrieren von Eizellen zu bezahlen, sorgt zu Recht für Wirbel. Das Grundproblem, dass Kinder immer noch als Störfaktor einer Karriere gelten, wird damit nicht gelöst, sondern bestenfalls verschoben. Mutterschaft entsteht nicht durch Anklicken von “gefällt mir”, Schwangerschaft lässt sich nicht als App programmieren. Das Verschieben der Familienplanung wegen des Jobs ist immer mit dem Risiko verbunden, dass es dann zu spät sein kann. Was folgt, ist nicht selten tiefe Reue, den Kinderwunsch dem beruflichen Erfolg geopfert zu haben.

Putting broadband on the road

Posted by on 13/10/14

The other day I had the pleasure of participating as a panel member in the international Connected Vehicles conference held in Brussels. Huawei was an official sponsor of the event, along with BMW, Mini and Ertico, the European network of Intelligent Transport Systems and Services stakeholders.

There were also participants from Renault, Toyota, Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica, automotive technology companies and road infrastructure operators, insurers, the European Commission and national governments, and others. This involvement from different sectors of society and the economy – whether they be users, mobile network operators, technology and vehicle manufacturers, road builders, insurers, or emergency services – will be vital to the cooperative effort of putting broadband on the roads. The emphasis must be on cooperation, getting consumer-focused and infrastructure-related industries to work together; even if, by nature, they work with very different technology life cycles.

Huawei is the leader in supplying telematics solutions to the automotive industry and we believe our LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology will play an important part in developing connected car services in Europe: vehicle to vehicle, motorcycle and pedestrian, as well as to infrastructure.

But it should be pointed out there is no single technology that can be used for vehicle connectivity. Huawei is thus in favour of hybrid, cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), where the cellular network plays a fundamental role. For critical services not covered by the cellular network, we are studying LTE, device-to-device and 5th generation technology (5G) currently being standardised under the 5G Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership.

Cars are already connected via cell networks. Road Side Units deployed must be upgradable to host and implement future services, supporting Software-Defined Radio for instance. And connectivity with these RSUs must be possible in different regions, cities and municipalities across Europe, whether for alerting emergency services in the event of an accident or just to find that elusive town centre parking space.

Standards and certification come into play here. A big push is needed to produce the technical standards to see broadband employed all over our roads. A good way to align technology development cycles would be to already deploy a common communication standard to enable different industries to interoperate and exchange data. A common, dedicated spectrum for automotive – the 5.9 GHz band is not yet reserved in Europe – would immediately stimulate this industry and reduce the risk of interference issues.

The huge effort required by the parties is justified by the benefits ‘Broadband on the roads’ will generate for society. Smart, connected vehicles promise to improve safety, security and comfort on board, fuel efficiency, traffic congestion and environmental impact. And think of the number of vehicle apps and software upgrades that will be bought from cloud services and the royalties paid for technology use.

The cake is big enough for everyone to share. This is a large, developing industry, which may create significant economic wealth for society through new business opportunities and jobs. The cooperation needed to make connected vehicles a reality throughout Europe should be possible given that there is normally more space for win-win cooperation rather than competition in this industry.

- Fabrizio Cortesi, Director of Strategy and Cooperation (Europe), Wireless Networks, Huawei

Oettinger aura t-il convaincu les députés européens sur ses compétences en matière d’économie et de société digitale ?

Posted by on 06/10/14

Ce lundi 29 septembre 2014, Günther Oettinger, ancien commissaire à l’Energie, a été auditionné par le Parlement européen, afin de vérifier ses compétences pour assurer le poste de commissaire à la société et l’économie digitale.

 oet3h de questions-réponses entre les députés européens et Oettinger, ont permis ainsi de tester ces connaissances en la matière ainsi que d’éclaircir certains points concernant l’orientation politique de celui ci compte tenu de la lettre de mission qui lui a été assigné par le président de la Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

 Oettinger a été questionné sur de nombreuses questions, par les groupes politiques ainsi que les députés des commissions de la culture et de l’éducation (CULT ), de l’industrie, de la recherche et de l’énergie (ITRE ), ainsi que par la commission des libertés civiles, de la justice et des affaires intérieures (LIBE ), la commission du marché intérieur et de la protection des consommateurs (IMCO ) et la commission des affaires juridiques (JURI ).

 Les questions très variées auront permis de connaître les positions de Günther Oettinger sur les infrastructures à mettre en place, les droits découlant de la société numérique, droit à l’oubli, protection des données, droit d’auteur, mais aussi des questions touchant au secteur de la culture, de l’éducation.

 Les infrastructures :

 Tout comme en matière d’énergie, Oettinger, considère que l’infrastructure est essentielle pour l’exécution du portefeuille concernant la société et l’économie digitale.

                 

Oettinger a donc mis l’accent sur la nécessité de développer et investir dans les infrastructures numériques en Europe. Le marché numérique représente un potentiel de croissance et d’emploi en Europe, et c’est pourquoi la mise en place d’un marché unique en matière du numérique doit être une priorité pour les cinq années à venir. L’europe doit se placer comme pionnier mondial en matière de TIC et pour cela elle ne peut pas se permettre un retard en matière d’infrastructure. Oettinger a ainsi souligné que la recherche et l’innovation doivent être favorisé par le biais d’investissement privés et publics. Qu’il travaillerait dans ce sens afin que les investissements puissent être encouragés tant au niveau des États, que des fonds privés et européens.

 La défragmentation du marché du digital :

 Suite aux différentes questions posées par les députés, Oettinger a insisté sur la réalisation d’un marché unique européen du numérique. Ce marché unique du numérique devrait permettre de connecter toutes les régions européennes qu’elles soient rurales ou non. La défragmentation du marché du digital, ne pourra passer que par une européanisation de la politique lui afférant. Des efforts devront être menés notamment en matière d’investissement privé ou public, pour qu’il n’y ait plus d’inégalité entre les pays riches et les pays pauvres de l’UE, mais aussi entre les différentes européennes, qu’elles soient rurales ou plus urbaines.

La 5G doit constituer l’avenir pour l’Europe et Oettinger a souligné que l’Europe devrait être pionnière en la matière. Le marché unique en matière de numérique devra s’appuyer à la fois sur les entreprises globales ainsi que les start-ups. Les start-ups doivent selon lui faire l’objet d’une attention particulière car elles sont porteuses de l’innovation. D’autre part il a souligné qu’une idée qui échouerait aujourd’hui pourrait prospérer demain.

 Le droit d’auteur :

Oettinger s’est engagé à proposer une nouvelle législation en matière de droit d’auteur d’ici deux ans. Il est conscient que le droit d’auteur doit être rénové car « celui ci n’est plus adapté au monde actuel, c’est à dire au numérique ».

Selon lui « il serait bon que tous les citoyens aient accès aux produits culturels mais on ne peut pas vivre uniquement des œuvres passées ». Pour cela il faut renforcer la protection des artistes et de leurs œuvres. Ce n’est qu’à partir d’une bonne protection de leurs œuvres que l’on pourra et stimuler la créativité et l’innovation.

Le marché du numérique présente de réels avantage mais la protection doit aussi être assurée afin « que les créateurs de contenus voient leur potentiel de créativité libéré».

 Le député allemand du groupe de S&D, Dietmar KÖSTER, a interrogé Oettinger sur ses intentions pour établir « l’équilibre entre le marché et la réglementation pour favoriser la croissance et l’emploi dans la créativité ». Oettinger a répondu qu’un travail de deux ans devrait permettre d’aboutir à une solution dans ce sens.

 Un livre blanc en matière de droit d’auteur était prévu pour septembre 2014, mais a été reporté, nous devrons donc attendre pour en savoir plus…

 La protection des données :

 Le Parlement travaille depuis plusieurs années sur la réforme de la protection des données à caractère personnel. Rien d’étonnant que les députés européens aient, à plusieurs reprises, soulevé ce point afin de vérifier les intentions du commissaire- candidat pour la société et l’économie numérique.

Oettinger a affirmait que le développement du numérique dépend de la confiance des citoyens. Celui ci doit donc être au cœur des préoccupations et notamment concernant la protection de leurs données. Il s’est engagé à relancer le débat avec les acteurs internationaux, que ce soit avec les Etats mais aussi avec les multinationales, telles que Google et Microsoft.

 Alors que personne ne l’attendait sur cette question, il a fait remarquer qu’avec les technologies on ne pouvait pas prévenir tous les risques en donnant comme exemple les stars réclamant la suppression de leurs photos dénudées sur la toile. Il a expliqué que l’on ne pouvait pas protéger la « bêtise des gens » qui publient des photos dénudées sans comprendre que bien souvent cela pouvait découler d’un piratage informatique ou de photos violant la vie privée des gens prises à leurs insu.

 Le droit à l’oubli :

 Le jeune député allemand Sonneborn a demandé à Oettinger quelle était sa position sur le droit à l’oubli en faisant référence à son retrait de permis de conduire datant de 25 ans. Oettinger a répondu avec beaucoup d’ingéniosité en affirmant qu’en « politique, on doit être jugé en fonction de ses succès et ses échecs». Il a ainsi pu détourner la question sur le droit à l’oubli.

La neutralité du web :

 A de nombreuses reprises les députés ont interrogé Oettinger sur la question de la neutralité du web. On peut souligner l’intervention du député vert autrichien, Michel Reimon qui lui a demandé quelle était sa définition de la neutralité du web. Question à laquelle nous sommes restées sans réponse malheureusement.

 Que ce soit concernant le monopole ou l’oligopole de Google, ou concernant le respect de la pluralité linguistique et culture, la neutralité du web constitue une préoccupation majeure pour les députés européens. Ils ont tenté à plusieurs reprises de connaître les intentions de la Commission à ce sujet. Oettinger a cependant affirmé que les « travaux du Parlement trouvent une résonance en lui » et qu’il ferra tout pour établir une collaboration avec eux à ce sujet.

 Oettinger a défendu sa position en tant que commissaire pour l’économie et la société digitale, passant en revue une grande série de questions, certaines plus sensibles que d’autres. Ancien commissaire, il a valorisé le travail du Parlement européen à plusieurs reprises et s’est prononcé en faveur d’un équilibre et d’un dialogue inter institutionnel.

 Oettinger a fortement été critiqué pour ses compétences en matière numérique par les députés européens, mais il semblerait que Oettinger ai réussi le test d’entrée au collège des commissaires, contrairement à Jourova ou Caňete. Reste encore à suivre l’audition de l’estonien Andrus Ansip affecté au portefeuille du marché unique du digital ce lundi 6 octobre en attendant les délibérations du 8 octobre sur la nomination des commissaires européens.

Marie Anne Guibbert

En savoir plus :

 - Günther Oettinger promet une réforme du droit d’auteur d’ici deux ans – Euractiv – Aline Robert Langue FR -http://www.euractiv.fr/sections/innovation-entreprises/gunther-oettinger-promet-une-reforme-du-droit-dauteur-dici-deux-ans

 - Oettinger’s new digital job raises eyebrows in Berlin – Euractiv- Langue EN – http://www.euractiv.com/sections/infosociety/oettingers-new-digital-job-raises-eyebrows-berlin-308356

 - Günther Oettinger, le commissaire européen qui ne défendra pas Jennifer Lawrence – Vincent Glad – Langue FR – http://www.slate.fr/story/92781/oettinger-jennifer-lawrence

 - Auditions Günther Oettinger – Europarl – Langue FR  http://www.elections2014.eu/fr/new-commission/hearing/20140917HEA64706

Question and answer session, Günther Oettinger – Member designate of the EC in charge of Digital Economy and Society   – Langue INT, EN, FR, DE, IT, ES, EL, PT, NL, DA, FI, SV, CS, ET, LV, LT, HU, MT, PL, SK, SL, BG, RO, HR – http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I093145http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I093145

http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I093145

- Clossing statement, Günther Oettinger – Member designate of the EC in charge of Digital Economy and Society   – Langue INT, EN, FR, DE, IT, ES, EL, PT, NL, DA, FI, SV, CS, ET, LV – LT, HU, MT, PL, SK, SL, BG, RO, HR – http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I093147

 


Classé dans:d'expression, de religion, Droit à l'information, Droit à la liberté et à la sûreté, DROITS FONDAMENTAUX, Egalité hommes-femmes, Liberté d'expression, Liberté de pensée, Lutte contre la criminalit_é, Protection des données personnelles

Let’s all play a part in securing the EU cyber future

Posted by on 06/10/14

The opportunities that digital technologies offer to our society are countless. More and more devices that we use on a daily basis – phones, computers, tablets, cars or fridges – are or will be connected. The Internet is not only used as an unlimited source of information anymore but it is at the centre of our lives. We are truly living in an application economy where apps are driving new business models, creating jobs and enabling innovative new services. We use our devices to listen to music, to shop, to access bank accounts or to store data. We are living in an economy that is digital. But as the industry keeps innovating, the cyber threats keep evolving.

The importance of awareness raising has now been acknowledged for some years in the European Union. The Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October is supported by the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) and the European Commission. It aims at promoting awareness about cyber security among citizens and enterprises, providing information through education and sharing good practices. “Being aware” constitutes a crucial step in ensuring that citizens can be fully empowered by the tools that today’s and tomorrow’s innovative technology offers them.

This year again, we will play our part in the ECSM. DIGITALEUROPE is organising an educational workshop, hosted by Member of the European Parliament Pilar del Castillo, a leader within the European Parliament on digital. We will use this opportunity to outline what is happening, what the industry is doing to protect products and services, how industry and government respond when an incident occurs and our overall cooperation. It will also include a speaker from ENISA.

Cybersecurity is often regarded as an issue for organisations, rather than individuals. But while the involvement of governments and industry are of utmost importance to fight cyber threats, cybersecurity should be a concern for us all.

That is also why in addition to the workshop, DIGITALEUROPE’s members are raising awareness inside their own organisations and hosting external events.

Let’s use this month’s opportunity to raise awareness, but particularly to reinforce the fact that citizens have a critical part to play in ensuring we have a safe and secure online environment.

 

European Industry supports the Safe Harbor

Posted by on 05/10/14

Yesterday, leading European companies sent an open letter to the EU institutions calling for the successful conclusion of EU-US negotiations on the Safe Harbor.

You can see the letter here: Safe Harbor Letter from European Industry

Readers should be crystal clear in their minds that the Safe Harbor was not designed to help US companies send their data home from their European subsidiaries. It was in fact designed as a tool to allow European companies to find US partners to whom they could send data compliance with EU privacy rules.

When the European Parliament called on the Commission to suspend the Safe Harbor in March, it was a wake-up call for European companies concerned about the willingness of our political leaders to sacrifice our interests for political point-scoring against the USA. I made this point in a blog post in February.

The Safe Harbor is not linked to US surveillance laws, and its suspension would not have any effect on those laws. Instead, suspension would reduce the ability of European companies to find the best partner for data processing, regardless of location. It would probably raise costs and affect growth.

The Safe Harbor is not perfect – what is? But the main problems can and should be ironed out in a constructive and pragmatic manner. The EU should seize this opportunity to help Europeans and European industry. Surveillance laws on both sides of the Atlantic need to be reformed, but that is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Trading activity for meaning

Posted by on 25/09/14
Last year I decided to get Information Overload under control, setting up a GTD system with a DoIt-driven morning routine and Pocket, Diigo and IFTTT to queue, store and share useful stuff. I was all set. For what, I wasn’t sure. But I was sure as hell organised. And then, a couple of days ago, [...]

Le Numérique et les droits fondamentaux

Posted by on 21/09/14

Source: Tweet de Stephane Cottin

Le Conseil d’État a souhaité prendre en considération toutes les potentialités du numérique, tout particulièrement celles qui en font le vecteur d’une économie qui favorise l’innovation, la croissance et l’emploi. Il a ainsi abordé dans cette étude les deux aspects d’une même réalité : l’innovation numérique  et le respect des droits fondamentaux des citoyens.

En cela, l’étude Le Numérique et les droits fondamentaux apporte une analyse approfondie des principaux enjeux soulevés par la future loi sur le numérique.

> lire le dossier de presse

> acheter l’étude annuelle

> consulter l’étude sur le site de La Documentation française

> Digital technology and fundamental rights and freedoms (english summary)

From longform renaissance to Big Internet disenchantment (#B2B4ME part 2)

Posted by on 16/09/14
As I mentioned in my previous post, the past couple of years have seen a lot of innovation in online content strategy, coupled with growing disenchantment with “Big Internet”. These trends triggered my return to blogging, so I thought I’d start with an overview.  The Rise of Longform Across the pond, the past few years [...]

German fingerprints on Juncker’s Digital Agenda?

Posted by on 16/09/14
The 'digital agenda' was a key plank of Jean-Claude Juncker's 'campaign' to become European Commission President and will be one of the top priorities for the next five years. Indeed, his new look Commission has its own dedicated 'digital single market' cluster, which incorporates a large number of the Commission departments:


The Vice-President overseeing all this is Estonia's Andrus Ansip, a former Prime Minister of the country which styles itself as a 'digital society', with e-elections and online tax returns completed in five minutes. Former Energy Commissioner, Germany's Günther Oettinger, will take on a new role as Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, which much of the German press saw as an embarrassment, particularly given the high-profile roles secured by France and the UK.

However, with online privacy and data protection such big issues in Germany, particularly following the NSA scandal, his appointment could be significant - not least because he is likely to have very different priorities to Ansip. Oettinger, along with the Czech Justice Commissioner Vĕra Jourová, will be responsible for ensuring passage of new data protection regulations and a revamp of the EU's e-Privacy Directive. He will also work on copyright. In turn, many of these issues will be integral to the US-EU free trade (TTIP) talks currently under way, another area of intense debate in Germany.

It has been noted by some that the CEO of Axel Springer, the owner of German tabloid Bild, publicly backed Juncker's candidacy (heaping pressure on Chancellor Merkel to do the same) and has a long-running beef with US internet giant Google. Whether this was a purely altruistic move we will leave up to you to decide...although we would note that one of Oettinger's first moves after the announcement of his appointment was to warn Google over its market power - a stark change in tone and approach from the previous administration, whatever the motivation.

In short, while Oettinger's appointment may not have been greeted by spontaneous cheers on the streets of Berlin, those in the corridors of power are likely to be quietly pleased. How 'German' the European Commission will be in this area will be interesting to watch.

Juncker’s digital crack team: Connecting the dots

Posted by on 16/09/14

How many European Commissioners does it take to get grandma online? 28. Now don’t expect a punchline – this is not a joke.

The publication of the names and portfolios of the proposed Juncker Commission this Wednesday ended weeks of speculation. While the Commissioners-designate will have a few more hurdles to overcome as the European Parliament scrutinises and finally votes on Juncker’s candidates, we now have a digital roadmap.

The shape and structure of the new College outlined by President-elect Juncker gives a clear indication of how he intends to achieve a connected digital single market. Much to our delight, it matches Huawei’s vision of digital policy-making. A few months ago, I posted about hardwiring digital into all policy-making activities: the new Commission organigram is translating this idea into portfolios and project teams.

To take a closer look at how this will trigger concrete results, let’s get back to the idea of getting grandma online – or, to elaborate on this idea, to enable people of all ages, men and women alike, to easily access high-speed internet, wherever they may live; to provide them with the skills they need to make full use of it; and to ensure that the services they need are available online.

Achieving this requires, of course, decisive action by the future Commission Vice-President in charge of the digital single market. But he cannot succeed without his ‘project team’.

Creating mobile applications that provide health care services for the elderly, for instance, requires progress in a broad range of areas. It requires research into new solutions and technologies. Skilled developers and ICT job opportunities for men and women. Working environments that foster innovation and new ways of thinking. A business environment that enables firms to take their activities online and across borders, safely and at reasonable cost. High-speed mobile connectivity reaching into the most remote rural areas. And learning opportunities for those not born into the digital age.

The competence for driving progress in these areas will be spread over the portfolios of the Commissioners in charge of research & innovation, education, employment & skills, gender equality, the digital economy, health & safety, industry & entrepreneurship, and of regional policy.

Even portfolios outside Juncker’s project team for a connected digital single market have a digital edge: a company like Huawei could not make such a substantial contribution to ICT in Europe without appropriate international agreements and trade policies. The ICT industry has a major impact on the future development of transport and the environment. And so on.

At Huawei, our strategy for building a better connected Europe mirrors this integrated approach. We conduct cutting-edge research to develop solutions that fit the needs of tomorrow’s Europe. We work with our European partners to bring the benefits of next generation mobile technologies such as 5G to Europeans. We seek deep engagement with the local business environment. Our Telecom Seeds programme enables young Europeans to hone the skills they need to succeed in a globalised, technology-driven marketplace. And finally, we work to ensure that the progress we achieve together is sustainable.

According to Mr Juncker, we can generate up to €250 billion of additional growth in Europe by 2019 by creating a digital single market. At Huawei’s Brussels Office, we are excited to start working with the new teams to turn these ambitious plans into reality.

- Tony Graziano, Vice-President of Huawei’s EU Public Affairs Office

Broadband and broadcast: getting on the same wavelength?

Posted by on 10/09/14

As a finite and limited resource, spectrum is naturally a most valuable commodity for the ICT and the broadcasting communities. At Huawei, we have been eagerly awaiting the results of the work of the EU High Level Group on the future use of the much-coveted UHF band.

We welcome the publication of the report presented by Mr Pascal Lamy to the European Commission on 1 September: it is an important milestone to securing the long-term development of high-speed wireless broadband services in Europe and we are glad to see that there is broad agreement on this key issue.

We regret that stakeholders were not able to agree on a common way forward with regard to the deadline for releasing the 700 MHz band or on the approach to utilising the 470-694 MHz ranges. However, we fully understand the reasons for this lack of consensus. It is now up to the new Commission to continue the forward-looking initiatives to resolve these differences for the benefit of the European citizens.

At Huawei, we believe that the mobile broadband community requires decisive short-term action on the 700 MHz band, while taking a longer-term approach to allocations in the 470-694 MHz frequency range.

The 700 MHz band is key for the future development of mobile broadband networks and for achieving the Digital Agenda targets by 2020.

To drive the development of high-speed networks in Europe, it is important to allow member states that are ready to do so to implement mobile broadband networks in these frequencies starting from 2017/2018. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that the other member states will follow within three years, in line with the principles of the Telecoms Single Market.

In the spirit of compromise, as first step, the Supplemental DownLink option could be a reasonable way forward on the 470-694 MHz band. It would allow for the co-existence of traditional broadcasting services in this frequency range with other downlink-only electronic communications services (i.e. base station to end user devices). This option could be used in cases where the demand for DTT at a national level is declining, as suggested by the “flexibility option” in the Lamy report.

With regard to the international discussions, some important administrations including the USA have already declared their support for primary allocations to mobile services of the 470-698 MHz range in the context of the ongoing preparation for the World Radio Conference 2015 (WRC-15). This will lead to technical harmonisation work in the future.

Huawei believes that Europe would benefit greatly from participating in this process.

With respect to the WRC-15, the EU should therefore consider supporting a co-primary mobile allocation in the 470-694 MHz ranges that would become effective after an agreed number of years.

This would ensure economies of scale for the longer term, allowing Europe to remain at the forefront of mobile communications development by providing necessary spectrum regulations with a sufficiently long lead time, while implementing a viable strategy for the long term.

 

- Alessandro Casagni
Alessandro Casagni is Head of EU Wireless Regulatory Policy, managing wireless regulation issues within Huawei Wireless Strategies and Business Development Department.

Mr Casagni holds a Master’s degree in electronic engineering from Rome University.

During the period 2007 to 2009, he worked at Huawei’s WiMAX and LTE Product Line departments with a special focus on European regulation matters.

Prior to joining Huawei, Mr Casagni held several marketing and technical positions with Mediaset broadcasting (2006 – 2007), Siemens mobile communications (2002 – 2006) and Accenture ICT consulting (2000 – 2002).

Secrets are Lies v The Right to be Forgotten

Posted by on 09/09/14

“Don’t be evil”, Google slogan

“Evil is what Sergey (Brin) says is evil.” Google CEO Eric Schmidt quoted in Wired.

Secrets come in all shapes and sizes. Some are well intentioned, others not. Some relate to state security; others to highly sensitive commercial secrets. Some are personal, petty and irrelevant. Some mean the difference between life and death. Some keep secrets to evade the law. Some keep secrets to avoid having “their dirty linen washing in public”. What can be said for sure is that secrets do not come neatly packaged in standard size and kit. They are as varied and as different as any organic matter that exists on earth.

Regardless of the context – and when it suits its business interests – Google is more than happy to push the view that complete transparency is “good” and secrecy “evil”. No where is this more evident than with Google’s continued obfuscation, obstruction and resistance to EU on-line privacy regulation. Each and everyone of us has elements of our past which we would rather not share with the global on-line community. Dirty linen. Washed in public. An age old saying which seems particularly pertinent in a modern technological context.

Supposing, by way of example, you were to google your name and up pops an image of you taken ten years ago looking very drunk and very naked. It has been posted by an unknown individual onto an amateur photography site where it is being shared and highly rated for being so ridiculous. The photo is grainy and thus inadequate, it is of no relevance and it is of no public interest what so ever. You are not a politician. You have no criminal record. You’re just an embarrassed individual with a reputation you’d like to uphold.

In May the ECJ passed a land-mark ruling. Google, which has 90% of the EU market share for on-line searches along with all other search engines, will be responsible for managing requests to remove links on individuals that are either inadequate or irrelevant or no longer relevant. The onus is on on-line search companies, not you the individual or the photography site that posted the picture, to determine on a case-by-case basis whether an individual’s request is either inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant. Following the May ruling Google must delete links to your photo. Quite a tricky, costly, administrative exercise. One which no sane company would wish to engage in. You may be able to build a Googleplex campus in California, you may have lofty ideas about the shape of things to come, but you sure as hell do not want to be stranded with the administrative head-ache of deciding individual requests for deletion.

Given that Google’s legal redress in Europe has now been exhausted they have decided to take the fight to the court of public opinion by arguing that the ECJ ruling is a deliberate attack on our freedom of expression. The Google PR interpretation of the right to be forgotten can best be described as SECRETS ARE LIES and the only beneficiaries of such a judgement are criminals, paedos and dodgy politicians. Eric Schmidt, Google Executive Chairman told share-holders in May that “A simple way of understanding what happened here is that you have a collision between a right to be forgotten and a right to know.”

A fight between freedom of expression and censorship sounds a lot more convincing than the more mundane truth that fabulously rich search engine companies do not want to bear the administrative costs of this ruling.

The fact is that each and everyone of us – to varying degrees – have elements of our past we would rather not share with the world. That does not make each and everyone of us criminals, liars and cheats. It makes us individuals who are vulnerable to having our reputations compromised on the flimsiest of past indiscretions.

The ruling still stands though. Google knows this. More worryingly for Google the ruling strengthens, not weakens, the proposed EU on-line data protection regulation, of which the right to be forgotten, is a key feature.

Brin and Page, no doubt brilliant mathematicians, technicians and coders may have over-stepped the mark when all those years ago, back in their proverbial garage, they dreamed that Google could define the concept of evil. That these two gentlemen are ambitious is beyond dispute. That they control 90% of the market for on-line searches is a testament to the standard of excellence Google provides. Wading into the subjective world of good and evil, two moral concepts that for better or worse, defy the logic of binary coding, was perhaps a step too far even for these ambitious intellecutally brilliant individuals.

 

Privacy is theft v A right to a private life

Posted by on 08/09/14

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, Alan Friedman

It’s free and we always will be, FB front-page

In the final part of  The EU v Palo Alto we come to the crux of the current tussle between Little Brother and Europe. As far as Palo Alto is concerned privacy is a proprietary right to be bought, sold and licensed at will. As far as the EU is concerned privacy is a human right which trumps proprietary rights and which can and must be protected from under-hand profiteering.

A license to Sell

“Your privacy means a lot to us,” states the privacy policy on all “free” on-line service providers. You bet it does. Your private life is what pays for the whole shebang. Although many are vaguely aware of Palo Alto’s sale of their personal data, many still do not fully grasp the extent to which Palo Alto manipulates that data to their own profitable ends and how exactly it is that they can own the personal data we generate. Particularly, teen-agers, the elderly and the uninformed.

Under the current, incomplete, regulatory system in the EU many of those who happily post, share and like their personal details on-line do not own their own lives. Palo Alto does and anyone who denies them the right to own our privacy are stealing their profits, hence the “Privacy is Theft” slogan in the fictional Circle. Where governments seek to protect the personal data of private persons the government is literally, not figuratively, stealing the profits of the big on-line commercial operators.

Say “no” to cookies and you’re not allowed to use the site. Say “no” to the sharing of your data to unknown third parties and you have to delete the whole account or refrain from using the internet. Refuse to license your copyright and it’s the high-way. User’s are in effect given only two options “in” or “out”. There is no option to pay for privacy through old-fashioned hard cash because that would destroy the myth Palo Alto has built up that their services are for free.

Go to the terms of service of any “free” on-line service provider, be it FB, Google, Instagram, Snapchat, What’s App and they all specify that “you own your own data.” Then comes the hard deal:

you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook

you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content

you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods, Twitter

The moment users agree to the terms of service, they license their copyright to Palo Alto who in turn have the legal right to change it, manipulate it – best of all sell it on to unknown third parties for a profit … pass it onto the NSA (though Palo Alto strenuously denies this claim). Millions in the EU are sleep-walking into handing over personal details and all facets of their private lives to Silicon Valley without fully grasping what it is they are handing over. The “free” message has hypnotised us all into gifting the family silver without regard to the consequences of this pact.

On-line services categorically are not free. Were they to be genuinely “free” under English contract law they would not even be a business and would have no right to legal redress in a court of law. Alan Friedman, in a modern context, may be minded to say “There’s not such thing as a free on-line service provider”.

Even for those who appreciate the sale of their data to third party advertisers the long-term effect of surrendering our personal lives to faceless parties remains unclear. Can we assume that Little Brother will always remain a well-intentioned, cheerful kid-brother?

What can be said for certain is that data leads to information which leads to knowledge and knowledge is power. Ownership of our personal information has given Little Brother an awful lot of power over each and every on of us. In the absence of clearly defined laws and the possibility of legal redress in a court of law the most individual users can hope for is that Little Brother will remain a cheerful, youthful kid-brother with his subscriber’s best interests at heart. But what happens when subscriber’s best interest clashes with that of Little Brother’s business interests? Which side of the line will our cheerful-chapy kid-brother then fall on?

Palo Alto set the business model – the EU has set out to regulate the terms of the contract

The EU had little or no say in the business model developed by Palo Alto in the early days of on-line commerce. The existing on-line data protection Directive was devised in 1996 – years before the emergence of internet giants such as Google, Apple, FB or Amazon. For this reason in 2012 the EU proposed a new on-line data Regulation that seeks to limit the extent to which on-line commercial operators can process user’s personal data.

Whilst the proposed new law does not expressly forbid the sale of personal data to third party advertisers it certainly strangles the assumption that Palo Alto can harvest user’s personal data with impunity through owning EU citizens’ data. New concepts such as the “right to be forgotten” will be enshrined in law. The proposed law assumes that personal data is private and not proprietary. As such on-line companies must seek user’s explicit consent, in simple unambiguous language, before they can process user’s data. Last but not least any breach of user’s personal on-line data can result in hefty fines amounting to 2% of world-wide profits.

Palo Alto is worried. Not only will EU regulation complicate their business model it could set a global standard that other regions may wish to emulate. Up until June last year when Snowden spilled the beans on how the US government is spying on European citizens through sites such as Google, Apple and FB, Palo Alto had begun a very effective lobbying campaign designed to scupper EU attempts to regulate personal data and our privacy. Washington was more than happy to help their kid brother out even threatening a “trade war” between the EU and the States if Europe went ahead with its intended regulations.

Since the Snowden revelations in 2013 both Palo Alto and Washington have been a touch more circumspect in their criticism of the EU preferring instead to lobby individual Member States to try and prevent the EU from putting a break on their highly profitable business model.

To conclude, as a society our perception of privacy is very different to those of our grandparents. Many may, or may not, be a lot more relaxed about sharing intimate details of their private lives in return for the fleeing attention it generates within our personal network. What can be said for certain is that knowledge of our private lives gives faceless corporations a huge amount of power over us as individuals. Unless that is we develop rigorous laws that prevent Palo Alto from assuming EU citizens’ private lives are up for grabs. That surely has to be something worth supporting?

 

Populating MyN online platform in Aalborg

Posted by on 04/09/14

As the interest is growing amongst our vibrant community for the new MyN Online Platform, the Aalborg pilot is looking to expand and harvest users experiences.

At a gathering in one of Aalborg’s finest functionalist buildings, designed in the early 1940s by Bent Helweg-Møller, the pilot crew stepped aside to let a group of users become friendlier with the MyN platform.

AA1

The approach to this get together with users was to let the MyN platform speaks for itself. The feelings have been mixed amongst the participants at the start of the usability test, but as newer versions have been released, participants welcome it and ideas started to flow for future improvements.

AA2

This highlights an overall trust in the product at a conceptual level. Next step will be a dynamic uptake of the platform during autumn.

Aalborg is now ready to unleash the full potential of the MyN platform and services towards its citizens !!

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