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19 September 2017 – London, UK – Government Minister Pat Breen TD will open the first Datacloud Ireland conference in Dublin.

The inaugural event held at Irelandrsquo;s iconic global venue, the Convention Centre Dublin is the latest chapter in BroadGrouprsquo;s pioneering series of networking and business deal-making events for the data centre and cloud industry.Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD is to host the... Source: RealWire
Gothenburg, Sweden. 18 September 2017: De-skilling of installation staff throughout Europe is absolutely critical if mass deployment of optical fibre is to be achieved as part of the European Union targets for 2020.

This was the warning given at today's opening day of ECOC from the region's major provider of blown fibre and ducted network solutions for the telecoms industry, Emtelle.“If Europe is to achieve its goal of a Digital Single Market by 2020, then... Source: RealWire
EnlargeGetty Images/Urich Baumgartgen reader comments 4 Share this story Online messaging services such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Gmail face a crackdown on a "void of protection" that allows them to routinely track the data of EU citizens without regulatory scrutiny—and it could be bad news for ad sales. On Tuesday, officials in Brussels proposed new measures to curb Silicon Valley players who—up until now—have been largely immune from the ePrivacy Directive, which  requires telecoms operators to adhere to the rules on the confidentiality of communications and the protection of personal data. As part of its planned overhaul, the European Commission, the executive wing of the European Union, said that it planned to beef up the measures by switching from a directive to a "directly applicable regulation" to ensure that the bloc's 500 million citizens "enjoy the same level of protection for their electronic communications." It claimed that businesses would also benefit from "one single set of rules." Over-The-Top services such as Facebook's WhatsApp and Google's Gmail can all but ignore the EU's existing rules.

The commission said that this needed to change: Important technological and economic developments took place in the market since the last revision of the ePrivacy Directive in 2009.

Consumers and businesses increasingly rely on new Internet-based services enabling inter-personal communications such as Voice over IP, instant messaging, and Web-based e-mail services, instead of traditional communications services... Accordingly, the Directive has not kept pace with technological developments, resulting in a void of protection of communications conveyed through new services. The EC is also planning to kill the heavily ridiculed cookies consent pop-up system.
It said, in an embarrassing—if long overdue—climbdown that users would be given more control to allow or prevent websites from tracking them depending on "privacy risks." Last summer, a big coalition of tech firms lobbied for the cookie law to be scrapped. Under the new proposal, the commission said: "no consent is needed for non-privacy intrusive cookies improving Internet experience (e.g. to remember shopping cart history).

Cookies set by a visited website counting the number of visitors to that website will no longer require consent." But it could also hit the bottom line of Facebook, Google, and chums because tracking consent may be harder to obtain if lots of users reject third party cookies.

The commission said that, following public consultation on the issue, 81.2 percent of citizens agreed that obligations should be imposed on "manufacturers of terminal equipment to market products with privacy-by-default settings activated." It also warned that "additional costs" could hit some Web browser makers because they would be required to develop software with privacy settings built in. The new proposals also call on consent to process electronic communications metadata, such as device location data to allow for the "purposes of granting and maintaining access and connection to the service," the commission said.
It means that telcos "will have more opportunities to use data and provide additional services." Translation: new ways to make more cash. Companies that flout confidentiality of communications rules face fines of up to four percent of their global annual turnover, under the commission's planned e-privacy measures—the same penalty that will be dished out to firms that violate the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into action in April 2018. "The European data protection legislation adopted last year sets high standards for the benefit of both EU citizens and companies," said EC justice chief Věra Jourová. "Today we are also setting out our strategy to facilitate international data exchanges in the global digital economy and promote high data protection standards worldwide." But the latest proposals cannot become law until the bloc's 28 member states and the European Parliament agree to wave them through—leaving plenty of wiggle room for industry lobbying. Separately, the commission is seeking views from the public on how to best tackle data mining as part of its Digital Single Market strategy. This post originated on Ars Technica UK
Plus ça change The UK’s new information commissioner reckons that a post-Brexit Britain should adopt data protection laws similar to those of, er... the EU. Elizabeth Denham made the comments during her first speech (transcript here) as UK information Commissioner at an event in London last week.

Denham said the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) directive will almost certainly come into force in the UK before Brexit is effected.
Something similar will be needed to replace it even after the UK leaves the EU, she argued. “The fact is, no matter what the future legal relationship between the UK and Europe, personal information will need to flow.
It is fundamental to the digital economy,” Denham said. “In a global economy we need consistency of law and standards.

The GDPR is a strong law, and once we are out of Europe, we will still need to be deemed adequate or essentially equivalent. “Whatever data protection law we have post-Brexit, I expect to see organisations taking responsibility for their actions, no matter how quick the technological change,” she added. The GDPR will introduce tougher breach disclosure rules and much higher fines for security screwups – of up to four per cent of a business’s annual turnover.

Denham put a positive spin on the tougher regulations, arguing that compliance ought to act as a catalyst for positive change. “We believe that future data protection legislation, post-Brexit, should be developed on an evolutionary basis, to provide a degree of stability and clear regulatory messages for data controllers and the public,” she explained. “GDPR is an incentive to improve your practices, to sharpen things up, and encourage organisations to look at things afresh. “Legislative change does bring nervousness, but it also brings opportunity.

These changes – stronger data protection law and enforcement – are aimed at inspiring public trust and confidence,” she concluded. Janine Regan, a data protection specialist at law firm Charles Russell Speechlys, said: “These comments from the ICO are not surprising; the digital single market is worth billions and streamlined EU data protection laws is a fundamental component of that.

Brexit from data protection will mean that the UK will lose significant influence over policy, strategy and a piece of the incredibly profitable digital single market pie. “The UK needs to mirror EU law post Brexit in order to be an effective place to offer data analytics, data centres and international data management services,” she added. ®
The European Commission might apply telecom regulations to apps like WhatsApp and Skype. Apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger might soon face tougher regulations in Europe. As Reuters and the Financial Times report, the European Commission wants to extend traditional telecom rules to companies offering calls and messages over the Web, like Microsoft's Skype. "The Commission is indeed working on an update of EU telecoms rules under its Digital Single Market strategy," Nathalie Vandystadt, a spokesperson for the EU's Digital Single Market, said in a statement. "The upcoming reform of the EU telecoms framework should incentivize and leverage more private investment in next-generation networks, provide regulatory predictability and the right conditions for all operators to invest. "The Commission is looking into to what extent people can consider OTT services like WhatsApp and Skype to be functional substitutes for services provided by traditional telecoms operators, and is considering whether [the] scope of the current EU rules needs to be adapted, to ensure adequate levels of consumer protection and ensure that regulation does not distort competition." She added that "this does not necessarily mean treating all communications services the same for all purposes." The plan will be presented in September. Popular carriers like Deutsche Telekom AG, Telefónica SA, Vodafone, and Orange have lobbied the EU to repeal certain laws governing telecoms. Otherwise, they argue, the EU should at least broaden its rules to cover Internet-based services. The EU's current "ePrivacy Directive," which applies to telecom firms, requires companies to protect users' communications and ensure network security, Reuters says.
It also bars carriers from storing customer location and traffic data. Facebook has rolled out end-to-end encryption for WhatsApp and Messenger, which it says could be compromised under the EU's plan.

They tell Reuters that individual organizations would "no longer be able to guarantee the security and confidentiality of the communication through encryption," because governments can take control in the name of national security. "Therefore, any expansion of the current ePD (ePrivacy Directive) should not have the undesired consequence of undermining the very privacy it is seeking to protect," Facebook told Reuters. Facebook and WhatsApp declined to comment to PCMag; Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to the FT, the rules would apply to services that require users to dial a phone number; Skype-to-Skype calls would not be included. Editor's Note: This story was updated at 2:45 p.m.

ET with comment from the EU.
Will Blighty get ours? Probably The EU Commission has launched a public-private partnership on cybersecurity that is expected to trigger €1.8bn ($2bn) of investment by 2020.

The EU is promising to invest €450m ($502m) in a bid to spur innovation in cybersecurity with the remainder coming from the private sector. Some security commentators reckon the Brexit vote means that British organisations are set to lose out on the benefits of this investment. However given the uncertain political climate in the UK - which remains a full member of the EU for a t least two years and possibly longer - a UK lockout is far from definite. Kevin Bocek, chief security strategist at Venafi, commented: “It’s good to see the EU increasing funding and making cybersecurity a top priority and sad that, due to Brexit, UK universities and businesses will miss out on this investment.” More broadly, Bocek expressed concerns about whether or not the investment will be going to the right place. “One of the key areas identified that the public/private partnership will focus on is ‘securing identities online’ – however, I think beyond this they need to recognise the need to secure identities of machines, software, devices and the foundation internet itself, not just people,” Bocek explained. According to a recent survey by management consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers, at least 80 per cent of European companies have experienced at least one cybersecurity incident over the last year.

The number of security incidents across all industries worldwide rose by 38 per cent in 2015.

The EU uncontroversially asserts that cybersecurity issues damage trust in e-commerce.
Security risks to infrastructure providers in energy distribution, banking and health also pose a growing risk. As part of its Digital Single Market strategy, the Commission wants to “reinforce cooperation across borders, and between all actors and sectors active in cybersecurity, and to help develop innovative and secure technologies, products and services throughout the EU”. The EU strategy (announced Tuesday) involves the launch of the first European public private partnership on cybersecurity.

The EU will invest €450m (£384m) in this partnership, under its research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

Cybersecurity firms, represented by the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO), are expected to invest three times more.

The partnership will also include members from national, regional and local public administrations, research centres and universities.

The partnership is designed to foster cooperation at early stages of cybersecurity research and development.
Ii’s hoped the program will yield infosec products and services to cater to the energy, health, transport and finance sectors. in particular. The UK’s Cyber Security Strategy is based on a similar assessment of risks but is pitched more towards protecting critical infrastructure systems than is apparent from the EU blueprint.

The UK also wants to encourage cyber-security startups but this aspect of the strategy only gets a supporting role whereas for the EU it gets star billing. Last year UK Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to double investment in protecting “Britain from cyber attack and develop our sovereign capabilities in cyberspace”. with a budget totalling £1.9 billion over five years. Part of the spending increase will go towards previously announced plans to hire 1,900 more staff at GCHQ.

GCHQ director Robert Hannigan said last year that private industry wasn't doing enough to improve cyber-security. Earlier this year, the outgoing Obama administration proposed increasing federal cyber-security spending by $5bn, or around a third, in the hope of reaching $19bn in 2017. Jeux san frontier The Commission is also seeking to tackle the fragmentation of the EU cybersecurity market.
Vendors currently need to undergo different certification processes to sell its products and services in several Member States.

The Commission is considering plans to develop a possible European certification framework for ICT security products. Eurocrats wants to ease access to finance for smaller businesses working in the field of cybersecurity, perhaps with an eye to emulating the success of cyber-security startups in Israel, where close co-operation between government and private industry is the norm. Finally the EU Commission is bringing forwards its evolution of the long established European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA).This review will assess whether “ENISA's mandate and capabilities remain adequate to achieve its mission of supporting EU Member States in boosting their own cyber resilience”.

The Commission also plans to look into how to improve cybersecurity cooperation across different sectors of the economy, including in cybersecurity training and education. ®
Big Brother Watch report Police forces across the UK have been responsible for “at least 2,315 data breaches” over the last five years, according to research by Big Brother Watch, prompting concerns about the increasing amount of data they're holding. Titled Safe in Police Hands? the 138-page report is released today after months of requests made by the campaign group under the Freedom of Information Act, covering police forces' breaches of the Data Protection Act from June 2011 to December 2015. According to Big Brother Watch, the results “show officers misusing their access to information for financial gain and passing sensitive information to members of organised crime groups”. Over the last five years, more than 800 members of staff at police forces “accessed personal information without a policing purpose” and information was “inappropriately shared with third parties more than 800 times”. The issues span improper disclosure of information, accessing police systems for non-policing purposes, inappropriate use of data for personal reasons and more, says BBW.
It continued: Digital by default is the future for the country.
In response to this the levels of data the police handle will increase. Whilst there have been improvements in how forces ensure data is handled correctly this report reveals there is still room for improvement.

Forces must look closely at the controls in place to prevent misuse and abuse. “With the potential introduction of Internet Connection Records (ICRs) as outlined in the Investigatory Powers Bill, the police will be able to access data which will offer the deepest insight possible into the personal lives of all UK citizens,” the group reported, adding that any breach of this information would be “over and above” what was included in the report. Of the 2,315 breaches that Big Brother Watch was informed of, more than 55 per cent (1,283) resulted in no formal disciplinary action being taken, while in 11 per cent (258) of cases those responsible received either a written or verbal warning.
In 13 per cent of cases (297) the individuals involved either resigned or were dismissed, while only 3 per cent (70) of breaches resulted in either a criminal conviction or caution. Reg readers will remember that the Information Commissioner's Office fined Kent Police £80,000 earlier this year when it passed the entire contents of a potential domestic abuse victim's phone to the solicitor of the man she was accusing of abuse - a man whom it turned out was also a copper at Kent Police. In another case from this year, an Essex police officer was given a “final written warning” after misusing Police Intelligence systems to snoop on his ex-wife's stepbrother. In the light of such findings, Big Brother Watch has proposed five policy recommendations to “address concerns we have with the increased levels of data the police will have access to, [and] they also propose more stringent methods of dealing with data breaches including a move towards error reporting and notification for the individual whose data has been breached”. The campaign groups recommends introducing custodial sentences for the most serious data breaches, adding that where such breaches are uncovered the individual should be given a criminal record.

This movement was recently supported by a Parliamentary inquiry spurred by the data breach of TalkTalk, which also recommended that CEOs take a hit to compensation if their company's infosec practices were not up to scratch. Big Brother Watch also recommended the mandatory reporting of any breach that concerns a member of the public, and the removal of Internet Connection Records from the Investigatory Powers Bill: The scale of breaches within police forces should pose major questions regarding the plans to allow police officers access to even more personal information through Internet Connection Records proposed in the IP Bill.

The information the police will have access to under these powers is vast. Police forces are already struggling to keep the personal information they can access secure.
It is clear that the addition of yet more data may just lead to the risk of a data breach or of misuse. Warning that a “weakening of data protection law post Brexit would put the UK at risk, in terms of trade, security and data privacy,” and thus endorsing stronger data protection legislation as “a fundamental part of keeping people and businesses safe,” Big Brother Watch also recommended – much as everyone else is doing – the necessity of adopting equivalent standards to the EU's General Data Protection Regulations if the UK is to trade with the Single Market. ®