Internet Policy Party Check Wahl/Digital for the German Federal Election 2017: What the Parties are Planning on the Topics of Trust & Security in the Internet

What are the German federal parties planning for the next legislative term in regards to IT Security? What’s next for Blanket Data Retention? How should encryption be better facilitated in future and what standards are needed for product security?

These questions were in the focus of the fourth and final Internet Policy Party Check, organized by eco in cooperation with media partner WirtschaftsWoche, on Tuesday, 20 Jun 2017, in the Microsoft Atrium, Berlin. Continue reading

Top 10 Shops in Germany

Shopping and Paying in German E-Commerce

Online retail has moved quickly beyond desktop online shops. Lars Hofacker and Dorothee Frigge of the EHI Retail Institute spoke to dotmagazine about the systems used by online shops in Germany, the optimal mix of online payment methods, the EHI seal of trust, and the future of online retail, as they see it.

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Photo credit : EHI Retail Institute

eco: State Trojan Must Not Undermine IT Security on the Internet

On the legislative amendment concluded yesterday in the German federal parliament for the use of so-called “State Trojans” for the surveillance of messenger services on smartphones, eco Director Professor Dr. Norbert Pohlmann comments:

“Similar to what we have already seen with blanket data retention, we are again dealing with a law for which not all of the consequences have been thoroughly thought through. As a society, we want to push digitalization forward in order to successfully shape the future. The state needs to create framework conditions for this, to ensure appropriate levels of IT security and adequate trust in the Internet. The surveillance law approved yesterday unfortunately goes – despite all recognition of the sovereignty of the state in matters of law enforcement – in completely the opposite direction and may lead to a damaging weakening of IT security in the Internet, if not to the endangerment of the entire process of the digitalization of society and industry. This is especially the case if the “State” itself makes use of so-called Zero-Day Exploits for placing State Trojans. The exploitation of such vulnerabilities represents a great risk both for companies and for individual privacy, and must not be allowed to become standard practice for law enforcement. Whether this legislative amendment – which includes the use of Lawful Interception at the Source and online searches – is constitutional, is something the courts must decide.”

Blockchains: A Cure for the e-Health Record Problem?

Electronic health records (EHRs) have been a long time coming. Is blockchain technology a solution for the difficult issues of data privacy and patient autonomy? Dr. Christina Czeschik of Serapion explores the potential and shortcomings of using a blockchain for EHRs.

A never-ending story, or so it seems: According to German law, citizens with statutory health insurance were supposed to receive a functional electronic health card (elektronische Gesundheitskarte, eGK) in 2006. However, the eGK did not replace the now obsolete Krankenversicherungskarte (KVK; health insurance card) until 2015. Fast forward to 2017: Here we are, still waiting for the first useful applications of the eGK and its accompanying telematic infrastructure (Telematik-Infrastruktur or TI).

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Image:  Intellicore Press

The Brakes are on for Blanket Data Retention: Case Supported by eco Achieves Stage Win of Interim Relief

  • Higher Administrative Court decision in the German state of NRW: SpaceNet AG not obligated to retain telecommunications data of customers

  • Important signal for entire Internet sector

  • Concerns about European law: Blanket data retention encroaches fundamental rights

Blanket data retention is not compatible with European Union law. This is the decision of the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia in its resolution from 22 June 2017. The Internet provider SpaceNet, supported by eco, had taken legal action back in April 2016. The objective of the lawsuit is to definitively halt blanket data retention through a landmark decision, and also, if necessary, through a submission to the European Union Court of Justice (EUCJ). Continue reading

eco on the German Act for Law Enforcement in Social Networks: “Stop the legislation, as collateral damage is inevitable”

On the occasion of the German Legal Affairs Committee’s public hearing on the planned “Act for the Improvement of Law Enforcement in Social Networks”, eco – Association of the Internet Industry points again forcefully to its position on the proposed legislation, and emphasizes:

“Political responsibility also means recognizing in time when you have made a mistake – and this law is a fundamental mistake with the potential for catastrophic collateral damage”, says Oliver Süme, eco Director of Policy & Law. He went on to say that it was absolutely unnecessary to exert further artificial political pressure to rush the legislation through the German parliament before the federal election in September: „We would hope for considerably more thoroughness instead of speed in the legislative process, especially in an area as sensitive to fundamental rights as this." Continue reading