Europe and US split over curbs on hacking
The American Association for the Advancement of Science 14 point strap across widthy
Monday 20 February 1995
The rift could undermine attempts to protect privacy when the superhighway offers services such as banking and health care; some of the most sensitive personal data will then be transmitted between systems.
Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre, a Washington think-tank, told the annual conference of the the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Atlanta, Georgia, at the weekend that cases like that of Kevin Mitnick, 31, the American hacker who stole details of more than 20,000 credit cards, could become common unless the US and Europe agree on a global system of privacy protection.
"That kind of vulnerability [exposed by Mitnick] is a very real threat not only to consumers but to businesses that are considering the Internet as a platform for offering commercial services. It is partly with that in mind that Europe has adopted the approach that we need to have privacy protection," Mr Rotenberg said.
The European Commission wants governments to enforce privacy by law, whereas the US government prefers voluntary controls. "That approach is simply not going to meet the test of the European Commission in terms of satisfying the requirement that privacy should be built into the global information superhighway," he said.
"The US is not yet ready to endorse legal safeguards in the private sector and we think that is a necessary requirement, whereas the European Commission believes it's an essential precondition." Privacy and the need to protect computer data by encryption will be discussed this weekend at a meeting of the G7 nations in Brussels, Mr Rotenberg said.
Although new methods of encrypting data could make personal data secure against hackers, the US government fears the spread of the technology will make it more difficult for police and national security agents to monitor the superhighway for evidence of crime.
"There's been a dramatic change in the past 10 years brought about as a result of the availability of encryption and other techniques for protecting privacy and that is the recognition that technologies can be designed both for surveillance and for protecting privacy. This creates the perfect challenge: how do you design systems to maximise privacy while minimising surveillance?"
Mr Rotenberg said the US passed a law last year making it easier for law enforcement agents to tap digital telephone exchanges. However, this would also make it easier for hackers to gain illegal access to the Internet.
The global information superhighway will raise other fundamental issues on privacy, he said. "In the next decade we are going to see an enormous debate over the control of individual identity - the right to know who someone is and the right for you to control the disclosure of your identity.
"The second key issue is the right to sell personal data about others . . . complete medical history, psychological profiles and educational records. A third critical issue is going to be the right to privately possess the technology that gives privacy, such as encryption."
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Raphael Ravenscroft dead: 'Baker Street' musician who played the most famous saxophone solo for just £27, dies aged 60
Darren Vann: Indiana man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear more
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified secondary s...
£22000 - £36000 per annum + MPR / UPR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our cli...
£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...