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German automaker wants to bring 10 new electric models to the market by 2020.
Secusmart, the BlackBerry subsidiary that secures the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s smartphone, will roll out a version of its SecuSuite security software compatible with Samsung Electronics’ Knox platform later this year.That means that organizations looking for smartphones offering government-grade security will be able to buy the Samsung Galaxy S7 or, soon, the S8 rather than the now-discontinued BlackBerry OS smartphones like the one Merkel uses.[ Android is now ready for real usage in the enterprise. Read InfoWorld's in-depth guide on how to make Android a serious part of your business. | Get the best office suite and the 38 best business-worthy apps for your Android device. ] In addition to encrypting communications and data stored on the device, the new SecuSuite also secures voice calls using the SNS standard set by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). Organizational app traffic is passed through an IPsec VPN, while data from personal apps can go straight to the internet.

Encrypted voice calls go through a different gateway, not the VPN.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Anas Modamani says Facebook should do more to stop misuse of his image.
Facebookreader comments 155 Share this story Germany's coalition government is threatening to bring in legislation early next year that would see Facebook and other social media firms fined up to €500,000 (£420,000) for "publishing" fake news. "Market dominating platforms like Facebook will be legally required to build a legal protection office in Germany that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year," parliamentary chair of the Social Democratic Party Thomas Oppermann told Der Spiegel, which was translated on Deutsche Welle. "If, after appropriate examination, Facebook does not delete the offending message within 24 hours, it should expect individual fines of up to 500,000 euros," Oppermann said. The subject of a fake news story would be able to demand a correction published with similar prominence, he added. Volker Kauder, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, agreed with his colleague: "There has been only talk for too long. Now we in the coalition will take action at the beginning of next year." Ars asked Facebook—which recently vowed to outsource fact checking in order to fight fake news—for comment on this move. It said: We take the issues raised very seriously, and we are engaging with key politicians and digital experts from all parties and relevant ministries interested in this matter. Our announcement last week underlines our efforts to improve our systems. We have announced several new functions that address the issue of fake news and hoaxes. Other German politicians have joined the call for swift action against fake news on sites such as Facebook. The Guardian reported that Germany's justice minister, Heiko Maas, told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper: "Defamation and malicious gossip are not covered under freedom of speech," and that "Justice authorities must prosecute that, even on the Internet." He pointed out that those convicted under the country's strict libel laws face up to five years in jail. European Parliament President Martin Schulz has gone further, however, and called for EU-wide laws to tackle the problem. "Fake news should become expensive for companies like Facebook if they don't stop its spread," Schulz reportedly said. "Facebook and Co. must be more than money-making machines," he added. Germany's concern with fake news seems to be driven in part by fears that it could influence next year's elections there, just as it may have done in the US. This post originated on Ars Technica UK
Enlarge / The bear is back.
It never went away.reader comments 40 Share this story US intelligence agencies have been forthright in their insistence that the Russian government was behind not only the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and other political organizations in the US, but a concerted effort to undermine confidence in the results of the US presidential election, including attacks on state election officials' systems.

But the US is not the only country that the Russian government has apparently targeted for these sorts of operations—and the methods used in the DNC hack are being applied increasingly in attempts to influence German politics, Germany's chief of domestic intelligence warned yesterday. In a press release issued on December 8, Germany's Bundesamt für Verfassungsshutz (BfV), the country's domestic intelligence agency, warned of an ever-mounting wave of disinformation and hacking campaigns by Russia focused on increasing the strength of "extremist groups and parties" in Germany and destabilizing the German government.
In addition to propaganda and disinformation campaigns launched through social media, the BfV noted an increased number of "spear phishing attacks against German political parties and parliamentary groups" using the same sort of malware used against the Democratic National Committee in the US. The statement from the BfV came on the same day that Alex Younger, the chief of the United Kingdom's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) made more veiled references to disinformation and hacking campaigns.
In remarks Younger delivered at Vauxhall Cross, MI6 headquarters, he warned of the mounting risks posed by "hybrid warfare." "The connectivity that is at the heart of globalization can be exploited by States with hostile intent to further their aims deniably," Younger said. "They do this through means as varied as cyber-attacks, propaganda or subversion of democratic process… The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty; they should be a concern to all those who share democratic values." The statement from the BfV follows one by German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week voicing concerns that Russia would attempt to interfere in the 2017 German elections.
In the release, BfV Chief Hans-Georg Maassen warned that these "propaganda and disinformation attacks, cyber espionage, and cyber sabotage are part of hybrid threats against Western democracies." He added that the way people use social media to obtain news was aiding disinformation campaigns. "We are concerned that echo chambers are emerging that make the formation of domestic political opinions highly vulnerable to automated opinion-shaping," Maassen warned. The campaign includes the "enormous use of financial resources" to fund disinformation campaigns, the BfV reported.

The disinformation campaigns have been accompanied by an increase in targeted malware attacks on German politicians.

The BfV attributed these attacks to the threat group known as APT 28, also known as Fancy Bear—a group that US intelligence and information security researchers have tied to Russian intelligence.
In 2015, APT 28 "successfully exfiltrated data from the German Bundestag," Germany's parliament, the BfV release noted. Many of these attacks have been launched as "false flag" operations—with the attackers posing as "hacktivists," much as Guccifer 2.0 and the DC Leaks campaigns tied to APT 28 did. The combined use of disinformation in social media and in state-funded media, social media "trolling," and concerted hacking efforts against political institutions is part of a long pattern of behavior by Russia, shaped by Russia's doctrine of information warfare and deterrence. Russia is generally believed to have been behind cyber-attacks and propaganda operations against Estonia and Ukraine, among other former Soviet states, and has reportedly been behind similar operations in Poland. Given the effect that the DNC hack and other information warfare had in the US—not necessarily influencing the final results, but creating the impression that Russia could directly interfere in US politics—Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser told Reuters at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on December 8, "It's a pretty safe bet that they will try to do it again, and they will try to surprise us.

That’s something that we should be very careful to look at and try to protect ourselves from."
EnlargeGage Skidmore reader comments 50 Share this story Whistleblower Edward Snowden can be asked to give evidence in person by a German committee probing the NSA's spying activities, the country's Federal Court of Justice has ruled. Germany's government has been told that it should make suitable arrangements for that to happen.
It has been refusing to invite Snowden to give evidence personally since it would need to guarantee that he would not be handed over to the US—a promise the German authorities say would risk damaging the political relations between the two countries. Instead, it has called for him to give evidence via a video link, or for German officials to interview him in Moscow, both of which Snowden turned down. Following a formal complaint by the greens and left-wing politicians, Germany's Federal Court of Justice has ruled that the German government must provide the necessary guarantees that would allow Snowden to give evidence in person, or explain why it will not do so. Snowden's lawyer, Wolfgang Kaleck, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the German government might refuse to provide guarantees, and officially admit that it regards cooperating with the US on intelligence matters in the future as more important than getting to the bottom of past surveillance.
In that case, an appeal could be made to Germany's constitutional court, according to an article in Der Spiegel, which would decide whether the German government was allowed to make that trade-off. The committee of inquiry is examining to what extent German citizens and politicians were spied on by the NSA and its so-called Five Eyes partners—notably GCHQ—and whether German politicians and intelligence agencies knew about this activity. The committee was set up in the wake of Snowden's revelations, and amid claims that even the German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been under NSA surveillance.

The US said that was not happening, but didn't deny it had happened in the past. This post originated on Ars Technica UK
EU should not be 'too restrictive' with data protection law EU countries must not be too restrictive in how they apply EU data protection laws or risk damaging the development of big data projects, German chancellor Angela Merkel has said. Germany has traditionally been cautious over data collection, but if countries are too restrictive then "big data management will not be possible", Merkel told the 10th IT Summit (link to video in German) in Saarbrücken. Europeans are famous for banning things, Merkel said.

These bans are put in place for good reason, she said, but can be damaging if taken to excess. "In Germany we have the principle of 'data minimisation', but we may have to give a little on that.
Such a principle doesn't seem as appropriate when you are looking at big data," she said. While it is important to protect personal data, it is also important to enable new developments, she said. "Courts will have to be careful not to be too strict if that means limiting opportunities", Merkel said. Munich-based data protection expert Kirsten Wolgast of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said Merkel's comments suggest a change of direction. "Merkel obviously wants to create some space for big data business models, and make it a bit easier to establish.

But we'll have to wait and see whether the data protection authorities or courts take her comments into account," Wolgast said. Berlin data protection commissioner Maja Smoltczyk said this month that nine of the country's federal data protection authorities are to conduct a review of 500 businesses' data transfer arrangements. The review will focus on arrangements the businesses have in place for transferring personal data outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). Copyright © 2016, Out-Law.com Out-Law.com is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons. Sponsored: Customer Identity and Access Management
EnlargeThe Range Productions reader comments 73 Share this story Facebook has ruled out the launch of a new car insurance policy from the UK company Admiral Insurance that would have analysed a customer's posts on the social network to help set premiums. Admiral has not responded to Ars' request for comment, but The Guardian says of the original plans: "Admiral Insurance will analyse the Facebook accounts of first-time car owners to look for personality traits that are linked to safe driving. For example, individuals who are identified as conscientious and well-organised will score well." The voluntary scheme would have offered discounts of up to £350 a year. However, a Facebook spokesperson told Ars: We have clear guidelines that prevent information being obtained from Facebook from being used to make decisions about eligibility. We have made sure anyone using this app is protected by our guidelines and that no Facebook user data is used to assess their eligibility. Facebook accounts will only be used for login and verification purposes. Our understanding is that Admiral will then ask users who sign up to answer questions which will be used to assess their eligibility. Section 3.15 of Facebook's Platform Policy says: "Don’t use data obtained from Facebook to make decisions about eligibility, including whether to approve or reject an application or how much interest to charge on a loan." The Guardian claims to have further details of the kind of tell-tale signs that Admiral's algorithmic analysis would have looked out for in Facebook posts. Good traits include "writing in short concrete sentences, using lists, and arranging to meet friends at a set time and place, rather than just 'tonight'." On the other hand, "evidence that the Facebook user might be overconfident—such as the use of exclamation marks and the frequent use of 'always' or 'never' rather than 'maybe'—will count against them." Admiral Insurance already employs another novel approach for gathering extra information about a first-time or young driver's habits in order to set the premium. Its Black Box Insurance involves installing the company's LittleBox in a customer's car, which "collects information about how and when you drive, along with other risk factors to calculate your driving score." Admiral's new firstcarquote mobile app currently says that "We were really hoping to have our sparkling new product ready for you, but there's a hitch: we still have to sort a few final details." It's hard to see how Admiral will be able to persuade Facebook to change its rules on algorithmic decision making, however, not least because it would create a precedent that other companies would doubtless seek to exploit. A further complicating factor is that Facebook owns a patent that may cover this technique, in the US at least. The use of algorithms, such as the one that Admiral had hoped to apply to potential customers' Facebook posts, is coming under increasing scrutiny. Last week, the German chancellor Angela Merkel called for search engine algorithms to be made more transparent. Ars asked the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for its views on the present case, since Admiral's original plan to apply algorithms to stores of personal data held on social networking sites raises important issues. An ICO spokesperson said: “The law says that the use of personal information must be fair. A key part of that fairness is ensuring that people are informed about how their data will be collected and used and it is processed fairly. This applies to using personal information acquired from social networking sites. We are paying particular attention to the increasing use of new ‘social scoring’ techniques to ensure that these developments proceed in accordance with the law.” This post originated on Ars Technica UK
EnlargeWikimedia Commons/Maria Joner reader comments 35 Share this story The UK's Tory government cabinet ministers have reportedly been officially banned from wearing Apple Watches to crucial meetings in case they're compromised by Russian hackers. "The Russians are trying to hack everything," one unnamed source told the Telegraph. Apple Watches were said to be popular with several ministers, including former justice secretary and failed leadership candidate Michael Gove, who wore them to cabinet meetings during David Cameron's tenure as prime minister. However, under PM Theresa May—the former home secretary who repeatedly pushed for Britain's spies to have greater surveillance powers—the devices have been summarily banned amid fears that Russian security services could use them to listen in on government business. Cabinet ministers have been banned from bringing smartphones and tablets to meetings since late 2013. It was reported at the time that an iPad used during a presentation by then-cabinet minister Francis "Digital by Default" Maude was removed from the room "even before discussions could begin," and smartphones were placed into "soundproof lead-lined boxes." There were also fears that USB sticks handed to delegates at the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg that year could have been loaded with malware. Russian hackers are apparently everywhere at the moment, with the US department of homeland security officially accusing Putin's regime of attempting to disrupt the US elections amid a series of political hacks.

But Russia is by no means the only nation chancing its arm with government hacks. Last year, the NSA was accused of spying on Angela Merkel and other high-ranking German officials using Reign malware. This isn't the first time Apple Watches have disrupted cabinet meetings.

The Telegraph also reports that when Gove was chief whip he accidentally played a few bars of a Beyonce song while "surreptitiously checking his e-mails." This post originated on Ars Technica UK
By Tom JowittThe German government continues to tighten its tech-related security with the introduction of "spy-proof" tablets that combine security technologies from both Samsung and BlackBerry.The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablets will be utilized by German government agencies that deal with classified information. Secure Tablets The Canadian firm said that the SecuTABLET is made by BlackBerry's Secusmart unit, which it had purchased back in 2014. Secusmart specializes in high-security voice and data encryption as well as anti-eavesdropping technology for government organizations, enterprises and telecommunications service providers, and the two companies had previously collaborated to produce Secusmart-equipped BlackBerry phones for German government agencies. The SecuTABLET mixes the Secusmart encryption technology with that of Samsung, providing a Galaxy Tab S2 that has been certified for German governmental use."SecuTABLET is being used by government agencies in Germany to ensure its staff can work on the go without falling victim to espionage," said BlackBerry.The device itself is described as highly secure and has been approved by the German Federal Office for Information Security at the "classified—for official use only” (VS-NfD) security level.
It comes integrated with government-grade MAM technology."The SecuTABLET uses the Secusmart Security card responsible for securely encrypting the transfer of mobile data as well as encrypting all the information stored on the device," said the Canadian company."Also integrated into the tablet is software that provides Certificate Management for managing all keys and certifications stored in the Secusmart Security Card and VPN for cryptographically secured data communication."Secusmart's secure voice technology will be added later this year.

The tablet also uses Samsung's Knox mobile security platform, which allows users to securely switch the device between both business and personal use.

The combination of the two adds an extra layer of security on top of the Android operating system and creates a platform on which to produce mobile security services."With the SecuTABLET, for the first time, we are combining secure software and hardware from multiple manufacturers into a joint solution," said Dr.

Christoph Erdmann, managing director of Secusmart. "Receiving approval from the BSI confirms our resolve to offer solutions that combine maximum security with ease of operation and that are always available on the very latest hardware." German Security Germany has long been concerned with potential spying and has worked hard to tighten its cyber security technology in recent years.The threat was starkly illustrated in 2013, when it was revealed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been a target of NSA eavesdropping, a move that soured Germany's relationship with the U.S.However, it is believed that any attempts to crack her encryption likely failed, thanks to the ongoing agreement with Secusmart.The German government later cancelled a contract with the U.S. telecoms giant Verizon Communications, because of concerns about the spying activities of the NSA.