RealTime IT News

Association Gives Minister Thumbs Down on Internet Security

The eco Electronic Commerce Forum e.V., the German Internet industry association, this week criticized the position of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) on the topic of Internet security.

While the security partnership encouraged by Minister Werner Müller is promoting development in the IT industry, the BMWi wants to place a stumbling block on the industry's path with its planned telecommunications monitoring regulation (TKÜV).

The apparent goal of the TKÜV is to reduce the Internet industry to playing the role of henchman for the criminal prosecution authorities, with the private sector forced to finance this reduction in the state authorities' amount of work.

"The TKÜV is a resounding blow to the otherwise positive cooperation between the federal government and the Internet industry," said Harald A. Summa, chief executive officer of the eco Electronic Commerce Forum. The real victims of the TKÜV would be consumers and companies, Summa said, because the TKÜV would make the Internet in Germany considerably more expensive.

The eco Electronic Commerce Forum suggested that in order to further improve the security standard of the infrastructures in Germany, the federal government should instead move forward with its already "outstanding" encryption policies. The Echelon problem has made it clear that, in the future, encryption technology will have to be used more often to better protect Internet activity from unauthorized interception. Companies and consumers must be put in a position to encrypt their communication streams without restraints.

"National encryption programs are the most effective protection against global industrial espionage," Summa said.