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.

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