+++ Digital Services Act Agreement
+++ Google withdraws urgent complaint in NetzDG dispute
+++ EU plans Bitcoin ban
+++ Cartel Office warns Deutsche Bahn over data monopoly
+++ Vulnerability in Webex – data transmission despite being muted
Digital Services Act Agreement
Last week, the European Parliament, the Commission and member states agreed on a text for the Digital Services Act. The Digital Services Act aims to create a level playing field for the use of online platforms, social media and marketplaces. With the obligation to create processes for reporting illegal content and its removal as well as the obligation to provide information, a uniform framework for the handling of illegal content is established. In addition, the law provides for transparency requirements for large providers and the obligation to regularly publish an assessment of the risks of distributing illegal content. Minors must be protected by banning personalized advertising and banning the use of sensitive data. The Commission and the Member States should be responsible for enforcing the rules, and they should also have access to the algorithms of the major platforms for this purpose.
To the European Parliament press release.
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Google withdraws urgent complaint in NetzDG dispute
Last week, Google withdrew its appeal against a ruling by the Cologne administrative court on NetzDG. At the beginning of March, the administrative court in Cologne ruled on the urgent requests of Google and Meta regarding the new NetzDG and provisionally determined that the full reporting obligations towards the BKA violated Union law (Az. 6 L 1277/21 6 L 1354/21). However, the applicants were unsuccessful in a motion against the introduction of a so-called counter-presentation procedure. Users can have deletion decisions verified by social networks. The Administrative Court of Cologne considered that the obligation to organize such a procedure was admissible. Google withdrew the complaint. Facebook’s parent company, Meta, continues to take action against the decision.
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EU plans to ban bitcoin
Netzpolitik.org published documents last week on EU considerations for a possible Bitcoin ban. Netzpolitik had received the documents through a freedom of information law request from the European Commission. Between November 2021 and February 2022, critical discussions about Bitcoin took place between the Commission, the Swedish authorities and representatives of the federal government. These have long been criticized for being harmful to the environment due to the energy-intensive proof-of-work method. Experts conclude from the content of the talks that a ban on Bitcoin mining and trading is being considered. As of March 2022, the European Parliament has not introduced a ban on the proof-of-work method as part of the directive on the provision of cryptographic services.
To the contribution to Netzpolitik.
Details about Heise online.
Cartel Office warns Deutsche Bahn over data monopoly
The Bundeskartellamt has warned Deutsche Bahn (DB) of abusing its dominant position in mobility platforms. In the abuse proceedings initiated at the end of 2019, the Bundeskartellamt initially determined that DB had both a dominant position in the rail market and was a mobility platform with a strong market presence. On the one hand, the Bundeskartellamt criticized the retention of important forecast data, such as delays, cancellations or platform changes, and on the other hand certain contractual conditions, such as the obligation not to use discount campaigns or bonus point programs when selling train tickets. Such behavior would slow down innovative mobility providers and at the same time harm the interests of smaller transport companies. DB and mobility platforms that have been invited now have the opportunity to comment.
To the BKartA press release.
Details at LTO.
Vulnerability in Webex – data transfer over sound
Scientists from Loyola University Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison tested the “mute” function of various video conferencing software for data security. They came to the conclusion that all of the reviewed apps theoretically have the ability to record audio even if muted. However, they only found the Cisco Webex app to capture audio telemetry data and send it to the Cisco server. The data collected is not an audio recording, but the telemetry data can already be used to detect background activity such as typing, cooking or cleaning. Additionally, the scientists discovered that some of the outgoing data was unencrypted, allowing plain text audio to be intercepted. Cisco Webex responded: Audio telemetry stops transmitting in mute mode.
Full article in PDF.
General information about Heise online.