Here is a quick round-up of this week’s technology headlines and related stories you may have missed:
- After weeks of speculation, Europe officially accused Google of engaging in anti-trust practices. The European Commission alleges that Google "abused its dominant position" in Internet search by "systematically favoring its own comparison shopping product in its results pages." The Commission also opened an investigation into Google’s Android operating system to determine whether Google provides incentives to handset manufacturers and telecoms to favor Google services on Android devices. Google rebutted the allegations in a blogpost and said that it would defend itself before the Commission.
- Lots of China news this week. First, China announced that it is suspending its new cybersecurity regulations for its banking sector, which require Chinese banks to only procure IT that is “secure and controllable” and that “indigenous” products be considered for purchase. Chinese officials, however, have made clear that they are not abandoning the rules, but revising them in light of the concerns expressed by Chinese banks, not necessarily the complaints of Japanese, European, and American officials. Second, China’s Ministry of Public Security and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security agreed to establish a dialogue on cyber issues "to achieve concrete cooperation and set a path to reestablishing a full government to government cyber dialogue." China suspended its participation on the China-U.S. Working Group on Cyber Issues when the U.S. Justice Department indicted five members of the People’s Liberation Army last year. Lastly, Xinhua criticized FireEye’s APT30 report, which exposes a decade-long cyber espionage campaign against targets consistent with Chinese intelligence priorities, as an attempt to "blacken" China’s image and "alienate" China.
- The Netherlands hosted the Global Conference on Cyberspace, the fourth iteration of a conference series originally launched by the United Kingdom in 2011.During the conference, the Dutch launched the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise to build knowledge and capacity on cybersecurity, cyber crime, e-governance, and data protection issues in countries that require it. As with the previous conferences part of the London process, the Dutch issued a Chair’s statement, which focuses heavily on cybersecurity, international security, and privacy. Prior to the Conference, Foreign Ministers from G7 countries issued their annual communiqué, with a section dedicated to cyber issues.
- The Washington Post reported that U.S. officials are considering technical options that would allow them to access encrypted data through the "front door." Unlike the Clipper Chip debate from the 1990s, where the government proposed holding encryption keys in escrow and only access them pursuant to a lawful request, NSA Director Mike Rogers suggested breaking up the keys, so that not one single person or agency could use it. U.S. officials argue that such a system could maintain the integrity of encrypted communications while providing an option for law enforcement to access them when necessary.