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[ISN] World's richest call for Web security standards
From: William Knowles (wkC4I.ORG)
Date: Thu Oct 26 2000 - 14:57:45 CDT
Source: AFP|Published: Friday October 27, 7:38 AM
BERLIN, Oct 26 - Internet experts from the world's wealthiest
countries attending a conference on crime in cyberspace today,
recommended international security standards to protect users and
The 100 specialists who gathered in Berlin as representatives of the
Group of Eight (G8) top industrialised nations urged member countries
at the close of their three-day meeting to develop standards to
protect users from fraud and institutions from hacker attacks.
Michael Niebel, an information security expert and a German delegate
to the conference, said they had also agreed that each member country
should establish an authority on cybercrime to coordinate law
enforcement efforts on the Web.
In each country, there needs to be a place one can turn to on these
issues, which could eventually be linked in an international network,
Separately, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder told a computer users
conference in Hanover today that binding international security
standards were essential to foster users' confidence in the Internet
and facilitate crime fighting.
Internet crime is a global problem, Schroeder said.
Fighting it thus requires global measures, better international
cooperation and above all binding international minimum standards.
Schroeder added that it would be reasonable to use US standards for
online payments and so-called electronic signatures in order to foster
the development of commerce on the Internet.
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said at the start of the G8
meeting on Tuesday that cybercrime cost 50 billion euros ($A80.09
billion) annually and that the G8 countries needed to strike a balance
between cracking down on criminals on the Web and respecting privacy.
Otto Schily, the German interior minister, opened the conference with
a call to find common standards for what is acceptable on the Web,
including for such contentious topics such as pornography and
extremist political sites because values and laws vary radically.
Delegate Giuliana del Papa, an Italian diplomat, said that cultural
and constitutional differences between countries made it nearly
impossible to set binding international standards on content.
The issue of political extremism on the Internet is particularly
sensitive for Germany, which takes a harder line on hate speech than
many of its European and US partners due to its Nazi past.
The G8 comprises the world's seven leading industrialised countries,
Canada, Italy, France, the United States, Britain, Japan and Germany,
The conference was a follow-up to a dialogue on cybercrime between G8
governments and industry begun in Paris in May and continued in
Okinawa, Japan in July. The experts are to meet again in Tokyo next
"Communications without intelligence is noise; Intelligence
without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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