Author: Editor

Smart Meters – managing critical infrastructure cyber risks requires diligence, focus and deep expertise!

By Krzysztof Swaczyński   It’s time to act for Power and Utilities across the EU!   According to Annex 1 of the Electricity Directive 2009/72/EC (currently replaced by Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on common rules for the internal electricity market), 80% of the electricity meters rolled out to consumers by 2024 are required to be meters of a new generation, commonly named ‘smart meters’ (subject to a cost benefits analysis), as a part of the ‘smart grid’ concept. While the deployment of the electrical ‘smart grid’ infrastructure increases its functionality, the risk associated with its operation increases. Complex solutions which are implemented to run it require an advanced approach to the identification and management of cybersecurity risks. The power grid, which is one of the most crucial pieces of critical infrastructure, tops the list of interest of various APTs (an APT is an...

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The most huggable Dutch hacker

By Roel van Rijsewijk   Inspiring conversations with Rickey Gevers   This time at my kitchen table a conversation with Rickey Gevers, perhaps Holland’s best-known hacker amongst the general public. Nowadays he helps organizations to respond to cyber-attacks, what we call ‘incident response’. Not a very predictable job, so the conversation was a bit hard to schedule. A conversation about ‘hacking’: the use of systems for which they are not intended. And then the tricky boundaries of what is and what isn’t allowed with or without the best of intentions. A difficult issue that has dominated the discussion since the emergence of this phenomenon. Especially now that all kinds of critical infrastructure such as trains, locks, traffic lights and chemical factories can also be hacked.   He owes his fame to the fact that young Rickey had the dubious honor of being the first Dutchman ever to be arrested for a hack. Of course I want to...

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Is Freedom of expression better off with Elon Musk controlling Twitter?

By Rob van den Hoven van Genderen   On April 25th, Twitter’s board of directors accepted Musk’s offer of $54.20 per share, or $44 billion, for total control of the company. Although there are some hurdles to pass in legal administration there is a big chance that Elon Musk is directing the course of Twitter for the future. He advocates absolute freedom of expression, while Twitter currently still closely monitors the statements of its users. What will be best for the freedom of expression? Do we want the village square back where everyone can say what is on his /her/gender-free mind?   I commented the issue on BNR and will give this personal view also in this column. In a coming article of “HP de Tijd” I also gave this opinion in a pro/contra discussion where the statement was “Moderation on Twitter is necessary”. The pro person was Paul Tang, MEP on behalf of...

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The invisible war in the fifth domain

By Roel van Rijsewijk   Inspiring conversations with Boudewijn Boots   The kitchen table conversation is again not at my kitchen table. I travel to The Hague to speak at the old offices of the Ministry of Defence with Boudewijn Boots, a Vice Admiral in the Royal Navy, since March 8, 2021 Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces and thus also a member of the Cyber Security Council. Our armed forces have traditionally operated on land, at sea and in the air. With space as the fourth domain, we are going to talk about the defense of the fifth domain: cyber space.   The boy from Brabant who wanted to go to the sea After a small delay caused by a closed Coentunnel, I arrive a few minutes late at the impressive historic Defence building where I have to pass uniformed doormen who indicate that I was already wanted. A little intimidated by this and nervous that I’m...

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Our values as a society are reflected in digital developments. For me: the Hippocratic Oath

By Gabriëlle Speijer   During the industrial revolution, urbanization produced diseases like cholera and typhoid fever that put enormous pressure on public health through contaminated drinking water. The obviousness of the provisions we have made socially for pure drinking water for all will have to become analogous to how our society takes control when it comes to data and technology in the current technological revolution.   Awareness of the foundation In society, the awareness that technology is already continuously intervening in our daily life appears to be lacking. We conduct transactions on the Internet without any certainty about everyone’s identity. Personal information is frequently used for financial gain behind the scenes without clear agreements. Organizations seem to be facing more and more challenges in representing a common mission. We see that responsibility based on function or role increasingly shifting to a set of rules and protocols. All this justifying leads to an increasing administrative burden and...

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Seven sins of Big Tech

By Bernold Nieuwesteeg   New European legislation is a first step to restrain the power of Big Tech. The largest dominant American tech companies (also known as Big Tech) have become even more powerful due to the corona crisis. Therefore, their sinful anti-competitive behavior must be restrained further.   In December 2020, the European Commission introduced two comprehensive legislative packages: The Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA and DSA are innovative laws. They force Big Tech to give innovative young companies access to their data, which is of great value. Still, I fear that it will all be of little use if we do not take extra steps right now.   The power and strength of Big Tech has risen to extra­ordinary heights, because of the corona crisis. An example: the joint R&D budget of Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft exceeded 100 billion euros in 2020. This...

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We nihilists

By Hans Schnitzler   You can safely call him the icon of the information age: the computer geek. This designation stands for a highly educated professional group, a ‘virtual class’ of computer scientists, system builders and game developers, who have succeeded in becoming the dominant cultural force in a very short time. Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 by Steve Jobs, services such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat or the cloud have become indispensable. This is a huge achievement, which raises a question that is rarely asked: how did the tech elite manage, in just fifteen years, to create an environment that feels like a second skin to most people?   In my soon-to-be-published book We Nihilists, I try to formulate an answer to this question. Spoiler alert: the world that techies imagine and present to us is the world we want; their ambitions and dreams are essentially ours. In other words, what...

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Six Questions on Data and Privacy to… KNLTB

By Robert Jan Schumacher   The Koninklijke Nederlandse Lawn Tennis Bond (KNLTB) is the overarching organisation of the tennis and padel sports and the tennis and padel associations in the Netherlands. It is the second largest sports federation in the Netherlands. The KNLTB advises and supports boards of associations in the field of policy, accommodation and in legal disputes and is responsible for national and regional competitions, tournaments and the training of teachers and referees. We spoke with Robert Jan Schumacher, Director of Services, about the data and privacy aspects of the Dutch tennis and padel federation. How to operate on a national level and on an international level? And how does the KNLTB view the €525,000 fine they received from the Dutch DPA (Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens) at the end of 2019?   Question 1) The KNLTB works together with, among others, NOC*NSF and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. This collaboration is very important...

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It’s all about digital transformation

By Joris Willems – Partner and Head of Technology Group at NautaDutilh   NautaDutilh is an international law firm that advises clients under Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg law. It has offices in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels, London, Luxembourg and New York. With over 400 lawyers, notaries and tax advisers, it is one of the larger law firms in the Benelux. For this edition, we spoke with Joris Willems, Partner and Head of Technology Group at NautaDutilh about technology, smart contracts, digital transformation and more. Joris deals with complex multi-jurisdictional transactions on a daily basis.   Question 1) The brief introduction above already gives a good impression of you. Can you tell me a bit more about your career path and your current position at NautaDutilh? When I started out at Höcker Advocaten in 1999, I was regularly mistaken for a kind of helpdesk, even though I was in fact an IT/data lawyer. Could I perhaps help with...

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Converse, Crack, Construct!

By Roel van Rijsewijk   Inspiring conversations with Marleen Stikker - Waag, Amsterdam   This time, I am talking to Marleen Stikker: the “mother of the creative industry”, according to Job Cohen, an Internet pioneer and currently director of Waag, the research institute for art, technology and society. Not at my kitchen table, as we are meeting in the beautiful historic building that houses the Waag office: Huis de Pinto in Amsterdam’s Jodenbreestraat.   The curiosity of a systems thinker I’m a bit early so I walk to the bookshop ‘Het Fort van Sjakoo’, “specialized in libertarian and radical ideas from the first to the fifth world and beyond”. A bookshop with activist and anarchist literature that has been here since 1977 in a former squat. I love to sniff around there and thought it would be fitting as a preparation for my conversation with Marleen, who was associated with the squatters’ movement in Amsterdam in the 1980s....

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