The European Commission building in Brussels, Belgium. Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

European Union MP Marietje Schaake proposed creating an EU-wide rule describing when governments must disclose security flaws to manufacturers. Governments often use these security flaws for surveillance.

Why it matters: There is no way to guarantee that only well-meaning governments use a vulnerability that a nation intends to use for surveillance. In a blog post Thursday announcing her intent to seek an EU standard for disclosure, Schaake noted, "We live in an age where vulnerabilities are leaked or sold by criminals to those with potentially geopolitical motives, and where certain governments are stockpiling vulnerabilities as offensive weapons."

The U.S. has such a rule, the Vulnerability Equities Process. The VEP was flung into the spotlight in 2017 when a massive global cyberattack used a leaked code believed to be written by the NSA to become more virulent. The Obama administration developed the VEP but kept it secret. A number of critics, including many in the tech industry, questioned whether the VEP was adequately representing citizen's cybersecurity interests.

  • The Trump administration quickly committed to increasing its transparency, and released a VEP charter in November that introduced an annual report to give a limited outline of VEP deliberations in the prior year.
  • Schaake cited the U.S. charter in her blog post to encourage her peers. "Last year the White House released its Vulnerabilities Equities Process, which provides some increased transparency around this process in the US. It is high time for us to do the same in Europe," she wrote.

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Deadly storm Zeta pummels parts of Alabama and Florida

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Former Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm's powerful winds and heavy rainfall moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," Zeta weakened to a tropical storm over central Alabama early on Thursday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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