Mar 8, 2018

EU member of parliament eyes vulnerability disclosure process

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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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 665,164 — Total deaths: 30,852 — Total recoveries: 140,225.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 124,665 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

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