EncryptoTel weekly digest(10.03.19)
Telecommunications as national security, Facebook’s new development strategy, and data scandal around Coinbase
The Netherlands will be able to block takeover deals in local telecom sector
The government of the Netherlands introduced a bill that would allow the Dutch authorities to block takeovers of local telecommunications companies, if such transactions are assessed as a threat to national security.
“The Internet, data transmission and telephone services are basic needs. Therefore, we want to protect this vital sector from undesirable impacts,” said Netherlands Deputy Economy Minister Mona Keyser.
If passed, the law will oblige anyone who is interested in purchasing telecommunications companies, data centers or hosting providers to submit an application to the Dutch Ministry of Economics, and then decide whether to allow or not.
The Dutch authorities will be able not only to block acquisitions, but also to cancel already concluded transactions , if they consider that they threaten national security or public order.
Work on the bill began after an unsuccessful attempt by Mexican company America Movil to acquire the largest Dutch telecom operator KPN in 2013.
Austria sold a range of 5G-waves for 188 million euros
Austria held its first auction for the spectrum of waves necessary for the deployment of 5G networks. The buyers were three nationwide mobile operators (T-Mobile, A1 and Hutchison Drei) and several regional companies.
“We want to be a leader in 5G. We also want this spectrum … to be fully utilized so that the population and business can use more capacity, ”said the chairman of the Austrian telecommunications regulator, Johannes Gunge, at a press conference.
According to the licenses issued, the three nationwide operators who are eligible to deploy 5G networks in all 12 areas of Austria will have to install at least 303 base stations for 5G networks by December 31, 2020, and by mid-2022 their number will have to reach 1000.
The Austrian budget managed to gain 188 million euros from the sale, which is 50 million euros more than the starting price. But compared to its closest neighbors, the first Austrian auction looks extremely pale: in October 2018, 6.5 billion euros was raised at an auction for the sale of 5G waves in Italy.
Zuckerberg has announced a change in the Facebook model
The main goal of Facebook in the near future will be the creation of a “platform focused on confidentiality,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. According to him, Facebook and Instagram were created as an analogue of the city square for communication between people.
“But people increasingly want private communication in the digital equivalent of a living room. Reflecting on the future of the Internet, I believe that a privacy-oriented communication platform will become more important than current open platforms. Confidentiality gives people the freedom to be themselves and communicate in a more natural manner, “wrote Zuckerberg.
Among the principles on which the new platform will be built, Zuckerberg mentioned end-to-end encryption, the lack of long-term storage of information shared by users in messages, an increased degree of security, and limited access to the data that users send to each other. As an example, the company intends to use WhatsApp. It is curious, that Facebook also has plans to launch its own cryptocurrency based on WhatsApp and aiming at the Indian market first. The number of open positions at Facebook has increased to 20 for specialists, that are one way or another connected with the blockchain technology.
Also worth mentioning is that Facebook will not build data centers in those countries that violate human rights, Zuckerberg said.
Coinbase is at the center of a scandal due to user data leakage.
One of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, the American platform Coinbase was forced to admit that one of its counterparties was selling customer data to external sources. This was told by Coinbase institutional sales director Kristin Sandler, explaining the exchange’s decision to acquire Neutrino, a startup that provides tools for analyzing transactions in the blockchain.
Coinbase acquired the Italian startup Neutrino in February for $ 13.5 million. When the information about the deal was made public, Coinbase was strongly criticized because two of the three co-founders of the startup, Marco Valleri and Alberto Ornaga, under the pseudonym NaGa and ALoR, founded HackingTeam, a hacking group which created a malicious Trojan that gave remote access to the files on infected devices, and collaborated with dictatorial regimes in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Sudan, Kazakhstan, Bahrain and Turkey. Journalists were also among the victims of HackingTeam, which is why in 2013 the international non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders called HackingTeam one of the five “enemies of the Internet.” Coinbase had to respond and reported that those employees who had previously been part of HackingTeam left the company. But the scandal was already unstoppable.
Hashtag #DeleteCoinbase is gaining popularity on Twitter and it is not clear how Coinbase will regain the trust of users that value privacy.
EncryptoTel continues to work on optimizing the interface
Over the past week, the developers of EncryptoTel have corrected a number of things related mainly to the interface. Here is a list of what have been done in the last update:
- fixed translation of week days in the Calendar section,
- eliminated the error with the disappearance of data in the sidebar of the Address Book section after clicking the cancel button,
- corrected the display of accepted currencies when choosing one of the languages of the personal account,
- fixed an error when creating IVR,
- fixed a bug when specifying PBX requirements
and much more.