Activities

Securing Free Communications

Electronic communications have developed into a critical utility for economic, social and cultural activity. The security of our electronic communications has thus become an issue of considerable public interest. Over the last decade, however, security incidents are increasing in both impact and quantity. While these come at substantial costs and harm for stakeholders and society in general, relevant market players may lack incentives to sufficiently address these rising levels of electronic communications vulnerability. Moreover, the Snowden revelations have illuminated that governments across the globe are committed to systematically weaken communications security. According to many, ‘cyber’ security has never been so critical, and systematically vulnerable, as today.

Against this background, the thesis examines how the European regulatory framework should protect end-user communications security. It aims to define and delineate the new concept of "communications security", inspired by historical, technical, political and fundamental rights research. It also examines if the current conceptual grounding in the conventional "communications layer model" needs to make place for so-called value-chain analysis to facilitate superior allocation of rights and responsibilities amongst communications security stakeholders. Upon completion, the project will be among the first multi-year research projects to comprehensively map and analyse the current European regulatory framework for communications security and explore rationales and criteria for regulatory intervention within this field.

Publications

De amendementen van de Richtlijn Burgerrechten op de e-Privacyrichtlijn

van der Sloot, B.

Zuiderveen Borgesius, F.

De e-Privacyrichtlijn, betreffende de verwerking van persoonsgegevens en de bescherming van de persoonlijke levenssfeer in de sector elektronische communicatie, is onlangs gewijzigd door de Richtlijn Burgerrechten. De wijzigingen worden in dit artikel benoemd en becommentarieerd. Enkele van de belangrijkste wijzigingen zijn de introductie van een opt-in-regel voor cookies, een meldplicht voor datalekken, de mogelijkheid voor providers om spammers in rechte aan te spreken en een artikel betreffende de implementatie en publiekrechtelijke handhaving van de e-Privactrichtlijn.

2010-10-15

On the fabrication of sausages, or of Open Government and Private Data

van der Sloot, B.

<p> Governments have become increasingly open and transparent over the last few years. Originally, this trend was largely based on the desire to give citizens access to governmental information, so that state policies and regulatory practices could be controlled and debated. The right to access of governmental data was directly linked with democratic values such as autonomous citizenship, public debate and control on governmental power. In the beginning of this century, emphasis has shifted to a new ground for requiring transparency, namely the re-use of public sector information. Re-use of governmental data by third parties is mostly executed by market parties with commercial interests. The principles of open government and data re-use specifically conflict with intellectual property and privacy rights. This article analyses the tension between open government policies and the protection of personal information from a legal perspective. Finally, it assesses whether and if so, how the two principles can be reconciled.</p>

2012-01-06