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Website accessibility proposals condemned by blind organisation

European Blind Union logo for Your Expert Witness storyEU proposals on accessibility of public websites for blind and partially-sighted people are "too little, too late", according to the European Blind Union.

On 3 December the European Commission published a legislative proposal on the accessibility of public websites. According to the EBU, it had promised legislative action for years, and the proposal was the Commission's first attempt at delivering on that commitment. It was meant to "...make sure that public sector websites (and websites providing basic services to citizens) are fully accessible by 2015", as set out in the European Commission's Digital Agenda for Europe.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 18:21


Ban development of ‘killer robots’, argues campaigner

Cover of report on killer robots by Human Rights WatchA leading campaigner against the use of unmanned 'drones' on the battlefield has warned that the pre-emptive prohibition of fully autonomous weapons is needed. Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield would take defence technology a step too far, according to Steve Goose, director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch.

Writing for the PublicServiceEurope newsletter, he argued that a number of governments, including some European states, are pushing forward with the development of fully autonomous weapons – also known as killer robots. Furthermore, they are being developed without the populations of these countries being aware of it.

"These are weapon systems that will function without any human intervention," he wrote. "The armed robot itself will select its target and will determine when to fire. This is a frighteningly dangerous path to follow in terms of the need to protect civilians during armed conflict."
The biggest danger is that, without a 'human hand' to guide it, the weapon would destroy indiscriminately.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 16:17


ICO issues encryption warning after council fined for data breach

Generic pcb picture for Your Expert Witness storyThe Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has reminded public and commercial organisations that sensitive personal information should be encrypted when being stored and sent electronically.

The warning came after Stoke-on-Trent City Council was penalised £120,000 following a serious breach of the Data Protection Act that led to sensitive information about a child protection legal case being emailed to the wrong person.

Stephen Eckersley, Head of Enforcement at the ICO, said: "If this data had been encrypted then the information would have stayed secure. Instead, the authority has received a significant penalty for failing to adopt what is a simple and widely used security measure.

Last Updated on Sunday, 28 October 2012 17:29


IEEE apologises for data security lapse

On 25 September it was reported that the usernames and passwords of around 100,000 members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) were found unencrypted on a FTP server by University of Copenhagen researcher Radu Dragusin. The incident was reported in various specialist journals for computer security experts as well as in the general computer press.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 October 2012 17:46


Government offers advice to major companies on fighting cyber crime

Pixel map of Europe for Expert Witness story on cyber crimeToo few company chief executives and chairs take a direct interest in protecting their businesses from cyber threats, according to new advice from the Government. In order to address the problem, government departments have joined forces with experts at GCHQ to target senior level executives in the UK's largest companies and provide them with advice on how to safeguard their most valuable assets, such as personal data, online services and intellectual property.

Cyber Security Guidance for Business was launched on 6 September at an event attended by FTSE 100 CEOs and chairs, ministers from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Foreign Office, Cabinet Office and Home Office, and senior figures from the intelligence agencies.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 September 2012 14:38