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Security and privacy: the eternal dilemma

Europe/Innovation/Policy di

“Security and privacy. The eternal dilemma “. Sometimes it is so. Sometimes not. From a relative and business perspective, privacy is one of the fundamental aspects of security, meaning that a bug in the privacy system will involve considerable damage to the company and its customers.

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In the enterprise field, and in almost the whole world, the issue of privacy is recognized as one of the fundamental ones, which may imply – in the larger companies, the separation of the post of privacy “officer” or “consultant” from the most generic post of “security manager”. But from an absolute point of view, privacy and security are two titans destined for confrontation. What and how you oppose? Undoubtedly in Europe there is a double need: on one hand making Europe citizens grow and progress in terms of human rights and individual rights, and perhaps privacy, at first glance it would seem one of the most important individual rights almost to rise, nowadays, in the category of natural rights.

From another point of view, it is necessary that national and European institutions literally invade the privacy of residents and foreigners who apply to reside in the old continent. This, of course, for clear reasons of public order and security, in order to counteract the sad phenomenon whom every day we hear and read: from illegal immigration to migrants smuggling, from terrorism to money laundering.

And that’s why Europe is taking on regulatory instruments to govern on the one hand the duties / rights in the field of private citizens and, secondly, the duties / rights of the institutions towards the citizens. We are talking, respectively, of the Regulation and the Directive on Data Protection. “Regulation” and “directive” are two very general words, which bear far more complex legal and long nomenclatures, but, in the data protection background, interested people can immediately understand what they refer to.

In both normative sources, upcoming promulgation – it  seems that both measures have passed the steps of the discussion in trilogue – roles, responsibilities, recipients and “actors” of the data protection system and, consequently, privacy are defined and soon they will cover Europe, the United States and Third Countries. Much importance will be obviously assumed by the national controller authorities, which are already partly coordinated by the European Data Protection Supervisor.

From an operational point of view and spare change, however, it should change little, but it will be very useful once and for all to give uniformity to the individual national laws and procedures to provide common data access and litigation systems.

In any case, to date, the European and national institutions acting in the field of security are – in extreme and deep synthesis – legitimate holders of power related to the use, collection and retention of data, to fulfill their purposes and founding their institutional purposes. The so called “Swedish Initiative”, the “Prüm Decisions” are nothing more than legal attempts, already adopted or in the process of transposition in national law, in order to provide a better use of these information and their exchange between Authorities.

And this is the knot of the question: according to the European and national case-law, the compression of the right to privacy has so far been generally considered correct, if the same interest conflicts with higher interests, such as the right to life, or the principle that it must a crime must be prevented or brought to completion. In fact these – let’s call them philosophical – principles, are underlying the legislative existence of disparate databases – even if, some of them, are not yet operational – that support justice and European police forces in their daily mission of prevention and contrasting crime.

In this specific sector there have been fundamental judgments of the European Court of Justice who have disciplined and completely redesigned the architecture of data protection, especially in the economic relations with major US giants, which are in fact the monopoly of social communication and service providers online.

For example, think about the famous sentence on the “Data Retention” (to Security-vs-Privacy-420x300which we refer integrally) that made completely skip the agreements so far perfectly and “efficient” between EU and US. Before the sentence, every non-EU state, which managed European citizens’ data was in fact free to manage by itself: or rather, despite having to ensure an adequate data protection regime, it was quite free from forms of controls and inspections by the EU institutions. The  so called principle of the “Safe Harbour” proved to be insufficient to protect the privacy of citizens who entrusted to the giants of the global telematics their data, their own interests and their own photographs. Following the judgment, the “Safe Harbour” has been completely revised and replaced by a safer agreement called “Privacy Shield “.

European institution which is tasked with signing these agreements is the Commission. The agreement has developed has developed a new legal system putting, so to speak, “the stakes” for the United States, providing clear guarantees and transparency requirements applicable to access to data from the government of the US, by imposing specific obligations on companies and a robust application, providing effective protection of the rights of EU citizens with different possibilities of litigation and devising a mechanism of annual joint review of the effectiveness of the shield.

So, to sum up, Europe is not in contrast with common sense: on the one hand provides for the guarantee of the right to privacy issues and fundamental rights, on the other manages to balance strongly her action of collecting information necessary to safeguard of its citizens, defending its interests and its autonomy from friends across the Atlantic.

On this dilemma some very strong doubts remain, especially with regard to national legislation. Consider, for example, in countries where prostitution is illegal. Many political movements or currents of thought are clamoring for the legalization and the drafting of specific rules. A writer’s opinion is that a law in matter can never be enacted, precisely for reasons of privacy, even if the “prostitution” topic is touches many others: human rights, gender-based violence, exploitation, immigration, acts of disposal of his own body and so on.

If a law to regularize and reinstitute prostitution would issued, the same would conflict – without limitation – with rules requiring the accommodation lists to be communicated to the authorities (and thus to enter into the databases). Inevitably a client and a prostitute would be identified, and a profile of the people who attend the same prostitute or who usually frequents that area could equally be traced or, worse, sexual habits (which are, for now, quite rightly, a as sensitive) could be profiled. Again, it is essential for the authorities to know hotel customer records (that can be crucial in resolving judicial and investigation cases) and hotel owners are oblige to communicate them.

Here the dilemma: to protecting the public interest or  the individual interests?

Domenico Martinelli

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Kuwait delays the Eurofighter deal

Innovation di

 

A contract for 28 Eurofighter aircraft was to sign on 31st January between Italy and Kuwait. As an Italian Ministry of Defence source referred, the signature was delayed for “procedural reasons”. No leak about next meeting.

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The contract follows a memorandum of understanding signed between the Italian Minister of Defence Roberta Pinotti and the Kuwaiti colleague Khaled al-Jarrah al-Sabah in September 2015. According to the document, Kuwait has ordered 28 Eurofighter Typhoon (22 single-seat and 6 twin-seat) for a total value of 8.7 billion dollars. Announced deadline in 20 years.

The Eurofighter Consortium is driven by aerospace and defence industries of four European countries: Germany and Spain (Airbus), United Kingdom (BAE System) and Italy (Finmeccanica). But it’s the Italian company to grab the contract with Kuwait. Over 50% of the value of the deal will be earned by Finmeccanica, which will provide the design, development and production of the aircraft (Alenia Aermacchi) but also the on-board electronic systems (Selex ES).

The deal signed with Finmeccanica ends a negotiation begun in 2010, after Kuwait decision to replace the existing fleet of F-18 Hornet held by its air force. Initially, the choice fell on a new fleet of F-18 Super Hornet produced by the United States. However, repeated delays in the acquisition induced the emirate to opt for the Eurofighter programme. It is likely this choice also hides military and strategic considerations.

The F-18 is a swing-role, twin-engine and supersonic fighter, able to carry air-to-air and air-to-land weaponry. Though employed for several tasks (aerial recognition, close air support, interdiction and fighter escort), the F-18 is mainly a fighter-bomber and was introduced in Kuwaiti armed forces after the Gulf War.

Despite sharing similar features with the F-18 (both are twin-engine and multi-role aircraft), the Eurofighter Typhoon is primarily an air interdiction and air superiority fighter. Faster and more manoeuvrable, the aircraft is provided with electronically scanned array radar and advanced navigation, discovery and attack sensors. Technologically advanced munitions, mainly designed for air-to-air combat, complete the technical specifications of the aircraft, which has already shown its value in different operational theatres, such as Libya or the Baltic States.

Al-Shabab’s choice to rely on Eurofighter seems to reflect a national strategy aimed to strengthening the defensive military capabilities rather than the offensive ones. Twenty-eight air-superiority fighter jets will ensure greater safety in Kuwaiti skies, given their ability to intercept enemy aircraft or planes illegally entering Kuwait’s air space. Indeed, high speed and manoeuvrability make the Eurofighter the ideal candidate to intervene, should an imminent threat from neighbouring countries arise. Considering Kuwait geographical position and the level of insecurity that characterises the Middle East, Kuwaiti decision does not sound that inappropriate.

Kuwait’s urgency in reaching a deal first with the US, then with Italy, shows a feeling of uncertainty and the necessity to strengthen its military assets, in the view of a deterioration in the regional environment. After latest delays due to caveats about pilots’ training (Kuwait has agreed to train its pilots in Italy and not in the UK as initially requested), last obstacle is the approval from the Audit Court of Kuwait, which –apparently- didn’t have enough time to evaluate the final terms of the deal (Best and Final Offer, BAFO). As Minister Pinotti highlighted, during Wednesday meeting in Rome the Kuwaiti Minister of Defence has reiterated the willingness to sign the deal as soon as possible.

On its side, Italy has all the reasons to hold on such a commitment. First, a 20-year contract with a Middle Eastern country gives Italy the chance to reinforce its presence in a key strategic area, rich of commercial opportunities. Secondly, the contract gives Finmeccanica a significant economic momentum. As gen. Tricarico, former Chief of the Italian Air Force, states, “the contract is particularly important because it allows maintaining production lines -which would have fallen into disuse over years-, thus allowing also keeping jobs and know-how skills”. Finally, Italy’s leading role in the deal will have a two-fold benefit on our country: on one hand, it will allow Italy to gain weight within the Eurofighter consortium; on the other, a renewed confidence in its capabilities could lead Italy to rethink its position in the international affairs.

 

Paola Fratantoni

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France: new NH90 for Operation Barkhane

Defence/Innovation/Politics di

The Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), the French defence procurement agency, confirms the acquisition of six additional tactic transport helicopters (Caiman model) from NH Industries, the Italian-French-Dutch industrial group owned by Finmeccanica, Airbus and Fokker. The delivery has been scheduled between 2017 and 2019.

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These new acquisitions are part of a more comprehensive renewal program to increase the helicopter fleet up to 74 Caiman units (44 of these to be delivered by 2019). The target is to reach, by the end of 2025, a fleet of 115 tactical NH90 helicopters, goal set in the Defence and Security White Paper in September 2013. As Guillaume Faury, President and CEO of Airbus Helicopters, highlights, “French armed forces have deployed the NH90 operationally in Mali, where its outstanding endurance, versatility and manoeuvrability have been greatly appreciated”.

The decision follows the request from the Army Air Corps to strengthen the capabilities of Operation Barkhane, in Africa. Last January, Gen. Oliver Gourlez de la Motte, chief of the Army Air Corps, announced the service goal to strengthen its forces, by providing 10 additional helicopters to the fleet, to be chosen between both attack and transport models. Last month, indeed, the DGA has ordered from Airbus Helicopters 7 Tiger attack helicopters, which will be delivered between 2017 and 2018.

The aim is to improve the capacity of French armed forces to conduct air-land operations in the Sahel region, in Sub-Saharan Africa. The NH90 has already been deployed in several operational theatres, showing capabilities and characteristics that make it an important resource for French forces engaged in Operation Barkhane. First of all, as already mentioned, its versatility. The NH90 can be employed in response to different tactical needs:

  • Troop and light armament transport, as it can carry up to 20 soldiers or 2.5 tonnes armaments;
  • Casualty evacuation with 12 stretchers;
  • Cargo airlift;
  • Combat, search and rescue operations.

Moreover, the additional equipment allows it to fit various needs that might arise in the operational theatre. The NH90 is provided with an automatic pilot and fly-by-wire (FBW) controls, a system that replaces traditional manual controls with an electronic interface. This reduces the workload for pilots, and makes the NH90 easier to manage. In addition, night vision sights, armor protection and electronic counter-measures make it suitable for combat operations.

These characteristics show how this vehicle becomes essential in an environment such as Sub-Saharan Africa. As we know, Operation Barkhane is a counter-terrorism operation, led by France in the Sahel region since August 2014, with Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Chad as participating countries. The aim is to contrast the presence of jihadist militants in the region, supporting the efforts of partner countries and to prevent the creation of terrorist sanctuaries. The 3000 soldiers engaged in the mission are based in two permanent fields, one in Gao (Mali) and the other in N’Djamena (Chad). Detachments are sent to temporary bases, located in the mission’s participating countries, from where missions to support their soldiers are launched. Therefore, it is clear how troop and armament transport is necessary to conduct the operation. Moreover, the particular environment –temperature, geographical and territorial conformation, etc.- is a key factor in elaborating interventions. The NH90 proves to be suitable for the African environment, given its endurance and versatility, which is essential in areas where difficulties and resource scarcity might undermine the aim of the mission and the lives of the soldiers involved. “The additional order of six NH90- says Guillaume Faury-…confirms the essential role that new-generation multi-role helicopters play in modern operations”.

It seem that attacks and threats to French nation and security have not changed its commitment towards foreign operations, in particular in missions targeting Islamic terrorism. By contrast, those elements, which proved to be effective, have been strengthen and pressure is made to the Government in order to reinforce French military capabilities. It is not just a matter of number of forces available but also – and most of all- of quality and technology, which have to be suitable for the type of environment and threat that soldiers are facing.

 

Paola Fratantoni

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Risk Assessment in drone warfare policy

Americas/Innovation di

Capable of long endurance and being refueled during the flight, they are almost invisible and extremely precise. There is nothing more that you can expect from a weapon. Drones, which are not only aircraft, became the most controversial weapon in the new way of conducting wars. Especially from the beginning of the war against terrorism that legitimates the use of asymmetric technology, in order to contrast an asymmetric threat. The term “asymmetric” is incorrect, but for convenience we will continue to use it.

 

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Drones have been largely deployed in the conduct of secret military operations even in restricted air zones, outside the official war zones, with the purpose of eliminating individuals. Targeted killing missions, directed from thousands miles away with the use of local intel, conducted by firing rockets from unmanned aircraft in order to hit specific parties directly or indirectly connected with terrorist cells. The United States government doesn’t talk about the use of drones in specific missions in Iraq or Afghanistan, although it is believed that drones have been used in Pakistan as well for a long time. On one hand there no precise data or numbers exist. On the other hand, the terrorist organizations or the authorities that deal out the attacks have the tendency to exaggerate numbers and statistics. The biggest mistake made is probably that insufficient attention has been paid to the consequences of these campaigns on the victims and societies involved. Victims are not only those directly involved or wounded in the attacks but the entire community, which perceives those operations and the way they are conducted illegitimate and unfair. Zhao Jinglun affirms that, according to President Obama’s point of view, these policies are somehow themselves legitimate.

The Guardian defines the fear caused by those operations as “civil terror”. President Obama is just following the path of his predecessor George W. Bush with this policy, and it is believed that drone operations are also conducted in the horn of Africa, not just in Yemen or Pakistan or on any of the traditional battlefields. Drones: myths and reality in Pakistan (2013) reports the following: “CIA Director Leon Panetta was particularly forceful about trying to get Pakistani officials to allow armed drones to fly over even wider areas in the northwest tribal regions” and, regarding the reactions of the Pakistani administration, “It is thus amply clear that the military does not oppose drones, but seeks control over their use, or at least to leverage the debate to obtain more say over target selection”. But there is still the reality of the numbers in the field. According to the Bureau of investigative journalism more than 2000 deaths have been reported since 2006, with the highest percentage registered in 2010. Hundreds of civilians are involved, and hundreds have not yet been identified.

Retired Gen. Stanley Mc Crystal states the following: “The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes … is much greater than the average American appreciates. They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who’ve never seen one or seen the effects of one”.

On the ground we have learned what the use of this weapon can be, its new possibilities, the political decisions that lay behind the deployment of such technology, States should build and shared a new and comprehensive risk assessment framework. But what kind of elements need to be considered? Certainly the introduction of such weapon brings new outcomes, in some cases revolutionizing policies and military strategies.

What are the facts emerging?

  • The deployment of military and the managing of related tactics in ground operations are largely effected by the use of drones. Either equipped or with a standard profile, this instrument is able to offer a wide grid of chances that in the past were available only with high financial costs – for example using drones and replacing helicopters, saving human lives, etc. Some of them can be carried on ships, can be flown and land as planes or helicopters. Versatile and able to operate in any kind of weather condition, drones represent an exceptional weapon. They can guarantee enhancement of air superiority, extending the power in the air and consequently on the ground (or views) and therefore improving the so-called soft power also in peace or no conflict situations. Air reconnaissance can be carried out and implemented during terrestrial reconnaissance, before, throughout and after military operations, supporting troops and providing essential information.
  • It would be desirable that policy makers could discuss the use and consequences of this weapon, hopefully under the guarantee of some kind of international agreement. Certainly this is unlikely to happen given the present situation, especially since lots of operations are still covered and classified. The absence of public debate is a concern, and the possibility that this happens because governments conduct secret operation, is probable and likely to be the reality of the facts.
  • Negative effects are serious, clear and numerous. Not only are we unaware of the effective number of the attacks that have been conducted, but we also are ignorant of the exact number of fatalities. A report released by the NY University reveals how the attacks impede the aid from humanitarian organizations arriving in the impacted zones. Therefore, the local population involved in the attacks is forced to abandon places without being able to return and recover their lives. The terror that these kinds of operations are causing is widespread and generic, what I have previously described as “the fighter syndrome”.
  • Drones are largely known as weapons with different capabilities. One of the biggest threats that has to be considered, and is not so remote, is the possibility that this technology will one day be used by non-governmental parties. This is already so, and with the rising of the ISIS threat is likely to become another possible reason of concern.

 

Therefore, it would be desirable to create intergovernmental commissions that, together with panels of experts and international observers, could investigate the causes and effects of these policies.

Some of the actions that should be undertaken are:

  • Making policies regarding the use of drones more transparent, both in the national and international debates.
  • Establish a common legal framework so as to be able to establish common policies and best practices. Work closely to extend the jurisdiction of the International Courts and international law regarding the new profiles that are emerging.
  • Enhancing international law application and accountability that, respecting national sovereignty and therefore creating a safe framework for all those non-governmental organizations that cannot presently operate and provide support in distressed areas.
  • Open a confrontation on important issues on drone policies, such as rules for reconnaissance, quality of the targets, procedures for engagement and reliability of the information that are the basis of the decision-making process.
  • Create a support system able to intervene promptly at a local level and capable of absorbing the negative effects that arise from targeted operations. These operations can be carried out with the use of volunteer non-governmental organizations and military, diplomatic and political efforts. Peace keeping and peace enforcing operations could also help, as would more efforts to guarantee humanitarian corridors. Considering that it is almost impossible to eliminate the margin of error, responsibilities and accountabilities should always exist.

 

Francesco Danzi

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Data Protection in EU

Europe/Innovation/Policy/Social di

Data Protectione in Europe travels on two main channels: the juridical-legislative one and more operational one, which normally takes effects in Internal Affairs.

 

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In facts, Brussels has been looking for a long time to regulate the delicate topic, which clearly founds large difficulties, due to the large differences between the  legal systems of the Members States. As we already mentioned on europeanaffairs.media, Europe legislates under a procedure known as co-decision,  jointly divided, although with different tasks, between the EU Council and the European Parliament.

Two legisltative instruments are being studied in the Council: a Directive and a Regulation. As known, one commits Member States to a result and, at most, within specified timelines, leaving some margin of discretion to the countries concerned on how to achieve the goal. The other tool, however, binds in detail  all EU states.

At the table of the Council Group dealing with the matter, called DAPIX (Data Protection Information Exchange) and its subgroups, sit – for almost all member states – representatives of the judiciary and the Privacy Authorities, that interface from time by time on the various chapters and articles of the texts in question, and that relate to their Countries on ongoing proceedings.  In certain subgroups, also representatives frome the Police Forces of the Member States, who are directly involved in the use of databases for purposes of investigation and prosecution, have the task to intervene and to converse on the effectively outcomes produced by specific legislation of the sector, such as the c. d. Prüm Decisions.

Recent rumors portend that the approval of the the two pieces of legislation – the one with general characteristics and the other laying down more stringent ones – it’s pretty close and that the current Presidency, currently assigned to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, wants to remove all possible obstacles. On the sidelines of the legislative process in place, we must mention the presence of a major European institution: the EDPS, the European Data Protection Supervisor.

Since the European institutions deal with collection, recording, store or use of the information related to the data of EU citizens, one of the main tasks of the European Institution is, of course, to act as a checker on compliance with current privacy laws. But this form of control is also reflected in the handling of complaints from citizens who call upon its intervention and the management of related disputes, or in the surveillance of new technologies that in any way may affect data protection. Last but not least, an advisory function to the institutions and bodies on all aspects related to the processing of personal data and related policies and legislation is ensured. The Role of European Supervisor is currently governed by the Italian magistrate Giovanni Buttarelli.

The adoption of common rules on  protection of personal data, which deserves a lot of volumes of discussion, is a complex and sensitive area that will produce inevitable effects even in enterprise security and the economic system of the Member States. Consider, for example, the establishment of the post of Privacy Officer, who will become a key figure in the decision making of enterprises and that will assist the Security Manager in the management of the  security  of logic and digital information.

 

Domenico Martinelli

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“Technological” Defense

Innovation di

«If the Allies had not understood the Enigma Cipher Machine operation, World War II would have had a different ending», said the British Intelligence Officer Frederick Wintherbotham, anticipating the future global trend of conflicts’ evolution. By the expressions “electronic war” and “technological war”, skilled specialists indicate the development of various fighting’s methods, focused on research and innovation. But progress plays a fundamental role also in terms of strategic response at the modern offensive, to restore stability in compromised geopolitical context.

There are numerous examples of this, such as the storage of biometric data by iris’ scanning for identification of jihadists, a system developed by the US, as well as the Predator, the Italian Air Force drone used to peek at the movements of Libyan and Afghan. Hence, the need to strengthen cooperation not only between different countries, but also more directly between Army, industry and university. This is an indispensable synergy to be up against threats of international terrorism and cyber attacks. A modern security pullback based on “dual systems”, which is valiant for both civil and military uses, is necessary also to revolutionize the culture itself. Strumentazioni all’avanguardia e personale addestrato al loro utilizzo.

Advanced equipment and personnel trained in their use. In this sense, the Defence White Document gaves clear instructions: it’s important to draw up a transparent long-term planning, which guarantees the efficiency of resources and an adequate enhancement of the national industrial excellence, for innovation and for job opportunities. Everything must be done in order to choose the best companies that represent a chance of growth for Italy, currently leader in the segments of aerospace and weapons production. For this purpose, specific plans will identify the best districts, creating partnerships outlined between Defense, business, universities and research world. The program will also cover the expenditure items. The last purchase marked on the Defense budget, concerns an American missil equipment for robot aircraft, while the powerful drone “Piaggio” is the novelty of “made in Italy” industry.

Europol's Cybercrime center against Child sexual abuse

Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) has supported Italian law enforcement authorities to shut down a hidden service for distributing child sexual abuse material. The house of the Italian administrator has been searched and 14 000 bitcoin wallets have been seized.

Operation Babylon began two years ago when the Italian Postal and Communications Police uncovered a hidden service within the Darknet that was facilitating the exchange of child sexual abuse material. It was also servicing crime by hosting sellers of illegal commodities such as weapons, passport and identity documents, counterfeit and cloned credit cards, hacking services, and close to 210 sellers of drugs. The marketplace administrator earned a percentage from all of these transactions.

Italian State Police, supported by Europol’s EC3 and undercover agents from Italy’s National Centre for the Fight against Child Pornography Online (CNCPO), subsequently began an investigation to close in on the identified anonymised hidden service. Investigators discovered thousands of images online of young victims being abused, which were being exchanged by paedophiles in many hidden online locations on the Darknet. The investigation continued with the seizure of this illegal content.

Europol’s EC3 provided support and coordination during the operation, the exchange and sharing of vital information and intelligence, and on-the-spot technical support in Campania, Italy, on 29 July 2015.

DAN EUROPE tests underwater drone

CADDY is an underwater drone and floating satellite designed to understand the body language of a scuba divers in distress.

The Cognitive Autonomous Diving Buddy, from where the acronym originates, is an EU-funded project currently being tested to ensure it is smart enough to be used by divers who scan the seabed alone.

“When you consider that half of diving accidents involve unaccompanied scuba-divers, CADDY will surely revolutionise the underwater experience. DAN Europe is very proud to contribute to the development of such a revolutionary piece of technology, especially since it guarantees diver safety, which is pivotal for our organisation,” said Prof. Salih Murat Egi, coordinator of the project for DAN Europe.

As part of the project, DAN is currently involved in the vehicle testing and regulating the manoeuvring capabilities of the devices to ensure all equipment used is safe.

“Diver safety is an essential component of the CADDY project and whenever diver safety is involved, DAN steps in. We’re here to represent the diving community and assist to build future technologies that will take diving to the next level,” he added.

CADDY is essentially composed of two ‘robots’ operating autonomously — one from the surface and another one from the vicinity of the diver. The latter will interpret a scuba-diver’s behaviour and is intelligent enough to detect anomalies. Meanwhile, the surface robot navigates the underwater drone and can communicate with the command centre in case of emergency.

CADDY has three main functions to ensure a safe and carefree diving experience: guide the diver, continuously monitor his body language, and assist his work through automated camera and torch light.

“DAN’s team of experienced researchers is also reviewing a system that generates an automatic diver status report generation system and testing the use of sophisticated acoustical communication technologies that relays the diver cognitive status to the command center” said Prof. Egi.

The diving buddy will also be trained to guide a diver from one spot to another on a predefined path so in case of emergency, the diver will be steered to a safe route to the surface or vessel.

PR25-2015 – Europe’s MSG-4 weather satellite delivered into orbit

BreakingNews @en/Innovation di

The last weather satellite in Europe’s highly successful Meteosat Second Generation series lifted off on an Ariane 5 launcher at 21:42 GMT ( 23:42 CEST) on 15 July from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

The two-satellite MSG system provides up-to-date weather coverage over Europe and Africa every 15 minutes and ‘rapid scan’ imagery over Europe every five minutes.

Some 40 minutes after launch, MSG-4 separated from Ariane 5 into the planned transfer orbit. Over the next 10 days, the satellite’s propulsion system will raise it into a geostationary orbit some 36 000 km above the equator, where its speed matches Earth’s rotation.

Once these initial efforts are completed by ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, MSG-4 will be handed over to the satellite’s owner, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites – EUMETSAT – to commission the payload.

ESA’s Director General, Johann-Dietrich Woerner, commented, “After just two weeks as the new DG for ESA, it has been a pleasure not only to witness the launch of this satellite, but also observe the continued cooperation between ESA and EUMETSAT.

“Tonight’s launch allows the continuation of high-quality observations of weather from space, including rapid detection and warning of extreme weather situations – imperative for keeping European citizens safe.”

After commissioning, MSG-4 will become Meteosat-11 and be ‘stored’ until it replaces one of its predecessors. It will then ensure the continuity of the data until the first Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellites enter service, expected in 2019 and 2021.

“We have learnt a lot from the long-term storage of satellites, which we can use for other operational systems such as the Sentinels,” noted Volker Liebig, Director of ESA’s Earth Observation Programmes.

“The excellent health of the Meteosat satellites in orbit means the launch of MSG-4 comes five years later than expected.”

ESA’s contribution to weather and climate watch is not limited to the Meteosat series of satellites – it has also developed the Meteorological Operational satellites MetOp, also operated by EUMETSAT.

Additionally, the ESA-developed Sentinel-4 and -5 missions dedicated to monitoring the composition of the atmosphere for Europe’s Copernicus programme will be carried on the MTG and MetOp Second Generation satellites, respectiv

European Agencies and ATM Security.

skimmer_800_800On June 10th, Europol and ATM Security Team reiterated their collaboration in contrasting the so-called “payment crimes”, during one of the three annual meetings of the Team, held to Europol Headquarters in The Hague. “Security team” means EAST, the European ATM Security Team, a European non-profit organization, whose task is to collect and disseminate information to and from installe  rs and bank ATM networks (ATM = Automated Teller Machine).

Europol Centre against Cybercrime (EC3) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with EAST, in order to further strengthen cooperation in the fight against all forms of crime linked to ATM cards and credit cards, including virtual fraud, i.e. those that are committed in the absence of normal magnetic supports, by malware or other hi-tech techinques, or by physical attacks to ATMs themselves.

The MoU will allow to exchange data and strategic information, between the Agency and the EAST, meaning that one of the three annual meetings of the tastierino-400x300same team will be always held at the Europol headquarters in The Hague, just as has happened for the first time in the abovementioned cisrcumstance.

Beyond the statements made by leaders of the two organizations, Europol has recognized the seriousness of the physical or virtual attacks to ATM systems, and has prepared a document containing guidelines about the threat. The document (the drafting was coordinated by the EAST) will be disclosed in the coming days and is an example of a coordinated response between security agencies and the world of finance banking, aimed to contrast the emerging and increasingly worrying growth of some criminal phenomena such as, for example, the “skimming”.

For non-experts, we point out that “skimmers” are devices that can read the magnetic strip of debit cards and credit cards, directly into the ATM slots. Obviously, the very high nanotechnology of these “readers”, is associated with the use of illegally concealed cameras, positioned in such a way to spy on the finger movements of the money pickers, recording the numbers that form the PIN sequence.Un momento della prima della firma del protocoloo d'intesa

Domenico Martinelli
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