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Fake news gaining momentum - Cyber Polygon 2020

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From common rumors to high-tech deepfakes: the experts will talk about the past, present and future of misleading news.

Vladimir Pozner and Nick Gowing will discuss the problem of fake news at the next annual online Cyber Polygon training, which will be held on July 8 of this year. The training is the official project organised by the World Economic Forum Centre for Cybersecurity and Sberbank Group with the support of INTERPOL.

Vladimir Pozner

Vladimir Pozner

The problem of disinformation on the Internet has become extremely relevant in recent years: it is being discussed by world leaders; in a number of countries, including Russia, special laws are being adopted; and platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and others are uniting together to combat online fakes. Fake news is causing serious damage to the world economy - according to experts, the global losses from such information attacks amounted to $78 billion in 2019. In Russia, this problem is also on the rise - according to a study by Medialogiya, in 2018, reports of fake news increased by 33% compared to 2017, and the total number of publications containing inaccurate information reached almost 21,000, which is 5,000 more than the year before

Nick Gowing

Nick Gowing

Experts predict that the development of technologies such as deepfake, or falsified audio and video footage, may further escalate the situation - Forrester estimates that losses from these types of attacks alone could exceed $250 million in 2020.

Vladimir Pozner, a renowned author with 50 years' experience in TV journalism, will meet with BBC's news presenter for 18 years and founder of Thinking the Unthinkable, Nick Gowing, at Cyber Polygon 2020 to discuss the impact of fake news on the wellbeing of businesses and entire nations. They will also share their vision of how disinformation will evolve and what needs to be done to address it.

In addition to the online stream, Cyber Polygon 2020 will also include a training exercise for technical specialists from major international corporations. The participants will develop a variety of skills: mitigation of cyberattacks, incident investigation, checking the IT perimeter for vulnerabilities, as well as collecting information about the attacks to be passed on to law enforcement agencies.

 

About BI.ZONE

BI.ZONE provides over 30 cybersecurity services, from cyber intelligence and consulting to incident investigation and response; develops its own advanced products and automated solutions for IT-infrastructure and applications security. BI.ZONE products help to automate detection and prevention of cyberattacks, while machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies allow to reveal attacks and fraud at an early stage. Official website: https://bi.zone.

 

Economy

Issuance of green bonds will strengthen the international role of the euro

Catherine Feore

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Eurogroup ministers discussed the international role of the euro (15 February), following the publication of the European Commission's communication of (19 January), ‘The European economic and financial system: fostering strength and resilience’.

President of the Eurogroup, Paschal Donohoe said: “The aim is to reduce our dependence on other currencies, and to strengthen our autonomy in various situations. At the same time, increased international use of our currency also implies potential trade-offs, which we will continue to monitor. During the discussion, ministers emphasized the potential of green bond issuance to enhance the use of the euro by the markets while also contributing to achieving our climate transition objective.”

The Eurogroup has discussed the issue several times in recent years since the December 2018 Euro Summit. Klaus Regling, the managing director of the European Stability Mechanism said that overreliance on the dollar contained risks, giving Latin America and the Asian crisis of the 90s as examples. He also referred obliquely to “more recent episodes” where the dollar’s dominance meant that EU companies could not continue to work with Iran in the face of US sanctions. Regling believes that the international monetary system is slowly moving towards a multi-polar system where three or four currencies will be important, including the dollar, euro and renminbi. 

European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, agreed that the euro’s role could be strengthened through the issuance of green bonds enhancing the use of the euro by the markets while also contributing to achieving our climate objectives of the Next Generation EU funds.

Ministers agreed that broad action to support the international role of the euro, encompassing progress on amongst other things, Economic and Monetary Union, Banking Union and Capital Markets Union were needed to secure the euros international role.

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EU

European human rights court backs Germany over Kunduz airstrike case

Reuters

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An investigation by Germany into a deadly 2009 airstrike near the Afghan city of Kunduz that was ordered by a German commander complied with its right-to-life obligations, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday (16 February), writes .

The ruling by the Strasbourg-based court rejects a complaint by Afghan citizen Abdul Hanan, who lost two sons in the attack, that Germany did not fulfil its obligation to effectively investigate the incident.

In September 2009, the German commander of NATO troops in Kunduz called in a U.S. fighter jet to strike two fuel trucks near the city which NATO believed had been hijacked by Taliban insurgents.

The Afghan government said at the time 99 people, including 30 civilians, were killed. Independent rights groups estimated between 60 and 70 civilians were killed.

The death toll shocked Germans and ultimately forced its defence minister to resign over accusations of covering up the number of civilian casualties in the run-up to Germany’s 2009 election.

Germany’s federal prosecutor general had found that the commander did not incur criminal liability, mainly because he was convinced when he ordered the airstrike that no civilians were present.

For him to be liable under international law, he would have had to be found to have acted with intent to cause excessive civilian casualties.

The European Court of Human Rights considered the effectiveness of Germany’s investigation, including whether it established a justification for lethal use of force. It did not consider the legality of the airstrike.

Of 9,600 NATO troops in Afghanistan, Germany has the second-largest contingent behind the United States.

A 2020 peace agreement between the Taliban and Washington calls for foreign troops to withdraw by May 1, but U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is reviewing the deal after a deterioration in the security situation in Afghanistan.

Germany is preparing to extend the mandate for its military mission in Afghanistan from March 31 until the end of this year, with troop levels remaining at up to 1,300, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.

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EU

Digitalization of EU justice systems: Commission launches public consultation on cross-border judicial co-operation

EU Reporter Correspondent

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On 16 February, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the modernization of EU justice systems. The EU aims to support member states in their efforts to adapt their justice systems to the digital age and improve EU cross-border judicial co-operation. Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders (pictured) said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of digitalization, including in the field of justice. Judges and lawyers need digital tools to be able to work together faster and more efficiently.

At the same time, citizens and businesses need online tools for an easier and more transparent access to justice at a lower cost. The Commission strives to push this process forward and support member states in their efforts, including as regards facilitating their cooperation in cross-border judicial procedures by using digital channels.” In December 2020, the Commission adopted a communication outlining the actions and initiatives intended to advance the digitalization of justice systems across the EU.

The public consultation will gather views on the digitalization of EU cross-border civil, commercial and criminal procedures. The results of the public consultation, in which a broad range of groups and individuals can participate and which is available here until 8 May 2021, will feed into an initiative on digitalisation of cross-border judicial cooperation expected at the end of this year as announced in the 2021 Commission's Work Programme.

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