INTUG Discusses Telecoms Vulnerability, Security, Privacy, Cloud, EC Proposals, Telecoms Market

On 26 November our Dutch member BTG hosted an interactive meeting for a select audience in Amsterdam under the title A Secure, Innovative and Connected Europe.

After a detailed introduction to the Dutch telecommunications market by Ed Achterberg, CEO of Telecompaper, the attendees listened to Peter Spijkerman, Director-Chief Inspector of the Radio Communications Agency Netherlands who discussed telecoms vulnerability. His main message was that we put too much trust in wireless connections, as we have become very dependent on them. Business and organizations should develop resilience and disaster plans for telecommunications.

Next on the agenda were privacy and security issues in the light of the cloud computing trend and the revelations of spying on businesses and citizens by national governments. Nico van Eijk from the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam successfully challenged the notion that we can avoid being spied on and protect our businesses by building "national" or "European clouds". Most cloud services fall under US jurisdiction and non-US persons outside the US lack 4th amendment rights concerning surveillance. Businesses should upgrade their data security. They must analyze critical/non-critical data, and must always encrypt their critical traffic.

Carlota Reyners Fontana, Member of the Cabinet of European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes explained the European proposals for a single market for telecommunications in great detail. She said that operators have to let go of the business models of the past. National members should contact their NRA, the competent ministry, and national and European members of parliament in order to support the single market proposals.

In the discussion that followed, INTUG Executive Vice President Nick White applauded the commission for its work and challenged BEREC's comments, offering the commission INTUG's support. He also presented a comparison of the proposals and the issues that are important for business users, showing that most of these are included in the plans of the commission.

The last speaker, Ruud Hendriks, co-founder of the business incubator Startupbootcamp went out of his way to illustrate that not only incumbents but also alternative operators have failed miserably in adapting to the new telecoms and ICT landscape and in addressing the needs of customers. If they would think out of the box more often, if they would have dealt with the roaming issue sooner and would have embraced VoIP, they wouldn't have lost so much revenue.

Source: INTUG

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