Luxembourg’s Bid to Become the Silicon Valley of Space Mining


In the 1980s, during the nascent days of the satellite communications industry, Luxembourg foresaw the fat cat it could become. The tiny European nation, known for steel manufacturing and tax breaks, provided financial support and passed regulations that allowed its homegrown satellite company, SES, to thrive. And because it provided that early support, one of the globe’s smallest countries came to host the world’s second-largest commercial satellite operator.
Luxembourg liked the way that went down. And now, 30 years later, the country is positioning itself to iterate on that plot, in a different off-Earth industry: asteroid mining.

wired.com

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A New Era of Mass Surveillance is Emerging Across Europe


The world was a different place when, in October 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) struck down the “Safe Harbour” data-sharing agreement that allowed the transfer of European citizens’ data to the US. The Court’s decision concluded that the indiscriminate nature of the surveillance programs carried out by U.S. intelligence agencies, exposed two years earlier by NSA-contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden, had made it impossible to ensure that the personal data of E.U. citizens would be adequately protected when shared with American companies. The ruling thus served to further solidify the long-standing conventional wisdom that Continental Europe is better at protecting privacy than America.

justsecurity.org

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Slovakia bars Islam from becoming state religion by tightening church laws


'We must do everything we can so that no mosque is built in the future'

The government in Slovakia has approved a law effectively preventing Islam being registered as a state religion for a number of years.
The bill was proposed by the Slovak National Party (SNS), and requires a religion to have at least 50,000 followers before it qualifies for state subsidies.
According to the most recent census, there are currently around 2,000 Muslim people living in Slovakia out of a population of 5.4million, and there are no registered mosques.

independent.co.uk

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EU-US Privacy Shield open for sign ups from today


U.S. companies needing to transfer personal data of European customers across the Atlantic can now sign up to a new framework to govern such data transfers, with the so-called EU-US Privacy Shield up and running from today.
The European Commission has also now published the legal texts associated with the Privacy Shield agreement, along with a citizens guide — which aims to provide information to EU consumers as to how they can go about making complaints about the handling of their data by US companies, should they feel the need to.
The new data transfer deal was officially adopted by the EC last month, bringing to a close some nine months of limbo in the wake of the region’s Court of Justice decision to topple the predecessor framework last year (while failing entirely to end the uncertainty that the demise of Safe Harbor has wrought — given that critics continue to question Privacy Shield’s robustness to future legal challenge).

techcrunch.com

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Don't forget the role of the press in Brexit


They lied and they got away with it and that’s outrageous – since the referendum this sentiment has prompted hundreds of thousands of words of commentary, and rightly so. A crisis so grave and unexpected inevitably makes us suspect some underlying, fundamental shift that we must hurry to comprehend, and so ideas that were not previously at the centre of our thinking have arrived there, with a bang.
We ask ourselves whether we have entered a post-factual society dominated by emotion, whether social media are killing the truth, whether society is fracturing in ways that traditional political discourse can’t express.

opendemocracy.net

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Encryption backdoors appear on EU data chief’s ban wishlist


Revised ePrivacy laws should guarantee confidentiality of communications and encourage encryption, the European Union’s data watchdog has said.
European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Giovanni Buttarelli published his official opinion on the review of the ePrivacy Directive on Monday.
An overhaul to the so-called Cookie Law is currently be worked on by officials at the European Commission, with the completion date expected before the end of the year to bring it into line with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

arstechnica.co.uk

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The Italian job - Italy’s teetering banks will be Europe’s next crisis


INVESTORS around the world are extraordinarily nervous. Yields on ten-year Treasuries fell to their lowest-ever level this week; buyers of 50-year Swiss government bonds are prepared to accept a negative yield. Some of the disquiet stems from Britain’s decision to hurl itself into the unknown. The pound, which hit a 31-year low against the dollar on July 6th, has yet to find a floor; several British commercial-property funds have suspended redemptions as the value of their assets tumbles. But the Brexit vote does not explain all the current unease. Another, potentially more dangerous, financial menace looms on the other side of the Channel—as Italy’s wobbly lenders teeter on the brink of a banking crisis.

The Italian job

economist.com Italy and Systemic Failure

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EU Banks Need $166 Billion, Deutsche Bank Economist Tells Welt


Europe urgently needs a 150 billion-euro ($166 billion) bailout fund to recapitalize its beleaguered banks, particularly those in Italy, Deutsche Bank AG’s chief economist said in an interview with Welt am Sonntag.
"Europe is extremely sick and must start dealing with its problems extremely quickly, or else there may be an accident," Deutsche Bank’s David Folkerts-Landau said, according to the newspaper. "I’m no doomsday prophet, I am a realist."

bloomberg.com

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EU-Parlament stellt Weichen für Websperren gegen Terror


Der Innenausschuss des EU-Parlaments drängt darauf, terroristische Webseiten zu löschen und notfalls auch zu sperren. Entwickler von Malware für Terrorakte sollen sich strafbar machen. Wenn Anschläge befürwortet werden, soll auch das strafbar sein.
EU-Abgeordnete fordern, dass Provider deutlich schärfer gegen extremistische Propaganda im Internet vorgehen. Als "wirksamstes Mittel" gegen illegale terroristische Inhalte empfiehlt der federführende Innenausschuss, diese "an der Quelle" zu entfernen. Die Mitgliedsstaaten sollten daher "alles in ihrer Macht Stehende unternehmen", um darauf auch gemeinsam mit Drittländern hinzuarbeiten. Lässt sich der inkriminierte Content nicht löschen, sollen die EU-Nationen aber auch Maßnahmen treffen können, mit denen der Zugang dazu blockiert wird.

heise.de

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Last chance to have your say on new EU spam and cookie law


There are just 24 hours left to respond to a public consultation on the EU’s so-called Cookie Law. The European Commission plans an overhaul of the more correctly named ePrivacy Directive before the end of the year to bring it into line with the new General Data Protection Regulation.
The use of cookies in the UK is governed by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), based on the ePrivacy Directive, which require organisations to provide clear information about how cookies are used on their website and allow people to opt in or opt out from having non-essential cookies placed on their device.

arstechnica.co.uk

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Europol’s online censorship unit is haphazard and unaccountable says NGO


Europol’s Internet Referral Unit (IRU) celebrated its first birthday at the weekend, but civil liberties organisations are worried that it goes too far in its efforts to keep the Web free from extremist propaganda.
The IRU has been up and running since July 2015 as part of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC) in the Hague. The unit is charged with monitoring the Internet for extremist propaganda and referring “relevant online content towards concerned Internet service providers” in particular social media. Much was made of how the IRU could "contact social network service provider Facebook directly to ask it to delete a Web page run by ISIS or request details of other pages that might be run by the same user."

arstechnica.com

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Mir ist das persönlich schnurzegal


Die EU-Kommission steht in der Kritik, weil sie die nationalen Parlamente nicht über das CETA-Abkommen abstimmen lassen will. Eine juristische Analyse ergab laut Kommissionspräsident Juncker, dass die Zuständigkeit bei der EU liege. Ihm persönlich sei das "schnurzegal".
EU-Kommissionspräsident Jean-Claude Juncker hat die Einschätzung seiner Behörde zum Freihandelsabkommen mit Kanada (CETA) verteidigt. Die Frage der Zuständigkeit sei auf Grundlage einer juristischen Analyse beantwortet worden, sagte er nach dem EU-Gipfel in Brüssel. Es sei absurd zu behaupten, dass er persönlich ein Mitspracherecht nationaler Parlamente verhindern wolle. "Mir ist das persönlich relativ schnurzegal", sagte Juncker. "Ich werde nicht auf dem Altar juristischer Fragen sterben."

tagesschau.de EU will Ceta ohne nationale Parlamente ratifizieren Juncker: "Hören Sie mit dem österreichischen Klamauk auf"

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