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Weekly News Roundup: Cybersecurity Ratings, EU Copyright Bill

Insurers create ratings service for cybersecurity industry

Some of the world's largest insurers have launched a joint program to evaluate cybersecurity software and technologies. New York City-based Marsh & McLennan's brokerage unit will collate scores from participating insurers, which will identify products and services considered effective. Corporate policyholders may use the designated offerings.

The Cyber Catalyst program will concentrate on offerings that address risks such as data breaches, business interruption, data corruption, and cyber extortion. Solutions include technology-based products such as firewalls and encryption, threat-monitoring tools, and training and incident-response planning. Potential benefits insurers stand to reap include reduced claims from hacking disruptions.

Cross-insurer collaboration has better odds of highlighting flawed cybersecurity products that manufacturers in global supply chains should avoid.

Swedbank fires CEO

Swedbank ousted its CEO Birgitte Bonnesen on March 28, one day after Swedish authorities raided the bank's headquarters as part of a growing money-laundering scandal involving billions of dollars of suspicious money, mostly from Russia. Bonnesen is the second chief executive to exit a Scandinavian bank over money-laundering control troubles.

Thomas Borgen resigned as Danske Bank's CEO last autumn as the Danish lender admitted it let more than US$230 billion in transactions, many of them suspicious, flow for years through its Estonian branch without proper controls.

United Kingdom detects security flaws in Huawei Telecom equipment

The United Kingdom authorities said a review has uncovered "significant" security defects in Huawei's' telecommunications equipment, adding credibility to US efforts to ban it from next-generation wireless networks. The alleged defects in Huawei's software engineering and security processes could be exploited by governments or by third-party hackers, threatening national security, according to a UK security report.

European Union sets new car safety requirements

The European Union has agreed to nearly 30 new auto safety requirements, which will apply to new vehicles in May 2022 and to existing automobiles beginning in May 2024. New cars will require an intelligent speed assistance system, which will display the current speed limit on the dashboard and cap the current speed.

Other new safety requirements include systems for automated emergency braking, advanced driver distraction warning, reversing detection, and new regulations for crash tests and windscreens. The agreement still requires final approval by the European Parliament and member states.

Hong Kong narrows extradition law

Hong Kong scaled back a proposed extradition law amid business concerns that the legislation could put people at risk of being sent to China for prosecution. Hong Kong Security Secretary John Lee said the government will remove nine categories, including bankruptcy, intellectual property, and securities and futures from the proposed extradition law.

French Muslim Council Sues Facebook and YouTube Over Christchurch Footage

The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) sued Facebook and YouTube, accusing the companies of inciting violence by allowing the streaming of footage of the Christchurch massacre on their platforms. The shooting at two mosques in New Zealand on March 15 was livestreamed on Facebook for 17 minutes, and then copied and shared across the internet.

Although Facebook said it raced to remove hundreds of thousands of copies, footage could still be found on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube a few hours after the attack.

EU Parliament Approves Copyright Bill

EU lawmakers approved a copyright directive March 26 intended to give writers and artists greater protection of their creative rights and incomes. The most controversial section would require companies like YouTube and Facebook to take responsibility for copyrighted material that is uploaded to their platforms.

Opponents claim the bill could restrict freedom of speech, hamper online creativity, and force websites to install filters, amounting to censorship. The European Parliament voted 348-274 to pass the online copyright bill, with 36 abstentions. Opponents argued the legislation, which had been in the works for three years, would stifle freedom and creativity online.

The directive updates existing copyright law. When enacted by member nations, companies such as Apple, Facebook, and Google parent company Alphabet likely would have to pay European artists more and do more to keep work that appears online from being used without permission.

“Web giants have been able to benefit from content created in Europe...transferring huge profits to the U.S. or China,” European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said. “Parliament has chosen to put an end to the existing digital Wild West.”

Nike Fined by EU Regulators Over Antitrust Violation

Nike has been hit with a US$14 million fine by the European Union's competition commission. The commission said the sports apparel giant prevented many of its licensees from selling soccer team merchandise across European borders, leaving shoppers with fewer choices and higher prices.

About the Author

Wendy R. Leibowitz is a freelance contributor. Her work has appeared in the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, and Chronicle of Higher Education.

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