Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Internet forgives and forget in the European Union

“If, following a search made on the basis of a person’s name, the list of results displays a link to a web page which contains information on the person in question, that data subject may approach the operator directly and, where the operator does not grant his request, bring the matter before the competent authorities in order to obtain, under certain conditions, the removal of that link from the list of results.”  This is how the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled yesterday in relation to the "right to be forgotten" in a case started by a Spanish lawyer against Google 5 years ago. This sentence has caused much controversy both inside and outside Europe as a consequence of the ongoing struggle between the right to privacy and the right to information in a world increasingly more and better communicated.

While in Europe judges have resolved whether to be forgotten is a right or not, in the United States, U.S. Navy sailors can forget about having fully functional ebooks readers. For security reasons, their e-readers will not have any feature that can be exploited by the enemy. That means zero connectivity: no ports, no  WiFi and no data connection.

On the other hand, those who are still thinking that Linux is an impregnable system can also forget such idea. Not only because there is no 100% secure system, but also because it has been discovered a critical vulnerability in its kernel brought in all versions since 2009.

However, U.S. Ambassador in Uruguay, Julissa Reynoso, cannot forget the episode that she lived some days ago. A prisoner in the country where she is ambassador got her voicemail password, accessed to her voice messages, and sent messages to her contacts in an attempt to commit fraud. The identity of the man has not been disclosed, neither the method he used.

For sure, gamers have not forgotten the time when video games were loaded from a cartridge in 8-16 bits consoles. At that time, the Internet was still almost an illusion to most of us. Therefore, we didn’t need to worry about phishing, cyberbullying, scams, theft of game characters or malware which are the biggest threats for gamers today, according to Kaspersky Lab. Kaspersky also said Spain is one of the 20 countries that emit most spam in the world. In fact, 66.34% of total Spanish email traffic was spam in the first quarter of 2014.

Do you forgive but not forget? Or you are in line with the European Court and you also think that some things are better to be forgotten? Leave your comments!


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