NSA Spying Scandal Sparks a New European Smart Home Platform to Protect Privacy

NSA Spying Scandal Sparks a New European Smart Home Platform to Protect Privacy

NSA Spying Scandal Sparks a New European Smart Home Platform to Protect PrivacyShutterstock.com

How data security tensions play into the approaches that Cisco, ABB and Bosch are taking to cloud-connected home automation

Jeff St. John
April 21, 2015

In Germany, a country considering broad new regulations to prevent citizens’ data from being passed through U.S.-based servers, a new consortium is promising a home automation platform that will keep its customers’ data within European borders.

Late last month, appliance maker Bosch, home automation player ABB, and networking giant Cisco announced they’re teaming up to create a technology platform for smart home deployments, starting in Europe. Dubbed Mozaiq Operations, the new consortium is promising to develop cloud-based software and in-home networking for use by appliance makers, home security vendors, consumer electronics manufacturers, automakers and other parties that want support for internet-of-things devices and applications.

But unlike the home automation platforms being built by Google and Nest or Apple for U.S. markets, Mozaiq will operate as a behind-the-scenes, white-labeled platform for other companies. And importantly, the consortium is promising that it will “not own the data of the customer, and [will] not mine the data of the customer,” Dirk Schlesinger, senior director at Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, told me in an interview earlier this month.

“In the European context, that’s extremely important, because there’s a certain amount of apprehension by some to give their customer profiles to some companies,” he said. Mozaiq can also “guarantee that all the data is physically hosted in Germany,” or in specific countries chosen by its partners, he said. “We have to provide these capabilities, otherwise the whole thing won’t fly.”

These distinctions are becoming much more significant in light of Germany’s recent moves to limit data-sharing across U.S. servers and data networks suspected of being monitored by the U.S. National Security Agency.

Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly proposed the creation of a European communications network that would strictly limit the transmission of emails and other electronic data outside of Europe. The move is in reaction to the ongoing flow of news reports, based on evidence disclosed by NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden, that the NSA may be spying on European citizens.

In 2013, for example, the German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that documents provided by Snowden and subsequent investigation showed that the NSA had for years been monitoring the cell phones of European leaders, including Merkel. Further disclosures from Snowden indicate that the top-secret PRISM program has allowed the NSA to collect data from the servers of U.S. companies including Google, Apple and Facebook.

These companies have denied complicity with, or knowledge of, the U.S. government having direct access to their servers or data. Even so, last month a European Commission official warned EU citizens that they should not consider their personal data to be secure if it passes through U.S. companies’ servers.

Merkel’s newly announced plan to discuss a European-only internet with French President François Hollande is likely to be poorly received in the United States. The U.S. Trade Commission has labeled similar proposals from Deutsche Telekom as a “draconian measure” meant to “provide protectionist advantage” to European companies.

Schlesinger declined to comment on specific U.S. companies in relation to these issues. But he did point out that unlike companies that look to home automation as a channel to reach customers with more commercial offerings over time, or to make use of their data for profitable purposes, “we do not have to own the customers, because we’re making our money enabling the home automation experience for other customers.”

“We provide the platform, but we do not provide the applications,” he said. Instead, participating companies will pay Mozaiq for its services, build in-home hardware to its specifications, and then brand the services and manage the customers’ data in the manner of their choosing, he said.

The consortium hasn’t yet named other would-be members of its “partner alliance,” and it does not control how they may choose to manage their customers’ data. But “if you look at the German companies, they say that data privacy is an inherent value” to gaining customers, he said.

Customer data security has already arisen as a key issue for German utilities and retail energy providers. The Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI), Germany’s information security office, is overseeing privacy and security aspects of the country’s smart grid rollout, and has put customer data security rules in place as a prerequisite to wide-scale deployment of smart meters and in-home energy data collection devices.

Mozaiq’s architecture calls for an in-home device, or customer premise equipment, that can store and run certain basic functions without access to the cloud-based platform, which also have to meet BSI regulations, Schlesinger said.

Mozaiq hasn’t yet launched a commercial offering. “We do have a small-scale test environment which is up and running, but that’s totally internal, and it has been in a controlled environment,” in an ABB office building, said Schlesinger. “We’re aiming for a large-scale pilot with real households, including mine, starting in September, and then to go with a full-scale implementation starting early next year.”

Tags: abb, bosch, cisco, data, data privacy, edward snowden, europe, mozaiq

Jeff St. John

Reporter covering the green technology space, with a particular focus on smart grid, demand response, energy storage, renewable energy and technology to integrate distributed, intermittent green energy into the grid.

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM

If you are here to read about smart meters and find articles that look like they have nothing to do with smart meters; it is because in fact they do.  Everything, we as a human race are facing today is related to our human rights.  Smart meters are just a part of the problems, but it is the most urgent, at this time, because of the health impact it is having globally on the population.  It is 2015 and the majority of the public either are still not aware of smart meters and or they don’t understand the harm the meters are causing……the sinister, sick group behind the dismantling of our rights and safety has to be stopped and it won’t happen until  people realize that they are selling the people a reality that is simply not true or real….Sandaura
Published on Jan 28, 2015

A 36-year veteran of America’s Intelligence Community, William Binney resigned from his position as Director for Global Communications Intelligence (COMINT) at the National Security Agency (NSA) and blew the whistle, after discovering that his efforts to protect the privacy and security of Americans were being undermined by those above him in the chain of command.

The NSA data-monitoring program which Binney and his team had developed — codenamed ThinThread — was being aimed not at foreign targets as intended, but at Americans (codenamed as Stellar Wind); destroying privacy here and around the world. Binney voices his call to action for the billions of individuals whose rights are currently being violated.

William Binney speaks out in this feature-length interview with Tragedy and Hope’s Richard Grove, focused on the topic of the ever-growing Surveillance State in America.

On January 22, 2015: (Berlin, Germany) – The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is proud to announce that retired NSA Technical Director and GAP client, William “Bill” Binney, will accept the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award today in Berlin, Germany. The award is presented annually by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) to a professional who has taken a strong stand for ethics and integrity. http://whistleblower.org/press/nsa-wh…

Would You Like to Know More?

Subscribe to the Peace Revolution podcast produced by Tragedy and Hope: http://www.PeaceRevolution.org

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM

If you are here to read about smart meters and find articles that look like they have nothing to do with smart meters; it is because in fact they do.  Everything, we as a human race are facing today is related to our human rights.  Smart meters are just a part of the problems, but it is the most urgent, at this time, because of the health impact it is having globally on the population.  It is 2015 and the majority of the public either are still not aware of smart meters and or they don’t understand the harm the meters are causing……the sinister, sick group behind the dismantling of our rights and safety has to be stopped and it won’t happen until  people realize that they are selling the people a reality that is simply not true or real….Sandaura
Published on Jan 28, 2015

A 36-year veteran of America’s Intelligence Community, William Binney resigned from his position as Director for Global Communications Intelligence (COMINT) at the National Security Agency (NSA) and blew the whistle, after discovering that his efforts to protect the privacy and security of Americans were being undermined by those above him in the chain of command.

The NSA data-monitoring program which Binney and his team had developed — codenamed ThinThread — was being aimed not at foreign targets as intended, but at Americans (codenamed as Stellar Wind); destroying privacy here and around the world. Binney voices his call to action for the billions of individuals whose rights are currently being violated.

William Binney speaks out in this feature-length interview with Tragedy and Hope’s Richard Grove, focused on the topic of the ever-growing Surveillance State in America.

On January 22, 2015: (Berlin, Germany) – The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is proud to announce that retired NSA Technical Director and GAP client, William “Bill” Binney, will accept the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award today in Berlin, Germany. The award is presented annually by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) to a professional who has taken a strong stand for ethics and integrity. http://whistleblower.org/press/nsa-wh…

Would You Like to Know More?

Subscribe to the Peace Revolution podcast produced by Tragedy and Hope: http://www.PeaceRevolution.org

Israeli Supreme Court Rejected the Lawsuit to Ban Wi-Fi In Schools

Apr 29, 2015

About the Author
Dafna Tachover, Esq. (NY, Israel) MBA

Israeli Supreme Court Rejected the Lawsuit to Ban Wi-Fi In Schools

Today, April 29th, 2015, after 2 years and 9 months after the petition was submitted, the Israeli Supreme Court decided to reject our lawsuit to ban the use of Wi-Fi in schools. This is the bad news.

It felt that the Court was desperate to reject the lawsuit and despite vast and unequivocal evidence that the Government is lying and misleading the Court, it’s experts are providing conflicting statements etc, nevertheless, the Court ruled that it can intervene with Government action only when there is proof of extreme unreasonableness on the part of the Government. And since the government established “experts” committees to examine the issue, then the Court cannot rule that its actions are unreasonable.

The Good news is that when it came to Electrosensitivity – the Court stated that if the Government would not adhere to it’s statement that the Ministry of Education will deal with every case of a child with EHS on an individual basis, then the Court wrote that “THE DOORS OF THIS COURT ARE OPEN”. However, the court ignored the fact that the government has been ignoring these children in the past 3 years.

We shall definitely use these “Open Doors” to sue on behalf of the sick children.

The decision is a sad decision. The Court itself provided problematic interpretation to the evidence, interpretation which was contrary to the evidence itself and which was aimed to serve its wish to dismiss the case. When I took the case to Court, most attornies told me I have no chance and that the Court would not rule against the government, especially not the current court which is not what it used to be. I refused to believe and wanted to beilieve there is at least one place of justice that if a just case will be brought to it, it will listen. I was disillusioned.
In Hebrew I would say as to the Court’s decision: “לית דין לית דיין”. The translation in English: a situation in which there is no justice and no judge…

It’s a sad day for the children of Israel and the world.

It’s a sad day to me as an attorney and a person who seek justice to see what have become of the Israeli Supreme Court – an insinuation in which I used to be proud and now, it’s a weak institution which avoid the real issues and looks for the easy way out.  In a world where governments are corrupt, the Court should have been a place for the “small citizens” to get justice and enforce their rights. Unfortunately, it’s no longer the case.

I’m very proud of this case. In a just world and proper court we should have won. I feel we did all that is possible and conducted a perfect case. Really proud.

Despite losing the case, we have won in many ways. We have created much media buzz in Israel. And while when we started we were about 10 people fighting the wi-fi in schools in Israel, now we have thousands of people and we have a very supportive media. In terms of increasing awareness we have succeeded.

And we shall continue. As the Court wrote – “its doors are open for the electrosensitve children” – We will definitely go into these doors.

I’m very thankful to everyone who was involved with this case. First on the list is my father, Avraham Tachover. Who is my rock and help me in so many ways. I’, the luckiest person to have such a father.

I’m also want to thank Amir Borenstein, www.norad4u.com, who was my partner in this case and for  the other attorney in the case, Michael Bach, for his tenacious work.  Also special thanks to Yael Levin, a mother, and a lioness!

I’m thankful for the brave children who are the victims of this corrupt government, policy and weak court. You should be very proud of yourself. You helped us bring change.

I’m also grateful for the parents, for the experts, for my friends and especially to Attorney Dan Yarkoni, Attorney Dani Alyagon, and Mor Sagmon. And I’m very grateful for the immense support from around the world.

Press here for Link to the decision

http://ehsfighback.blogspot.co.il/2015/04/israeli-supreme-court-rejected-lawsuit.html

Could smart meters be smarter? ComEd critics say yes…….DAH!

April 29, 2015

Could smart meters be smarter? ComEd critics say yes

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