D66 wants safety standards internet-of-things devices

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The D66 wants official European safety standards for devices that connect to the so-called internet of things. Devices that do not meet these standards should be banned, parliamenterian Kees Verhoeven said in an interview with NU.nl. He will submit a proposal addressing this to Dutch parliament next week. 

The European Commission is currently investigating whether such safety standards are an attainable goal. But the D66 thinks that the Netherlands can already take some steps to increase safety itself, such as a Dutch label that can inform consumers about the security on their devices. "This subject requires real attention, because there are so many devices that are increasingly designed to connect to the internet", Verhoeven said to the newspaper. "In the Netherlands we can already take steps to ensure that people buy advices that at least have a greater chance of being safe."

The proposal also calls on the government to investigate whether software manufacturers can be held responsible for the security of their products. "Of course, software is never 100 peercent safe", Verhoeven wrote in the proposal. "But not paying enough attention to the quality of software or not updating software in time is a form of negligence." He wants the security of a device to form part of the guarantee - if the producer can not come up with a solution, they can be held liable.

Verhoeven also wants to establish a official Dutch threat analysis team, consisting of security experts and gadget producers. This team should analyze threats to infrastructure and propose solutions to these threats. The National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) currently performs a similar function and Verhoeven wants this team to form part of the Center. But only if the Center becomes more independent, and not remain part of the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Seucurity.

The D66 worry that being part of the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism could lead the NCSC to not recommend better encryption for protecting consumers, for example, because this would hinder intelligence services in their fight against terrorism. "I fear that the independence of the NCSC may come under pressure as we increasingly think in terms of fighting terrorism, while consumer protectin is also very important", Verhoeven wrote.

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