News for Belgium

 Page 1 of 10   Next›  Last» 

Radiation concerns halt Brussels 5G development, for now
Belgium Created: 1 Apr 2019
Plans for a pilot project to provide high-speed 5G wireless internet in Brussels have been halted due to fears for the health of citizens, according to reports.

In July, the government concluded an agreement with three telecom operators to relax the strict radiation standards in Brussels. But according to the Region, it is now impossible to estimate the radiation from the antennas required for the service.

"I cannot welcome such technology if the radiation standards, which must protect the citizen, are not respected, 5G or not," Environment minister Céline Fremault (CDH) told Bruzz. "The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt," she added.

A pilot project is not feasible with the current radiation standards, and Fremault told Bruzz that she does not intend to make an exception.

The Brussels region has particularly strict radiation standards for telecom applications. The standard of 6 volts per metre has already led to problems in the past with providing fast mobile internet via 4G in the capital.

Last week, the various governments in Belgium once again failed to reach agreement on the auctioning of the 5G licences. The file remains stuck on the distribution of the proceeds. It will be up to the next government to handle the proposal, said Telecom Minister Philippe De Backer (Open VLD) last week.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Brussels Times, 01 Apr 2019

European Ombudsman on the EESC / Richard Adams conflict of interest scandal
Belgium Created: 24 Nov 2016
Recommendation of the European Ombudsman concerning the alleged failure by the European Economic and Social Committee to ensure that a member declared all relevant interests (inquiry into complaints 500/2015/ PHP, 561/2015/ PHP, 570/2015/ PHP, 577/2015/ PHP, 619/2015/ PHP, 635/2015/ PHP and 650/2015/ PHP).

*SNIP* view the case files via the source link below...
Click here to view the source article.
Source: European Ombudsman, 24 Nov 2016

European Court ruling may kill off free Wi-Fi
Belgium Created: 2 Oct 2016
In short: a copyright ruling in a case of music shared via an open Wi-Fi network has the potential to make hosting free Wi-Fi access points too cumbersome, as the ruling demands that access to such Wi-Fi networks be restricted by registering all users and issuing separate passwords for all.

--------------

European Court Allows Copyright Owners to Demand Open Wifi Networks be Password Protected

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently announced its decision in Sony v McFadden with important consequences for open wireless in the European Union. The court held that providers of open wifi are not liable for copyright violations committed by others, but can be ordered to prevent further infringements by restricting access to registered users with passwords. EFF reported on the legal aspects of the case last year and collaborated on an open letter to the ECJ on the costs to economic growth, safety and innovation of a password lockdown.

Free wifi is rare in Germany compared with other EU countries due to legal uncertainty generated by the doctrine of Störerhaftung, a form of indirect liability for the actions of others, which has deterred cafes, municipalities and others from offering free connectivity. Many in Germany hoped that the McFadden case would remove these doubts, but it is now clear that a legislative fix is needed instead.
A Community Wireless Advocate in Court

McFadden, a community wireless activist with Freifunk, offered free wifi from his shop. He received a cease and desist letter from Sony Music after a user shared music from his network, and they also demanded that he pay the lawyer fees for this letter. McFadden successfully argued he was a service provider under the national implementation of the E-Commerce Directive and a 'mere conduit' for his users' traffic. This shielded him from direct liability for his users’ copyright violations but not from Störerhaftung - a liability attaching to any party in a position to ‘terminate or prevent’ the infringements. As a result copyright owners had a claim for injunctive relief against McFadden.

The German court proposed three enforcement options: shutting the network, monitoring all traffic, or ending user anonymity through a registration and password system. According to the ECJ only the last of these is consistent with EU law, but such a ‘solution’ will introduce major administrative overhead for providers. Worse still, they could also be saddled with the legal costs incurred in seeking the injunction. In the face of such burdens many operators will shut down...
A Solution in Sight?

The ECJ found that password based restrictions are consistent with EU law, not that they are required by it. The other options, however, would have would have entailed breaches of the E-Commerce rules and fundamental rights. The good news is that this means a domestic solution compatible with EU law is possible. Ideally German legislators would abolish Störerhaftung altogether. A previous attempt at legal reform last June was supposed [German] to deal with this but is regarded as flawed.

An alternative, less comprehensive approach, would be to shift the legal costs of the injunction to the party requesting it. If the bills are paid by the wifi owner, there is an incentive for lawyers to launch actions against every open wifi node in the country. Copyright trolling has history in Germany, where lawyers have leveraged the 'formal system of notice' for cease and desist letters (abmahnungen) into a shakedown system against millions for alleged copyright infringement online. But if the rightsholders must cover their own costs, orders will only be sought against nodes which are a serious source of infringements.
Universal Access: Forever Deferred?

A day before the McFadden verdict, the head of the EU Commission outlined a goal of free wifi throughout Europe by 2020. This will never be achieved by top-down means alone, but will require a user-based movement of connection sharing. The ECJ did not address the situation of individuals who make wifi available without economic motive, but German activists are protecting themselves against risks by technical means. Freifunk, for example, routes user traffic through a virtual private network so that it appears to originate in the Netherlands or Sweden, countries where Störerhaftung does not exist.

Universal access to the net will ultimately require curbing the power of a copyright industry which sees free networks as a threat to their property, something to be controlled and monitored rather than opened up and shared. In March, the Advocate General, whose reports are intended to guide the ECJ's decisions, rejected the password lockdown approach as inconsistent with a fair balance of the competing fundamental rights involved. He continued:

"any general obligation to make access to a Wi-Fi network secure, as a means of protecting copyright on the Internet, could be a disadvantage for society as a whole and one that could outweigh the potential benefits for rightholders."

The ECJ did not follow his advice, and now it's up to legislators to fix what's broken.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation, Alan Toner, 26 Sep 2016

Student measuring Radiation in Brussels city centre arrested in massive security alert
Belgium Created: 22 Jul 2016
Massive security alert in Brussels is revealed to be a false alarm after it emerges suspected suicide bomber with wires hanging from his coat is actually a student measuring radiation.

Police in Belgium held a man at gunpoint after he was acting suspiciously
He was also wearing a winter coat that reportedly had wires coming from it
Man was cornered by officers and surrounding shops were evacuated
It has since emerged the man was a student studying radiation in the city
Local media reports he will face charges to recover costs for the operation

A massive security alert in Brussels turned out to be a false alarm after it emerged the man police suspected of being a suicide bomber was actually a student measuring radiation.

The Belgian capital was on lock-down this afternoon while police cornered the man at gunpoint after he was reportedly spotted wearing a heavy winter coat with wires protruding from it.

A huge operation was launched near Place de la Monnaie in the centre of the city after the man was seen acting suspiciously.

After the mix-up, the man was arrested and could be faced with the policing costs.

He drew the attention of a security guard for wearing the winter coat which was said to have had cables hanging from it with the temperature hitting 32C in Brussels.

A spokesman for the city's police force Christian de Coninck told Levif the man was actually studying the waves and radiation in the city.

He added: 'As the person was very passive and very suspect during the operation, the police zone decided to bring civil actions to recover the costs incurred in the operation.'

The individual was arrested by special units and taken to the police for interviewing.

Pictures from the scene had shown two armed police officers pointing their guns at the man while he placed his hands on his head.

A bomb disposal robot was also understood to have moved in close to the scene.

A Brussels police spokeswoman confirmed at the time that the situation was under control but that the man had not yet being arrested.

The man had not made any threats and is speaking to officers.

Christian De Coninck of Brussels Police told local TV: 'We got a call about someone acting suspiciously. Someone with a heavy winter coat - in these temperatures it's very suspicious.

'And there were wires coming out of the coat too.

´We didn't take any risks. The person was stopped and kept at a distance. We are now waiting for more information from the bomb disposal unit which is at the scene now and then we'll know more.'

Shops nearby were evacuated and several streets were closed as a security cordon was set up.

Brussels is already on high alert and the streets of the city are packed as Belgium prepares to celebrate its national day tomorrow

The incident comes just months after an attack at Brussels airport and on the city's metro in which 32 people were killed and dozens more injured.

The attacks caused shockwaves in a Belgium already on edge after it emerged that many of the ISIS jihadis involved in the November Paris onslaught which killed 130 people had grown up together in Brussels.

Meanwhile Belgium is the main source per head of population of jihadi recruits going from the European Union to fight with ISIS in Syria, causing deep concern that they will return home battle-hardened and even more radicalised.

See video at link:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3699448/Man-held-gunpoint-police-Brussels-spotted-wearing-long-coat-wires-protruding-it.html
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Daily Mail, Jennifer Newton and Gareth Davies, 20 Jul 2016

International Scientific Declaration on EHS & MCS Brussels 2015
Belgium Created: 4 Sep 2015
Following the fifth Paris Appeal congress, which took place on the 18th of May, 2015, the attending European, American and Canadian scientists unanimously decided to create a working group and to write a Common International Declaration to request an official recognition of these new diseases and of their sanitary consequences worldwide.

The declaration calls upon national and international bodies and institutions and particularly the WHO, for taking urgently their responsibility for recognizing electrohypersensitivity and multiple chemical sensitivity as real diseases, including them in the International Classification of Diseases.

This International Declaration also asks national and international institutions to adopt simple precautionary measures of prevention, to inform populations and requires the appointment of real independent expert groups to evaluate these sanitary risks in total scientific objectivity, which is not the case today.

Download the press release:
http://www.mast-victims.org/resources/docs/Press-Release-EN.pdf
and the statement document:
http://www.mast-victims.org/resources/docs/Statement-Brussels-EN.pdf
Source: Appel de Paris 2015, Dr. Carpenter / Dr. Hardell / Prof. Belpomme, 04 Sep 2015

RE: New EU Directive about mobile devices
Belgium Created: 31 Jul 2015
Dear All,
Please see new EU Directive on the market of radio equipment.
I saw it for first time yesterday. Did you know about it? I think it's great news!
Now I understand why Mr. Adams blocked EHS in EU. Telecom will not be able sell most of mobile devices if confirm EHS! And why ICNIRP wants to implement its standards 10W/m2 to all EU countries!
Please see: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32014L0053&from=EN
including Art. 3 & 42!!!
Article 3 Radio equipment shall be constructed so as to ensure: (a) the protection of health and safety of persons and of domestic animals and the protection of property...
Georgio

Article 42 Compliant radio equipment which presents a risk
1.Where, having carried out an evaluation under Article 40(1), a Member State finds that although radio equipment is in compliance with this Directive, it presents a risk to the health or safety of persons or to other aspects of public interest protection covered by this Directive, it shall require the relevant economic operator to take all appropriate measures to ensure that the radio equipment concerned, when placed on the market, no longer presents that risk, to withdraw the radio equipment from the market or to recall it within a reasonable period, commensurate with the nature of the risk, as it may prescribe.
2.The economic operator shall ensure that corrective action is taken in respect of all the radio equipment concerned that he has made available on the market throughout the Union.
3.The Member State shall immediately inform the Commission and the other Member States. That information shall include all available details, in particular the data necessary for the identification of the radio equipment concerned, the origin and the supply chain of radio equipment, the nature of the risk involved and the nature and duration of the national measures taken.
4.The Commission shall without delay enter into consultation with the Member States and the relevant economic operator or operators and shall evaluate the national measures taken. On the basis of the results of that evaluation, the Commission shall decide by means of implementing acts whether the national measure is justified or not and, where necessary, propose appropriate measures. The implementing acts referred to in the first subparagraph of this paragraph shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 45(3). On duly justified imperative grounds of urgency relating to the protection of health and safety of persons, the Commission shall adopt immediately applicable implementing acts in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 45(4).
5.The Commission shall address its decision to all Member States and shall immediately communicate it to them and the relevant economic operator or operators.
Best Regards.
Barbara from Poland
(in Poland still 0,1W/m2)
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Georgino Cinciripini/Barbara Galdzinska/Agnes Ingvarsdottir

Video and Slides from Brussels EHS/MCS conference
Belgium Created: 27 Jun 2015
Video and powerpoint slides from the conference in Brussels, 18th May 2015, have been released.

Go to the source link below and click "video" and "powerpoint" links under the speaker inages.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Appel De Paris, 16 Jun 2015

European Ombudsman welcomes improvements to Commission expert groups
Belgium Created: 3 Jun 2015
The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has welcomed the Commission's agreement to improve its system of expert groups in response to proposals made by her in an own-initiative investigation. Hundreds of such advisory groups play a crucial role in the development of EU legislation and policy.

The Commission has said that it will develop a new conflict of interest policy for experts appointed in a personal capacity. It also announced that the selection procedure for experts will be more transparent, including an obligation, where relevant, to be registered on the Transparency Register. Furthermore, the Commission plans to revise its expert groups register in 2016.

In January 2015, the Ombudsman sent a list of proposals to the Commission on how to address several shortcomings in its expert groups system. This followed a public consultation, during which respondents cited issues such as perceived corporate dominance of certain groups and potential conflicts of interest of certain experts.

Emily O'Reilly stated: "The Commission’s response to my first set of suggestions is encouraging and should help to secure the full range of expertise needed and increase the transparency of the process, which is key to building public trust. However, the Commission still needs to do more to open up the important work of these groups to public scrutiny, in particular by publishing detailed minutes of their work. I also intend to examine closely the reasons put forward by the Commission for not adopting a new legal framework for expert groups."

The Ombudsman will now study the Commission's reply in detail and publish her full analysis soon. The Commission's opinion is available here:
http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/cases/correspondence.faces/en/60019/html.bookmark

In a separate investigation, the Ombudsman is looking into whether DG AGRI has properly implemented the obligations laid down in its legally-binding framework for "civil dialogue groups". The result of this investigation will be published soon as well.

The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the EU institutions and bodies. Any EU citizen, resident, or an enterprise or association in a Member State, can lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman offers a fast, flexible, and free means of solving problems with the EU administration. For more information: http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu

For press inquiries: Ms Gundi Gadesmann, Head of the Media and External Relations Unit, tel.: +32 2 284 26 09,
Twitter: @EUombudsman
Click here to view the source article.
Source: European Ombudsman, Press Release, 03 Jun 2015

Recordings from the 5th Paris Appeal EHS & MCS Congress in Brussels
Belgium Created: 2 Jun 2015
Dear all, follow the below link to listen and download the audio from the conference.

http://www.mast-victims.org/resources/audio/5th-paris-appeal/index.html

Thanks to all who attended.

Best wishes,
Mast-Victims.org
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Mast-Victims, H. Eiriksson, 02 Jun 2015

Secrecy surrounding EU expert groups must end
Belgium Created: 19 Feb 2015
The EU’s Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has this week criticised the secrecy that still surrounds the powerful experts groups called upon to help the European Commission draft EU legislation.

In a statement issued Friday, she demanded greater transparency from the secretive European Commission expert groups and criticised the EU for not opening them up to greater public scrutiny.

She stated:

“There is room for improvement if we want to be sure that the public can trust and scrutinise the work of these important groups,”

She has also called on anyone who wants to join an expert group to be signed up to the transparency register and called into question the practise whereby organisations appear in expert groups under different names.

In a letter to EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, she wrote:

“The fact that the same organisation may be labelled differently in different expert groups is difficult to comprehend,”

Expert Groups are created on an ad hoc basis to help in the preparation of the EU’s legislative proposals and policy initiatives, the preparation of its delegated acts and the implementation of existing EU legislation, programmes and policies.

While those responsibilities may seem innocuous to someone unfamiliar with EU policy-making, the expert groups are regarded as highly influential in shaping EU legislation in its early stages. Companies spend millions of euros lobbying Brussels’ institutions and having direct access to an expert group is seen as one of the best ways of shaping legislation. Better still is the possibility that companies can, controversially, have one of their representatives appointed to the expert groups.

Such obvious conflicts of interest have not gone unnoticed. Expert groups have been a controversial aspect of EU law-making since the Commission first gained the powers to propose legislation.

In a 2014 report, Pro-transparency group Corporate Europe Observatory revealed big companies had scientists issuing opinions in expert groups on toxic chemicals they themselves manufactured. The problem was also highlighted in an expert group on tax where some of the ‘independent’ panelists were working for accountancy firms Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PwC.

While the Commission pleads, in its defence, that it tries to make the groups as balanced “as far as possible”, O’Reilly has called on the balance to be mandatory and legally binding – a position that the AECR strongly.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: AECR, via email from Iris Atzmon, 18 Feb 2015

 Page 1 of 10   Next›  Last» 
 News item: