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Wetapo Creek Group

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Charles Ward
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Security and defence policy in the European Union is predominantly a competence of the Member States. At the same time, a common security and defence policy, which could progressively lead to a European defence union, is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty. Since 2016, there has been significant progress in that direction, with several initiatives in the area of security and defence having been proposed and initiated under the 2014-2019 mandate of the Commission and the European Parliament. The idea that the European Union should deliver in the area of security and defence has become more and more popular with EU citizens. The crises in the EU's eastern and southern neighbourhoods, such as the occupation of Crimea and conflicts in the Middle East, have created an environment of insecurity in which the EU is called upon to do more. Following the Council decision of 2013 and particularly since the launch of the EU global strategy in 2016, the EU has been working to respond to these needs predominantly by implementing in full the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty. In recent years, it has begun the implementation of ambitious initiatives in the area of security and defence, such as permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), the European defence action plan, including a new defence fund to finance research and development of EU military capabilities, closer and more efficient cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a plan to facilitate military mobility within and across the EU, and revision of the financing of its civilian and military missions and operations to make them more effective. These new initiatives are illustrated in the relevant proposals for the new multiannual financial framework (2021-2027) and the accompanying off-budget instruments. Given EU leaders' support in the recent past for further initiatives in EU security and defence policy, important debates are likely to take place in future on the possible progressive framing of a European defence union. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Event: The U.S. Embassy would like to remind the U.S. citizen community that terrorist groups have a history of carrying out attacks in Kenya during Ramadan (April 13-May 13). U.S. citizens are reminded of the need for heightened awareness and caution during this time of increased personal safety and security concerns.

To give maximum legal certainty to businesses, consumers and citizens, a dedicated chapter on governance provides clarity on how the Trade and Cooperation Agreement will be operated and controlled. It also establishes a Joint Partnership Council, who will make sure the Agreement is properly applied and interpreted, and in which all arising issues will be discussed.

Monitoring the application of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the United Kingdom is central in ensuring that European Union citizens and businesses can fully benefit from it. Do you have a complaint about the way in which the United Kingdom is implementing the Agreement? Please answer a few simple questions and we will direct your complaint to the appropriate Commission service.

In carrying out their missions, some government agencies and quasi-governmental entities have frequent or regular interactions with large numbers of citizens. They may, therefore, be plausible candidates for providing CA services to a broad population.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) maintains a relationship with every address in the country (if not, strictly, with every individual), and most Americans live within a short distance of a post office. Government agencies and individual citizens have grown accustomed to entrusting confidential materials to the Postal Service for delivery. Over the years, a substantial body of law and regulation has created a special status for postal mail. The Postal Service is not liable, for example, for losses suffered because a letter is not delivered. Tampering with mail and using the mail to perpetrate fraud are federal offenses, and postal inspectors "with badges and guns" are empowered to deal with offenders. E-mail, of course, enjoys no such protections today, but many see the extension of at least some postal regulations to e-mail as useful in the maturation of the new medium. This extension might prove more natural or graceful if the USPS were chosen to manage a system for secure e-mail.

But there is no reason for different government agencies to maintain their own procedures or to rely on different CAs to establish the identities of electronic correspondents. Indeed, life will be simpler for citizens if many government agencies can agree to accept identity certifications from a common set of CAs. One pair of public and private keys would work for many government transactions. There would be no need to establish one key for dealings with the IRS and another for dealings with the Social Security Administration. Ideally, identities established for government purposes would also suffice for nongovernmental commercial or financial transactions. A single digital signature would be adequate for multiple purposes, just as a single physical signature is today.

A choice among CA providers may also alleviate concerns among some citizens about the creation of a monolithic "big brother" capable of observing or monitoring all of a citizen's e-mail transactions. A citizen who feels more comfortable using one key to file tax returns, another to respond to census inquiries, and yet another to facilitate personal banking transactions and who is willing to put up with the inconvenience associated with establishing and managing multiple keys might welcome the existence of multiple providers of CA services.[10]

Along the path to an infrastructure for routine, secure e-mail communication between government agencies and individual citizens, a number of potentially difficult policy issues will have to be dealt with.

Managing and protecting private keys. Exactly how individual citizens will create, record, protect, and use their private keys has not yet been clearly worked out. These keys will be long strings of digits, impossible for anyone to remember, and a user will need some repository (a "digital wallet") for his or her keys. A convenient solution would be for a user to store keys in password-protected files on his or her personal computer. The user would simply choose the appropriate key for any transaction and activate the key by typing an easily remembered password. But several workshop participants warned against storing encryption keys on personal computers; in an increasingly networked world, it is too easy for someone else to read even supposedly protected files. And what about occasions when keys are to be used away from the user's home computer? Better, they argued, to keep keys on a smart card or other device that can be carried around and inserted into a computer only when needed. Current technology allows multiple keys to be stored on a single card. But if all electronic identities are stored on a single card, does this come too close to a "national identity card?" And who will establish a common format for electronic keys and the cards on which they are stored so that they can work in multiple situations?

Who will pay? Secure communication will not be costless. Who will bear these costs? Will citizens who wish to communicate with government agencies via the Internet be required to pay Internet access charges and CA subscription fees just as citizens who wish to communicate with a government agency today are required to pay for postage or telephone service? Will CA services be available on a subscription basis (like basic local telephone service), and will it be feasible or desirable to charge users for actual usage (like long-distance telephone service)? Can or should the government provide basic CA services for any citizen willing to use a centralized government-managed service?

E-mail addresses. If government agencies begin to make extensive use of electronic mail for communicating with citizens, should steps be taken to provide every citizen with an e-mail address? What if an e-mail address changes? Should Internet service providers be required to provide forwarding services similar to those now provided by the USPS for first-class mail?[12] What security standards are needed for e-mailboxes and e-mail service providers?

Routine, secure e-mail communication between government agencies and individual citizens will not become a reality overnight. Considerable groundwork must be laid: Standards for privacy, integrity, and authentication must be established; certificate authorities must be identified or established; a host of institutional, administrative, and policy questions have to be resolved; and, most important, accumulating experience and maturing laws, regulations, and practice norms will have to provide a foundation for trust in using e-mail for sensitive communications.

U.S. citizens remaining in Burundi should review the Burundi Travel Warning issued on December 13 as well as their personal security situation and seriously consider departing, taking advantage of commercial flights.

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Three neighborhood security guards were killed and two others injured when U.S. attack helicopters fired at their checkpoint south of Baghdad yesterday, Iraqi police said. It was the latest in a series of reports about errant strikes that have stoked tensions between the citizens security groups in central and northern Iraq, and their American backers.

U.S. commanders have asked them to wear special T-shirts and reflective belts to help distinguish them from the insurgents they fight. But the citizens groups, whose members have swelled to more than 80,000 in the past year, say there are not enough of the outfits to go around. 041b061a72


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