EU justice and interior ministers were to look at ways to protect children from computer games that glorify violence yesterday.
The issue is up for discussion at the request of EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini, who late last year called for the 27-nation bloc to take measures to curb the sale of violent games to minors.
On Sunday, Frattini called for EU ministers to agree "to share best practices" on how to handle the issue. He previously suggested EU ministers adopt EU-wide labeling rules for such games and create a voluntary code of conduct on interactive games targeted at children.
Such labels could include age restrictions and parental advisory warnings, however EU officials have said it would be left up to national authorities to decide on how tough the measures should be.
Frattini's call to get tough on violent games targeted at children is being backed by Germany, which holds the EU presidency and which put it on Tuesday's agenda for the second and final day of EU meetings here.
Britain, Greece, Finland, Spain and France also back EU coordination on the issue.
Frattini and German ministers are keen to take action after an 18-year-old went on a rampage in a German high school last November, shooting five people before committing suicide.
Authorities blamed his attack on the teenager's love for violent computer games, prompting new calls for games to be restricted or banned.
Retailers in many European nations are currently not forced to restrict the sale of violent games to adults.
Separately the EU ministers will continue their discussions on boosting the flow of cross-border criminal data from national registers.
The EU ministers on Monday backed efforts to give police across the EU access to national databases containing fingerprints, DNA samples and license plate information.
German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who was chairing the meeting of EU ministers in Dresden, said there was "broad consensus" among all 27 EU governments to expand a seven-nation data-sharing pact to include all EU members.
Schaeuble added that the pact could also be used to sign a similar data-sharing accord with the US, as part of efforts to track down terror groups and serious crime suspects.
The existing seven-nation pact, dubbed the Pruem Treaty and signed in May 2005, comprises Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria. It allows police direct access to genetic records, fingerprints and traffic offenses across the seven nations.
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
PLAYING THE VICTIM? A Chinese spokesman sent a statement to Australian media saying that Beijing had ‘irrefutable’ evidence of Canberra’s widescale espionage Australia yesterday unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending, days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about a wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to have been carried out by China. Morrison and government officials said the country would spend an additional A$1.35 billion (US$928 million) on cybersecurity, about a 10 percent hike, taking the budget for the next decade to A$15 billion. The largest chunk of the new money would help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s communications intelligence agency. Morrison on June 19 said that a “state-based actor” was targeting a host of
The Philippine army chief yesterday expressed outrage over the fatal police shooting of four soldiers, including two officers, and demanded justice, as both sides provided contrasting accounts of the killings. Philippine Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Ano, a retired military chief of staff who now oversees the national police, ordered that the police involved in Monday’s violence in Jolo in Sulu Province be disarmed and restricted for investigation. Police said the soldiers were killed in a “misencounter” with a group of police officers. The army said that the two officers and two enlisted men were on a mission against