Briefly informed: online purchases, open source software, DoubleVPN, TikTok

New rules of the EU Commission apply to online purchases from non-EU countries such as China or the USA. In concrete terms, this means that in Germany, 19 percent VAT will be added on goods with a value of less than 22 euros, including seven percent for books and groceries. But customers should also be better protected from nasty surprises. Anyone who had previously ordered products from third countries had to reckon with extra costs for registration with customs by the transport company. This should be omitted with immediate effect and the stated price should also be the final price.

The Federal Government has decided on the Third National Action Plan for participation in the Open Government Partnership. “In the public administration there are sometimes critical dependencies on individual software manufacturers,” says the action plan. One antidote is to use open source software more intensively, but there is still a lack of transparency about which software is available and how it can be used. Therefore, among others, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the NRW Ministry of Economics want to set up an open source platform for public administration in a “cross-level project”. There, software projects should be structured in a Git-based code repository and processed jointly.

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The DoubleVPN virtual private network has stopped working. Authorities in Europe, Canada and the USA have confiscated DoubleVPN’s servers and internet domains. The Dutch Federal Police was in charge, Europol and Eurojust took over the international coordination. They describe DoubleVPN as a “safe haven for cybercriminals to attack their victims”. It remains to be seen whether data from the seized servers will lead to blackmailers and fraudsters.

The video portal TikTok deleted almost 7.3 million user accounts in the first quarter of this year because, according to their own estimates, their owners are most likely under the minimum age of 13 years. The video network published this information for the first time. According to TikTok, this is less than one percent of all users worldwide.


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