IEEE Global Internet Policy Monitor

21 September 2016 — In European news, the Chief of GCHQ Ciaran Martin, hopes for the practice of using DNS filters to prevent cyber-attacks to become a common place practice in the organisation. He described this as a “flagship project”, which aims to stop ‘bad web addresses’, disguised as legitimate domains which spread malware and viruses.

Coding and computer science are to be at the forefront of Ireland’s new education plan, which aims to give Ireland the best education system in Europe by 2026. The plan will see cyber skills (including coding) instructed to children at primary school level…

 


15 September 2016 — Ahead of his confirmation as the EUs latest Commissioner, Sir Julian King has told the European Parliament that the EUs security is being weakened by back door encryption. Sir Julian is set to become the EUs Commissioner for the Security Union and will likely be the UKs last EU Commissioner, following the EU referendum result in June.

New rules from the EU will place greater pressure on American company transactions in Europe, with repercussions for Google, Facebook and WhatsApp as a result of new rules to regulate the digital market place, from encryption monitoring to net neutrality

 


7 September 2016 — Following the clarification of Berec’s net neutrality guidelines last week the mobile network Three has fallen foul of the regulator for its planned network level adblocker. Whilst Berec has stated that adblockers should not be available at the network level, a final decision on the issue will be made by the UK regulator Ofcom.

In cyber security news this week the UK and India have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to exchange information on cyber attacks regarding both countries. The UK has also signed a similar agreement with the USA, with both the Indian and American agreements designed to improve cooperation on cyber issues with the UK…

 


31 August 2016 — A major development in net neutrality was announced by the European telecoms regulator BEREC this week. The new rules essentially shore up an existing loophole that allowed telecoms companies to prioritize premium companies by speeding up and slowing down their delivery of internet access.

Following last week’s announcement that the EU will support back doors into secure communication apps, WhatsApp has fallen under increased scrutiny from the EU and other regions over its deal to share account information with Facebook

 


26 August 2016 — In Europe this week the EU has moved to back the demands of French and German officials who wish to crack down on encrypted communication networks used by terrorists. This would have major implications for general internet privacy however as the networks in question are those of commonly used apps such as Snapchat and Whatsapp.

Elsewhere the impact of proposed new net neutrality rules have begun to have an impact with a leading UK children’s charity outlining the significant cost that net neutrality will incur for the group following the abolition of zero rating...

 


18 August 2016 — In Europe this week computer scientists from the University of Birmingham have uncovered a potential security flaw that effects Volkswagen cars. The Scientists believe a limitation in the locking system means that all vehicles manufactured by the Volkswagen Group since 1995 are easily opened by a simple hack.

The EU Agency for Network and Information Security has this week stated that whilst levels of Cyber-crime have increased in recent years there is no way of knowing the true cost to Europe's Governments and businesses…


10 August 2016 — The headline issue in digital terms this week is the network malfunction that led Delta Airlines to ground their global aviation fleet for several hours. The company has blamed the issue on a power outage at their corporate headquarters. Planes in the air do not appear to have been affected.

In European news this week, the EU has hinted that new telecoms laws set to be announced in September will for the first time include internet communications companies such as WhatsApp and Skype. The move would see these companies incorporated into the same laws that regulate traditional telecoms companies and are likely to increase the control of these companies by EU member states…


3 August 2016 — In Europe this week net neutrality has taken centre stage on digital issues this week after a leak from the EU Commission signaled that the body will look to make broadband internet access a right fro EU citizens. This will likely lead to a greater focus on the EUs net neutrality policies in order to ensure this right becomes a reality.

A major official announcement from the EU Commission also made headlines this week after Sir Julian King, the UKs Commission nominee was awarded the EUs security portfolio. As the UK looks to end its membership of the European Union, Sir Kings control of EU cyber-security policy could have a significant impact on both the UKs and EUs digital industries…


26 July 2016 — In Europe this week the EUs telecoms regulatory body BEREC has reportedly received almost half a million responses as part of its net neutrality consultation. The large response signals the growing concern for net neutrality globally, as it mirrors the response to the American FCC in 2014. 22.07.16

On cybersecurity it should be noted that Estonia is currently in talks with the UK to store national data, such as birth, banking, electoral and real estate records abroad. The decision has been taken by the Estonian government in response to fears of another mass cyber attack from Russia. The previous attack in 2007 digitally severed the Government from its citizens for almost three weeks…


21 July 2016 — The EU is on a path towards collision with internet and telecoms giants including Google and NBC Universal with plans to introduce reforms this autumn. Changes to EU copyright law have angered broadcasting groups, with plans to extend copyright regulations to internet on-demand services proving particularly divisive. Meanwhile, Brussels has filed new anti-trust charges against Google, arguing that it has abused its market dominance to restrict advertising from its competitors. 

Tim Berners-Lee weighed into the debate about net neutrality at the EU level, urging officials to take a tough stance against the telecoms giants. Berners-Lee, famous for his universalist and egalitarian approach to web services, descried the industrys tactics as manipulative and urged the commission to protect access…


13 July 2016 — This week the EU has again dominated Cyber news in Europe, with the announcement that the Privacy shield between the EU and USA has been agreed to by representatives of each member state. However there were four absentions from the vote and there is growing thought that the agreement will face several legal challenges.

Elsewhere the EUs net neutrality rules have been criticized by 20 European Telecoms bodies as a detriment to the use of 5G technology. The document put forward by these organisations the 5G Manifesto for timely deployment of 5G in Europe argues against restrictive internet rules as they will create a barrier to the financial incentive to implement and run 5G systems…


6 July 2016 — An outline of this weeks ICT news is included below, with guidance for further action by IEEE at the end of this synopsis.

This week the EU has enacted several new policies of interest to IEEE, across all spheres of interest.

In terms of internet governance the EU Commission has moved to restrict the use of Bitcoin and virtual monetary exchange platforms as it attempts to clamp down on the funding of terrorist activities in the EU.

The EU Commission has also announced a new funding scheme for the EUs member states, with 1.8bn to be set aside to support cybersecurity improvements…


29 June 2016 — In Europe this week the principle political focus has been on the UKs decision to exit from the EU and the influence this will have on digital issues. The result of the EU referendum will likely impact EU regulations on net neutrality and cyber skills following the exit of one of the largest member states.

These changes will have a direct impact on the EUs cyber security as a new report show that the decline in cyber skills will reduce the ability of European states to protect themselves from cyber threats.

On cyber privacy, the EU and US have moved closer to finalizing the Privacy Shield agreement, however industry experts have been given little information on the details of the treaty…


22 June 2016 — In Europe this week there’s has been a clear focus on Internet governance as the EU looks to push through new legislation. There have also been major developments in European cyber security with major announcements regarding NATO and the UK.

In Internet governance the EU has been focused on introducing Internet controls to draft anti-terrorism legislation this week, however the vote for this has been postponed until Monday 27th May.

This week NATO built upon its decision to class cyber as a class of warfare by announcing that cyber attacks on NATO members would result in a physical military response. An investigation into the new potential powers of UK digital surveillance community has revealed that the UK’s cyber intelligence agency GCHQ would be able to hack a major foreign town if the bill is left unaltered…

 


15 June 2016 — In European IT news this week the focus has been on digital skills with news from the EU that two fifths of EU citizens are computer illiterate. These statistics were also backed up by a report on a digital skills crisis in the UK as well as news from Finland of shortages in filling technological roles. The EU’s response to the crisis has been to launch a new programme called New Skills Agenda for Europe.

Elsewhere in European news has been the news that the American Government will play a role in an EU court case to assess the legality of metadata surveillance, such as that used by the American NSA. The court case is between Facebook and Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems on the legality of Facebook’s sharing of private information with government surveillance agencies in the EU and USA…