IEEE Global Internet Policy Monitor

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…


8 June 2016 — In IT news from Europe the focus this week has been on net neutrality as the EU’s combined telecoms regulator BEREC has published a series of draft to introduce strong net neutrality rules that will require the equal treatment of all data passing over EU airways.

On the issue of cyber privacy, the EU and USA have announced an agreement on data protection that will see greater cooperation between the two regions in an effort to curb crime and terrorism. The agreement will extend the right to privacy to personal data crossing the Atlantic.

The EU has also reached an agreement with Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft to monitor and restrict the spread of hate speech online by increasing the speed with which they respond to the notifications from users…


1 June 2016 — The weeks ICT news has focused mainly on international cooperation with negotiations ongoing for major cooperation deals between the USA and the EU, ASEAN and India, as well as plans for further regional cooperation in Europe and Asia.

In European news the European Union has started laying the ground work for a digital single market for its member states. The intention for the new strategy is to foster innovation and cut red tape for start-ups, whilst also ensuring greater choices and protections for consumers. The European Parliament has responded to the strategy proposed by the European Commission in 2015 with an own-initiative report. The report will feed into the upcoming legislative proposals, which will require the European Parliaments approval before coming into full force…


25 May 2016 — A busy week this time around in the world of ICT. Developments of interest have filtered in from all corners of the globe and are explored in further detail in the monitor below.

In Europe, it was reported this week that the proposed new framework for facilitating the transfer of personal data between the EU and US, the so named ‘Privacy Shield’ has still to be endorsed by a data protection committee containing representatives from the national governments of EU countries. The Article 31 Committee met with officials from the European Commission earlier this week and was due to be updated by the Commission on "the state of play on the EU-US Privacy Shield". However, technology news site Ars Technica reported that the meeting was concluded without agreement being reached on whether the Privacy Shield should be deemed as providing for adequate data protection when personal data is transferred to the US from the EU in line with framework, as is required by EU law…


18 May 2016 — A somewhat quiet week in the ICT world this time around, however, there were still a range of points of interest for IEEE which are explored further below and throughout the monitor.

In Europe, cyber-security was the predominant focus this week, of particular note was the announcement that new measures designed to ensure critical IT systems in central sectors of the economy like banking, energy, health and transport are secure are set to be written into EU law. The Council of Ministers announced that the proposed Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive has won formal approval from the national governments that make up the EU. It said the Directive is likely to come into force in August once the European Parliament has voted to endorse the text…


12 May 2016 — All round, a somewhat quieter week across the ICT world than the last one. However, as ever, there were a range of stories of interest for IEEE which are explored further below and throughout the monitor.

In Europe, the Privacy Shield agreement between the EU and the US came under further scrutiny this week, with an alliance of data centre providers in Holland coming out against the current draft of the agreement. The Dutch Datacenter Association issued a statement Monday saying Privacy Shield currently offers none of the improvements necessary to better safeguard the privacy of European citizens. The list of nearly 30 association participants includes Equinix and Digital Realty, two of the worlds largest data center providers, as well as European data center sector heavyweights Colt , based in London, and Interxion, a Dutch company headquartered just outside of Amsterdam…


4 May 2016 — A busy week of developments from across the ICT world this time around, including a range of coverage which will be of interest to IEEE. This coverage is analysed below in the synopsis and subsequently laid out in full throughout the various sections of the monitor.

 

In Europe this week, it was revealed this week that Liberal and socialist factions of MEPs in the European Parliament have been attempting since March to set up a plenary vote on the controversial Privacy Shield data transfer agreement to the United States. With member states final verdict on the Privacy Shield scheduled for next month, MEPs are running out of time to vote before the deal is finalised…


27 April 2016 — A somewhat subdued week of announcements from across the ICT world this week. However, a range of stories which may be of interest to IEEE emerged, these are detailed further below.

In Europe, the UK information commissioner Christopher Graham this week criticised the reluctance of the US to make changes to the Privacy Shield data transfer pact agreed in February 2016 with the European Commission. The Article 29 Working Party (A29WP) of European data protection authorities, including Graham, recently called for more work on Privacy Shield instead of approving the proposed pact to replace the now-defunct Safe Harbour agreement to ensure privacy protections for trans-Atlantic data transfers, the group called on the US and European Commission (EC) to revise and clarify several points…


20 April 2016 — A sparser week of developments this time around compared to recent times. However, still a range of news of note to IEEE from across the breadth of the ICT world.

In Europe, the news of note this week centred on the roll out of the European Unions plans to bridge the blocs national initiatives to digitize industry and encourage investment, in a bid to encourage European manufacturers to remain at the technological forefront. The European Commission, the blocs executive arm, said this week that it would set up a new governance framework that would hold regular meetings between national governments and industry to coordinate the EUs 30 national and regional digitization initiatives, which include Germanys Industry 4.0 and the Netherlands Smart Industry. The EU also pledged to boost both private and public investment in the area via strategic partnerships…


13 April 2016 — Another busy week of developments from across the ICT world, with issues of interest to IEEE cropping up in various forms. These are explored in further detail below.

In Europe, the news of interest included the story that a panel of EU privacy watchdogs has demanded changes to a pact meant to govern cross-Atlantic data transfers. The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party have urged the US and European Commission to revise and clarify several points in the proposed Privacy Shield agreement in order to safeguard EU citizens' personal information. "We believe that we don't have enough security [or] guarantees in the status of the ombudsperson and in their effective powers to be sure that this is really an independent authority," said Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, the chairwoman of the group. The group's recommendations are not binding on the EU or US, but should prove influential as the watchdogs can suspend data transfers they are concerned about…


30 March 2016 — A somewhat quiet week in the ICT world this time around with the Easter holidays slowing down the pace of developments a little. However, there were still multiple news stories and announcements of note for IEEE which emerged, as explored below.

In Europe, cyber-security stole the headlines this week with the news that the EU cybersecurity agency ENISA has won support from MEPs in a drawn-out battle with the Greek government over its costly division between two offices in Athens and Crete. The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has been pushing to close its headquarters in Heraklion, Cretes largest city, and move all of the agency’s staff into its Athens office.

ENISA also featured in the news this week for speaking out against creating backdoors for law enforcement agencies to access encrypted communication. Summarising their position, ENISA director Udo Helmbrecht argued that technology companies should not be forced to create security loopholes for authorities…


23 March 2016 — This week witnessed developments a plenty from across the breadth of the ICT world. Similar to the week previous, cyber-security has continued to feature highly on the news agenda, however coverage has also spanned other areas of interest as explored further below.

Europe this week welcomed the arrival of U.S. delegates sent to drum up support for the recently agreed EU U.S. data transfer pact. The Privacy Shield pact will underpin $260 billion dollars of transatlantic trade in digital services by giving companies such as Alphabet's Google, Intel and Apple Inc. an easy way to move users' data from Europe to the United States.

Linked to this, EU member states are preparing for a meeting scheduled for the 7th of April which will focus on a review of the details of the aforementioned Privacy Shield. This will be the first time EU member national officials will meet to assess the new agreement. While they can make changes, their approval of the deal is needed for it to go into effect…