IEEE Global Internet Policy Monitor

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…


16 March 2016 — This week saw further developments of interest from across the ICT world. Of particular note being the overwhelming focus on cyber-security related issues, a continuing theme as organisations and nation states increasingly seek to enhance their resilience against the ever burgeoning range of cyber threats they now face.

In Europe this week, news of note included the announcement that the Privacy Shield data transfer agreement with the US could go into effect this June, as revealed by the EUs Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger. At the end of February the European Commission published several letters from US officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, who promised to step up their response to EU citizens privacy complaints as part of the new deal. A committee made up of officials from member states is still negotiating over the details in closed-door meetings. The agreement will be finalised once the committee gives its stamp of approval, although details can still be changed until then…


9 March 2016 — A busy week this time around with developments of interest featuring in the monitor from across the breadth of the ICT world.

In Europe, the recently agreed Privacy Shield arrangement, the intended successor to the recently invalidated Safe Harbor agreement, between the EU and the US came under significant fire from the digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Forum (EFF). In a blog post published by the EFF, the organisation asserted that the new Privacy Shield agreement contains a patchwork of concessions that continue to leave the door open for the digital surveillance of hundreds of millions of Europeans by U.S. government agencies. It's unclear what, if anything, the new Privacy Shield is supposed to be shielding people from except perhaps shielding U.S. companies from the inevitable consequences of their country's mass surveillance program, the post concluded. This is an issue that continues to gather attention due to the contentious nature of the agreement reached, and will no doubt receive considerable coverage in the coming weeks and months…


24 February 2016 — A relatively quiet week in the world of ICT this time around, with the monitor reflecting this.

However, there were certain stories of note which may prove to be of interest for IEEE both now and moving forward. In Europe, Internet governance and net neutrality received some coverage in the form of developments relating to the next generation mobile broadband network. It was reported that in the coming months, it is anticipated that the European Commission, tech firms, and various industries will demonstrate European progress on developing 5G. A Commission official revealed that the intention is to come up with fresh ideas by July, in order to showcase the first results by 2018. Linking this to issues of governance, key objectives of the 5G public private partnership (PPP), launched last year, are outlined in a Commission white paper on 5G: empowering vertical industries, that will be unveiled during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 22-25 February.

Net neutrality implications are also tied to the development of this mobile broadband network, with Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao having issued a stark warning this week that 5G services will be a disappointment in Europe unless standards meet local needs and without uniform telecom regulations from one country to the next. Evidently this will be an issue to monitor moving forwards…


17 February 2016 — Developments in the ICT world this week continued to be predominantly focused on issues pertaining to cyber-security and cyber-privacy. This was perhaps to be expected following the recent announcement of the US Governments annual budget which included provision for a Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP).

Amongst the news related to this, other stories of prominence did however emerge. In Europe for example, there was considerable scrutiny applied to the recently negotiated Privacy Shield, a data sharing agreement between the US and the EU which is set to be finalised by the end of month, according to an EU commissioner. It has been reported that following the draft agreement being reached, the European Commission is now facing challenges on the arrangement: with the Parliament legal service and MEPs arguing the so-called Umbrella Agreement doesnt comply with EU law. MEPs in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee also criticised the agreement.

On this note, an EU privacy watchdog declared this week that the data protection framework agreed should not apply when sensitive information is to be transferred to the US in bulk. With this proving an issue of considerable contention, it is clear that further coverage will emerge in the weeks to come…