1 June 2016

The following is summary of the most recent IEEE Global Internet Governance Monitor report. To access and download the full report containing additional details and other news items, click here.

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.

Following on from recent developments the Privacy Shield between the USA and the EU has come in fro further criticism, with Giovanni Buttarelli the EUs Data Protection Supervisor arguing that the agreement is not robust enough. This condemnation is likely to place increasing pressure on the Juncker Commission to renegotiate the deal, potentially placing a final agreement beyond the term limit of the current Commission.

In other European news the EU Commission has launched a call for proposals for the deployment of a series of broadband networks and European Digital Service Infrastructures. The announcement comes as part of a 10.5 million programme designed to improve the EUs digital infrastructure.

Across the Atlantic there is a greater array of news stories as the US houses of Congress continue to battle with the state regulator, the FCC, on issues of cyber privacy and net neutrality.

In particular there have been announcements this week from the House of Representatives of plans to cut the budget of the FCC so as to protect major cable television providers AT&T and Comcast. The move will greatly affect the FCCs ability to use its new net neutrality powers and will diminish the FCCs authority on all cyber issues in the USA.

On an international note the USA is currently planning to form a bilateral cyber cooperation pact with India duringPrime Minister Modis visit to the USA this month. The deal will be the first of its kind and will encompass a range of cyber issues from international governance to cyber security.

Whilst the American Government has announced this positive step forward in cyber cooperation, other arms of the Federal system have been quick to object to other international news items. Of interest are the Department of Defenses statement that the US will not cooperate with the Russian military on cyber issues. This comes as a result of Russias actions in the Ukraine which have prompted a breakdown in cooperation with the US.

In Asia there has been increasing focus on Pan Asian cooperation across cyber related issues, with increasing focus on the actions of ASEAN and the TTP agreement with the USA.

In India the national telecom regulator Trai has published a paper attempting to define net neutrality and the issues it would like to discuss in its upcoming consultation. Trai are looking to stakeholders to answer six key questions, including what should comprise the core principles and policy approach toward net neutrality in India.

Cyber security has been of increased importance to Asias militaries following an announcement from the ASEAN body that State Defence Chiefs have agreed to form a new Cyber Security group. In a separate announcement Taiwan also announced that they would be forming a fourth branch of its military to deal with cyber security and external threats.

Cyber analysts have focused heavily on Asias digital divide this week, with discussion of how the TTP agreement betweenASEAN and the USA could improve cyber skills. Particular interest has also been given to the impact of Indias internet access upon the countrys economy. With one article commenting that India could see an increase in GDP of $1 Trillion if it can get all of its citizens online.

In the rest of the world there has been little news in terms of ICT stories, with the notable exception being the continued investigation into theBangladesh Central Bank hack. What was initially viewed as an isolated event has now been found to have happened across the SWIFT messaging network, with a total of 12 banks, including some in the Philippines and New Zealand believed to have been effected. There have also been allegations from the cybersecurity firm Symantec Corp that North Korea has been behind a series of hacking attacks on Asian Banks that has culminated in the current SWIFT messaging hack.

Global Cyber institutions have been largely quiet this week. Amongst this weeks announcements have been ICANNs introduction of new bylaws and the invitation for submissions from those wishing to sit on the 2017 nominating committee as chair and chair-elect. In other newsTunisia has agreed to host the2016 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-16) with the UNs International Telegraph Union (ITU).