11 January 2017

The following is summary of the most recent IEEE Global Internet Governance Monitor report. To access the full reports containing additional details and other news items, please join the Internet Technology Policy Community on IEEE Collabratec.

In Europe this week, Andrus Ansip Commission Vice President has stated that he will continue to hold the portfolio for the EU’s digital economy on a temporary basis. Mr Ansip has stated that there is no guarantee that Bulgaria will receive the digital economy portfolio once their new Commissioner is appointed.

The British Parliament has launched an inquiry into the UK’s cyber-security defences following concerns for the role of Russian hackers in American elections.

Elsewhere the European Commission has published new e-Privacy Regulations to update the existing directive. The new regulations will update existing rules and will if successful bring OTT communication services like Skype and Whatsapp under European e-Privacy laws for the first time.

In the United States, Representative Marsha Blackburn has been appointed as the new chairperson of the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on Communication and Technology. Ms Blackburn is a noted opponent to net neutrality and will now control oversight of telecommunications in the House of Representatives.

The Department for Homeland Security has officially designated elections as critical infrastructure. The decision comes as a response to the release of a declassified report by US intelligence that identifies Russian State interference in the recent presidential election, with controversy on this issue continuing to dominate the news agenda.

In China the Government have refused to licence Pokemon Go due to concerns for both physical and digital safety. The government will continue to investigate concerns, particularly those relating to geolocation, before issuing a final decision on the future of the game in China.

Finally the Government of Singapore has proposed new legislation for cybersecurity. The new law would outline the Government’s power when dealing with a major national cyber attack, and will likely lead to greater restrictions on digital content for Singapore films and media.