15 June 2016

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.

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

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.

Ongoing concern for cyber security has also seen South Korea announce that it will engage with the EU and several member states, as it seeks to gain greater cooperation on cyber security by securing the EU as an ally.

Whilst the majority of European news has focused upon skills this week, in the United States of America there has been greater concern for cyber security, following a series of international hacking scandals. Of major note are the revelations that Russian hackers have gained access to Democratic party information on Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump. There are also revelations that North Korea possesses blueprints to American fighter jets following breaches in South Korean digital security.

Although there has been limited news on Net Neutrality this week there is a major story of note. This week a Court of Appeals in Washington DC rejected claims from the US Broadband industry that their services were protected by the First Amendment, guaranteeing freedom of speech. This decision allows the Federal Communications Commission to enforce its net neutrality rules on the US’s broadband sector.

Finally in American IT news there has been an increase in content focused on cyber privacy, with news this week that warrantless surveillance may be curtailed to provide more privacy to American citzens. There were also announcements this week that an email privacy bill in the Senate would not move out of committee for the foreseeable future due to threats of amendments designed to undermine the bill.

Moving on to Asia there were signs of the increased international cooperation visibile at the start of the month, as both China and India continued discussions with the USA on international digital cooperation. It should be noted that the Indian telecommunications regulator TRAI has prolonged its consultation period until the end of June.

In Cyber Security news the government of Singapore has blamed a massive cyber attack for the government’s decision last week to ban public sector workers from using the internet.

Continuing concerns for digital skills in Asia has led to a greater focus in regional media with a consortium of Indian government bodies and technical experts announcing plans to work together to boost the country’s digital skills base.

Elsewhere in cyber news greater focus has been turned to cyber security needs in Africa with experts calling for African led solutions during the fourth National Security Symposium held at the RDF Command and Staff College in Rwanda.

Amongst global internet and cyber intstitutions there has been an announcement that the USA will surrender control of the internet to ICANN by September, barring any interventions by Republican politicians such as Senator Ted Cruz. Elsewhere ENISA have announced that Jean-Baptiste Demaison has been elected chair of the organisations management board. Also of note is the news that ICANN has announced a consultation on the Draft Root Zone Evolution Review Committee (RZERC) Charter.