22 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 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.

The ongoing legal case into Facebook’s transmission of personal data to the US intelligence agency the NSA has seen Facebook put forward an argument by the Supreme Court that whilst Facebook’s actions would have been illegal in the USA those laws had no bearing on Facebook’s activity outside American borders.

Alongside these more headline stories the Commissioner for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip has called for greater support for African countries to develop a digital single market across the continent.

In the United States there has been a significant focus on Cyber security and privacy with the Director of the CIA facing a Senate hearing and the FBI facing questions over its facial recognition software.

CIA Director John Brennan faced the Senate Intelligence Committee this week and revealed that Twitter no longer passes data to the US. Director Brennan also asked for the committee to engage more in the USA’s encryption needs.

The FBI has been criticised this week after it was revealed that the agency has stored the facial data of innocent people into its national database. Also this week there was a push from Senate Republicans to increase warrantless surveillance during terrorism investigations.

In Asia, the Indian telecoms regulator TRAI has added to its ongoing consultation on net-neutrality by launching a new consultation aimed at potentially regulating digital cloud storage systems. Also this week came the announcement that India will join the elite group within the UN’s group of government experts which focus on Internet governance.

Beyond these developments are the announcement that China has reduced the intensity of its cyber attacks on foreign countries, based upon the increased cooperation with regional neighbours like India and major countries like the USA.

Conflicting sources have this week been attempting to explain Asia’s cyber skills gaps, with differing sides claiming that poor infrastructure and a lack of training are the cause of Asia’s limited digital market.

In news from the rest of the world the Australian NEC has announced the construction of a new cybersecurity centre to be centred in Adelaide. The move comes as Australia becomes increasingly interested in the Internet of things.

Amongst global institution cyber news this week has been the launch of a survey into the security of online markets by ENISA. The organisation also produced a report this week into its study of cyber security and cyber privacy amongst SMEs. ICANN has also announced two reports summarising the progress of its Middle East strategy and the wider IANA stewardship transition. There have also been alterations to ICANN’s executive team as long standing members prepare to stand down.