26 November 2015

This week cyber security issues continued to pervade the majority of European news coverage following the recent events in Paris and more lately, Brussels.

Following the attacks in Paris, France is extending the state of emergency in place to three months, enabling new legislation granting the Government the powers to carry out searches of any seized devices and block websites of choice.

Elsewhere in Europe, the UK Government has committed an extra £1.9 billion to be spent on cyber-security by 2020, and Belgium has joined the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

Finally, in a targeted effort to combat terrorism at a Pan-European level following the recent attacks across the continent, the European Union has announced plans to increase controls on virtual currencies, prepaid cards and money remittances.

Developments in the US witnessed the establishment of a new national counterintelligence strategy, designed to outline a plan for detecting, mitigating and preventing potential cyber-attacks.

Net neutrality also featured highly in this week’s media coverage, with the FCC’s network neutrality regulations and enforcement measures coming under intense scrutiny,

With regards to cyber privacy, the ongoing battle over encryption between major tech companies and the US Government rolled on. In the wake of the Paris attacks, US officials are once again pushing for limits on encryption and meeting resistance from key industry stakeholders.

On a Pan-Asian level, Internet governance was on the agenda, with preparations underway for Wuzhen, a town in the Zhejiang province of China due to hold the hold the second World Internet Conference (WIC) from Dec 16 to 18. It is anticipated that approximately 12,000 leading figures from governments, international organizations, companies and civil societies will attend, with the theme being "An Interconnected World Shared and Governed by All—Building a Cyberspace Community of Shared Destiny".

In cyber-security developments, China and the US announced they have reached ‘meaningful commitments’ to one another in an attempt to cut down on the trade- secret theft and pilfering of Intellectual Property which China has been renowned for.

Meanwhile, according to the Robert Walters Asia Job Index Q3 2015, the demand for cyber-skills across Asia remains high, with the region’s developing IT infrastructure generating significant growth in this particular employment market.

Elsewhere, Iran is said to have ramped up its cyber espionage activities, namely targeting the US and it’s cyber infrastructure following the historic nuclear agreement reached between the two states recently. Analysis suggests the activity signals a marked shift in cyber strategy for Iran, with an increasing focus on espionage as opposed to cyber-attacks.

Finally, select members of the UN this week are having closed door meetings in preparation for the high level summit due to take place in December, with 190 countries scheduled to meet at the UN to determine the ‘future of the internet’. The summit in December is a planned ten year review of policies for global internet deployment, including issues such as internet governance and the ‘digital divide’.