31 August 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.

A major development in net neutrality was announced by the European telecoms regulator BEREC this week. The new rules essentially shore up an existing loophole that allowed telecoms companies to prioritise premium companies by speeding up and slowing down their delivery of internet access.

 Following last week’s announcement that the EU will support back doors into secure communication apps, WhatsApp has fallen under increased scrutiny from the EU and other regions over its deal to share account information with Facebook

 Elsewhere France and Vietnam have held extensive talks on a variety of issues that could lead to increased cooperation between the two countries, particularly on security issues, such as cyber security.

 In the United States this week, the ongoing battle over net neutrality has taken another twist, as a Federal Appeals court in California dismissed a net neutrality suit against telecoms company AT&T. Whilst the Government case of fraud has been dismissed the company will still face the prospect of a fine from the FCC for its data throttling.

 Three zero day exploits have been found in Apple’s iOS for iPhones this week. The exploit used spyware to turn phones into portable recording devices for apparent state sponsored activities against human rights activists across the world. 

 The iPhone hack has also highlighted the role of Israeli surveillance companies and the institutional approach to cyber securityamongst the country’s military branches.

 As the U.S. Presidential election in November nears, the issue of electoral security has become an increasingly fraught issue, with Illinois this week the victim of a cyber attack on its electoral register, revealing some 200,000 names. Whilst the Department for Homeland Security has offered cyber security support to state electoral offices, two battleground states have already refused this offer.

 In Asia this week China has taken the extraordinary step of inviting foreign firms into its legislative proceedings in response to concern about the country’s cybersecurity bill. Whilst companies like Microsoft have announced their intention to attend, it is not yet clear how far China will be willing to allow involvement from these companies.

 A series of data leaks has revealed that India’s skills shortage is preventing it from dealing effectively with cyber security threats. The leaked information details how the country lacks both the quantity and quality of cyber security professionals to deal with emerging challenges. 

 Whilst Russia and China have become less politically hostile towards one another in recent years, this does not appear to have translated to the realm of cyber security, with new data this week showing that Chinese cyber attacks have almost tripled this year.

 Finally, ICANN has announced the newest selections for leadership positions within the organisation. The new appointees will assume their positions following the ICANN AGM in Hyderabad, India, from the 3rd to the 9th November 2016.

 For the full version of the above report, click here.