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Internet Gov Monthly Brief (September 2020): US Cyber surveillance unlawful | Europe’s Digital Decade| NZ’s NZX stock exchange attack | Africa CDC launch AVoHCNet | Brazil data law enter into force | Estonia & Cyprus ratify Convention 108+ | Europe test interoperability gateway | Europe’s Cyber Crisis Network | Belarus internet shutdown | ECLAC on Access | EU Cyber Conflict Research Initiative

Internet Gov Monthly Brief (September 2020): US Cyber surveillance unlawful | Europe’s Digital Decade| NZ’s NZX stock exchange attack | Africa CDC launch AVoHCNet  | Brazil data law enter into force | Estonia & Cyprus ratify Convention 108+ | Europe test interoperability gateway | Europe’s Cyber Crisis Network | Belarus internet shutdown | ECLAC on Access | EU Cyber Conflict Research Initiative

CYBERGEOPOLITICS – CYBERPOLITICS

USA, the District Court for the District of Columbia granted a nationwide preliminary injunction stopping the US ban on TikTok transactions.

Iran, the General Staff of the Armed Forces released a statement outlining its views on how international law applies in cyberspace. The statement is with China’s International Strategy of Cooperation on Cyberspace the two of its kinds issued from a major non-Western cyber power.

Ethiopia and Egypt conflict over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has started in cyberspace.

India, Government has blocked 118 Chinese Mobile Apps which he said are Prejudicial to Sovereignty and Integrity of India. In response, the Chinese Embassy in India said that the ban not only harms the “legitimate rights and interests” of Chinese investors, but also harms the interests of Indian consumers and the “investment environment”.

Georgia, The Ministry of Internal Affairs has confirmed the cyberespionage against the Lugar Lab biomedical research centre in Tiblisi which took over COVID-19 research files. According to the ministry, the cyber-attack was carried out by a foreign special service.

Hungary, the banking and telecommunication services were disrupted by cyber attack reportedly launched from computer servers in Russia, China and Vietnam, telecoms firm Magyar Telekom MTEL.BU said.

The United Arab Emirates and Israel has joined force to share threats to their national online networks.

Armenia, hackers reportedly  hacked into the base of the Navy of Azerbaijan affecting 10 thousand military documents.

Germany, government want to run a trust test on the Chinese service provider Huawei Technology before it sets up its 5G network in Germany.

UK, Data analytics firm Palantir has signed a contract with the government for border and customs work post-Brexit.

DIGITAL POLICY

Europe, president Ursula von der Leyen outlined her vision that includes a call for Europe’s Digital Decade In her “state of the union” speech to the European Parliament

The Commission released studies on digital justice and a study on the use of innovative technologies stressing the need to step up actions aiming to build an ecosystem of excellence supporting the development and acceptance of AI across the EU economy and public administration.

The Cyber Conflict Research Initiative (ECCRI) announced the establishment of the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative aiming to provide a European venue for academic and policy dialogue on the subject of cyber conflict.

ITU released the 2020 Digital Regulation Handbook providing practical guidance for policy makers and regulators to harness the benefits of the Digital Economy. Also, the Organisation published ITUGSR-20 Best Practice Guidelines,  a roadmap for the digital ecosystem to set foundation for digital transformation in times of crisis.

CYBER ATTACK

New Zealand’s NZX stock exchange has sustained several distributed DDoS attacks.

Cyber authorities from France, Japan, and New Zealand have warned that email-borne Emotet campaigns are hitting targets in their countries using malicious pdf attachments.

A joint operation between Estonia, Lithuania and Romania, supported by Europol and Eurojust, has  dismantled an organised crime group involved in fraud, phishing and money laundering.

The US Universal Health Services has been obliged to shut down the IT networks at multiple hospitals, after being hit with a cyberattack.

Kaspersky’s report stated that the number of DDoS attacks affecting educational resources increased by at least 350%, compared to the corresponding months in 2019

DATA PROTECTION

In Brazil, law No. 13.709 of 14 August 2018, General Personal Data Protection Law (as amended by Law No. 13.853 of 8 July 2019) entered into force on 18 September 2020.

In Europe, the Council announced that Estonia and Cyprus had become respectively the seventh and eighth countries to ratify the Protocol amending the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data: Convention 108+.

The Parliament published a paper on the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) judgment in Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schemes (C-311/18) outlining the outcome of the judgment, as well as addressing the first reactions by commentators and EU data protection authorities.

The Commission’s eHealth Network adopted its European Interoperability Certificate Governance and its interoperability Architecture for contact tracing and warning apps.

The Commission itself started to test interoperability gateway service for national contact tracing and warning apps.

SECURITY

In United Nations, states, organisations have addressed an open letter to His Excellency Volkan Bozkir, the new President of the United Nations General Assembly, urging him to make digital trust and security a priority for his presidency.

Member states, with the support of ENISA, launched the Cyber Crisis Liaison Organization Network (CyCLONe) aimed at facilitating cooperation in case of disruptive cyber incidents.

The Parliamentary Research Service has issued an informative paper on EU cyber sanctions.

In the USA, the Department of Justice joined Europol to announce the results of Operation Disruptor, a coordinated international effort to disrupt opioid trafficking on the Darknet.

Staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electricity Reliability Corporation published a report on cyber planning for response and recovery that outlines best practices for the electric utility industry.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) have released a joint Ransomware Guide that details practices that organizations should continuously engage in to help manage the risk posed by ransomware and other cyber threats.

New Zealand has been invited by the Council of Europe to accede to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime

North Macedonia, Cyber defence experts have been training to improve the capacity of their country to respond to cyber threats.

ICRC calls on States to affirm civilians and civilian infrastructure must be protected against cyber operations

NATO Deputy Secretary General, has emphasised the need to continue adapting to new threats arising from advances in technology, such as cyber threats.

CONTENT

In Europe, the Commission presented the assessment of the implementation and effectiveness of the Code of Practice on Disinformation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) together with the UN, specialised agencies and partners called on countries “to develop and implement action plans to promote the timely dissemination of science-based information and prevent the spread of false information while respecting freedom of expression”. 

Facebook has removed two separate networks originated in China and Philippines for violating its policy against coordinated inauthentic behaviour. However, Philippine police and military organizations have denied any involvement in the coordinated inauthentic network Facebook took down. Also, the social media has banned ads on its website and Instagram photo and video sharing service that claim widespread voting fraud, suggest U.S. election results would be invalid, or which attack any method of voting.

ACCESS

The UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has recommended countries to provide a “basic basket of Information and Communications Technologies for all households”.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates US$ 428 billion are needed to connect the remaining 3 billion people to the Internet by 2030 achieving universal, affordable broadband an connectivity for all humanity.

On Belarus internet shutdown, Governments released joint statement condemning the recently reported and ongoing use of partial and complete Internet shutdowns, as well as targeted content blocking.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

In the USA, The Portland City Council has passed two ordinances banning the use of facial recognition. One ordinance prohibits the city from using facial recognition. A second ordinance prohibits private companies from using facial recognition in public spaces.

In Europe, the Commission has published a report by an independent group of experts on Ethics of Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs).

The Parliament announced that the new Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age had been constituted and had held its first meeting.

SURVEILLANCE

An appeals court ruled that the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance of Americans’ telephone records was unlawful, seven years after it was exposed by Edward Snowden.

ONLINE EDUCATION

In Europe, the Commission adopted two initiatives that will strengthen the contribution of education and training to the EU’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis, and help build a green and digital Europe.

DIGITAL HEALTH

In Africa, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) launched a new web-based tool, AVoHC Net, to facilitate rapid deployment and better administration of a standby workforce for public health emergencies across Africa.

CHILD ONLINE PROTECTION

INTERPOL released report on child sexual abuse highlighting the trends and threats in the context of COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic measures.

INFRASTRUCTURE

ITU launched Connect2Recover to reinforce digital infrastructure in countries affected by COVID-19 to reinforce affordable and reliable connectivity in beneficiary countries

GENDER

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) launched a cooperative project to enhance the digital ecosystem and build digital skills for women in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Ethiopia calls for Africa to promote digital financial services to boost women’s economic opportunities.

DIGITAL IDENTITY

The East Africa Community (EAC) Secretariat have rolled out the Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking System (RECDTS) which will enable the issuance of the EAC COVID-19 digital certificates that are mutually recognised by Partner States.

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