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Internet Gov Weekly brief (W29A20): UN E-Gov Survey; Privacy Shield invalidated; U.K. bans Huawei; UK’s election interference; COVID-19 vaccine hack disputes; Google fined on RTBF; African E-Commerce Platform; European Com enquiry over IoT.

Internet Gov Weekly brief (W29A20): UN E-Gov Survey; Privacy Shield invalidated; U.K. bans Huawei; UK’s election interference; COVID-19 vaccine hack disputes; Google fined on RTBF; African E-Commerce Platform; European Com enquiry over IoT.


The U.K. announced it will ban Huawei from its 5G networks. According to U.K. Culture Secretary, mobile network operators in UK will stop buying equipment from Huawei by the end of the year. Also, they will be required to remove Huawei gear from their infrastructure by 2027. The United States has hailed this UK’s decision following months of pressure to convince UK to ban Huawei.

The UK secretary Dominic Raab said Russia tried to interfere in UK 2019 election by leaking documents online. In addition, UK officials said they are “almost certain” that “Russian actors” sought to interfere in last year’s general election.

The US Central Intelligence Agency has conducted a series of cyber operations against Iran, Russia and China after President Trump has issued a secret order to grant the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) more power to launch cyberattacks.

US, UK and Canadian security officials has accused Russia cyber actors for targeting organizations involved in coronavirus vaccine development and called for an end of these malicious activities.


The Division of Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) of UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) has launched  the 2020 edition of the United Nations E-Government Survey as Denmark, Korea and Estonia make top of the 2020 ranking.


The Court of Justice of the European Union issued its judgment in Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schrems (C-311/18). So, the Court has invalidated the “Privacy Shield” data sharing system between the EU and the US because of overreaching US surveillance. However, the Court upheld the validity of the EU Commission’s Standard Contractual Clauses which remain an effective tool for transferring personal data outside the EU. Following the decision, the European Commission released a statement outlining the need of having a broad toolbox for international transfers while ensuring a high level of protection for personal data.

On data safety over COVID-19, the European Commission has adopted a decision to support the setting up of a voluntary gateway service to facilitate the interoperability of contact tracing and warning apps.  Besides, The European Data Protection Supervisor published a document to give advices on questions such as teleworking tools, staff management, health data aspects and replying to data subject access requests.

In India, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued a report on several emerging innovative ideas on non-personal data such as attempts to give definition of non-personal data and the appropriate rights and privileges over this data. Also, a  Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for data exchange between the two organizations.

In Israel, the Privacy Protection Authority announced its compliance with Article 1 of the Privacy Protection Regulations, 5761-2001 stressing that information can be transmitted from the State of Israel to EU Member States.

In Brazil, the São Paulo Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Federal Prosecution Service have reached an agreement with Microsoft Informática Ltda. in relation to compliance of the Windows 10 operating system with Brazilian law.


In the US, in recognition of the growing convergence of cyber and traditional financial crimes, the U.S. Secret Service has merged its Electronic Crimes Task Forces (ECTFs) and Financial Crimes Task Forces (FCTFs) into a single unified network, called the Cyber Fraud Task Forces (CFTFs). The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) has released a draft revision to NIST Special Publication 800-181, the Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity which  is a reference for describing and sharing information about cybersecurity work. Also, U.S. Senator Angus King and Congressman Mike Gallagher, co-chairs of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC) announced the release of the CSC’s Fiscal Year 2021 legislative proposals that in tandem with the final report, to defend the nation’s critical infrastructure from cyberattacks. 

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity released its Strategy for a Trusted and Cyber Secure Europe outlining its objective to achieve a high common level of cybersecurity across the EU.

In China, the National Information Security Standardisation Technical Committee of China announced its proposal for the establishment of a second batch of national cybersecurity standard projects in 2020.

In Africa, The ECOWAS Court of Justice has ordered the Federal Republic of Nigeria to repeal or amend its law on cybercrime to align with its obligation under Article 1 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

An Israeli court rejected a bid by rights group Amnesty International to revoke the export license of spyware firm NSO Group over hacking allegations.


The African Union and African Electronic Trade Group has launched “SOKOKUU”, the African E-Commerce Platform, aiming to connect all businesses across the emerging integrated African market In Chad, the government announced a new strategy in order to better integrate the use of digital technologies to accelerate digital migration in the country over the period from 2020 to 2030.  Meanwhile, The Niger government has benefited from the World Banks’ International Development Association (IDA) a disbursement of $100 million (CFA57.8 billion) to accelerate its digital transformation.


the European Commission has launched The DigComp at Work report and its Implementation Guidelines to help educators, employers and recruiters ensure Europeans are equipped with the digital skills to thrive in the post-coronavirus world of work.


Belgium’s Data Protection Authority fined Google Belgium €600,000 (U.S. $670,000) for or not complying with European rules on a person’s “right to be forgotten”.


The European Commission has launched an antitrust competition inquiry into the sector of Internet of Things (IoT) for consumer-related products and services in the European Union.


In the UK, The Competition and Markets Authority published its 2019/2020 annual report outlining CMA’s initiatives, including its digital markets strategy whereas India asked the WTO members to “urgently” reconsider the continuation of the moratorium on customs duties on e-commerce trade.


Twitter said hackers accessed its internal systems and hacked Several high-profile twitter accounts  including US Presidential candidate Joe Biden, Former US President Barack Obama, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Tesla CEO Elon Musk & Kanye West in an apparent Bitcoin scam.


In Mali, Network data from the NetBlocks internet observatory confirm that social media and messaging apps were partially blocked on Friday 10 July 2020 amid mass protests, while in Ethiopia, Mobile internet data and WiFi has been shut down for the 3rd week in a row.


The Russian State Parliament announced that a bill amending the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation was introduced to the lower house. the Bill established liability for violation of the procedure for deletion and/or restriction of access to information

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