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Internet Gov Weekly Brief (W30A20): US-China cyber-diplomatic war; UK’s report on Russia interference; US indicts Chinese hackers; EU Security Union Strategy; Egypt endorsed privacy law; Turkey’s bill on social medias; G20 on AI.

Internet Gov Weekly Brief (W30A20): US-China cyber-diplomatic war; UK’s report on Russia interference; US indicts Chinese hackers; EU Security Union Strategy; Egypt endorsed privacy law; Turkey’s bill on social medias; G20 on AI.


The Trump administration ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston in a response to a surge in Chinese espionage in the United States. USA directed the closure of the consulate “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said. In response, China has ordered the closure of the United States consulate in Chengdu, days after USA forced the Chinese consulate in Houston to cease operations.

Following UK’s accusations on Russian espionage and cyber operations, The UK’s Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament published two reports and a press release on the issue highlighting the fact UK government not looking deep to possible Russian meddling in UK elections above all during 2016 Brexit referendum. Besides, Russia’s ambassador to the UK has rejected allegations that his country’s intelligence services tried to steal coronavirus vaccine research.

US Department of Justice indicts two Chinese hackers working with the Ministry of State Security for Global Computer Intrusion Campaign Targeting Intellectual Property and Confidential Business Information, Including COVID-19 Research.

Moscow has invited Berlin to hold cybersecurity consultations to address the existing cyber disputes between the two countries, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of International Information Security, said. The ministry was commenting on Germany‘s claims about Russia‘s alleged involvement in the 2015 cyberattacks on the Bundestag.


In the USA, U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chairman of the Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection issued a statement after the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.

The American Civil Liberties Union, along with other civil rights organisations submitted  to the California Secretary of State a rebuttal to an argument in favour of Proposition 24 on the November 2020 ballot, which would establish the California Consumer Privacy Rights Act.

In Europe, during its 34th plenary session, the EDPB adopted a statement on the CJEU’s ruling in Facebook Ireland v Schrems. The Board also adopted Guidelines on the interplay between the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and the GDPR, as well as a response letter to MEP Ďuriš Nicholsonová on contact tracing, interoperability of apps and DPIAs.  

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office has published its annual report outlining that it had received 38,514 data protection complaints, conducted over 2,100 investigations, taken 236 regulatory actions in response to violations, 54 of which constituted information notices, eight assessment notices, seven enforcement notices, four cautions, eight prosecutions and 15 fines.

In Africa, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi endorsed Law No. 151 of 2020 aiming to promote the security of personal data processed and stored online.

The South African Information Regulator published its draft Guidelines on the Registration of Information Officers and invited comments on the documents

In South America, The Colombian data protection authority has issued a resolution on compliance with Statutory Law 1581 of 2012 when collecting, using, and processing personal data for various purposes (marketing, political, portfolio collection, etc.)

Otherwise, The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner of Switzerland, the Information Commissioner’s Office of UK, the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data of Hong Kong, the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority Information Commissioner and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner issued an open letter to companies providing video teleconferencing services (VTC) outlining concerns and the steps that VTC companies must take to mitigate any identified risks and ensure the safety of citizen’s data.


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development released a report on examples of artificial intelligence national policies for the G20 Digital Economy Task Force.

In USA, The Bill for the Future of Artificial Intelligence Act of 2020 passed, on 22 July 2020 the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

In Europe, to address the risks associated with the use of Artificial intelligence, the European Commission had proposed a White Paper (.pdf) for community comments from 19 February to 14 June 2020. Over 1250 replies were received from the public and private sectors, including governments, local authorities, commercial and non-commercial organisations, experts, academics and citizens. The European Economic and Social Committee responded to the consultation stating that biometric recognition for tracking, surveillance, and detecting emotions should not be used.

The G20 Digital Economy ministers published a declaration following a meeting where they discussed ways to harness digital technologies in the 21st century in particular building trustworthy artificial intelligence systems that can have an impact on security, ethics, and human rights.


The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has initiated an investigation following the use of segment codes to carry out cybercrimes.

The European Commission sets out a new EU Security Union Strategy for the period 2020 to 2025, to support Member States in fostering security for Europeans from protecting critical infrastructure to fighting cybercrime and countering hybrid threats. Also, the Joint Research Centre published a report on cybersecurity in the EU recommending policies to help foster the right culture, knowledge and digital skills for a secure and innovative digital society in Europe.

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity has published its 9th annual report on telecom security incidents outlining the impact of major incidents that happened in the course of 2019, as well as multi-annual trends. Also, the Organisation  published  its Annual Report for 2019 highlighting regulatory impact of Cybersecurity Act.


The European Investment Bank has published its Report on Africa’s Digital Solutions to tackle COVID-19 outlining the use of contact tracing apps in the fight against COVID-19.

The Global Digital Health Partnership released a set of white papers which aim to share national experiences of digital health in key areas to assist with the planning, implementation and evaluation of digital health initiatives.


Twitter has provided update in its investigation into its security incident when a group of hackers breached its backend and tweeted a cryptocurrency scam on behalf of high-profile and verified accounts.


Nigeria‘s government has established a committee aiming to introduce digital identification for all Nigerians.


The Russian State Parliament announced that the bill to amend the Labour Code and implement remote work has passed the first reading. The bill aims to clarify among other things, the concept of remote work and the protection of employees working remotely.


Bangladesh’s regulator has ordered telecom operators and other internet providers to stop providing free access to social media services.


Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has submitted a bill consisting of nine articles to regulate social media.

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