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Internet Governance Monthly Brief (June 2020): Roadmap on Digital Cooperation launched; More cyberattacks and disinformation amid COVID-19; Cyber geopolitics over 5G roll out; More digital initiatives in Europe, Africa..

Internet Governance Monthly Brief (June 2020): Roadmap on Digital Cooperation launched; More cyberattacks and disinformation amid COVID-19; Cyber geopolitics over 5G roll out; More digital initiatives in Europe, Africa..

CYBER DIPLOMACY AND MORE INITIATIVES FROM INTERATIONAL ORGNISATIONS

The United Nations Secretary-General has launched his Roadmap on Digital Cooperation,

The United Nations Secretary-General has launched his Roadmap on Digital Cooperation, calling on the global community to connect, respect and protect all people in the digital age. Based on recommendations from the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel for Digital Cooperation convened from 2018-2019, and further informed by a series of roundtable discussions with key stakeholders, the report outlines eight key areas for action to advance a safer and more equitable digital world.

ITU launched the 2020 Guidelines on Child Online Protection with set of recommandations for children, parents and educators, industry and policymakers on how to contribute to the development of a safe and empowering online environment for children and young people. The International Organization for Standardization released three new standards relating to Internet of Things and UNESCO announced the beginning of a two-year process to elaborate instruments on ethics of artificial intelligence. The World Travel & Tourism Council called for biometrics and integrated strategy to support safe air travel during COVID-19.

CYBER GEOPOLITICS

FBI and NATO warned of increased cyber attacks amid pandemic

The FBI has warned of an increased rise of cyberattacks on mobile banking app noting it expects to see hackers “exploit” platforms, which have seen a 50% surge in use since the beginning of the pandemic. The North Atlantic Council condemned destabilising and malicious cyber activities directed against those whose work is critical to the response against the pandemic, including healthcare services, hospitals and research institutes. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called out China for targeting EU hospitals and health care institutions with cyberattacks during the coronavirus crisis.

China and Russia blamed for spreading out false and misleading online information about Covid-19

The European Union accused Beijing and Moscow of spreading out coronavirus disinformation campaigns. These accusations are denied by China saying it is a “victim of disinformation” and rejected claims from the EU that the country has spread “fake news” about COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. Besides, the  European Commission  stated that platforms still aren’t doing enough to tackle disinformation related to the coronavirus crisis.

5G : cyber disputes rise opposing China to USA, India and Canada

Cyber disputes over 5G opposing China against US, India and Canada arise as China responds to security and privacy accusations over its tech companies 5G equipment. The UK government launched a cyber security review on telecommunications company Huawei to measure its potential for espionage using 5G infrastructure;  NATO positively appreciated this review. In addition, USA has offered to build Britain’s 5G and nuclear power stations to end UK-China cyber relationship on 5G. 

More developments in Europe

The European Council adopted conclusions on European Union Digital Strategy and called for a reinforced EU digital government policy. The European Commission evaluated the General Data Protection Regulation and its 2016 Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online. Otherwise, itreleased the results of the 2020 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), which monitors the progress of  European countries in their digital transition and connectivity.

Developments in Africa

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) launched the Africa Communication and Information Platform for Health and Economic Action (ACIP) and ECOWAS Community Court of Justice ruled that the September 2017 internet shutdown ordered by the Togolese government during protests is illegal. The World Bank also stated that Africa needs much more affordable broadband internet to fight COVID-19 pandemic saying the continent needs about USD100 billion to achieve universal, affordable and good quality internet access by 2030. The Internet Society urges countries to invest in internet Exchange Points.

More developments in North America and Brazil

In North America, The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) officially entered into force. The US government has announced its plans for HTTPS on all dot-gov sites.

In the Caribbean, The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved the regional Caribbean Digital Transformation Project for a total of US$94 million.

In Brazil, the Senate approved a bill governing rules on fake news and the President of the National Congress promulgated Act No. 71/2020 which extends Provisional Measure No. 959 of 29 April 2020 for 60 days.

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