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INTERNET GOVERNANCE MONTHLY BRIEF (MARCH 2020)

INTERNET GOVERNANCE MONTHLY BRIEF (MARCH 2020)

MAIN NEWS

  • The United Sates Cyberspace Solarium report and National Strategy to secure 5G released
  • Georgia joined NATO Malware Information Sharing Platform
  • European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity hacked.
  • India adopted Bitcoin and Germany defined cryptocurrencies as financial instruments
  • Singapore and Australia agree on digital cooperation as European Commission proposed new strategy with Africa on digital transformation
  • Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom teamed up to protect children from online sexual abuse

CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

  • Mobile operators sharing data with health authorities in Europe while Czech Republic, Singapore, Israel, US and Slovakia adopting location data tracking to fight coronavirus spread.
  • World Health Organisation and hospitals in many countries faced cyberattacks amid coronavirus outbreak
  • European Union called streaming platform to prevent internet congestion as ITU launches Global Platform to protect telecommunication network and BEREC to deal with increased demand for network connectivity

CYBER GEOPOLITICS – CYBER SECURITY

The United Sates Cyberspace Solarium report and National Strategy to secure 5G released; Georgia joined NATO Malware Information Sharing Platform with Estonia, U.S. and the United Kingdom condemning cyberattacks in the country; European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity hacked.

In the United States, The Cyberspace Solarium released its report  and presented it to the public on March 11. This report was established in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 to defend the United States in cyberspace against cyberattacks. Also, the United States released its National Strategy to secure 5G aiming to enable tens of billions of new devices to harness the power of the Internet.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that two Chinese nationals have been charged with laundering over $100 million worth of cryptocurrency stolen by North Korean hackers from a cryptocurrency exchange.

In Georgia, on March 05, Georgian Cyber Security Bureau, joined NATO Malware Information Sharing Platform. At the UN Security Council, Estonia, the U.S. and the United Kingdom condemn cyberattacks on Georgia in October 2019. According to the Estonian Mission to the UN, it was the first time cyberattacks were officially discussed as a separate issue at the UN Security Council.

In Europe, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), reported that its network had been compromised in a “cyber intrusion.”

 DIGITAL ECONOMY

India adopted Bitcoin and Germany defined cryptocurrencies as financial instruments. Apple fined by France. Singapore and Australia agree on digital cooperation as European Commission proposed new strategy with Africa on digital transformation

In India, The Supreme Court  struck down the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) banking ban on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and Germany officially defined cryptocurrencies as financial instruments.

Apple has been fined €1.1 billion  by antitrust authorities in France, who claim that the company struck deals to maintain high prices.

On cooperation, The European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy proposed the basis for a new strategy with Africa on Digital Transformation while Singapore and Australia finalised an agreement which creates a framework for cooperation in the digital economy between the two countries.

CHILD ONLINE PROTECTION

African parliament urged to make laws on Online Child Sexual Exploitation as U.S, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom teamed up to protect children from online sexual abuse

In Africa, members of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) have been urged to make appropriate laws that protect victims of Online Child Sexual Exploitation.

The U.S. has teamed up with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom to offer up a set of voluntary principles to protect children from online sexual abuse and exploitation.

CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

DATA PROTECTION – PRIVACY

Mobile operators sharing data with health authorities in Europe while Czech Republic, Singapore, Israel, US and Slovakia adopting location data tracking to fight coronavirus spread.

In Europe, Mobile operators have been sharing data with the health authorities in Italy, Germany and Austria, helping to fight coronavirus by monitoring whether people are complying with curbs on movement while European Commission states “importance of ‘data for common good’ to fight COVID-19 outbreak.

The Czech Republic became the first European country to announce plans to deploy a location-tracking tool for fighting the coronavirus pandemic while Slovakian government stated that it will pass a law to allow authorities to use localisation data from mobile phone operators.

In Asia, Singapore has been using a smartphone app to monitor the spread of the coronavirus by tracking people who may have been exposed.

Israel’s government has approved emergency measures to track people suspected or confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus by monitoring their mobile phones while

In the United States, the Trump administration has been in discussions with the tech industry, including Facebook and Google, about how to use Americans’ cellphone location data to track the spread of the coronavirus. Also, California’s attorney general on March 11 released a second modification of the proposed regulations to implement the California Consumer Protection Act amidst COVID-19 pandemic

FRAUD – CYBER ATTACKS

World Health Organisation and hospitals in many countries faced cyberattacks amid coronavirus outbreak

Elite hackers tried to break into the World Health Organization and a medical facility on standby to help test any coronavirus vaccine been hit by a ransomware group

In the US, the Department of Justice announced  that it has taken its first action in federal court to combat fraud related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic while the Health and Human Services Department’s web site was hit with a DDoS cyber attack to take it offline.

In Europe, The Brno University Hospital  in the Czech Republic has been hit by a cyberattack and Hospitals in Spain been targeted with “coronavirus-themed phishing lures by attackers looking to lock-down their systems with Netwalker ransomware”

INFRASTRUCTURE – TELECOMMUNICATION

European Union called streaming platform to prevent internet congestion as ITU launches Global Platform to protect telecommunication network and BEREC to deal with increased demand for network connectivity

European Union Industry Chief Thierry Breton  called on streaming platforms to take measures to prevent internet congestion caused by thousands of people teleworking due to the coronavirus outbreak. Netflix responds favourably saying it would reduce its bit rates across all its streams in Europe, in effect cutting traffic on its European networks by 25%.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) announced the launch of a ‘global platform’ to help protect telecommunication networks under strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ITU also launches new guidelines for the development and implementation of National Emergency Telecommunication Plans.

The European Commission and BEREC prepared a joint statement on how to cope with the increased demand for network connectivity due to the Covid-19 pandemic and set up a special process in order to be ready to respond to any crisis of supply on the telecom network.

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