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Internet Governance Monthly Brief (October 2020): Europe, US on Organisations compliance with Schrems II judgment | Japan on Tokyo Olympics Security| Cyberattacks on health sectors rise | Global Privacy Assembly resolutions | UN DESA released The Compendium of Digital Gov Initiatives | Africa on digital trade | Europe on Artificial Intelligence regulation |Freedom on the Net 2020 report| Platforms face antitrust investigations…

Internet Governance Monthly Brief (October 2020): Europe, US on Organisations compliance with Schrems II judgment | Japan on Tokyo Olympics Security| Cyberattacks on health sectors rise | Global Privacy Assembly resolutions | UN DESA released The Compendium of Digital Gov Initiatives | Africa on digital trade | Europe on Artificial Intelligence regulation |Freedom on the Net 2020 report| Platforms face antitrust investigations…


Japan said it would take  appropriate measure to ensure next year’s Tokyo Olympics are not affected by cyberattacks following UK’s accusation on Russian GRU military intelligence of conducting cyber campaigns to sabotage Tokyo Olympics. Besides, the U.S. Department of Justice announced charges against six members of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency for their alleged role in several major cyberattacks.

The United States has seized 92 domain names “unlawfully used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)  for disinformation campaign”.


USA,  Congress releases tech antitrust report highlighting Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook hold “monopoly power” and have abused their dominance in the marketplace. – Department of Justice filed along with 11 States files a lawsuit against Google.

Europe, antitrust regulators have extended their investigation into Google’s $2.1 billion purchase of Fitbit to Jan. 8 from Dec. 23. – UK, the Competition and Markets Authority announced Instagram’s actions to tackle hidden advertising following investigation. – Italia, The Competition Authority had started an investigations into Alphabet Inc., Google LLC, and Google Italy S.r.l. for an alleged Treaty violation. – France’s antitrust regulator has received a complaint from advertising companies and publishers on Apple’s upcoming privacy enhancements.


The United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) said some of its systems were disrupted as a result of a cyberattack.

USA, Universal Health Services (UHS) has been obliged to shut down the IT networks at multiple hospitals, after being hit with a cyberattack. – A cybersecurity incident has forced the computer systems of an Ohio medical center offline for multiple days and prompted the clinic to postpone elective procedures for patients.- 3 Phoenix hospitals are recovering from cyber-attack after Universal Health Services confirmed its system is offline because of an “IT security incident.”

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.


USA, Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary issued a statement and a white paper to assist organisations following the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schrems (Case C-311/18).

Europe, European Commission Head of the Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom outlined lack of progress on personal data protection negotiations on future partnership between European Union and United Kingdom amid BREXIT. – The European Data Protection Supervisor issued a strategic document aiming to monitor compliance of Organisations with the “Schrems II” Judgement.- The European Banking Federation, with other industry associations representing Payment Service Providers, have sent a joint industry letter to the Europea Data Protection Board on the interplay of the Second Payment Services Directive and the GDPR.

The Global Privacy Assembly published its adopted resolutions following its annual GPA meeting


United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) released new publication titled The Compendium of Digital Government Initiatives in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic 2020.

Europe, the European Union Committee of the House of Lords  published its 13th report of session 2019-22 on the future UK-EU relationship on professional and business services. – The Council of Europe published the report titled “Digital solutions to fight COVID-19”.

Africa, The Seventh Session of the Statistical Commission for Africa (StatCom7) has called on Africa to prioritize digitalizing continent’s statistical systems.- The African Trade Observatory has begun testing the online dashboard “to give real-time trade statistics to African users to boost the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”.- African Union and Estonia will organize on 10-13 December a cross-continental hackathon “EU-Africa: The Post Crisis Journey” “seeking innovative solutions to socio-economic problems in Africa”.

ITU is calling member states, industry members, academia, UN sister agencies, partners and all stakeholders, to support its project: “protecting the planet with standards”  


Europe, The European Parliament adopted Report with Recommendations to the Commission on a Framework of Ethical Aspects of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Related Technologies and adopted proposals regarding the regulation of artificial intelligence across the EU.- The Presidency of the Council of Europe issued presidency conclusions on the charter of fundamental rights in the context of artificial intelligence and digital change; and the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly adopted its resolution and recommendations “calling for the adoption of a legally binding instrument for democratic governance of artificial intelligence”.

The Global Privacy Assembly published its adopted resolutions on facial recognition technology and resolutions on accountability in the development of Artificial Intelligence


World Vision International, ChildFund Alliance, Plan International, Save the Children International, SOS Children’s Villages International and Terre des Hommes International Federation have launched an urgent call for action to provide girls in Asia with equal access to the internet and protection from online abuse and exploitation.


The Economic Commission for Africa jointly with Future State and Smart Africa launched the Africa Data Leadership Initiative (ADLI)


European Union and  40 states has proposed the creation of a Programme of Action for advancing responsible state behaviour in cyberspace.

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.

Europe, EU 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. – ENISA has launched a new online toolkit to help establish, run and evaluate Information Sharing.- The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity has published the 8th annual ENISA Threat Landscape (ETL) 2020 report, “identifying and evaluating the top cyber threats for the period January 2019-April 2020”.

USA, National Security Agency announced the official launch of the Center for Cybersecurity Standards (CCSS) in the Cybersecurity Directorate. – The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) have released a joint Ransomware Guide .

The Financial Stability Board published a toolkit of effective practices for financial institutions’ cyber incident response and recovery.

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


United Nations Secretary General launched the #PledgetoPause campaign to help combat the impact of misinformation. 

Big technology platforms called on the European Union to design new rules for removing hate speech and other illegal or harmful content.

Facebook has updated its hate speech policy “to prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust”

Twitter Inc said it  will remove posts that deny the Holocaust.- It also launched a feature on its platform that seeks to debunk misinformation on voting.-

Twitter CEO and Facebook CEO defended Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency established a rumor control page for 2020 election security.

Mozilla sent a letter to Facebook and Twitter demanding they “immediately turn off two features that can amplify disinformation”

TikTok ban content promoting so-called “gay conversion therapy”


The International Telecommunication Union and the WEEE Forum released document titled ‘Internet Waste’ to outreach more on waste from internet and telecom infrastructure.


OECD has released statement outlining that the international community has agreed to keep working towards an agreement on digital tax by mid-2021.

The United Nations has released its revised draft proposal for taxation of automated digital services


The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to maintain its 2017 repeal of Obama-era net neutrality rules.


Webfoundation has released its report titled “WOMEN’S RIGHTS ONLINE : Closing the digital gender gap for a more equal world”


The European Commission adopted two initiatives that will strengthen the contribution of education and training to the EU’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

UNICEF has released its report titled “Towards an equal future: Reimagining girls’ education through STEM


Freedom House released The Freedom on the Net 2020 report, assessing the level of internet freedom in 65 countries as well as setting policy recommendations for a reliable and diverse information space.

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