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Internet Governance Weekly Brief (W11Y20) US Cyberspace Solarium report; Russia to Block ‘Darknet’ Technologies; Georgia Joins NATO’s Cyber Threat Platform; Berners Lee warns web ‘not working for women’; COVID-19 outbreak; IGF 2020 call for session proposals….

Internet Governance Weekly Brief (W11Y20) US Cyberspace Solarium report; Russia to Block ‘Darknet’ Technologies; Georgia Joins NATO’s Cyber Threat Platform; Berners Lee warns web ‘not working for women’; COVID-19 outbreak; IGF 2020 call for session proposals….




The US Cyberspace Solarium released its report

“The Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC) was established in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 to “develop a consensus on a strategic approach to defending the United States in cyberspace against cyber attacks of significant consequences.” The finished report was presented to the public on March 11, 2020….”

Facebook, Twitter suspend Russian-linked operation targeting African Americans on social media

« Facebook and Twitter have disabled a sophisticated Russian-linked operation designed to stoke racial tensions among African Americans in the United States, the companies announced Thursday, raising fresh alarms about Kremlin interference ahead of the 2020 presidential election….”

US: Watchdog warns of election security issues this year and chides federal agency

“The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), part of the Department of Homeland Security, was to have finalized plans by January to support states and localities with their election security operations….”

That did not happen, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

Top U.S. envoy presses Canada over Huawei role in 5G network: officials

“A senior U.S. envoy on Monday pressed Canada about Ottawa’s forthcoming decision on whether to allow China’s Huawei Technologies to take part in its 5G network, a move Washington opposes, officials said….”

Jury in CIA leaks case fails to reach a verdict on most serious charges

“A jury in New York failed to reach a verdict Monday on whether a former CIA employee gave government hacking tools to WikiLeaks, in what officials had called the biggest leak of classified information in the intelligence agency’s history….”

Senators press EU to sanction Putin associate for election meddling

“A group of Democrats led by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday urged the European Union (EU) to sanction a top close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin for meddling in U.S. elections. 

Russia Seeks to Block ‘Darknet’ Technologies, Including Telegram’s Blockchain

“The call for bids was published on March 3 by the General Radio Frequency Center, the agency controlling the use of radio frequencies in Russia, and first reported by the Russian-language cryptocurrency news outlet Forklog….”

European Commission resists competition reform plans until 2021

« The European Commission will not look into the possibility of revising the bloc’s competition rules until at least 2021, despite recent pressure from a group of EU member states….”

“..Reaffirming calls outlined in the executive’s recent Digital Strategy plans, Tuesday’s document highlighted the need for key investment in research and development across artificial intelligence, 5G, data and metadata analytics, as well as building up a critical Quantum Communication Infrastructure to “protect key digital assets of the EU.”


Supreme Court Strengthens Arguments That Federal Law Protects Electronic Commerce From Discriminatory State Taxes

« A March 3, 2020 US Supreme Court decision[1] applies principles of federal preemption of state legislation and – while not a tax case – adds weight to arguments that taxes proposed in Maryland,[2] Nebraska,[3] and New York state[4] are barred by the Internet Tax Freedom Act[5] (ITFA).[6] … »


A .com trademark case at the US Supreme Court could change the web as we know it

« ….Now the matter is in the hands of the Supreme Court justices. They must decide if adding a generic top-level domain, like .com, to an otherwise common term, like “booking,” can create a protectable trademark. On March 23, they’ll hear arguments in this case, which digital civil liberties advocates at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) say could change the web for the worse.

U.S. Govt. Makes it Harder to Get .Gov Domains

“The federal agency in charge of issuing .gov domain names is enacting new requirements for validating the identity of people requesting them. The additional measures come less than four months after KrebsOnSecurity published research suggesting it was relatively easy for just about anyone to get their very own .gov domain….”


EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market: The European and International Federations of Journalists joint position on the implementation of Article 17

« This position paper is submitted to the European Commission in the context of its Stakeholder Dialogue on the implementation of Article 17 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) represent over 320,000 journalists in Europe and 600,000 worldwide, working in print, broadcasting and electronic media. We welcome this consultation and the opportunity to submit this paper, structured around six key points….”


US CISA: Defending Against COVID-19 Cyber Scams

“The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warns individuals to remain vigilant for scams related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Cyber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19….”

USA: State Department blames ‘swarms of online, false personas’ from Russia for wave of coronavirus misinformation online

“A top State Department official said Thursday that Russia is behind “swarms of online, false personas” that sought to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media sites, stressing the “entire ecosystem of Russian disinformation is at play…..”

ITU reschedules two key conferences in response to COVID-19 to protect staff, speakers and delegates

“Given the global COVID-19 outbreak, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and its partners have decided to postpone the dates for the upcoming World Information Society (WS​IS) Forum (originally in April and now from 31 August to 4 September 2020), as well as the AI for Good Global Summit (originally in May and now from 21 to 25 September 2020)….” 

COVID-19: Kerala Internet providers to step up network capacity

“Following the outbreak of COVID-19, internet service providers in Kerala, on Thursday agreed to step up the network capacity by 30 to 40 percent, to meet the demand arising from the situation, especially in view of spurt in work-at-home mode. …”

Twitter makes working from home mandatory for employees around the world in response to COVID-19

“ “strongly encouraging” it earlier this month, Twitter said today that working from home is now mandatory for all employees around the world due to COVID-19 concerns. In announcement, the company said “we understand this is an unprecedented step, but these are unprecedented times….”

Coronavirus School Closings Expose Digital Divide

“The mounting school closures amid the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. are exposing major equity gaps in access to technology and the internet, and the FCC needs to step in, according to FCC commissioners….”


‘Digital dystopia’: Internet inventor warns web ‘not working for women’

“The internet is “not working for women” and is fueling a new era of widespread abuse against females, the creator of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, warned on Thursday…”


US Senate Looks at New Cybersecurity Measures for New Era in Homeland Security

“…a United States Senate committee examined new measures to enhance federal reporting for cybersecurity vulnerabilities that threaten “critical infrastructure”. They convened in an attempt to establish new support for state and local governments confronting threats like ransomware…..”

Georgia Joins NATO’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Sharing Platform

“Georgian Cyber Security Bureau, a state body charged with tackling cyber threats, joined Malware Information Sharing Platform, Georgia’s Ministry of Defense reported on March 5….”

UK: Cross-regulator taskforce on digital economy announced in 2020 Budget

“As part of the 2020 Budget, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced the creation of a Digital Markets Taskforce, which will report to the government in six months’ time on a pro-competitive regime for digital platform markets….”


European power grid organization says its IT network was hacked

“The organization that ensures coordination of European electricity markets said Monday that its IT network had been compromised in a “cyber intrusion.”

The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), whose members include large electric transmission operators across the continent, “recently found evidence of a successful cyber intrusion into its office network,” the organization said in a terse statement…”

At UN Security Council, Estonia, UK, U.S. Condemn Russian Cyberattack on Georgia

“At the UN Security Council, on March 5, Estonia, the U.S. and the United Kingdom condemned the “extensive and disruptive cyberattacks on Georgia in October 2019.

As mentioned by the Estonian Mission to the UN, it was the first time cyberattacks were officially discussed as a separate issue at the UN Security Council….”


US Department Of Justice Releases Child Online Protection Principles

“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 who use their online platforms from sexual abuse and exploitation….”


Despite ‘consensus’ with DoD, ODNI moving ahead with its own AI principles

“Building off the Defense Department’s recent adoption of five artificial intelligence principles, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will soon release its own public set of AI principles….”


Dutch government loses hard drives with data of 6.9 million registered donors

« The Dutch government said it lost two external hard disk storage devices that contained the personal data of more than 6.9 million organ donors….”

Facebook faces $1bn fine for breach of Australian privacy law over Cambridge Analytica scandal

“The Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has lodged Federal Court proceedings against Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica data breaches. Should the social media giant be found guilty, it faces a fine of over $1bn….”


Cross-Whitehall unit set up to counter false coronavirus claims

“A special cross-Whitehall unit has been set up to counter coronavirus-related disinformation, including from Russia and China, working closely with social media companies to rebut false and inaccurate claims about the disease….”

Removing fake news, hate speech on social media: Delhi HC seeks reply from Centre, online platforms

“The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the Centre’s response on a plea seeking removal of fake news and hate speech being circulated on social media and platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google….”


Central African countries sign deals to get submarine cable and new data center

« …CAB4 is a terrestrial fiber network that is to run between Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, the Republic of the Congo, and the bordering Democratic Republic of the Congo. The project is funded by a loan from the World Bank which is currently anywhere upwards of around $280m.


IGF Call for session proposals, Village booths, Travel support /

“The IGF 2020 has opened several calls for session proposals and other process activities to be hosted at the 15th annual IGF meeting in Katowice, Poland (2 – 6 November 2020):  The Deadline to apply for the above-mentioned calls is 15 April 2020, 23:59 p.m. UTC…”

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