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Internet Governance Weekly Brief (W17Y20): COVID-19 & Internet; Snowden to remain in Russia; Argentina and China Central Banks to adopt cryptocurrency; ITU on climate change fight; 2020 World Press Freedom Index..

Internet Governance Weekly Brief (W17Y20): COVID-19 & Internet; Snowden to remain in Russia; Argentina and China Central Banks to adopt cryptocurrency; ITU on climate change fight;  2020 World Press Freedom Index..





ITU – Unleashing information technology to defeat COVID-19 : Initiative builds on current efforts to disseminate health messages through the joint WHO-ITU BeHe@lthy BeMobile initiative.

“The World Health Organization (WHO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)​, are set to work with telecommunication companies to text people directly on their mobile phones with vital health messaging to help protect them from COVID-19….” Read more  


Vietnam says accusations it hacked China for virus information ‘baseless’

“A report which said Vietnamese government-linked hackers had attempted to break into Chinese state organisations at the centre of Beijing’s effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak is “baseless”, Vietnam’s foreign ministry said on Thursday….” Read more   


European Data Protection Board: Guidelines 04/2020 on the use of location data and contact tracing tools in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. Adopted on 21 April 202

“Governments and private actors are turning toward theuse of data driven solutions as part of the response to theCOVID-19 pandemic, raising numerous privacy concern…..” Read more  

Coronavirus: RAF flies in for UK contact tracing app test

« In a speech to the UK Parliament on 22 April, health minister Matt Hancock announced that the government would introduce large-scale contact-tracing once the number of new cases of the coronavirus falls….” Read more   

Data breach may have exposed personal information of thousands of SBA emergency loan applicants

“The personal information of thousands of small businesses applying for federal disaster loans was potentially exposed to other applicants, marking the latest glitch in the rollout of government programs designed to help companies crippled by the coronavirus pandemic….”Read more  

Bulgaria: Tracking mobile devices and data protection – Where do we draw the line?

“Over the last few weeks, the search for effective measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 has been the number one priority of affected countries. So far, there is no unified approach….” Read more  


Indonesia accelerates digital tax reforms amid COVID-19 outbreak

“The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the government of Indonesia to start collecting taxes from digital services sooner than planned, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said. Initially, the tax collection was set to be passed into law by the House of Representatives later this year….” Read more  


Council of Europe: Freedom of expression and information in times of crisis

“As governments around the world are declaring a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is of crucial importance to ensure that any exceptional measures introduced do not undermine freedom of expression (Article 10) and other human rights enshrined in the Convention and are “strictly required by the exigencies of the situation” (Article 15)….” Read more  

2020 World Press Freedom Index: “Entering a decisive decade for journalism, exacerbated by coronavirus”

“The 2020 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), shows that the coming decade will be decisive for the future of journalism, with the Covid-19 pandemic highlighting and amplifying the many crises that threaten the right to freely reported, independent, diverse and reliable information….” Read more   


New Europol report on who are the counterfeiters and how they are trying to profit from COVID-19

“From websites selling fake COVID-19 blood screening tests taken down by several EU Member States’ law enforcement authorities to the seizure of substandard facemasks originating from Brazil and the sale of chloroquine via instant messaging apps:… Read more


Snowden asks to remain in Russia for three more years

“Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden is requesting an extended residency permit in Russia for three more years….”Read more

France: 2019 Annual Report of the Ambassador for digital affairs

“The Ambassador for digital affairs coordinates, together with the relevant directorates within the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and responsible Ministries, the development of France’s positions in relation to the international implications of digital transformation and its related issues…”Read more  

MHA-CSA-ELD Advises Political Parties about Threat of Foreign Interference in Elections and Cybersecurity Risks

“The Ministry of Home Affairs, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and the Elections Department have published advisories to political parties, on the Elections Department website, about the threat of foreign interference in elections and cybersecurity risks….” Read more  


ITU: Frontier technologies are key tools to combat climate change

“From cutting emissions in cities to natural disaster risk reduction, smart water management and precise climate monitoring, frontier technologies in fields such as artificial intelligence, 5G and robotics demonstrate considerable potential to support the battle against climate change, highlights a new ITU/UN report, “Frontier technologies to protect the environment and tackle climate change”. The report was released to mark the occasion of Earth Day 2020….” Read more  


RIPE opposes Chinese proposal to change core internet protocols

“Internet governance group RIPE has opposed the proposal for a new authoritarian-friendly Internet architecture that would likely offer governments the ability to manage and monitor every device connected to the network….” Read more   


US: GAO reveals lack of cybersecurity strategies at four agencies

“Four Cabinet-level agencies are working to finalize risk-management strategies and improve internal cybersecurity coordination by this fall at the behest of the Government Accountability Office, according to new reports released by the watchdog this month….” Read more  

U.S. Supreme Court to consider limiting reach of computer fraud law

“The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether to limit the type of conduct that can be prosecuted under a federal computer fraud law in a case it took up on Monday involving a former Georgia police officer convicted after agreeing to investigate whether a purported local stripper was an undercover cop….’ Read more   

US -CISA: Update on “Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce”

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released version 3.0 of its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. Among other tweaks, version 3.0 clears up some confusions over “employees” versus “contractors,” and it adds language emphasizing the importance of IT workers. Read more….’ 


The FCC rejects call from cities for more times to respond to net neutrality proceeding

“The Federal Communications Commission rejected calls from city governments on Monday asking for the agency to extend the comment filing period for part of its 2018 net neutrality rollback, rebuking their effort to gain more time to respond to the docket during the novel coronavirus pandemic….” Read more  


Argentina’s Central Bank Leverages Blockchain Technology

“According to Fintechzoom, South-American blockchain heavyweight IOV Labs has developed a proof-of-concept roadmap based on its RSK Smart Contract. The blockchain developer announced the news via a press release issued on Tuesday (April 21, 2020), revealing that the project is a combined effort with Argentina’s top financial institution…” Read more   

South Korean Social Gaming App Launches Blockchain-Based Platform

“Major South Korean social gaming app GameTalkTalk has rolled out a blockchain project for gamers, which will offer three new features, including rewards…” Read more   

Blockchain Now Officially Part of China’s Technology Strategy

“The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) told reporters Monday blockchain will join other emerging technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) in underpinning the systems China uses to manage the flow of information in the coming years….” Read more  


China’s Central Bank Allows Some Commercial Lenders to Start Running Trials of Its Digital Currency

« China’s central bank is a step closer to becoming the world’s first major monetary authority to issue its own digital tender. The People’s Bank of China will conduct internal tests for the central bank’s digital currency (CBDC) across four cities (Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’An and Chengdu), according to a statement issued by the bank on Friday….” Read more   


Massachusetts announces $18.2 mln settlement with Equifax over data breach

“Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Friday announced an $18.2 million settlement with consumer credit reporting company Equifax Inc over a 2017 data breach that affected 147 million people nationwide….” Read more  

US govt: Hacker used stolen AD credentials to ransom hospitals

Hackers have deployed ransomware on the systems of U.S. hospitals and government entities using stolen Active Directory credentials months after exploiting a known remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in their Pulse Secure VPN servers….” Read more  


Australia to force Google, Facebook to pay domestic media to use content

Australia will force Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google to share advertising revenue with local media firms, the country’s treasurer said on Monday, becoming one of the first countries to require digital platforms to pay for content they use….” Read more   

Facebook and Google to face mandatory code of conduct to ‘level playing field’ with traditional news media

The Federal Government has ordered the competition watchdog to develop a mandatory code of conduct to govern commercial dealings between tech giants and news media companies….” Read more  

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