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Internet Governance Weekly Brief (W18Y20): COVID-19 & Internet (EU, UNDP, UNEP, EEAS), ICANN blocks sale of .org domain; U.S Cyberspace Solarium Commission Report; UNFPA Privacy Policy; Council of Europe Report to promote Journalism…

Internet Governance Weekly Brief (W18Y20): COVID-19 & Internet (EU, UNDP, UNEP, EEAS), ICANN blocks sale of .org domain; U.S Cyberspace Solarium Commission Report; UNFPA Privacy Policy; Council of Europe Report to promote Journalism…






COVID-19: European Commission and national consumer authorities are on high alert and call on platforms to stop scams and unfair practices

“On 30 April 2020, the CPC network, under the coordination of the Commission, launched a broad screening (“sweep”) of COVID-19 related products advertised on websites and online platforms taking a strong stance against rogue traders. More details on the sweep can be found in the summary document….”

Declaration by the High Representative Josep Borrell, on behalf of the European Union, on malicious cyber activities exploiting the coronavirus pandemic

“As the coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world, the European Union and its Member States have observed cyber threats and malicious cyber activities targeting essential operators in Member States and their international partners, including in the healthcare sector….”

Australia and US call out cyber attacks on hospitals during COVID-19 pandemic

“As China pushes Huawei-inspired supply chain freedoms at the United Nations, Australia reminds the world that a cyber legal framework already exists and attacking hospitals is not on…..”


COVID-19: New UNDP data dashboards reveal huge disparities among countries in ability to cope and recover

“The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today released two new data dashboards that highlight the huge disparities in countries’ abilities to cope with and recover from the COVID-19 crisis…..”


“Earth School” launches to keep students connected to nature in the time of COVID-19

“In response to the COVID-19 crisis, an unprecedented coalition has come together to launch “Earth School,” which provides free, high-quality educational content to help students, parents and teachers around the world who are currently at home. Initiated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and TED-Ed, Earth School takes students on a 30-day “Adventure” through the natural world….”


EEAS SPECIAL REPORT UPDATE: Short Assessment of Narratives and Disinformation around the COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic (Updated 2 – 22 April)

“As outlined in the earlier reports, disinformation, myths and misinformation continue to proliferate around the world, with potentially harmful consequences for public security, health and effective crisis communications….”


Germany pivots from centralized coronavirus tracing app to privacy-protecting alternative

« Germany has changed its stance on the centralization of data generated from mobile apps designed to help combat COVID-19…..”


Croatian Presidency Reportedly Pressures EU to Boost Introduction of 5G, 6G Networks

« Croatia, which currently presides over the Council of the European Union, has been pushing the European Commission to revise the action plan for the implementation of 5G and 6G mobile telecommunications in order to boost connectivity throughout the bloc, according to a document of the Croatian Presidency, seen by Euractiv….”


European Parliament – Enforcement and cooperation between Member States: E-Commerce and the future Digital Services Act

“This study presents an overview of possible options for an effective model of enforcement for a future Digital Services Act. Four key areas of regulatory design are emphasised; the failure of self-regulation in relation to platforms; the importance of correct regulatory framing; the necessity of focusing on the internal operations of platforms; and that the scope of a DSA should be limited but include robust transparency and enforcement measures….”

European Parliament: DRAFT REPORT on the Digital Services Act and fundamental rights issues posed

“The impact of digital services on our daily lives and the amount of user-generated content have increased drastically since the adoption of the e-Commerce Directive 20 years ago….”


ICANN Board Withholds Consent for a Change of Control of the Public Interest Registry (PIR)

« Today, the ICANN Board made the decision to reject the proposed change of control and entity conversion request that Public Interest Registry (PIR) submitted to ICANN….”

ICANN blocks controversial sale of .org domain to a private equity firm

« The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the non-profit organization that oversees the Internet’s domain name system, has rejected a controversial proposal to sell the .org domain to a private equity group for more than $1 billion. It’s a serious—quite possibly fatal—blow to a proposal that had few supporters besides the organizations that proposed it….”


U.S Cyberspace Solarium Commission Report

« After conducting an extensive study including over 300 interviews, a competitive strategy event modeled after the original Project Solarium in the Eisenhower administration, and stress tests by external red teams, the Commission advocates a new strategic approach to cybersecurity: layered cyber deterrence…..”

The Pentagon’s Cybersecurity Certification Plan Includes Continuously Monitoring Contractors  

“The accreditation body overseeing the Defense Department’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program—the CMMC-AB—issued a request for proposal that provides insight into how the group plans to keep track of contractors outside of conducting physical audits….”

US: Watchdog finds White House and DHS lack adequate plans for cybersecurity workforce

“A federal watchdog found that two government agencies in charge of reforming the federal cybersecurity workforce haven’t established dedicated teams to address challenges at a governmentwide scale…..”


Council of Europe: Annual report by the partner organisations to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists

In 2019, Europe was an intense and often dangerous battleground for press freedom and freedom of expression. The Council of Europe’s Platform to promote the protection of journalism and the safety of journalists (the Platform) recorded 142 serious threats to media freedom, including 33 physical attacks against journalists, 17 new cases of detention and imprisonment, 43 cases of harassment and intimidation, and two new cases of impunity for murder….”


UNFPA Privacy Policy

“Your privacy on the Internet is of utmost importance to the United Nations Population Fund (“UNFPA”). This privacy statement describes UNFPA’s policy concerning the gathering and sharing of visitors’ information through the UNFPA website. It applies to all “UNFPA sites” – that is, all sites within the “” domain and UNFPA country sites (hereinafter together referred to as the “UNFPA website” or “our website”). .

U.S. Court Approves Facebook’s $5 Billion Privacy Settlement With FTC Over Cambridge Analytica Scandal

“Facebook announced last week that the U.S. federal court has officially approved the agreement that the company reached with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in July 2019. The agreement was made following the FTC’s extensive investigation into the company’s user’s privacy post the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018….”


NATO setting up counter-hybrid support team in Macedonia

“NATO is setting up counter-hybrid support teams in Macedonia and Montenegro after fake news and disinformation from Russia and China have gained ground with the coronavirus pandemic in the Western Balkans, Kay Bailey Hutchison, United States Ambassador to NATO, has told MIA….”

Iran Paper Accuses US of Stealing Its .Com

“The government newspaper of Iran has lost its .com website, with its publisher on Monday accusing the United States of “stealing” the domain name….”

Poland Targeted by Disinformation Attack, Suspects Russia

“A Polish government official says Poland has been hit by a “complex disinformation operation” that appears aimed at weakening the Polish-U.S. alliance and is consistent with previous Russian cyberattacks….”

Israel Thwarts Major Coordinated Cyber-Attack on Its Water Infrastructure Command and Control Systems

“In a statement, Israel’s National Cyber Directorate announced, “Reports have been received by the National Cyber Directorate about attempted attacks on command and control systems of wastewater treatment plants, pumping stations, and sewage….”

US National Security Agency and Australian Signals Directorate have issued joint guidance on detecting and preventing web shell malware.

“Cyber actors have increased the use of web shell malware for computer network exploitation [1][2][3][4]. Web shell malware is software deployed by a hacker, usually on a victim’s web server. It can be used to execute arbitrary system commands, which are commonly sent over HTTP or HTTPS. Web shell attacks pose a serious risk to DoD components….”

Czechs See Signs Of Russian Role In Cyberattacks As Tensions Seethe

“A recent wave of coordinated cyberattacks in the Czech Republic is likely tied to malware linked to Russia, Czech Internet security experts say…..”

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