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Internet Governance Weekly Brief (W19Y20): COVID-19 & Internet (WTO, G20, EU, OECD); Financial institutions urge to support Africa’s Digital Strategy, US Executive Order on Bulk-Power System; UNIDIR on strengthening Cybersecurity and Stability; EPDP publishes guidelines on Consent under GDPR; Czechs Sign Joint 5G Security Declaration With US…

Internet Governance Weekly Brief (W19Y20): COVID-19 & Internet (WTO, G20, EU, OECD); Financial institutions urge to support Africa’s Digital Strategy, US Executive Order on Bulk-Power System; UNIDIR on strengthening Cybersecurity and Stability; EPDP publishes guidelines on Consent under GDPR; Czechs Sign Joint 5G Security Declaration With US…








“The enforcement of social distancing, lockdowns and other measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has led consumers to ramp up online shopping, social media use, internet telephony and teleconferencing, and streaming of videos and films…”

African Union: Declaration of Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the Bureau of the Specialized Technical Committee on Communication and ICT 05 May 2020 by Videoconference

«…CALL on all multilateral financial institutions and partners, including the AfDB, the World Bank and others to support rapid implementation of the African Strategy for Digital Transformation (DTS) and contribute to the AU Digital Fund…”

G20 Digital Economy Ministers stress promising role of digital technologies in enhancing COVID-19 response

“The G20 Ministers responsible for the digital economy emphasise the promising role of digital technologies and relevant digital policies to strengthen and accelerate our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to enhance our ability to prevent and mitigate future crises…”

Uber to lay off 3,700 employees amid coronavirus pandemic

“Uber is laying off 3,700 employees as the coronavirus pandemic drives down demand for its service, the company announced Wednesday….”

Airbnb is laying off 25% of its employees

“Airbnb is laying off about 25% of its workforce as the coronavirus pandemic upends the travel industry and threatens the company’s core business.

On Tuesday, the short-term rental startup said nearly 1,900 employees will be let go worldwide, out of 7,500….”

California Sues Uber and Lyft, Claiming Workers Are Misclassified

“California’s attorney general and a coalition of city attorneys in the state sued Uber and Lyft on Tuesday, claiming the companies wrongfully classified their drivers as independent contractors in violation of a state law that makes them employees…”


Jammu & Kashmir: Supreme Court reserves order on pleas seeking restoration of 4G internet services

“The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its order on a batch of petitions seeking that 4G internet services be restored in Jammu and Kashmir, ANI reported. The services were disconnected on August 5 last year when the Centre abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution….”

COVID-19 makes universal digital access and cooperation essential: UN tech agency

“As the COVID-19 pandemic reshapes the way in which we work, keep in touch, go to school and shop for essentials – across the world – it has never been more important to bridge the digital divide for the 3.6 billion people who remain off-line…”


Hungarian government suspends EU data protection rights

“The Hungarian government has announced plans to suspend its obligation to certain protections laid out in EU data protection law until the current ‘state of emergency’ period has been declared over….”

UK starts testing coronavirus contact tracing app

“The UK government launched its first test of a coronavirus contact tracing app Monday on a small island off the south coast of England….”

India mandates workers use COVID-19 tracing app

“As the world and India battle the novel coronavirus pandemic, India has all but made it mandatory to download and use a mobile phone application called Aarogya Setu developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology….”


Vestager urges EU member states not to backtrack on 5G

“The European Commission’s Vice-President for Digital, Margrethe Vestager, has urged EU telecoms ministers to “limit as much as possible” any delays to their 5G spectrum assignments, amid the current challenges to the industry brought on by the coronavirus crisis….”

OECD Study On Internet Traffic During The Covid-19 Crisis

“A short OECD study of Internet use during the Covid-19 crisis shows that traffic through Internet exchange points, where networks interconnect, has jumped by as much as 60% in OECD countries as a majority of people are now working, studying, streaming movies and video games, and holding social video calls from their homes….”


EU Demands End to Coronavirus Cyberattacks

“The European Union on Thursday accused unnamed parties of exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to launch cyberattacks on infrastructure and healthcare services….”

FBI Warns of Major Spike in Cyber Attacks

“Domestic cyber criminals and nation-state attackers alike are capitalizing on this time of uncertainty – and remote workers are a prime target….”


Czechs Sign Joint 5G Security Declaration With United States

“The Czech Republic has signed a joint declaration with the United States to strengthen cooperation on next-generation 5G networks and promote rigorous evaluations of suppliers and supply chains, Czech leader Andrej Babis said on Wednesday….”

Facebook says it dismantles disinformation network tied to Iran’s state media

« Iran’s state broadcaster has used hundreds of fake social media accounts to covertly spread pro-Iranian messaging online since at least 2011, targeting voters in countries including Britain and the United States, Facebook said on Tuesday….”

Germany issues arrest warrant for Russian suspect in parliament hack: newspaper

“German prosecutors believe a 2015 hack attack on the country’s parliament was carried out by the same Russian operative who a year later derailed Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign by breaking into her emails, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported….”

WhatsApp claims hacking software infected users after one phone call

“WhatsApp has alleged that an Israeli spyware company was “deeply involved” in the hacking of 1,400 WhatsApp users, including journalists, government officials and dissidents…”


Facebook names 20 people to its ‘Supreme Court’ for content moderation

“Facebook on Wednesday appointed 20 people from around the world to serve on what will effectively be the social media network’s “Supreme Court” for speech, issuing rulings on what kind of posts will be allowed and what should be taken down….”

Facebook Takes Axe to Pages Showing ‘Inauthentic Behaviour’

“The social media giant last month shut down networks of accounts posting in Serbian, Bosnian and Hungarian, originating from Russia and Iran that aimed to manipulate the public, its April report says…”

Disinformation – Commission welcomes intermediary report on Code of Practice

“The Commission welcomes the adoption by the European Regulators Group of Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) of the monitoring report on the effectiveness of the Code of Practice on disinformation of October 2018….”


Australian Shipping Giant Toll Hit by Ransomware for Second Time

“Australian shipping giant Toll informed customers on Tuesday that it has shut down some IT systems after discovering a piece of ransomware. This is the second ransomware incident disclosed by the company this year….”


USPTO launches platform to facilitate connections between patent holders and potential licensees in key technologies

“The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today unveiled a new web-based intellectual property (IP) marketplace platform, Patents 4 Partnerships, to provide the public with a user-friendly, searchable repository of patents and published patent applications related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are indicated as available for licensing…”


US: Executive Order on Securing the United States Bulk-Power System

“DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in the United States bulk-power system..”

U.S. Department of Homeland Reiterates Recommendations on Securing Office 365

“An alert the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published this week reiterates previously issued recommendations on how organizations should properly secure Microsoft Office 365 deployments…”

UNIDIR: The Role of Regional Organizations in Strengthening Cybersecurity and Stability

“Through a series of regionally focused workshops, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research and the Center for Strategic and International Studies are considering regional approaches and perspectives to building cybersecurity…”


Tanzania, Malawi prepare to reap benefits of digital economy

“UNCTAD has assessed the state of play in the two countries and identified policy actions required to harness e-commerce for development….”


US FCC Wants Help Interpreting Law to Fund Replacement of Huawei, ZTE Equipment

“The Federal Communications Commission is inviting comment on a rule it’s proposed for reimbursing service providers that must replace any equipment in their systems from Huawei or ZTE in order to participate in a publicly funded program to increase access to broadband, in light of complementary legislation Congress passed in March…”


US Democrats introduce legislation to protect children from online exploitation

“The Invest in Child Safety Act would increase the number of agents at the FBI and the Department of Justice investigating child exploitation and obscenity, along with doubling funding for the Justice Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force…” 


EDPB Publishes Updated Guidelines on Consent under the GDPR

“On May 6, 2020, the European Data Protection Board (the “EDPB”) published its Guidelines 05/2020 (the “EDPB Guidelines”) on consent under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”). The EDPB Guidelines are a slightly updated version of the Article 29 Working Party’s Guidelines on consent under the GDPR (the WP29 Guidelines), which were adopted in April 2018 and endorsed by the EDPB in its first Plenary meeting….”

GoDaddy Confirms Data Breach: What 19 Million Customers Need To Know

“The world’s largest domain registrar, GoDaddy, with 19 million customers, has disclosed a data breach impacting web hosting account credentials…”

Hacker group selling databases with millions of user credentials busted in Poland and Switzerland

“Polish and Swiss law enforcement authorities, supported by Europol and Eurojust, dismantled InfinityBlack, a hacking group involved in distributing stolen user credentials, creating and distributing malware and hacking tools, and fraud…..” 

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