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Internet Governance Weekly Brief (W21Y20): Internet in COVID-19 era (Child online abuse, misinformation, digital economy, online education; cybercrime); Pensacola shooter’s iPhone cracked; ITU launches study paper on broadband and connectivity..

Internet Governance Weekly Brief (W21Y20): Internet in COVID-19 era (Child online abuse, misinformation, digital economy, online education; cybercrime); Pensacola shooter’s iPhone cracked; ITU launches study paper on broadband and connectivity..







France defends ‘centralized’ coronavirus tracing app, insists privacy held sacred

“France has defended its homebrew coronavirus-tracing app as European countries continue to clash with Google and Apple over how the apps should gather and use consumer data….” 

Top French court bans drone surveillance in Paris for enforcing COVID-19 lockdown

“France’s top court for administrative justice — Conseil d’État — banned the use of surveillance drones by the Paris police for tracking people in public areas who were flouting social distancing norms, citing privacy issues….”


IMF’s Georgieva urges tech firms to work on access to digital economy for all

“Big technology companies that are reaping gains as result of increased reliance on online systems during coronavirus quarantines and lockdowns should work to increase access to the digital economy for all, the head of the IMF said….”


Online child sex abuse rises with COVID-19 lockdowns: Europol

“Online sex abuse of children in the European Union has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of EU law enforcement agency Europol said on Monday, warning that more cases could emerge when schools reopen as teachers’ monitoring resumes….”


UN launches new initiative to fight COVID-19 misinformation through ‘digital first responders’

« UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday launched Verified, which will create a cadre of “digital first responders” to increase the volume and reach of trusted, accurate information surrounding the crisis….”


UNICEF and Airtel Africa announce partnership to support children and families affected by COVID-19

“UNICEF announced a new partnership with Airtel Africa aimed at providing children with access to remote learning and enable access to cash assistance for their families via mobile cash transfers…”


The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre discloses multiple vulnerabilities in contact-tracing app

“National Cyber Security Centre has received mountains of feedback on the security of the government’s Covid-19 contact-tracing app, and has now taken the step of making multiple disclosures….”

Joint Statement of Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australian Cyber Security Centre: Unacceptable malicious cyber activity

« As Australians and the international community band together to respond to COVID-19, the Australian Government is concerned that malicious cyber actors are seeking to exploit the pandemic for their own gain…”

Spy agency flags possible security breaches at Canadian pandemic research facilities

« Canada’s cyber spy agency says authorities are investigating possible security breaches at Canadian organizations doing COVID-19-related research — less than a week after it warned that Canadian intellectual property linked to the pandemic is a “valuable target” for state-sponsored actors…”


”Technology can support Africa’s COVID-19 response and recovery”, AU Commissioner Abou-Zeid

« In her remarks H.E. Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid said that “Dealing with the health and economic challenges of COVID-19 has made one point abundantly clear for African countries: that we need broadband, faster, cheaper, and expanded to the last mile of our populations.”…”


A pandemic under the .it extension: almost four thousand domain names on coronavirus-related issues have been registered

“Since the beginning of February, the names of sites with the .it extension have changed in the wake of the pandemic, and terms such as coronavirus, covid19, covid, masks, mask, virus, Italy, free and antivirus have been registered…”



U.S. carried out strike on Pensacola shooter’s al Qaeda contact in Yemen after the FBI broke through encryption on his iPhones

“The US carried out a counter-terrorism operation targeting an al Qaeda operative in Yemen after cellphone evidence linked him the gunman who attacked a Florida naval base….”   

Attorney General William P. Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray Announce Significant Developments in the Investigation of the Naval Air Station Pensacola Shooting.

“…Attorney General William P. Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray announced significant developments in the FBI’s investigation of the December 6, 2019 shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola that killed three U.S. sailors and severely wounded eight other Americans….”

German intelligence can no longer freely spy on the world’s Internet traffic, top court rules

“In its judgment pronounced today, the First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court held that the Federal Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst – BND) is bound by the fundamental rights of the Basic Law when conducting telecommunications surveillance of foreigners in other countries, and that the statutory bases in their current design violate the fundamental right to privacy of telecommunications (Art. 10(1) of the Basic Law, Grundgesetz – GG) and the freedom of the press (Art. 5(1) second sentence GG)….”

DE-CIX ‘vindicated’ by German court’s anti-spying decision

“Internet exchange DE-CIX has said it has been vindicated by yesterday’s court decision to stop German spies monitoring foreign telecoms traffic…”


ITU launches new study paper on broadband and connectivity solutions for rural and remote areas

“Rural and remote areas of many countries worldwide continue to be sparsely covered in terms of broadband connectivity….”


Mark Zuckerberg ‘worried’ about China’s influence on internet regulation

“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Monday he is “worried” that other countries may be trying to imitate China’s approach to regulating the internet….”

China warns US of ‘all necessary measures’ over Huawei rules

“China’s commerce ministry says it will take “all necessary measures” in response to new U.S. restrictions on Chinese tech giant Huawei’s ability to use American technology, calling the measures an abuse of state power and a violation of market principles…”

US: Burr submits final Russia report before leaving chairmanship

“Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr has submitted the final report in the panel’s three-year Russia investigation to the intelligence community for a declassification review. The move came hours before he was to temporarily step aside as chairman of the panel….”


Supreme Court rejects lawsuit against Facebook for hosting terrorists

“The Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit claiming Facebook provided “material support” to terrorists by hosting their content. It declined to hear Force v. Facebook, a case brought by the families of five Americans who were hurt or killed by Palestinian attacks in Israel…”


Delhi HC issues notices to govt, Facebook, Google, Twitter on ‘Bois Locker Room’ case

“The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the Central Government, Facebook, Google and Twitter over an application seeking removal of groups like ‘Bois locker room’ to protect the safety and security of children…”

Romanian President Fined for EUR 1000 for Hate Speech Against Hungarians

“Romanian President Klaus Iohannis was fined for around 1000 Euros for discrimination and hate speech against Hungarians, following his statement last month accusing Romania’s social democratic party of “secretly trying” to “return Transylvania to Hungary” and using Hungarian words in a mocking manner….”


Academic data centers abused for crypto currency mining

“A malicious group is currently targeting academic data centers for CPU mining purposes. The attacker is hopping from one victim to another using compromised SSH credentials…”

Supercomputers hacked across Europe to mine cryptocurrency

“Multiple supercomputers across Europe have been infected this week with cryptocurrency mining malware and have shut down to investigate the intrusions…”

European Parliament hit by major cyber-attack

“The European Parliament has been the victim of “a major data breach” that has seen personal data of more than a thousand staff and members of the European Parliament exposed online…”

EasyJet reveals cyber-attack exposed 9m customers’ details

“EasyJet has revealed that the personal information of 9 million customers was accessed in a “highly sophisticated” cyber-attack on the airline…”

Hacker arrested in Ukraine for selling billions of stolen credentials

“The Ukrainian Secret Service (SSU) announced today the arrest of a hacker known as Sanix, responsible for selling billions of hacked credentials on hacking forums and Telegram channels…”

Iranian Cyberattack Endangers Israeli Water Infrastructure

“Over the weekend of April 24 and 25, several of Israel’s Water Authority facilities were targeted in a suspected Iranian cyberattack. As Israel has one of the most technology-dependent water systems in the world, this cyberattack strikes right at the heart of Israel’s survival….”

Shutdown after cyber-incident

“Many HPC data centers including CSCS have been paralyzed by a cyber-incident. CSCS closed external access to the supercomputer infrastructure until having restored a safe environment…”

Over 6,400 Edison Mail Users Hit by Security Bug in iOS App

“An update rolled out recently by Edison Mail for its iOS application resulted in some users being given access to other people’s email accounts. The company acted quickly to resolve the issue, but thousands may have been impacted…”


Verizon 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report

“The Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) provides you with crucial perspectives  on threats that organizations like yours face. The 12th DBIR is built on real-world data from  41,686 security incidents and 2,013 data breaches provided by 73 data sources, both public and private entities, spanning 86 countries worldwide….”

Facebook fined by Canada competition watchdog after privacy probe

“Canada’s competition watchdog said on Tuesday it had fined Facebook Inc (FB.O) C$9 million ($6.5 million) after an investigation found the social network made “misleading” claims about personal information of Canadians on Facebook and Messenger…”


ITU: Prices for telecommunication services continue to decline but do not translate into rapidly increasing Internet penetration rates

“ITU’s latest global analysis of prices for mobile-voice, mobile-data and fixed-broadband services suggests that affordability is not the only barrier to Internet uptake….”


Philippines tops world for online child sex abuse: study

“The Philippines has become the world’s largest known source of online child sexual exploitation, with endemic poverty helping drive a surge in abuse, a report said Thursday….”

Pakistan’s ‘honour killings’ show women need digital skills, says Facebook adviser

“The latest “honour killing” of two teenage girls in Pakistan after a video of them with a man surfaced online shows women need better control over their digital presence, said an activist appointed to Facebook’s new oversight board this month….”


Huawei Malaysia launches Asean Academy, focused on digital economy

“Huawei Malaysia has launched its Asean Academy, with the aim of nurturing 50,000 Malaysians for the country’s digital sector over the next five years. ..”


Germany’s data chief tells ministries WhatsApp is a no-go

“Germany’s data privacy chief has told federal bodies not to use WhatsApp, amid concerns that it feeds Facebook with data. Ulrich Kelber said it appeared that the government has failed to establish enough safe services.


ICANN Announces Successful String Evaluation for Israel IDN ccTLD

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced the successful completion of String Evaluation of the proposed Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) country code top-level domain (ccTLD) string for Israel. Details of the evaluation are provided here:

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