Internet Society - News Headlines
A full day before Internet Society’s President and CEO Andrew Sullivan takes the stage at the world-renowned policy institute Chatham House at Cyber 2019, you’ll have a chance to have an in person discussion with him about the changes regulation may be bringing to our online world.
From the way we connect, share, learn, and work, the Internet has changed the world.
It has also brought challenges – and increasingly, governments have addressed these challenges with regulation.
But could this create unintended consequences? Is it possible to regulate the Internet while protecting its openness, interoperability, and global reach? The Internet Society in collaboration with Chatham House will explore these questions tomorrow at How Regulation Could Break the Internet: In Conversation with Andrew Sullivan.
Here’s how you can join:
- Register to take part in person. It’s a first come first serve basis!
- Watch the event on Livestream.
- Join us on Twitter using the hashtag #DontBreakTheInternet
The post How Regulation Could Break the Internet: In Conversation with Andrew Sullivan appeared first on Internet Society.
- Accidentally marked Google Play as top scorer in Appendix C (instead of Google News)
- Missing bar in graph on page 5
- Several minor spacing, grammar, and miscellaneous edits
The Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll assesses nearly 1,200 organizations, recognizing excellence in online consumer protection, data security, and responsible privacy practices. This Audit of more than 1,200 predominantly consumer-facing websites is the largest undertaken by OTA, and was expanded this year to include payment services, video streaming, sports sites, and healthcare.
This is the first time in the Audit’s 10-year history that we’ve translated it, and we’re proud to bring it to a wider audience. Going forward, we will work toward adding more global sectors and regions into the report findings.
The Trust Audit Planning Committee, open to Internet Society organization members, has already had its first meeting to discuss the methodology for next year’s Audit. A public call for comment on the draft methodology will come later this year, so watch this blog or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with our work.
The post Online Trust Audit Updates & Translations Now Available appeared first on Internet Society.
The use of Internet of Things devices has substantially increased in recent years and the trends indicate that the number will continue to grow significantly. In this environment of rapid technological adoption, the inclusive and collaborative approach is essential to face the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that arise.
Specifically, to overcome the privacy and security challenges associated with the growing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and systems, the Internet Society signed an agreement with the Agency of Electronic Government and the Information and Knowledge Society of Uruguay (Agesic). The agreement will encourage us to strengthen our collaborative ties to develop a multistakeholder process that will seek to issue recommendations on IoT security in the country.
The recommendations issued will be useful to guide the processes of development of national and regulatory policies in Uruguay. In addition, the agreement focuses on two broad areas: the exchange of information and the development of training materials on consumer protection and network resilience.
This is undoubtedly great news for the region, since Uruguay joins a group of countries that have opted for the multistakeholder processes to strengthen the security of IoT devices. The most recent example is Canada, whose process published its final recommendations a few weeks ago. In addition, there are similar efforts in France and Senegal.
The process, which will end later this year, will adhere to the principles of the multistakeholder model, such as the inclusion of diverse actors, with their participation on an equal footing, and transparency.
No one can build a secure Internet alone. Solutions need all of us. Read the Canadian Multistakeholder Process: Final Outcomes and Recommendations Report.
The post Uruguay Joins Others Taking Action to Strengthen IoT Security appeared first on Internet Society.
Big targets: Internet-connected security cameras make up nearly half of all the Internet of Things devices compromised by hackers, ZDNet reports. Smart hubs and network-attached storage devices are next on the hit list. The average U.S. household contains 17 Internet-connected devices, while the average European household has 14.
New rules for the IoT? A U.S. House of Representatives committee has approved an IoT security bill that would create security standards that vendors would have to apply before government agencies could buy IoT devices from them, Nextgov says. The legislation aims to leverage the government’s substantial purchasing power to drive security in the IoT market.
Cleaning house: The Chinese government has blocked several foreign media sites in the name of cleaning up the Internet, Reuters reports. China’s campaign will punish and expose websites for “illegal and criminal actions” and for failing to “fulfil their obligation” to take safety measures or prevent the theft of personal information, the government says.
Exposing anti-encryption: The Electronic Frontier Foundation and other groups are going to court in an attempt to expose the U.S. Department of Justice’s efforts to break Facebook’s Messenger encryption, ZDNet reports. The groups are asking a court to unseal documents related to the anti-encryption activities.
Encryption campaign: Wired.com has a story about Google’s efforts to add more encryption to the Internet, by building HTTPS protection directly into a handful of top-level domains. “When you register a site through Google that uses ‘.app,’ ‘.dev,’ or ‘.page,’ that page and any others you build off it are automatically added to a list that all mainstream browsers … check when they’re setting up encrypted web connections. It’s called the HTTPS Strict Transport Security preload list, or HSTS, and browsers use it to know which sites should only load as encrypted HTTPS automatically, rather than falling back to unencrypted HTTP in some circumstances.”
Privacy and security should be more than an afterthought. Learn more about Trust by Design and why it matters.
The post The Week in Internet News: Hackers Eye Security Cameras appeared first on Internet Society.
The 2019 European Chapters Meeting took place from 9-10 May in Bucharest, Romania. (Watch the livestream here.)
The two-day event gathered 31 participants consisting of 22 fellows coming from 20 Internet Society Chapters in the European region. The meeting agenda focused on discussions around Consolidation on the Internet Economy, Encryption, Consumer IoT Privacy & Security, and the Internet of Food.
This meeting was part of a series of events the Internet Society is organizing in 2019 across regions. It was particularly important because of the valuable feedback the Chapters provided on the key questions of the 2019 Global Internet Report and the direction of the long-term objectives for Strategy 2025.
- Carl Gahnberg, Policy Advisor at Internet Society gave a presentation on consolidation and the 2019 Global Internet Report (GIR). The importance of connecting with different audiences makes the 2019 GIR relevant not only for the Internet Society community, but also policymakers and the broader public. The report shows that trends in Internet Applications, the Access Provision, and Service Infrastructure and looks at trends of consolidation in the Internet economy. Unlike in past years, the report doesn’t provide recommendations but outcome questions. Participants discussed these outcome questions and the main takeaways were the need for open standards and sustaining the developments of public IXPs as well as raising awareness and educating the masses. But work on consolidation doesn’t stop with the report. What to expect In 2019? More in-depth research through engagement with external researchers and stakeholders.
- Karen Yerznkanyan from the Internet of Things SIG talked about the opportunities and the importance of training young people on developing basic IoT solutions in the areas of hardware design, software development, communication, and security. The IoT community in Armenia has led several successful projects in this direction and can serve as a positive example for other Chapters.
- Encryption couldn’t miss the agenda and Hans Peter Dittler, member of the Internet Society Board of Trustees, covered technical aspects of encryption, applications to real-life scenarios, and threats we’re facing. The need for encryption is based on trust, which takes a long time to build but can be destroyed in seconds. We need trust in the Internet ecosystem to ensure that data can be transferred and thus strong encryption is key for a trustworthy Internet.
- Ceren Unal, Regional Policy Manager for Europe at Internet Society, covered the IoT Trust by Design campaign and advised Chapters on how to work with local stakeholders to develop better IoT policy: identify your local allies, amplify your impact through partnerships, and create an action plan relevant for your community. One way to do this is to use events or policy engagement opportunities to leverage advocacy efforts and create new events. Some countries are already holding multistakeholder working groups but these working groups should be tailored to the needs of a specific community depending on whether that community mainly contains consumers or producers of IoT devices.
- Internet Society exists to build, promote, and defend the global infrastructure that connects independent networks into a single Internet beyond borders and communities. Joyce Dogniez, the Internet Society’s Vice President, Community Engagement and Development, explained that the 2020 Action Plan will focus on these three objectives. Chapters argued that first we need to ask ourselves the type of the Internet we want to promote: go beyond Internet access and build “the Internet we want” and then expand it.
- Johan Jörgensen, Chair of the Internet of Food SIG thinks that the Internet can help solve some of our major food problems through connected data and network infrastructure. Johan explained that by extracting, storing, and processing more data about the food that we produce and consume, we will be able to make smarter decisions on what food we eat. One of the concerns, however, is that the current Internet infrastructure will allow some major Internet players to control our food. The big question is “how do we build an Internet which will help feed the planet in a sustainable way?”
- The work that Chapters do on a local level help advance the Internet Society’s mission and Neville Hobson, Internet Society Director of Digital Marketing, talked about the importance of social media marketing in advancing their work. Aligning all social networks with consistent messaging and connecting with influential voices were two of Internet Society’s goals. When it comes to Chapters, it’s important for them to maintain a strong brand presence by having clear and measurable goals, sharing their blog posts on social media, reaching out for help to others in their network, and learning from analytics.
At the end of the meeting, the Chapters shared their future projects, which ranged from the creation of Youth IGFs, Internet accessibility for vulnerable groups, investigational projects on Internet blocking, task forces on IPv6, online courses on digital rights, community networks, cybersecurity training, and many more exciting activities.
The post European Chapters Meeting: Consolidation, Trust, and More on the Agenda appeared first on Internet Society.
Cooperation has been key to expanding Internet access around the globe. Ten years ago, the African region created AfPIF, a space focused on collaboration about among regional actors on topics related to peering and interconnection. Inspired by that project, in 2014 I approached Bevil Wooding to create a similar space for the Caribbean.
In recent years, the Caribbean has been losing its traditional industries, such as sugar and banana production. In this context, the Internet can be seen as a good opportunity to leverage the local economy. Fortunately, the idea gained the support of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG). That’s how the Caribbean Peering and Interconnection Forum (CarPIF) was born.
From its inaugural meeting in 2015, CarPIF has sought to bring together key infrastructure, service, and content providers to improve network interconnection, lower the cost of connectivity, and increase the number of Internet users and services in the Caribbean. This year, the meeting will be held from 12 to 13 June in Grenada, with the aim of highlight the active role played by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in the successful deployment of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in countries like Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“CarPIF plays a key role in bringing together different parties to form the relationships and agreements necessary to increase local traffic exchange across the region. This event presents an opportunity for Grenada and the region to showcase the steps being taken to accelerate Internet development in the Caribbean,” said the CaribNOG Executive Director and co-founder of CarPIF, Bevil Wooding.
“In addition, the forum addresses the peculiar policy and regulatory challenges that have made Internet connectivity, access, and affordability difficult in some Caribbean countries. Removing barriers to infrastructure development, content availability, and Internet traffic distribution can have a significant and positive on Internet growth in the Caribbean, along with the benefits of economic development and social empowerment that follow.”
A very important fact unique to the Caribbean region is its vulnerability to natural disasters. Raising awareness on the need to build resilient telecoms and Internet infrastructures is very important. IXPs can play a key role to keep local communications ongoing during a natural disaster. Collaborative spaces such as CarPIF stress the importance of deploying strategic partnerships – because nobody Internets alone.
The post Caribbean Community Gathers Together to Discuss Improving Connectivity in the Region appeared first on Internet Society.
A new survey shows that only a handful of people who said they distrust the Internet are actively choosing encryption in response.
The survey, called the CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust, was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the Canadian think tank the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). The Internet Society (ISOC) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) are partners in the survey, which is now in its fifth year.
The survey asked more than 25,000 individuals in 25 economies their opinion on Internet security, privacy, and trust.
Trust is very personal. The word “trust” may mean different things to different people. What we consider to be trust is constantly evolving and is shaped by many factors including our culture, our education, and our experience.
The survey asked users how much they agree or disagree with the statement “Overall, I trust the Internet”. We did not ask users how much they trust the Internet to perform in specific ways or to provide a specific user experience. However, the question provides a rough indicator of positive or negative attitudes towards the Internet.
74% of respondents in 2019 agreed with the statement “overall, I trust the Internet”. But, of the 36% who did not agree, more than 60% cited a lack of Internet security as a reason. And, at least 81% of these respondents said cybercriminals as a source of that distrust.
In response to these concerns, 49% of these respondents started sharing less personal information online and 39% began using the Internet more selectively. This could mean they are being more careful about disclosing personal information and which online sites they visit, but it also could mean they are self-censoring or otherwise limiting their online experience. Surprisingly, only 19% of these respondents said they were using more encryption or other privacy and security-enhancing tools to protect themselves online. This could mean that some people do not know how to use encryption tools or that some people find encrypting their data too hard. It may also mean that users aren’t aware that some of the services that they are using are encrypted.
Encryption is currently one of the best tools available for protecting the data of users online. The technology scrambles data or turns it into a coded form so it can be read only by someone with the means to return it to its original state. It helps protect people by: keeping their communications and information confidential; preventing their data from being altered; and ensuring they are communicating with the right service. We rely on it every day for things like web browsing, online banking, elections, electricity, hospitals, transportation, and more.
While there is no single solution to Internet security, strong encryption helps make the Internet more secure and it should be the norm.
We’re excited to be at RightsCon this year and to talk about how the CIGI-Ipsos findings show that people are worried about their security and privacy online, and that we can all take a stand for strong encryption to make the Internet more secure for everyone. Security and trust are critical to ensuring that people stay online.
If you are at RightsCon and taking part in person, or, if you are participating remotely, we’d love your help!
- Read the full CIGI-Ipsos Survey on Internet Security and Trust
- Share these 5 steps you can take to make sure you’re as secure as you can be. If you use social media, use the hashtag #encryption
- Come see us at RightsCon! Here’s where you can find us.
- Find out more about how encryption works
The post A New Survey Shows Few Actively Encrypting More Because of Internet Distrust appeared first on Internet Society.
On May 15th, the White House tweeted it had created a new online surveying tool for Americans to report instances of social media censorship due to political bias. Setting aside the politics of this move, there are serious privacy and security concerns that come with hosting such a survey on its website.
When users visit the reporting site, they’re required to give personal information including their name, citizenship status, zip code, phone number, and email address, all before any questions are actually asked about the alleged social media bias. They are then prompted to include links to their social media platforms, usernames, and other digitally-intrusive information.
Sound fishy? It should.
That is a significant amount of personal, highly-identifiable information to give up as a part of a selective survey. The irrelevance of most of this information to the survey’s purpose begs the question: why does the government need it and what will they use it for?
Neither question is answered anywhere in the survey or its related materials. That alone poses a serious privacy concern. If users don’t know how their data will be used, how can they trust that their information is secure and being used only for the reason it was provided?
But it gets worse. Only after a user has given their personal information, as well as information about the alleged instance of social media bias, do they get to the user agreement details. And that’s where things get really troubling.
The agreement clarifies that all responses are a part of a U.S Government activity, and therefore the U.S. Government is licensed to “use, edit, display, publish, broadcast, transmit, post, or otherwise distribute all or part of the Content.” Furthermore, “the license…is irrevocable and valid in perpetuity, throughout the world, in all forms of media.”
In plain language: If you click “agree,” there’s no turning back. Ever.
Not only that, but by filling out this survey, users give up their rights to inspect or approve any of the “content or edited, composite, or derivative works made from the Content” without notice.
At this point, your head should be spinning. Take a minute to get it on straight, and we’ll keep going.
Because that’s not all. Not only can the U.S. Government use highly-personal information about users for their own purposes – indefinitely – without warning, you the user “solely bear all responsibility for all content.” Oh, and you can’t alter or delete any content after it’s submitted. Great.
If the gravity of all this hasn’t sunken in, picture the following scenario:
You’re an Internet user. You spend time on social media, you share your views, and you find out that (rightly or otherwise) your content has been removed.
You fill in the White House’s survey and likely don’t read the user agreement even when it is finally presented to you (most people don’t). Would you be surprised to find personal and highly-identifiable information about you later broadcast globally without any prior warning? With this kind of blanket ability to use your information, it would be well within the White House’s right to take your social media post, account name, or real name and broadcast it in ads, billboards, or other material for a political purpose that you may not agree with. And if something bad happened as a result of that publication of your information (say, you lost your job or suffered other ramifications), do you think you’d feel okay bearing all legal responsibility for it?
Or, in another scenario, let’s say you fill out the survey and then you notice you’re getting increasingly targeted by political organizations’ ads and messaging in an attempt to change your views or find out more about you. Does that sound like an appropriate use of the private information you submitted in a survey? Not to me.
These scenarios may be hypothetical, but they are entirely possible.
We should expect better from the government. This is a blatant breach of trust and privacy and could have significant real-world implications for users who unknowingly enter into such a broad waiver of their own information.
Not to mention the security implications. Creating a database with this kind of information is essentially giving hackers a one-stop-shop to access intimate details about people who already feel marginalized online.
Let’s not forget that the government, just like anyone else who collects personal information, is not immune to data breaches.
The ability of individuals to interact online without sacrificing their right to privacy is essential to reinforcing user trust in the Internet. When privacy and security are undermined, it exposes users to actual and potential harm and weakens their trust in the Internet, diminishing their overall experience with its resources.
Sadly, as egregious as this collection of data is, it’s not illegal. Americans have baseline privacy protections thanks to the Federal Privacy Act of 1974, but the White House is largely exempt. (The Federal Privacy Act of 1974 regulates the ability of federal agencies to collect, maintain, use, and disseminate personally identifiable information. However, courts have long held that the White House is exempt from this Act.)
There is no reason for the Federal Government of the United States to be collecting and storing this kind of user information under such broad terms. If we want to hold Facebook, Google, and others accountable for misleading or inappropriate user privacy standards, the government should lead by example with a higher standard for user protection.
Read the Internet Society’s Policy Brief on Privacy.
High-speed jobs: A new study suggests that better broadband service lowers unemployment rates, Vice.com reports. Researchers from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Oklahoma State University tracked broadband availability and unemployment rates in Tennessee and found that counties with access to high-speed broadband had a slightly lower unemployment rate than those with slower service.
More moderation: YouTube plans to remove white supremacist, hate speech and hoax videos, the Washington Post reports. The new policy will go farther than YouTube’s former prohibition on videos that promote violence or hatred against people based on their age, religious beliefs, gender, religion, immigration status and sexual orientation.
Encryption fight: Yandex, a provider of Internet-related services in Russia and the former Soviet Union, has reached an agreement with the Russian FSB security service on handing over encryption keys, Reuters reports. Details of the agreement weren’t immediately available. Yandex had originally resisted the FSB’s demand for encryption keys, Reuters says.
Bigger than the weather: U.S. residents believe fake news is a bigger problem than climate change or racism, according to a new survey detailed at Business Insider. Half of those surveyed said made-up news is a major problem, while just 46 said the same thing of climate change.
Medical leaks: A medical records breach at the collections firm American Medical Collection Agency has compromised the data of 12 million Quest Diagnostics patients and 7.7 LabCorp patients, USA Today reports. In addition to medical data, Social Security numbers and financial data were breached as well, leaving patients susceptible to financial fraud.
Privacy now! The New York legislature is pushing a data privacy bill that would be among the strictest in the United States, Wired.com reports. The bill would require businesses to put their customers’ privacy before their own profits, and it would be tougher than a recent California data privacy bill that some Internet companies are trying to amend.
Encryption is under threat around the world. It’s up to each of us to take action.
The post The Week in Internet News: Better Broadband Boosts Employment appeared first on Internet Society.
The tech industry in Hong Kong and across the world remains male dominated. Why aren’t there more women and what can be done to fix this?
To mark International Girls in ICT Day, which aims to encourage girls and young women to work in information and communications technology, the Internet Society Hong Kong Chapter organized an event to tackle these questions. Ladies X Tech X Gents: How Are the Three Compatible? brought together four successful developers to lead the dialogue:
- Ivy Luk, Sales Engineer at Clare.AI (an Artificial Intelligence digital assistant solutions provider)
- Emma Wong, Organiser of Google Developer Group and Women Techmakers Hong Kong
- May Yeung, Director of Internet Society Hong Kong Chapter
- Rick Mak, Co-Founder of Oursky (a web and mobile application development company)
Why are there so few women in the tech industry?
A common observation among the speakers was the high dropout rate of women developers in the tech industry – amid the already low women to men ratio. The speakers noted that it drops from roughly 3:7 at school to 1:10 at work.
One of the main reasons women leave the tech industry is the gender stereotype that it is a masculine profession. From an early age, this stereotype is ingrained by parents in Hong Kong, who discourage their daughters from studying computer science and engineering courses. Even when women enroll in tech-related courses, many do not consider pursuing a career in IT.
Why do we want women in the tech industry? Are there “women challenges” in the industry?
Studies have shown that diversity in companies is important. The multiple perspectives of a diverse team are key to innovation. (For example, a women’s perspective is needed since products are not sold to men only.) Also, women teammates may bring in a different culture and work atmosphere that can boost team morale.
The challenge for women, however, is dealing with macho and misogynist culture within the industry. Speakers also noted that women and men have distinctive communication styles, which means the workplace must be committed to mutual learning and listening to each other.
Another challenge commonly faced by women is the work-family balance due to the high pressure and heavy workload of some technical positions. But Rick Mak pointed out that this is a challenge for both women and men. As a dedicated father who believes that men should take on their share of parenting duties, he too struggles to balance work and family.
What can we do to encourage women to enter the tech industry?
As the tech industry begins to recognise the benefits of diversity, some companies have set a lower recruitment requirement for female developers. The female speakers all disapproved of this approach. They considered this discrimination against women and a reinforcement of the stereotype that women are less competent.
Instead of being offered benefits like the period leave, female employees would generally prefer to have greater C-level support. One of the participants pointed out that all-male management teams can sometimes be insensitive to women’s needs, which could be as simple as providing separate female and male toilets at the office.
Speakers suggested that having women in senior leadership roles would positively encourage other women to join a company, particularly if it is supportive of advancing women’s careers. Women in management positions are also important role models for their juniors.
Another important aspect of getting more women into tech roles today is building a stronger female developer community, where women can help and support each other in navigating the industry, and provide guidance to non-technical women who are interested in joining. In the end, it is all about mutual respect and understanding. The sometimes hostile environment in Hong Kong’s IT industry has its root in gender stereotypes imposed on both women and men. Sometimes, we think too much about a person’s gender roles rather than his or her individual qualities – in other words, people get labeled as either a man or a woman and that is it. At work, let us be impressed by a person’s work ability rather than his or her gender.
Help close the digital gender divide! Join SIG Women, which is open to everyone.
The post Hong Kong Chapter: Why Aren’t There More Women in Tech? appeared first on Internet Society.
On this 7th “launchiversary” of World IPv6 Launch, I thought I’d share a way I’ve enjoyed learning more about IPv6 over the past year. I like listening to podcasts while I’m running or driving, and a show that’s in my playlist is “IPv6 Buzz” where IPv6 veterans Ed Horley, Scott Hogg, and Tom Coffeen “dive into the 128-bit address space wormhole.“
Anyone working with IPv6 for any amount of time, and particularly IPv6 advocacy, has probably read or heard something from Ed, Scott, or Tom. They’ve been explaining and promoting IPv6 for a long time in their own individual endeavors.
This podcast, which launched one year ago today, brings the three of them together with a wide range of guests from across the industry. Even with all my own years of IPv6 activity, I’ve learned a great amount about IPv6 security, recent drivers of deployment (including state task forces), tools and suggestions for promoting IPv6 growth. They dove deeply into IPv6 inside the IETF with Fred Baker, talked about going IPv6-only with Veronika McKillop of Microsoft, got into Happy Eyeballs with Dan Wing, and most recently explored enterprise IPv6 issues with Enno Rey.
Part of the excellent “Packet Pushers” network of podcasts, I’ve found it a great way to stay up on what is happening in the world of IPv6. If you listen to podcasts and are interested in IPv6, do check it out!
P.S. And if you have not yet started deploying IPv6, you can begin by exploring some of our Deploy360 resources.
Image Credit: Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash
The post On the 7th World IPv6 Launchiversary, How About Listening to a Podcast About IPv6? appeared first on Internet Society.
The role people play in our community is vital for an open and trustworthy Internet for everyone. We know that without the knowledge, experience, and contributions of our members the Internet Society wouldn’t be complete.
Chapters Leaders Training in Latin America and the Caribbean
The Chapters of the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region have come together to implement a training program that allows members to work with their local Chapter, contributing to the four focus areas of the Internet Society’s Action Plan 2019. The first LAC Capacity Building Program for Chapters was successfully launched last week, with the participation of 182 people out of almost 1000 applicants.
This initiative started at the beginning of the year as a result of a working session held with LAC Chapters leaders. During the session, it was determined that capacity building was an important leverage point for Chapter development and it would be a tool to achieve the Chapters’ local goals during 2019. In the process, three important phases were defined for the program:
- Capacity Building: Training in our different focus areas
- Community engagement: Allocation of trained members in Chapters to support local initiatives
- 2020-2025 Planning: LAC Chapters Workshop to define LAC Community engagement focus for the next few years
Due to the outstanding response from our community, we decided to provide an alternative for the people who were not selected for the Capacity Building Program. We are coordinating a Community Week, during which we will offer different virtual sessions on several topics related to our focus areas. This virtual Community Week will place from 10 to 14 June, with Zoom sessions offered in Spanish and English:
Monday, 10 June
- 16:00 UTC – Consolidation, Carl Gahnberg
- 18:00 UTC – Open House, Nancy Quirós and Israel Rosas (Spanish)
- 23:00 UTC – Open House, Nancy Quirós and Israel Rosas
Tuesday, 11 June
- 16:00 UTC – Internet Regulation, Konstantinos Komaitis
- 18:00 UTC – Encryption, Ryan Polk
Wednesday, 12 June
- 16:00 UTC – MANRS, Christian O’Flaherty (Spanish)
Thursday, 13 June
- 16:00 UTC – Community Networks, Sebastián Bellagamba (Spanish)
- 18:00 UTC – 2025 Strategy: Virtual Roundtable, Toral Cowieson
- 20:00 UTC – Community Networks, Sebastián Bellagamba
- 23:00 UTC – Cybersecurity, Leonardo Huertas (Spanish)
Friday, 14 June
- 15:00 UTC – IoT and public policy, Shernon Osepa (Spanish)
No registration required! To attend any of the sessions, just click on this link. Don’t miss the opportunity to share your ideas and exchange opinions with other members of the community.
We are thousands of members working to build an Internet for everyone, everywhere. Become a member!
The post Community Week: Share Ideas to Help Make the Internet Stronger appeared first on Internet Society.
Applications are now open for the 2019 Beyond the Net Medium and Large Grants. All Internet Society Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in good standing (or pre-rejuvenation) are eligible to apply.
For more than a decade, Beyond the Net Medium and Large Grants and the former Community Grants Programme have played a major role in empowering people to improve their communities via the Internet. These programmes have reached thousands of people by helping to bring to life community-driven projects that teach digital skills, enable continued trust in the Internet, build infrastructure in rural and underserved areas, and connect Indigenous communities.
The Beyond the Net Funding Programme is now part of the Internet Society Foundation, but will continue to support the excellent work of our Chapter and SIG communities. The Medium and Large Grants are available for funding at a maximum of USD $30,000.
Applications are open until 31 July 2019. For more details, visit Beyond the Net Medium and Large Grant Programme page.
While you’re there, check out everything else the Foundation is doing!
The post Want to Make a Difference in Your Community? Apply for a Beyond the Net Medium or Large Grant appeared first on Internet Society.
Transparent chatting: The German Ministry of the Interior is considering new regulations that would ban end-to-end encryption on chat apps, The Register reports. The proposed rules would require operators of chat services to provide plain-text records of users’ chats under court order. Meanwhile, by saying it sometimes needs access to user communications, Facebook is creating a blueprint for German officials, Forbes says.
No, thanks: In other anti-encryption news, the U.K. Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, has issued its own proposal to allow spy agencies to listen into chat and other encrypted communications. But U.S. tech companies, cryptography experts, and human rights groups, lined up in opposition to the proposal, notes Fortune. The Internet Society has also added its name to the letter.
Attacking encryption another way: Meanwhile, a new study suggests a quantum computer could break 2048-bit RSA encryption in about eight hours, reports the MIT Technology Review. The researchers “have found a more efficient way for quantum computers to perform the code-breaking calculations, reducing the resources they require by orders of magnitude.”
No need to ban encryption on the IoT: At the risk of this being too encryption-focused this week, we look at one more related story: A new report suggests that much of the traffic on Internet of Things networks remains unencrypted, reports Computerworld Hong Kong. Forty percent of IoT devices on enterprise networks do not encrypt their traffic, and more than 90 percent of data transactions performed by IoT devices in corporate networks were unencrypted.
Unconnected voting: A push to ban Internet-connected voting machines in the U.S. is gaining traction among Democrats, the Washington Post reports. More than 50,000 people have submitted comments on election security to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and several groups are pushing to disconnect voting machines.
A different view of privacy: Tech companies are pushing to change a California consumer privacy law that goes into effect in 2020, Yahoo News says. Among the changes proposed: Excluding employees from the law’s consumer privacy protections and allowing businesses to collect data for participants of rewards programs.
A safer world means strong, secure communication. It’s up to all of us to take action to protect encryption, protect our data, and protect one another.
The post The Week in Internet News: Germany Considers Banning Encryption on Chat Apps appeared first on Internet Society.
Accessibility for persons with disabilities isn’t just for people who are disabled. It benefits everyone – and there’s even a business case for it, too. That was the key message of the Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) event organized by the Internet Society Accessibility Special Interest Group (A11ySIG). The webinar was A11ySIG’s very first, only a month after its formation!
The purpose of GAAD is to get people talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion (including web, software, mobile, etc.) and about people with different disabilities.
The webinar “Digital Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities” was facilitated by A11ySIG’s president, Muhammad Shabbir Awan. Dan York, the Internet Society’s Director of Web Strategy was a guest speaker together with the founders of A11ySIG.
Joly MacFie, A11ySIG’s admin, outlined the historical context of the Special Interest Group, which grew from the Disability and Special Needs Chapter, the first non-geographical Chapter. Joly paid tribute to the Chapter’s Cynthia Waddell, who was a pioneer of web accessibility and an inspiration to many.
Dan York reinforced the Internet Society’s vision “The Internet is for Everyone” and stated its goal for accessibility across its websites. He explained that the work being done includes:
- Accessibility audits
- Triaging specific issues
- Identification and implementation of appropriate new tools
- Training for content creators
Dan emphasized that content development is the main challenge for ongoing web accessibility and needs to be baked into the DNA of a website. He added that designing for mobile devices brings challenges and opportunities.
Gunela Astbrink, A11ySIG’s vice president, spoke about the double disadvantage faced by women with disability who also have to deal with cultural barriers and discrimination. Through video and wikis, women with disability build a stronger voice. For creators of content, the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG), and the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) have an important role to play to increase accessibility in content, social media platforms, media players, blogging tools, and content management systems.
Judith Hellerstein, A11ySIG’s secretary, discussed how these WC3 guidelines make web content more accessible for people with disabilities and specific needs. The WC3’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops web accessibility standards for the different components: WCAG and ATAG address web content and are used by developers, authoring tools, and accessibility evaluation tools; UAAG addresses web browsers and media players. Web accessibility depends on several components working together and improvements in specific components could substantially improve web accessibility. It is essential that several different components of web development and interaction work together for the Web to be accessible to people with disabilities. The main problem is that the implementation of these guidelines varies among countries. While some websites that belong to government entities require standards to be implemented, this is not true for websites belonging to the private sector which are often not covered by legislation.
People from many parts of the world took part in the webinar. Naveed Haq, the Internet Society’s regional development manager, Asia-Pacific, offered his perspective on accessibility in the region and discussed how bringing developers together with people with disability helps issues to be understood better. This year, a project in Pakistan will use this method to help make five government websites accessible.
Participants discussed that devices and software such as screen reading programs are not affordable for people with disability, especially in developing countries. Open source software and discounts on commercial software make a difference. Device manufacturing in some developing countries can bring down prices significantly. However, these devices can be less accessible compared to high-cost devices. It was indicated that local production of devices was a good sign and it was hoped that soon these would be accessible, too.
It was also pointed by the participants of the webinar that if a website, device, software, or content is made accessible for people with disabilities, it also benefits people without disabilities. Moreover, with about 15 percent of the world population consisting of people with disabilities, building in accessibility offers immense business opportunities, too! To reap the true advantages of accessibility, it has to be made part of every process. It should be part of planning and design right from the start – and not added as an afterthought or piecemeal.
Watch the captioned webinar and stay tuned as A11ySIG plans future webinars.
The post Reducing Barriers: A Recap of the Webinar on Digital Accessibility appeared first on Internet Society.
BFIX, the Burkina Faso Internet exchange point, was established as an association in Burkina on February 19, 2015 by Internet Service Providers (ISP), mobile telecommunication operators, and some public institutions such as the University of Ouagadougou and the government agency in charge of promoting information and communication technologies (“Agence de Promotion des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication – ANPTIC”).
BFIX started exchanging the first bits of data among peers on June 26, 2015, during the 11th edition of the national “Internet Week.” BFIX’s service was officially launched on July 10, 2018 as part of the West Africa Regional Communication Infrastructure Project (WARCIP) – Burkina, among other projects.
Despite the launch and the operationalization of BFIX, a number of challenges remained, mainly attributed to the implementation of IXP best practices. In particular the network design was not optimal. Moving forward, the local community, through the voice of its executive director, Millogo Jean Baptiste, reached out to the Internet Society Africa Regional Bureau for technical assistance. A training session was planned and carried out between the 14th and 18th of January 2019 in Ouagadougou under the Internet Society and Facebook IXP Partnership project.
The one-week training had two components: a one-day roadshow for managers and decision-makers and a four-day IXP technical workshop for network engineers. The number of organizations that participated was 18 and 25 persons attended.
A few weeks after the training, the BFIX community was able to undertake an important exercise of migrating from a suboptimal routing design (Layer-3) to an optimal switching (Layer-2) network design. The change removed network bottlenecks and the aggregate traffic grew from 0.5 Gbps to more than 6 Gbps of traffic at peak time. Most of the traffic consists of content from Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) edge caches accessible through the BFIX. The impact on end users experience is visible with the 1,100% growth in traffic usage and improved quality of service. Equally, the cost savings for networks operators, on international capacity, is estimated at over $120,000 USD per month based on current international transit costs. This is a considerable savings that can be used by operators to extend and upgrade the network to reach more users in the months ahead.
BFIX is a perfect example of how a synergy among stakeholders can bring tremendous benefits and change. The local Internet community (public, private, academia), the [BFIX] association, Internet Society Africa Regional Bureau, Facebook, and other partners such as Af-IX and Packet Clearing House (PCH) have all worked together to improve the Internet ecosystem in Burkina Faso. For sure, the ripple effect of the Internet usage will impact each layer of society.
I would like to thank Jean-Baptiste Millogo and Christian Muhirwa for their input in the writing of this article.
The post Growing an Internet Exchange Point in Burkina Faso appeared first on Internet Society.
After more than a decade of regulatory ping pong, net neutrality’s future in the United States is still unclear.
Since 2004, FCC rulemakings have been caught in a vicious cycle. They have been passed, fought in court, and returned to the FCC with minor (and sometimes major) revisions. In the last few years there have also been numerous attempts to pass legislation, cementing net neutrality once and for all, but nothing has succeeded in Congress.
Recognizing the importance of finding a sustainable solution, the Internet Society proposed a collaborative process to help experts find common ground on this complex policy issue. Starting in June 2018, we convened an ideologically diverse group of experts to create a baseline set of principles for an open Internet.
The Net Neutrality Experts’ Roundtable series included representatives from the technical community, edge providers, academia, Internet service providers, industry associations, and both left- and right-leaning civil society groups.
In a series of meetings over ten months, participants discussed how to create a sustainable solution for net neutrality that protect the interests of Internet users while fostering an environment that encourages investment and innovation.
Ultimately, the group was able to create a consensus-driven set of bipartisan principles for an open Internet in the United States.
It is important to note that the Net Neutrality Principles do not represent or replace the existing positions of the Internet Society or any organization that participated in the project.
Instead, they demonstrate the power of inclusive processes in allowing experts to reach common ground on complex issues, and in delivering a concrete outcome. To us, this work is proof of the value of the collaborative approach.
Our report on this process outlines the need for a sustainable net neutrality policy in the United States, the importance of using a collaborative model for policymaking, and details about the Net Neutrality Experts’ Roundtable Series.
The Internet Society is pleased to have facilitated a collaborative effort to help experts find common ground on net neutrality in the U.S. The bipartisan principles give policymakers a powerful tool to create a solution that upholds a truly open Internet for all. We would like to sincerely thank all participants of this process for their time, effort, and dedication.
Your Voice Matters: The World Can Learn from Canada’s Inclusive Solutions to Make Citizens Safer Online
Canada has shown great leadership in its innovative approach to secure our connected future by drawing on the diverse strengths, backgrounds, and perspectives our country has to offer.
While the wrap up of a collaborative effort to produce policy recommendations to keep us safe online is definitely worth celebrating, the real work for Canadians has just begun.
The Internet has profoundly changed the way we do things, expanding opportunity as it shrinks distances between people, cultures, and ideas. With connected devices hitting the shelves of major Canadian retailers like never before, the Internet of Things (IoT) is adding countless facets to a new era of human potential.
It has also brought new and complex challenges in areas such as privacy and security.
Many of us worry about our security when we log on. Despite recent calls by governments around the world to create regulation to keep citizens and information safe online, it is critical to consider that not one person or government can solve these issues alone.
If there’s anything the world of Internet governance has shown us, it’s that we get better answers to tough questions when a range of experts and interests can meaningfully take part in the conversation.
When it comes to IoT security, Canada nailed it. It met this challenge with a collaborative project that drew on the expertise of diverse people and organizations. Known as the Canadian Multistakeholder Process: Enhancing IoT Security, the group included civil society, technology companies, academics, and developers. All worked in partnership with agencies such as the Canadian Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, CANARIE, and CIPPIC.
Participants established three working groups that focused on consumer education and awareness, network resiliency, and the potential for a trustmark. The recommendations of each group are included in the final report released May 28.
The project’s recommendations carry serious weight in terms of credibility because they include perspectives from people who don’t always get a seat at the decision-making table.
For instance, youth delegates brought invaluable ideas about the potential future challenges of IoT from people who grew up in a world where the Internet has always existed. Likewise, participants of the 2018 Indigenous Connectivity Summit helped us understand the unique IoT access and security challenges of people without fast, reliable, and affordable Internet.
What’s more, other countries are already looking towards Canada’s collaborative model as a best practice to secure IoT. The Canadian Multistakeholder Process was the linchpin to the IoT Security Policy Platform, a collaborative body of government agencies and global organizations championing inclusive solutions to make security a pillar of our digital future. Senegal and France are also taking this way of working forward.
There isn’t a single person out there who can build a secure Internet by themselves. Solutions that are going to last need all of us. While the Canadian report represents a new way of meeting the potential and challenges of the Internet, it is only the starting point.
What’s next? We need your help to make things happen.
Now that the recommendations are in place, Canada needs to make them happen. That’s where you come in.
A new working group is already formed with the mandate to carry these recommendations forward. You can be a part of it.
The more the merrier: whether you’re an active community leader, policy maker, business leader, or concerned citizen, you can join group of changemakers working to secure our connected future through the IoT Security Implementation Committee. If you are interested, contact Senior Policy Advisor Katie Jordan at email@example.com.
Inclusivity is part of the Internet’s own DNA. It is an open and global network of networks that voluntarily work together. Each network that joins the Internet does its own thing, but together they are all richer and more reliable. It’s stronger because it works that way. We are too, and your voice is critical to the equation.
Join the IoT Security Implementation Committee and help ensure a secure, open, and accessible Internet for the future.
The final countdown: After two delays, SpaceX has launched a rocket containing 60 satellites designed to deliver broadband to Earth-bound people, Marketwatch reports. SpaceX plans to eventually deploy up to 12,000 satellites in an effort to provide broadband service across the globe. SpaceX sees the satellite network as a way to fund future Mars missions.
Banning rural broadband: Moves by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to ban products from Chinese telecom hardware company Huawei may hurt rural broadband access, Phys.org says. Many small broadband and mobile providers serving rural areas use inexpensive telecom equipment from Huawei and other Chinese companies.
The (un)connected tractor: Meanwhile, the U.S. is far from the only country facing challenges with rural broadband. Farmers in Brazil often lack access, Reuters reports. Even as many pieces of new farm equipment require Internet access, less than 10 percent of Brazilian farms are connected, according to one estimate.
Dividing line: The Internet is dividing between a Chinese and a Western view of how it should operate, says ABC.net.au. And Chinese companies, aided by their government, are spreading their technologies and philosophies across the globe, the story suggests.
Expensive bugs: An 11-year-old laptop loaded with a half dozen strains of the world’s worst malware is being auctioned for $1.2 million as part of an “art” project, Forbes reports. Included are the ILoveYou virus from the year 2000, which infected more than 50 million devices in 10 days, and the BlackEnergy malware, which attacked the Ukraine power grid in 2015. The laptop is an art project called The Persistence of Chaos, a collaboration between Chinese artist Guo O Dong and cybersecurity vendor Deep Instinct.
Community networks work! Join the movement to help close the digital divide.
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Last month, the Chapters Advocacy Workshop for the Middle East, took place in Beirut Lebanon. The two-day event hosted Chapter leaders and representatives from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Palestine, Somalia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. While the focus was on MANRS (Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security), it also included representatives from the Blockchain SIG (Special Interest Group).
During the two days, we discussed many issues related to the Middle East Chapters and their concerns, the 2019 plan of the Middle East Bureau, the strategic vision for the Internet Society, and the 2020 planning process. We acquired feedback from the delegates on our plans and community facing processes. We had ample staff representation that contributed immensely to the workshop, including, Sally Wentworth, Salam Yamout, Konstantinos Komaitis, Sally Harvey, Nermine El Saadany, and Aftab Siddiqui.
Aftab initiated the workshop with an introductory session on MANRS. He gave a technical breakdown on what MANRS is about before moving onto a hands-on workshop. The second day opened with an introduction to the 2020 Strategic Plan, followed by a PEST analysis led by Sally. Participants gave feedback on what’s important to their Chapters and to themselves as members of the community. We then discussed the policy aspect of the work of the Internet Society, and the Middle East Bureau in particular. Finally, we discussed the Internet Society’s funding opportunities and the Internet Society Foundation resources available to Chapters and members.
The workshop concluded in the afternoon of April 6. A follow up to the plans produced by the delegates is on route. We look forward to next year welcoming new faces into our workshop!