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Working for an Internet that is open, globally connected, and secure.
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Announcing – a way to follow what is published across all Internet Society sites

Mar, 25/06/2019 - 23:47

Today I’m pleased to announce a new site we have built that brings into one location links to all the content published across Internet Society websites:

This news site aggregates posts from our main website, from sites of our 130+ Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs), and from certain other affiliated sites. On the site, you can:

  • Search using keywords
  • Filter the view based on the region
  • Filter the view based on language
  • Filter the view to see posts only from a specific source

For instance, you can see all the posts published by Chapters in Africa. Or you can see all the posts published in French, or Spanish, or Chinese… or Georgian.

Note that the filters can work together. By choosing “Africa” and “French” you will see only French posts from African Chapters. There’s a “Reset” link on the right side that will clear all the filters.

All the views also have unique URLs that you can share with people, or link to from other sites, email newsletters, etc. And of course the site has a master RSS feed that you can read in a RSS reader or other tool.

I find it quite fun! It’s amazing to see all the great info being created by different parts of the Internet Society.

We encourage you to bookmark the page, add it to your mobile home screen, set it as your home page, or share it with others.

There are a couple of caveats to know about:

  • Not every Chapter or SIG is included – As we mention in the FAQ, the site includes every Chapter/SIG site for which we could find a working RSS feed. Some Chapters/SIGs built their sites in a way that does not include a RSS feed – or in some cases don’t publish updates as “posts”. In other cases there are technical issues preventing use of their feed.
  • Only “recent” posts are included – The site is built aggregating RSS feeds, so it only includes whatever posts were in the RSS feeds when we started the site in production mode in late May 2019. Some sites might have 10 items in their RSS feeds, while others might have 20 or 50. Some sites might publish several articles a week, while others may only publish a couple of articles per year. From this point on, we are including all new posts, but the number of older posts will vary.

If you are curious about how we built the site, the site’s About page links to some of the WordPress plugins we used. You are also welcome to contact me directly with any specific questions.

If you look back at our Action Plan 2019, you’ll see that two of our goals are “Building our community” and “Strengthening our global voice” – we hope that this site will help with both of those goals by shining more light on what we are saying throughout our community and throughout the world.

We do hope your enjoy your exploration – and that through this site you may find more ways to take action to help bring about a more globally connected, secure and trustworthy Internet for everyone!

P.S. And again, I’ll mention the fun factor! For instance, the linguist / typographer in me is absolutely fascinated by the Georgian and the Armenian scripts. I have no idea how to read them, but it’s intriguing to me.

The post Announcing – a way to follow what is published across all Internet Society sites appeared first on Internet Society.

The Internet Is Your Oyster: MANRS at International Telecoms Week

Lun, 24/06/2019 - 16:07

What do oysters, clams, and mussels have in common with network operators? Hint: it’s not just that they are both in Atlanta this week, either in exhibits in the Georgia Aquarium or for the 2019 International Telecoms Week.

It’s that both bivalves and network operators play an incredibly important role for their ecosystems: they filter the bad stuff out and leave things a lot cleaner.

As water quality is vital to life in the ocean, the global routing system is vital to the smooth functioning of the Internet. The routing system’s decentralized structure, made up of thousands of independent networks tied together through business decisions and trusted relationships, provides flexibility, scalability, and overall durability.

However, despite its strengths, thousands of routing incidents occur every year. Some of these can be pretty scary, with route hijacks sending government traffic through the networks of foreign adversaries; route leaks slowing parts of the global Internet to a crawl; or hackers using spoofed traffic to take down websites in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Network operators can help mitigate these problems by using stronger filtering policies to block spoofed traffic coming from their networks (helping guard against DDoS attacks) and filter route announcements from neighboring networks to separate the real announcements from the bogus (helping guard against routing incidents). They can help filter out the pollutants of the routing system.

Yet, both network operators and bivalves suffer from serious image problems.

Sure we all know mussels as the things that look like shells and taste great when cooked with butter and white wine, but did we know they are also one of our best allies in cleaning the oceans? And who knew that network operators do so much to ensure the smooth function of the Internet?

Bivalves are incentivized to clean the ocean as a part of getting food – so they will always do it. Network operators, as businesses, also need incentives to do the right things on routing security. Unfortunately, while the solutions to routing security are known, a lack of incentives, particularly the difficulty of credibly signaling one’s routing security to customers or peers, holds back their implementation.

The Mutually Agree Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) is trying to change that.

As a visible, measurable, and actionable set of principles, network operators who join MANRS can show their customers, peers, and governments that they are doing their part to improve routing security online. And, with the forthcoming MANRS Observatory and Dashboard, people everywhere will be able to see the quantitative difference that MANRS members have vs. non-members in implementing routing security best practices.

These days, people tend to like the humble oyster or mussel. Sure they look like rocks and live in the mud, but they play an important part in making their ecosystem safer for everything else in it.

Network operators have an opportunity to demonstrate their leadership in improving the security of the global routing system.

Come see our booth this week at ITW to learn more about MANRS and how joining could help your business.

Join MANRS and take simple, concrete steps to improve Internet security and reliability!

The post The Internet Is Your Oyster: MANRS at International Telecoms Week appeared first on Internet Society.

The Week in Internet News: AI and IoT Could Lead to Industry 4.0

Lun, 24/06/2019 - 15:23

The new revolution: Advances in the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are leading to a fourth industrial revolution, Ars Technica suggests. This so-called Industry 4.0 represents “huge changes in much of the technology we deal with in our daily lives. Some of those changes have been for the better, making our interaction with machines and information more natural and more powerful. Others have helped companies tap into consumers’ relationships, behaviors, locations and innermost thoughts in powerful and often disturbing ways.”

Security gaps: But all is not well in IoT land. Legacy problems related to networking technologies are making IoT security “as bad as it gets,” IoT Hub reports. In addition, staff remotely monitoring IoT sensors don’t have the experience to fix problems.

They’re keeping their eyes on you: The Indian government has found a way to track WhatsApp messages without breaking encryption, Business Insider reports. The surveillance technique involves the government asking the Facebook-owned messaging platform to implement an identifier that would allow law enforcement officials to pinpoint who sent the message without reading it.

A new way to pay: In other Facebook-related news, the company is planning to launch a new cryptocurrency called Libra, The Verge says. Users will be able to send Libra inside of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, with it mostly used as an intermediary for transferring traditional currencies. Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle suggests that Facebook is inviting headaches by administering the new currency.

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: AI and IoT Could Lead to Industry 4.0 appeared first on Internet Society.

Applications for 2019 Chapterthon Now Open

Mer, 19/06/2019 - 20:19

We’re happy to announce that the call for applications for the 2019 Chapterthon is now open.

Our world is more digitally connected than ever before, yet barriers still remain for the half of the world’s population who are unconnected.

For 2019, Chapterthon projects will help with Connecting the Unconnected. The Internet for everyone, including every last person on the planet, and we won’t rest until each person has the option of choosing to be connected.

Want to take part in this challenge?

We are looking for creative, innovative, and impactful short-term projects from our Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that are for the community, with the community, by the community.

Find out how to apply at:

Only one project will be selected per Chapter to participate in this contest. The selected projects then participate in the global Chapterthon contest. The three winning projects will receive an award!

To guide you through this process, we’ve organised an info session on 27 June 2019 at 11:00 UTC.You can register in advance at:

All other information about the Chapterthon is available here:

Take part  and help us connect the world one community at a time!

The post Applications for 2019 Chapterthon Now Open appeared first on Internet Society.

2019 Hackathon@AIS: Testimonials from the Trainers

Mer, 19/06/2019 - 16:09

What is Hackathon@AIS?

The Internet, with its endless supply of knowledge and information, has become a strategic element in nearly all economic endeavors in Africa. To build tactical awareness among primary stakeholders as well as resiliency and robustness into Internet-enabled grids, the Internet Society and AFRINIC have organized the third Hackathon@AIS event, which is taking place in Kampala, Uganda, from 19-20 June 2019.

Network engineers, software developers, and computer science students from across Africa are gearing up for another round of collaborative computer programming aimed at introducing participants to existing and evolving Internet standards development that can help further their careers through shared skillsets.

The first Hackathon@AIS was held in 2017 in Nairobi and attracted 39 participants from 12 countries. The second event, held in 2018 in Dakar, attracted 75 participants from 15 countries. Both events consisted of three different tracks led by expert facilitators from across the globe. This year, the event consists of five tracks spanning different fields, and again we’ve called on expert facilitators from around the world to share their expertise and guidance.

The Hackathon is a breeding ground for talent that can change the world through innovation and create productivity and efficiency in business. Participants will meet new people with different talents, forming “super teams” – with skilled mentors to guide participants down the right path of on-demand service delivery.

Why Are We Doing It?

The goals of the Hackathon@AIS are to expose engineers to the development process of open Internet standards and to identify strong individuals who can contribute to open Internet standards in the region. Historically, participation from the African region has been low and this event aims to  encourage engineers to contribute to open Internet standards. This year, approximately 400 participants applied and more than 100 are attending the event. Please visit the event web page:

Testimonials from the Trainers

Fred Baker has been working in data communications since 1978, including 22 years at Cisco and 30 years in the IETF. He now co-chairs IPv6 Operations in the IETF and the Root Server System Advisory Committee in ICANN. “This is my first Hackathon as a trainer,” Fred said. “I’m learning as I prepare, and hope to be a benefit to those I work with.”

Loganaden Velvindron, currently working at AFRINIC and the Regional Internet Registry, said, “During the Hackathon@AIS event, I will be working on network time security with Jeremie Daniel, a brilliant student from the University of Mauritius and member on So far I have attended two Hackathon@AIS events as a trainer. During the first hackathon, students were able to implement part of a spec in FreeBSD, DragonflyBSD, and NetBSD. In the last Hackathon, students were able to implement privacy in a Python NTP implementation, and a single line was added to that draft in the NTP working group to make the draft better. We hope that participants will prepare before they come so that we can move faster during the training sessions.”

Charles Eckel, a developer advocate with a passion for open source and standards, and recognized champion of open source, standards, and interoperability, runs DevNet’s Open Source Dev Center at Cisco, which focuses on Cisco’s major open source contributions, use, and community engagements. He also runs Code Exchange, which helps developers discover, learn, build, and collaborate on curated GitHub projects to jumpstart work with Cisco platforms, products, APIs, and SDKs. Charles introduced open source hackathons into IETF, revolutionizing the way IETF operates and uniting open source software with standards to maximize the pace and relevance of both. The first Hackathon@AIS was modeled after the IETF hackathon as a way to increase IETF awareness and involvement in Africa. At the 2018 Hackathon@AIS, Charles led a successful project focused on network programmability, and for 2019, he is leading a new and improved version of this project. According to Charles, “the Hackathon is a great way for developers and network engineers to learn new skills while actively contributing to the deployment and improvement of IETF standards.”

Willem Toorop, a developer/researcher at the NLnet Labs, works on open standards and open source software for core Internet protocols.  Willem is especially interested in delivering first class security and privacy (with DNSSEC and DNS-over-TLS) to end-users at the edges of the Internet.  “Since the whole world is now using, and increasingly also dependent upon the Internet, every area in the whole world MUST be involved in the development of open standards that is taking place in the IETF,” Willem said. “Topics currently being discussed at the IETF, like consolidation of core infrastructure (like DNS), have far reaching performance and privacy consequences that might be and mean different things in different areas of the world. However, this might not be immediately apparent as the dominance of the central cloud services on the Internet overshadow the underlying infrastructure that enables them. The best way to get intimately acquainted and involved with the open network of networks that is the Internet, is to get your hands dirty and actively participate in one of the topics which are now at the heart of the debate at the IETF.”

“The Hackathons I have supervised have led to a few interesting projects,” added Willem. “Like DNSSEC name and shame, A DNSSEC secured OTR-key lookup to the Python-based Gajim XMPP client. This was also later presented at ICANN50 in London, an emoji-based identification of DNSSEC key.” Willem further noted that the Hackathons in which he has participated were all used to make implementations of drafts he was working on (many for DNS-over-TLS, authenticating upstream with DANE, etc.). The RIPE DNS measurement has also led to the DNS Thought project.

Nabil Benamar, Associate Professor of Computer Networks at Moulay Ismail University, researches topics such as IPv6, vehicular networks, DTNs, IoT, and IDNs. Author of several journal papers and IETF Internet drafts, Nabil is an IPv6 expert ( certified) and IPv6 trainer with many international organizations (RIPE/MENOG, AFRINIC, and Agence universitaire de la Francophonie), as well as a reviewer for Computer Communications (Elsevier), Adhoc Networks (Elsevier), Future Generation Computer Systems (Elsevier), JKSUCS (Elsevier), International Journal of Wireless Information Networks (Springer), AJSE (Springer), and IEEE Access. Nabil is a TPC member of different IEEE flagship conferences (Globecom, ICC, PIMRC, WCNC, etc.), and a member of the organizing committee for WCNC’2019.

Nabil became an expert in Internet Governance after completing the Internet Society’s Next Generation Leaders e-learning program, acting as an Internet Society Ambassador for the 2012 and 2013 Internet Governance Forums, a Google panelist at the first Arab-IGF, and an Internet Society Fellow (IETF 89, 92, 95, 99, and 103), and a Fellow to ICANN 50 and 54.

“The Hackathon is a must for the African community to increase its participation in IETF working groups, and thus participate in shaping the Internet by co-authoring drafts, RFCs, and producing standards,” Nabil said. “Such activities will also lead to hosting an IETF meeting in Africa, which has never been done so far! I think that we need to encourage such an initiative and try to organize at least two hackathons per year.” Nabil further added that the Hackathon held for the African community is an enabler of the possible production of future IETF documents co-authored by African participants. According to Nabil, it is a good idea to lead different tracks in the same hackathon. Each track demands different and specific skills: programming languages, Linux Kernel, Networking, etc.

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How Regulation Could Break the Internet: In Conversation with Andrew Sullivan

Mar, 18/06/2019 - 16:44

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:

The post How Regulation Could Break the Internet: In Conversation with Andrew Sullivan appeared first on Internet Society.

Online Trust Audit Updates & Translations Now Available

Mar, 18/06/2019 - 16:05

A slightly updated version of the Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll is now available in English, French, and Spanish.

Changes include:

  • 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.

Uruguay Joins Others Taking Action to Strengthen IoT Security

Lun, 17/06/2019 - 17:18

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.

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The Week in Internet News: Hackers Eye Security Cameras

Lun, 17/06/2019 - 15:55

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: 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.

European Chapters Meeting: Consolidation, Trust, and More on the Agenda

Ven, 14/06/2019 - 16:42

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.

You can learn more about the development of these projects by visiting the European Bureau page. The full meeting report can be found here.

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Caribbean Community Gathers Together to Discuss Improving Connectivity in the Region

Mer, 12/06/2019 - 16:48

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.

Internet exchange points provide a vital way to increase the affordability and quality of connectivity in local communities. Read the Internet Society’s policy brief on IXPs.

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A New Survey Shows Few Actively Encrypting More Because of Internet Distrust

Mar, 11/06/2019 - 08:33

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.

Here’s what You Can Do Right Now

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! 

The post A New Survey Shows Few Actively Encrypting More Because of Internet Distrust appeared first on Internet Society.

Americans Deserve Better User Privacy

Lun, 10/06/2019 - 22:52

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.

The post Americans Deserve Better User Privacy appeared first on Internet Society.

The Week in Internet News: Better Broadband Boosts Employment

Lun, 10/06/2019 - 15:00

High-speed jobs: A new study suggests that better broadband service lowers unemployment rates, 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, 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.

Hong Kong Chapter: Why Aren’t There More Women in Tech?

Ven, 07/06/2019 - 16:53

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 the 7th World IPv6 Launchiversary, How About Listening to a Podcast About IPv6?

Gio, 06/06/2019 - 22:11

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.

Community Week: Share Ideas to Help Make the Internet Stronger

Gio, 06/06/2019 - 21:02

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

Community Week

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.

Want to Make a Difference in Your Community? Apply for a Beyond the Net Medium or Large Grant

Mer, 05/06/2019 - 14:00

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.

The Week in Internet News: Germany Considers Banning Encryption on Chat Apps

Lun, 03/06/2019 - 16:53

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.