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Summer 2014 Issue 46

 

Special Focus |  Policy and Legislation |  e-Government |  e-Commerce |  e-Society |  e-Security |  ICT Development

 


Contact Us: unpan-ap@sass.org.cn

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GLOBAL: How E-commerce Is Taking Over the World

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Government Reinforces ICT Modernisation Reforms

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CANADA: 10 Security Concerns for the Public Cloud - Russinovich

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDONESIA: Mayor Reveals Plans for Highly Mobile and Open Smart City

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: The e-Commerce Revolution

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: E-Government Key to Good Governance

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PHILIPPINES: Government Reveals ICT Priorities: Health IT, White Space, Cloud

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif RUSSIA: Mulling a Digital Iron Curtain

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Education Minister Shares 4 Principles on ICT Use in Education

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: 7 Ways to Innovate Government IT

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EU Parliament Backs Data Protection Rules

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Dutch Govt Opens Consultation on Proposed Regulation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Russia Mulls a Digital Iron Curtain

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UK Set to Continue Its Filibuster of EU General Data Protection Regulation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Ukraine Steps Up Information Security Policy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif LATIN AMERICA: OECD Sees Deficiencies in Latest Telecom Bill in Mexico

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: How Canada Plans to Fuel Its Economy with Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Canada: Digital Privacy Act Will Require Firms to Report Data Breaches

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Industry Minister Unveils Canada’s Digital Economy Strategy in Waterloo

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: House-Passed IT Reform Bill Expands Single CIO Mandate to DoD

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif House Passes Federal Data Center Efficiency Bill

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Netflix Wants to Expand Federal Rules on Internet Speeds

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Senate Passes Bill Demanding Uniform Coding for Agencies' Spending Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Lawmakers Want Pentagon to Clarify Cloud Security Standards

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif OMB Plans Digital Service to Improve IT Delivery

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Data Sovereignty Laws Hamper International Crime Investigations: AFP

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Regulates Online Advertising for User Security

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Beijing Mulls Big Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China to Establish National Base Station

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: National Cybersecurity Certification Planned

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Court Rules Midnight Ban on Online Games Constitutional

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Mobile Carriers Face Tougher Public Notice Rules

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDONESIA: Mayor Reveals Plans for Highly Mobile and Open Smart City

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif MALAYSIA: Government Prioritises E-Government, E-Learning and Healthcare IT in 2020 Vision

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PHILIPPINES: Agency CIO Updates on Anti-Corruption Financial Management Information System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif City in the Philippines Prioritises IT Investment for Citizen Services, Government Efficiency & Revenue Generation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The Philippine Government Reveals ICT Priorities: Health IT, White Space, Cloud

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Government Enhances WiFi Network and Will Double Hotspots by 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Government Sets Up Digital Inclusion Fund as It Prepares to Be a Smart Nation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Education Minister Shares 4 Principles on ICT Use in Education

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Programme to Train Data Protection Officers

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Government Plan to Connect Rural India with Bharat Broadband by End-2013 Moves Beyond Deadlines

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif India's IT Act Is 'Ill-suited' to Deal with Social Media: Global Network Initiative

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Indian IT Laws Unfit for Social Media

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Developing Rules for Electronic Recording of Employment Contracts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan to Create Electronic Fund for State Standards

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KAZAKHSTAN: Communication and Information Agency Created

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: ACCC Releases Safety Guide for Online Business

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australia’s Digital Privacy Laws ‘Lag Other Countries’

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Ludlam’s Return Signals Strong Green IT Policy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australia Government Urges Digital-By-Default, Cloud-First & Big Data Strategies

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian Government Reinforces ICT Modernisation Reforms

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australia Plans Whole-of-Government Open Source Cloud-Based Content Management System

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ARABIAN STATES: The United Arab Emirates - A Rising Star in E-Government

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Italian Unions Urge PM to Accelerate Broadband Deployment

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Canada - Ontario Fails at Its Own Open Government Strategy Once Again

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Facebook Releases Government Data Request Stats

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Athabasca University’s CIO Explains Why IT Governance Is a Must-do

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: Government Transparency Means All-ish Data All the Time

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 7 Ways to Innovate Government IT

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif White House Seeks Feedback on Big Data and Privacy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Industry Perspective - Open Data Is a Civil Right

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S. Government to Give Up Key Internet Powers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Big Data, Big Challenges

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Apps Make Government Wallets Transparent

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif What Government Can Do to Attract Top IT Talent

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 7 Things to Know About the White House Big Data Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Tracking Corrupt Politicians Gets Easier with New Data Platform

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif White House Directives Emphasize IT Effectiveness

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Innovative Technologies to Help County Governments Improve Service Delivery

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Government Microblogs Highlight Interaction with Public

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Official Micro Blogs Remain Active

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Govt to Standardize Farm-Related IT Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Japan Establishes Cyber Defence Unit

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Telecom Ministry Urges Adoption of Smartphone Anti-Theft Feature

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Lim Jae-Hong: E-Government Key to Good Governance

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt to Develop Long-Range Ship Identification System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif South Korea Train 14 Nigerian Public Officers on E-Government

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDONESIA: Promoting Government Transparency with Social Media

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Indonesia Capital City Government and Google to Monitor Civil Servants’ Performance

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PHILIPPINES: To Spend 13.38 Mln USD for Anti-Corruption IT System 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Philippine Government Gives Donor Agencies Access to Transparency Portal’s Content Management System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The Philippines Government Promotes Open Government with National Citizen Engagement Portal

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Police to Improve Engagement on Facebook

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore and Oman Agree to Deliver Innovative E-Government Services for Labour Market

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: City Mayor Reveals How Facebook Is Used for Crisis Communications and Flood Management

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How India's E-Government Plans to Support 22 Official Languages

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-governance: 1.3 Lakh Fake Pensioners Weeded Out in State

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif From e-Governance to m-Governance: The Way Forward

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Big Data from IoT May Pose Challenges for Data Centers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-Governance Projects to Be Speeded Up in Government Departments

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Leap in UP in E-Governance: Driving Licenses Will Be Provided Through Online Applications

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan and Afghanistan Discuss E-Government Formation Cooperation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-Documents in Azerbaijan Can Now Be Signed Online

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijani Servicemen to Hold Discussions with German IT Experts

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: 4 Lessons from Mobile Government and Open Data Project

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Comms Dept to Shed Up to 25 Percent of Workforce

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Budget Cuts Will Force Government IT Staff Rethink on Role

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Website for Justice Data Launched

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Zealand Government Opens Up Geographic Data Online

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Zealand Government to Modernise Unified Portal with Faster Online Access and Responsive Design

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Zealand Reinforces Open Government Roadmap

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Canadian Mobile App Industry Continues to Grow - Study

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Half of Canadian Businesses Lacking in Mobile Apps, Survey Finds

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Windows XP: The Final Shutdown

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Canadian Businesses Ahead in Mobile, Accenture Study Finds

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: Google, Facebook, Amazon Warn FCC Rules Pose 'Grave Threat to the Internet

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Open Data: Embracing 21st Century Economic Development in California

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Bitcoin Website Exchange Offline

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Digital Music Market to Grow $9 Billion Worldwide This Year

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Global Mobile Wallet Market: Reports and Intelligence

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How E-commerce Is Taking Over the World

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How Reputations Are Won and Lost in Modern Information Markets

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Frost & Sullivan Study: Mobile Collaborative Market in Asia-Pacific to Grow

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Internet Group Buying Service Ends

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Over 80% of Chinese Families Shopped Online Last Year

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Lenovo Succumbs to Patent Troll in USD100 Million Deal

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JD.com Signs Chinese Retail Store Deals for O2O Development

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JD.com Jumps into Chinese Virtual Communications Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Survey: Chinese Lead in Online Shopping

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Baidu Launches Mobile Payment Platform

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Tencent Breaks Off Online Literature Service into Independent Business Unit

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Baidu Officially Opens Big Data Engine

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Best Days Ahead for China's Internet Firms

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China's First Mobile Virtual Operator Launches Business

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Aliyun's Beijing Cloud Computing Data Center Opens for Business

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Chinese E-Commerce Giant Provides Subsidies for Exporters

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Mobile to Offer Cheaper 4G Network Service

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Mobile Internet Business Booming in China

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: E-Commerce Giant Rakuten Halts Whale Meat Sales

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Retailers Looking for a Change in the Sales Tax System Before They Raise White Flag

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Int'l Trade Association to Support Service Sector Growth in 2014

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ICT Ministry Under Audit for Alleged Business Favors to Google: Sources

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea's Smartphone Sales Promising from Global Boom: Analysts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea's ICT Exports Rise 8.9 Pct in March

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea Fifth Largest Supplier of High-Tech Goods to U.S.: Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif South Korea’s ACRC Partners with IBM on Cloud-Based Mainframe

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif South Korea’s Online PC Game Market Is Growing — But Dislodging Its Biggest Players Is Impossible

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDONESIA: Telcos, Lenders Urged to Strengthen E-Banking Services

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PHILIPPINES: Government and IBM Launches Disaster Management Operations Centre

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Google and Singapore Government to Grow Analytics Talent

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Government Improves Ease of Doing Business with Revamped Web Site

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: Mobile Phone Exports on the Rise

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Bandwidth Revoked from Telcos

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Vietnam Government and Microsoft to Collaborate on Cloud

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Banking Services in Vietnam Remain Safe: Central Bank

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Electronics Sector in Need of Support

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Programme Aims to Create E-Commerce Payment System

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Report: Indian E-Commerce to Become $8 Billion Industry

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-commerce in India to Touch $60 Billion by 2023

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif eTailing India Announces First e-Commerce Industry Awards

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Consulting Loses to E-Commerce at B-schools

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Flipkart: India e-Commerce Could Hit $70B by 2020

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Introducing Our New E-Mail Newsletter, 'E-Commerce Insider'

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif India’s e-Commerce Revolution

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Semantics and Definitions; Klevu Turns E-commerce Search Fields Smarter

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Gap and Myntra May Partner for E-Commerce Biz in India

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Indian Govt Rejects Sports Retailer Decathlon’s Proposal to Sell Goods Online

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Retail Swells to $12.6 bn, with One Million Traders

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Indian e-Commerce Boom Produces Acceptable Casualties

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PE, VC Investors Warm Up to Indian e-Commerce

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The e-Commerce Revolution

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif eBay Aims to Create the World's Largest Trader Base in India

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SRI LANKA: Mulling Japanese E-Commerce Giant for First Trials

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Investment Volume by Mobile Operator in Country’s ICT Announced

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan’s E-Commerce Market Grows by over a Third

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan's Largest Bank Introduces Online Loan Payment Service

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijani Ministry Obliges Mobile Operators to Solve Traffic Exchange Problem

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Another Favorable Offer from Azercell for Mobile E-Signature Users

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Mobile Wallets to Overtake Physical Wallets by 2021 - CBA

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Mobile Broadband Boosts Economy by Billions: ACMA

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian Businesses Reach for the Clouds to Improve Efficiency

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Mobile Phone Plans Rate Well Across OECD Countries

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NZ Businesses Paying Bills in Record Time

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Netherlands Creates National Response Network

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Canada - How Stephen Harper’s Use of Social Media Blurs the Lines, Online

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: The Intelligence Community's Big-data Problem

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Los Angeles Wants High-Speed Internet for Everyone in City

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif White House Website Helps Veterans Find Jobs

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Using Technoloy to Transform the Health Care Industry

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The Role of ICT in Building Smart Cities – Infrastructure

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Concise Analysis of the International ICT Market in the Education Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Smart Homes in Asia-Pacific--A CEO's 360-Degree Perspective

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Achieving Improved Energy Efficiency with Green Data Centres

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Action Needed to Protect Telco Infrastructure from Climate Change

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Asia Dominates Wi-Fi Hotspots, ABI Says

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Cell Phone Users Boost Mobile Internet Traffic

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China's Mobile Internet Consumption to Surge

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Social Media Messaging Causes China Mobile's First Annual Profit Drop

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ChinaNetCenter Net Profit Up 129% in 2013

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Focus: Guizhou Emerges as China's Big Data Center

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Chinese Government Will Invest CNY20 Billion to Promote IPv6

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Govt. to Screen Online Babysitting Services

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Japan Schools Look to Teach Online Morals, Safety

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Customs Service to Establish Combined Info System on Travel Records

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Mobile Banking Users Top 50 Mln

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Medical Insurance Info Goes Online

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDONESIA: Capital City Prioritises Big Data and Open Government for Public Safety and Transport

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Indonesia, Australia Government & World Bank Release New Disaster Mapping Software

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PHILIPPINES: Government to Use Sensors for Disaster Early-Warning

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Health Centre Recognised for Paperless Medical Records System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Police Emergency Call Centre Is Twitter-Enabled

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How Singapore Government Is Using Data Analytics to Improve Social Services

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Infocomm Development Authority Helps Elderly Pick Up E-Health Tools

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Police to Launch Geo-Tagged Emergency Notification System on Mobile App

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Tertiary Students Participate in Social Innovation with Interactive Portals and Mobile Apps

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Tertiary Institution Partners Industry to Enhance Digital Learning

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Government Invests US$54mil in Intelligent Bus Management System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Government Uses Big Data Analytics to Optimise Transport Management

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: City Mayor Reveals How Facebook & Technology Help in Flood Management

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Thailand Government Consolidates Mobile Services with New App Centre

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Thailand Government Launches Mobile App to Enhance Road Safety

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Thailand Smart Country Project Brings Efficient E-Services to Citizens and Civil Servants

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: E-access to Four Wakf Board Certificates

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Innovative Fully Integrated Cloud Based e-Health Centre Launched in Hyderabad

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif India’s First e-Kisaan Tablet for Farmers Launched

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif National Launch of Post Office Savings Bank ATM and Core Banking-postal Life Insurance

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Biocon Launches e-Healthcare Programme in Odisha

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-Aadhaar to Be Used as Proof

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Reliance Jio to Use Viom Towers for 4G Services

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Going Digital

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Mobile Operator Nar Mobile to Create Internship Platform for Students

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Growth of Cloud Technology Usage Recorded in Azerbaijan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Bakcell Launches SMS Notification Tool for Emergency Situations

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan Expands List of E-Service Types

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Mobile Operator Prepares to Launch Cable Television in Azerbaijan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Baku Enhances Parking Control System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-Signature Tariffs Decrease in Azerbaijan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UZBEKISTAN: Mobile Operators Can Switch to Eight Digit Numbers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Uzbekistan Increases Requirements for Internet Providers and Internet Cafes

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Government Urges Transparency in Citizen Data Privacy Handling

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian Government Mobile Service Centres to Help Drought-Hit Farmers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian Health Department Upgrades Online Application System for Over-the-Counter Medicine

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australia Government Launches E-Learning Programme to Support Mental Health of Veterans

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ICT Skills Shortage, What Shortage?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ‘Digital Revolution’ Driving Rise in ICT Jobs Demand

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Slipping Australian Education Under Threat from Reduced ICT Spending

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Statistics Launches 2013 Census Maps

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Zealand Health IT System Upgrades Search for Quicker Patient Data Access

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Service to Identify Blocked Phones Launched

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ICT Candidate Market Dries Up as Professionals Seek Lucrative Contracts

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: U.K. - Government Launches Cyber Security Certification for Businesses

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Canada - 10 Security Concerns for the Public Cloud - Russinovich

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Canadians Confident, Concerned About Cyber Attacks: Study

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Malware from Spying on Governments Now Used in Cybercrime, Sophos Says 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Canada's Electronic Spy Agency Uncovers Wrongdoing, Ethics Breaches

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Majority of Cyber Attacks Coming from Legitimate Sites - Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: Cybersecurity Gets a Boost from the National Guard

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Survey - IT Pros Not Concerned About NSA Spying

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif RSA 2014 - Can the Government Earn Back the Public’s Trust in the Cyberfight?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Snowden - Proposed NSA Reforms Vindicate My Data Leaks

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Big Data Google-style Comes Under Attack

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Pentagon Chief Says US Cyberspace Force to Expand Further

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Pentagon to Triple Cyber Staff to Thwart Attacks

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Cyberattacks: Too Much How, Not Enough Why

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif DHS Prepares Overhaul of Internal Security Operations

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Data Protection in Internet of Things Era

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The U.S. Government: Paying to Undermine Internet Security, Not to Fix It

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Improving IT Security by Implementing Better Governance

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif National Day of Civic Hacking Widens Reach in Second Year

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Defense Authorization Bill Boosts Cybersecurity

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Medical Informatics World Conference Debuts New Track on Information Security and Privacy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif What Heartbleed Teaches Governments About Cybersecurity

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Exclusive: PBOC Highlights Virtual Payment Risks

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Military to Tighten Cyberspace Security

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Overseas Attacks on Chinese Cyberspace Rising

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Tech Entrepreneur Lands Internet Privacy Startup in Hong Kong

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Vows Joint Efforts on Securing Cyberspace

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Hacking into Computers Drops as Nation Beefs Up Protection

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Alibaba Throws Money at Internet Privacy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Drop Cold War Mentality on China's Cyber Security

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Beijing's Public Security Bureau Forms Internet Security Alliance

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Japan, Lithuania to Share Cyberattack Info

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Japan Holds First Broad Cybersecurity Drill, Frets Over Olympics Risks

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SDF Cyberdefense to Use ‘Decoy’ Sensors

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Recent Online Exposures Reveal Lack of Awareness of Terrorism Risk

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Gov't Looks to Mobilize SDF to Defend Nuclear Plants from Cyber-Attacks

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EU, Japan to Start Cyber-Security Dialogue

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Fujitsu Cuts Response Time to Cyberattacks by 97%

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Japanese-Israel Defense Accords Cover Cyber Security Cooperation Against China, North Korea and Iran

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Ruling Parties to Establish Cybersecurity Headquarters

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Japan Govt Prepares to Deal with Issue of Cybersecurity

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Telecom Ministry to Crack Down on Pirate Phones

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea, U.S. Agree to Expand Joint R&D into Cyber Security, Disaster Management

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Government Tightened Mobile Prepaid SIM Cards Regulation to Prevent Criminal Use

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Government to Get Cyber Security Lab by NEC and Sypris

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Government Focuses on Big Data, Open Data, Cloud & Security

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: Government and Microsoft Sign Cybersecurity Deals

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VN Faces High Risk of Cyber Attacks

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Cyber Criminals Using Malware That Act as Sleeper Cells

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Preparing for Major Protection of Aznet Network

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Users of Azerbaijani State-Owned ISP Suffer Hacker Attack

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Security of Websites Satisfactory in Azerbaijan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan’s Telecommunication Infrastructure to Be Thoroughly Checked

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan Develops Encryption Software for Protecting E-Documents

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KAZAKHSTAN: State Security Service Created

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Government Launches National Ballistics System for Police to Target Firearm Crime

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Cyber Security Tsars Lay Down Rules for Network Operators

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Some Facts About Net Neutrality

 

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Spain Pledges EUR 98 Mln to ICT Development

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: IT in Canada’s Post-secondary System Key to Economic Impact

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: How IT Jobs Have Changed in 15 Years

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif San Francisco Is the Best City for Open Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 4 Key Trends That Every CIO Should Watch

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif FCC Seeks $13.5 Million for IT Modernization

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Industry Perspective - Keeping IT (Procurement) Simple

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif IT Testing for 2020 Count Running Behind

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Pentagon Looks to Build a Bridge Between Military, Intelligence IT Consolidation Efforts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Senate Appropriators Signal Support for IT Reform

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The World Wide Web Turns 25 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Global Network Builders Emerge

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Global m-Education Market 2014-2018: Advancements in ICT Have Resulted in the Emergence of Virtual Classrooms

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Research and Markets: Global Telecom and ICT Augmented Reality Subscription

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif OneAsia First in Asia to Deploy Software-Defined Networking Solution in Data Centre

 

 

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Now Has Over 250,000 4G Base Stations

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Big Data Reveals Trend of Chinese Auto Market

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Gov't to Invest 4.9 Tln Won in ICT in 2014

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Technical Competency of S. Korean SMEs Lags World's Best: Poll

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Telecom Ministry to Allocate 2.5ghz Spectrum in Second Half

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Gov't to Inject 50 Bln Won into loT Industry

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KT to Invest 4.5 Tln Won to Tap 'Giga Internet'

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Nigeria, North Korea Sign Co-operation Agreement on ICT, Education

 

 

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDONESIA: Deploys Advanced Disaster Monitoring System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How Big Data and GIS Will Plan a Livable Singapore

 

 

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BANGLADESH: Internet for Empowerment

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif WB Funded ICT Project to Create Huge Employment

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif IT Outsourcing – Emerging Forex Earner

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BD Could Be Mighty Player in Global IT: Mozena

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt Picks 160 Youngsters in 1st Batch to Develop as IT Leaders

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Government IT Spending to Reach $6.4 Bn

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet of Things to Accelerate Supply Chains

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SRI LANKA: IT/BPM Achievements Shortlisted for Global Outsourcing Award

 

 

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: ICT Sector’s Revenues Rise by over 11%

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan to Invest About $ 4 Billion in ICT Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan to Attract Consultant to Assess Prospects for ICT Development

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ICT Sector Share in Azerbaijan's GDP to Reach 9% by 2020

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan, Japan Sign Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation in ICT

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UZBEKISTAN: Mobile Communication Penetration Level Exceeds 64 Percent

 

 

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: IT Industry Facing a ‘Digital Leadership Vacuum’

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SMEs to Be Part of Australia’s Cloud Revolution: Turnbull

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Hi-Tech Awards Finalists Show Wellington Is the High Tech Capital

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Zealand’s Largest City Drives Open Data Release to Host First Civic Hackathon

 

 

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GLOBAL: How E-commerce Is Taking Over the World

 

The internet has been responsible for changing the way we go about many of the tasks in our day-to-day lives. Not least it has changed the way we shop. Customer experience specialist Baynote has released a new infographic map showing the growth of e-commerce across the world. Interesting highlights include the fact that in the US e-commerce is growing at four times the rate of retail and in China it grew by 51 percent in 2013. India's e-commerce market is expected to increase from $13 billion in 2013 to between $50 and $70 billion by 2020.

 

The graphic also highlights the hotspot cities that play host to major players in the e-commerce world. Seattle, home of Amazon, for example accounts for more that $61 billion in online sales. However, this is dwarfed by Hangzhou in China, home to the Alibaba site which manages more transactions than Amazon and eBay combined. Another interesting trend is that 60 percent of E-commerce shoppers now use social network sites and tools in order to interact with brands showing that our online lives aren't neatly pigeon-holed. Click on the image below to view the full size map and see how e-commerce is spreading across the globe.

From http://betanews.com/ 04/18/2014

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AUSTRALIA: Government Reinforces ICT Modernisation Reforms

 

The Australian Government has weighed in with full support for key technology platforms driving the business of government. These include a broader adoption of cloud computing, big data, and digital platforms through to 2017. The administration’s just-released Report of the National Commission of Audit May 2014 canvasses a digital cloud first approach to whole-of-government IT procurement. Among the recommendations, this report, delivered by an influential National Commission of Audit, requires agencies to be proactive about digital and cloud-first operations. With a focus on cost-savings, and large-scale cut-backs in Canberra, the commission acknowledge the role of technology to deliver wide-spread savings, while reducing duplication, and streamlining services.

 

Cloud-first policy

Despite the rhetoric of cloud adoption, the commission notes the Commonwealth remains slow to adopt cloud computing. “A reliance on bespoke, legacy systems, concerns about security and privacy of placing public data in the cloud, and general risk-aversion all impede progress.” Drawing on the banking sector, the commission notes a “cloud-first” policy can initially target low-risk, generic ICT services. Over three to five years, this may progressively reduce ICT costs, as cloud computing becomes a “default option.” The commission proposes the Department of Finance establish a whole-of-government cloud computing provider panel. This panel is designed to confirm the viability, capability, and costs of using large-scale cloud computing providers. The focus is ensuring that access to cloud service providers remains competitive, viable, and offers appropriate levels of security.

 

Big data

The Commonwealth holds large amounts of data. But this information is not being used to its best effect. “Some agencies collect data in the natural course of their operations and tend to focus more on collection, rather than analysis and wider use. The government’s massive data repository is often rarely connected, has duplicates, varies in quality, and is not supported by consistent standards. “The value of data holding to the whole-of-government is rarely articulated.” Moreover, there is little, or no effort to fully examine data holdings, or assess the value of existing data. Agencies can prepare plans that make better use of data, and source innovation from outside government. The government’s Data.Gov portal holds just 3,164 datasets. This compares with 10,000 datasets in the UK, and around 200,000 datasets in the US. Despite this showpiece, there is insufficient access to public data, including disability, aged care, job seekers, and the socially-disadvantaged.

 

The Australian Public Service needs to improve its capacity for data analytics. This involves analysing large datasets, in real-time, and being able to share insights, identify anomalies, and allocate resources, as and where needed. With a renewed focus on big data, planners need to identify and prioritise projects, spanning key service delivery bodies. These include the Department of Human Services, Australian Taxation Office, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

 

Digital by-default

Like the UK, the Australian government may support a “digital strategy by default.” This strategy can be supported, more aggressively, under the auspices of the Department of Human Services’ MyGov on-line offering. This portal offers access to information from Medicare, Centrelink, child support, health, veterans’ allowances, and disability insurance. But boosting access to digital services involves a more “ambitious strategy.” The administration plans to ensure that every interaction, occurring more than 50,000 times a year, will be done on-line by 2017. Government correspondence is also expected to be available digitally, over the next four years. Australia’s slow uptake of “digital government” is attributed to fragmented arrangements involving multiple agencies, and a policy disconnect. The commission proposes that core expertise be consolidated, under a single team. This can be led by a chief digital officer, a role more likely filled by a private sector leader, with the nous to deliver digital transformation programmes.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 05/02/2014

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CANADA: 10 Security Concerns for the Public Cloud - Russinovich

 

SAN FRANCISCO – It’s not news that businesses are moving more and more of their data to the cloud. But even as cloud storage and computing have hit the mainstream, there are a lot of questions around the public cloud – ones that not everyone is asking. For Mark Russinovich, technical fellow of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Azure cloud platform group, the public cloud has helped businesses grow, but there are still many concerns for data security and privacy. He pulled together a list of 10 different concerns that security professionals should consider when putting their organizations’ data into the public cloud. “We’ve coined a name for this – ‘cloud critical’ bugs,” said Russinovich, speaking from a session at the RSA conference in San Francisco on Thursday. “The cloud is at a much higher risk of exploitation, because there’s a lot of diverse data from businesses and industries.”

 

Here’s a roundup counting down 10 concerns he has with the public cloud.

10. Shared technology vulnerabilities

For Russinovich, one of the difficulties of the public cloud is that everyone using it has shared technology vulnerabilities. If a breach of the cloud were to happen, that would look bad for every cloud vendor. “We’d be notifying people, cleaning up, and bringing things back online,” he said. “But to customers, it’d be a big public cloud fail.” For one thing, there’s no firewall attached to the public cloud, and there’s a huge variety of data in the public cloud up for grabs, if hackers were to gain access to it. Luckily, however, the public cloud is better at responding to threats, since most businesses recognize how risky it would be to fail to defend it. Businesses need to be aware they can’t wait for patches if they know about a vulnerability – instead, they need to automate software deployment, ensure they have strong detection tools for breaches, and be determined to preserve their customers’ trust.

 

9. Insufficient due diligence

There’s a lot of talk nowadays about shadow IT, where employees come up with their own IT solutions and bring them to work. One of the most popular of these is the cloud. Russinovich said he’d even like to coin a phrase for it – like the bring-your-own-device trend, or BYOD, he’d name it BYOIT – bring-your-own-IT. What IT departments need to do is to help their organizations’ employees with implementing the cloud and ensure they’re complying with security best practices, he added.

 

8. Abuse of cloud services

While having a public cloud can be helpful, businesses run the risk of attackers taking it over and using it as a malware platform, or becoming botmasters taking advantage of trusted IP addresses. The public cloud can also be used as storage for illegal content, like copyrighted content being stored through Pirate Bay, or inappropriate content like pornography, Russinovich added. And increasingly, security professionals might see people using the public cloud to mine Bitcoin.

 

7. Malicious insiders

When hiring employees who will be able to access data within the organization, there’s always the danger they may walk away with sensitive data, Russinovich said. He put up a picture of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden on his presentation slide. “It’s a real risk, better understood by third-party audits,” he said. Ways to mitigate this risk include doing employee background checks, as well as security controls on what data each employee can access.

 

6. Denial of service (DOS)

Whether this happens through an attack – like a distributed denial of service (DDoS), or through an outage, customers don’t really care, Russinovich said. What they do care about is whether cloud providers are responsible. For example, in August 2011, a lightning storm brought down the clouds for Amazon and Microsoft in Dublin, Ireland. While that was an equipment failure, neither Amazon and Microsoft should have let that happen, Russinovich said. That’s why it’s important for cloud providers to mitigate the chance of DOS by ensuring non-public applications are isolated from the Internet, and by setting up location-specific clouds. That way, if one cloud goes down, another can take over, he added.

 

5. Insecure interfaces and application programming interfaces (APIs)

As the public cloud is still so new, a lot of APIs will crop up – and not all of them are particularly secure. Organizations need to ensure their APIs use strong cryptography, for example, Russinovich said.

 

4. Account hijacking and service traffic hijacking

It’s been said time and time again, but organizations need to ensure their employees’ accounts are using strong passwords. While it’s not a problem unique to the public cloud, there’s a lot of data at stake, Russinovich said. He added IT administrators need to turn off any unused endpoints, and that they need to ensure their employees are trained to avoid opening strange attachments or clicking on suspicious links.

 

3. Data loss

Whether this happens because someone accidentally deletes or modifies data so it can’t be accessed, or if an attacker steals it or uses ransomware to encrypt it until he or she is sent a sum of money, this is definitely a problem for the public cloud, Russinovich said. And of course, there’s always the chance an organization could lose data through a natural disaster – for example, a flood or hurricane destroying its servers. Russinovich says companies should mitigate this danger by setting up backups, as well as geo-redundant storage. There’s also the practice of deleted resource tombstoning – by ensuring it’s possible to recover deleted data by removing a tombstone, organizations can return data to their customers. “This is something we’ve learned through painful lessons,” Russinovich said.

 

2. Data breaches

While this appears to be a very general heading, Russinovich said it’s an important one. “Data is at the heart of the matter. The data is the company. If there’s no data, there’s no company,” he said. “It’s the most important asset, so there’s the highest risk of loss.” For example, if an attacker gains access to data’s physical media – for example, a disc holding the data – that’s a problem. A fix might be to encrypt that data and to set up extensive physical controls, like a strict rule not to allow any employees to take data out of a data centre. Or, an organization might make a rule saying any discs that are no longer used should be crushed by a disc-destroying machine. At Microsoft Azure, no data is allowed to leave the building, and the company also uses third-party certifications like FedRamp to ensure its employees are handling the data properly.

 

4. Self-awareness

In giving his presentation at the RSA conference, Russinovich asked the audience whether they could hazard a guess to his final concern on the public cloud. No one could, but he said as the public cloud grows more and more sophisticated, the data in that cloud may take over and we may stop focusing on what we need to do to secure it. “This is new technology. We’re learning as we go,” he said.

From http://www.itbusiness.ca/ 02/27/2014

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INDONESIA: Mayor Reveals Plans for Highly Mobile and Open Smart City

 

In an exclusive interview with FutureGov, Danny Pomanto, Mayor of Makassar, Indonesia’s sixth most populous city with 1.5 million residents, described his plans for a highly mobile and connected smart city. Mobility and open data form the foundation of Pomanto’s plan for this city. “Mobile applications will provide real-time data that helps residents plan their day and improve ease of communicating and transacting with businesses and government agencies.” He described how he envisions the future Makassar City to be: “Using my mobile phone, I can check road and traffic conditions so I can plan the best route to my desired destination. An application shows me real-time availability of parking lots nearby. If I need to pay taxes, I can do it anywhere through mobile banking.” Makassar City has the highest economic growth rate of 9.88 per cent, compared to the national average of 6.1 per cent. According to statistics from Telcos, Makassa’s internet penetration rate is higher than that of Jakarta, and is the second highest in Indonesia, after Palembang.

 

To prepare city residents for mobile and online services, Pomanto is working on setting up free wifi in public spaces. During his campaign for mayorship, he was known as ‘Son of Makassar Alley’, because one of his priorities is to ensure the inclusion of commoners living in the alleys. And part of this goal includes providing digital accessibility to these people. “I want everyone to have access to internet, even people who live in the alleys,” he added. More surveillance cameras will be put up around the city to improve safety and traffic management. “We now have CCTV cameras set up at five corridors. This will increase to 100 corridors in the near future.” Pomanto will also be leveraging ICT to transform how the city government of 18,000 employees will be managed. He was inspired after seeing ‘Flightradar24’, a flight tracker providing real-time information about thousands of aircraft around the world. “If we can use technology to provide oversight on our employees, tracking our activities and operation, I am certain we can improve our efficiency and solve more problems,” he said. The City will soon launch e-payment systems that enable businesses to easily pay all types of taxes and fees. Pomanto expects the roll-out to increase tax revenue by 200

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/03/2014

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INDIA: The e-Commerce Revolution

 

One of the things that really separate us as humans from the high primates is that we’re great tool builders and we learn and execute fast, hence are acknowledged as the crown of creation. We have seen this happening for long that we don’t settle but keep improving and innovating for convenience. There has always been a strong wave of revolution in existing models to try and make them better for our convenience. Take for example e-commerce, when it started in India a lot of us were skeptical about the concept due to various reasons like internet, devices and shopping online. But few strong visionaries have changed our buying habits and most of us by now would have experienced shopping online. India’s e-commerce business jumped by more than 80 per cent in 2013 and the momentum is likely to continue for at least the next five-six years. Catching the trends early experts who were running big retail businesses as specialty stores now have e-stores and have started competing with the big players in the e-commerce race.

 

By June 2014, India will have 243 million internet users, at which point of time, it is expected to overtake the US as the second largest internet base in the world, the I-Cube 2013 report, released by the internet and mobile association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International said. At present, China leads with more than 300 million internet users while the US has an estimated 207 million internet users. All of this is great and will surly take e-commerce business to heights beyond imagination. But here is the catch, smartphone penetration and growing internet penetration on mobile in India is touching unexpected heights YoY. Now since the consumer is on mobile and trained, his demands and expectations have increased. Today, consumers want to know the best of products, offers and services in and around their location right now and not wait for something to be delivered after 24 hours (best case). Big players like Google, Facebook and others are moving their attention to mobile and location is a testimony around this and makes it a global movement and the next big revolution to what out for in near future.

 

There is a common saying about the Indian retail consumers’ mentality, “can’t touch, won’t buy”. In L-commerce the experience is totally magical, for instance you saw a t-shirt, which you wanted in your vicinity, you could immediately visit there and check for great discount and get a guarantee of return and refund. Nothing can replace this experience. In an environment that is getting better every year we would witness the big location-based commerce (l-commerce) revolution soon and local merchants will start competing with the big brands in e-commerce. L-commerce refers to the localisation of products and services through mobile commerce and context aware computing technologies. L-commerce revolves around five key service areas: Location: determining the basic position of a person or a thing; Navigation: plotting a route from one location to another; Tracking: monitoring the movement of a person or a thing; Mapping: creating maps of specific geographical locations; Timing: Determining the precise time at a specific location.

 

E-commerce is publishing best products with great offers and is a one way communication, but l-commerce is a personal two way communication and the merchant would treat you with velvet gloves to ensure he gets a long-term customer. L-commerce has, in a way, revolutionised the industry, benefitting both — the consumers and merchants. With the entry of e-tailing, malls, supermarkets and grocery stores have seen a decline in the number of annual footfalls. This has drastically affected the revenues of these stores as they mostly have only physical presence. The larger players are a huge threat to these smaller players. With the five key service areas of l-commerce, it is proving to be a great platform that will help in the revival of this number. The location aware technology is proving a be an innovatory technology by providing real-time offers and deals that consumers can avail of in a vicinity closest to them. By using location aware technology, user’s location can be identified to provide the most relevant offers and deals in a category the user is looking for. The categories can range from apparel, entertainment, mobile devises to food, health and beauty.

 

Another added advantage of this revolution is that it has caught the attention of the unorganised markets as well. Local stores have seen the potential business it can bring if they publish their offers and deals online. This technology is undoubtedly helping merchants to promote their offers and discounts to drive consumers in their stores, which otherwise went undiscovered. In the early days, it was only the organised market that was getting accounted for. But with l-commerce and location aware technology, the unorganised market is also being recognised and will soon have a revenue number being put on this market.

From http://www.mydigitalfc.com/ 04/14/2014

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SOUTH KOREA: E-Government Key to Good Governance

 

With Korea’s advanced information technology, its know-how in e-government services could provide a key tool for developing countries to help achieve good governance and effective public administration, the head of the U.N. Project Office on Governance said.  “E-government is one of the best paths to good governance that the humans have found so far, playing a key role in achieving a wide array of domestic and global policy objectives,” UNPOG director Lim Jae-hong said in a recent interview with The Korea Herald.  The organization was set up in 2006 as a subsidiary of the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs with the principal aim of assisting member states to improve their governance capacity for 10 years. Its work is financed by an annual $1 million trust fund run by Seoul’s Ministry of Security and Public Administration.  In recent years, the idea of e-governance has emerged across the UNPOG’s three pillars of activities ― research and policy development, capacity development, and communication and outreach ― with Korea being a good example as a vibrant democracy and IT powerhouse, according to its director.

 

Its concept, he noted, also embraces the eight key components of good governance laid out by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific: accountable, transparent, responsive, equitable and inclusive, effective and efficient, follows the rule of law, participatory and consensus-oriented. Lim pinned high hopes on President Park Geun-hye’s vision for “Government 3.0,” which calls for broader public access to state data and participation in the decision-making process, increased transparency and greater interagency cooperation. The initiative followed the “e-Korea Vision 2006,” a third edition of the four-year national “informatization” plan unveiled in 2002. The package included building ICT capacity and industry, promoting e-commerce, upgrading the legal system and stepping up international cooperation.

 

“I think Korea’s public administration system has advanced very much along the lines of technological development, making more information available and expanding communications with citizens,” he said. “The ‘Government 3.0’ drive will help Seoul maintain its leading position in the e-government field as it basically seeks to create new values through open data, information sharing and communications.” A former ambassador to Thailand and Sri Lanka, Lim took the helm of the UNPOG last October shortly after retiring from the Foreign Ministry. During his 35-year diplomatic career, he assumed various posts related to the U.N. and the development issue, including chief of planning and coordination, minister-counselor at the mission to the U.N. in New York, and director for human rights and social affairs. He is gearing up for three major projects this year: the annual U.N. Public Service Awards, an international e-government forum and the launch of the biennial U.N. e-Government Survey in which Korea topped the list over the last four years.

 

The awards mark the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service, officials say. This year’s ceremony will take place on June 23 in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province, as the centerpiece of a four-day public service forum organized by the UNPOG and New York-based DESA. The two agencies launched the e-government forum in Seoul in 2012 to boost the understanding on the concept around the world. The yearly event will be held in Kazakhstan in October. With the office’s 10-year term nearing its end, Lim is stepping up efforts to turn it into a permanent organization with greater financial capabilities and a bigger workforce so that it can help more developing countries beyond the Asia-Pacific.  “It will not be a wise decision to give up on the investment that we have made throughout the past decade ― governance is an idea that will dominate the 21st century, not a waning industry or a thing of the past,” the director added.  “I’m hoping that the UNPOG will be able to assist those in need such as least developed, post-conflict or landlocked countries, expanding its foray into Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.”

From http://theinsidekorea.com 04/27/2014

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PHILIPPINES: Government Reveals ICT Priorities: Health IT, White Space, Cloud

 

In an exclusive interview with FutureGov, Louis Casambre, Under Secretary & Executive Director, ICT Office, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), The Philippines reveals the key priorities and challenges for this year.

 

Health Services

“Our focus has always been on ICT projects that impact and benefit multiple agencies,” said Casambre, whose team is working with the Department of Health (DOH) on getting the systems interoperable. “The challenge we are facing now now is that many systems are operating independently. Data is stored in separate silos. The Health Information Exchange Layer project will provide the shared services layer by creating a common API across systems,” he said.

 

Local Government

Electronic Local Government Units (eLGU) is another key initiative this year. “While many local government units see the value of e-government, they may not have the financial and human resources needed to implement certain systems,” explained Casambre. The national government is investing in cloud services so that local government units can benefit from the latest technology resources without having to invest in expensive infrastructure.

 

TV White space

According to Casambre, the technology that presents the greatest opportunity for DOST is TV White Space. In a recent survey, the Department of Education (DepEd) found that 83 per cent of schools are situated in areas without an internet service provider. “This figure gives a good picture of the actual connectivity rate across the country. How will citizens benefit from all the great ICT-enabled public services if they don’t even have access to the internet? We are working with the DepEd, DOH, Department of Social Welfare on leveraging TV White Space to deliver public services,” he added. The Philippine government is creating a regulatory environment so that the infrastructure can be deployed by the private sector. TV White Space has proven to be effective for enabling communications during disaster recovery. [Casambre speaks on the benefits on white space in another recent interview here.]

 

Shared services

iGovPhil, a whole-of-government initiative, is one of DOST’s flagship projects to provide citizens with a secured digital signature so that they can communicate and transact with multiple agencies without having to register for each online service. “There will be four basic registries: citizens, companies, land and transportation. The common registry will allow systems across different government departments to interconnect,” he commented.

 

Capacity Building

The Philippine leadership is actively pushing for the civil service to adopt technology and deliver more ICT-enabled citizen services. “Over the next three years, the Government will be investing in 250,000 laptops for civil servants, including teachers. There are plans to roll out cloud-based thin client devices to replace PCs in government offices and training programmes to build up the skills of government employees,” Casambre concluded.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/29/2014

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RUSSIA: Mulling a Digital Iron Curtain

 

An impossibly cute creature from a 1966 Soviet book and cartoon has recently found himself on the periphery of discussions about the Kremlin's growing ambitions to exercise greater control over domestic Internet use. In late April, a member of Russia's upper house of parliament proposed creating a purely domestic Internet—inaccessible from abroad with the exception, perhaps, of members of a Russian-led Customs Union—that would be named after a furry character called Cheburashka. And while the senator, Maksim Kavdzharadze, later clarified that his proposal would only apply to scientific information, the use of Cheburashka as a symbol for the Kremlin's efforts to create a more "sovereign" Internet is apt. The beast in Eduard Uspensky's story, who is theretofore unaware of humans, winds up in a crate of oranges and must adjust to a new reality after tumbling out in a Moscow shop. In Russia, it is unclear how users will react to the new reality being created around an Internet that was once widely free. In April, the State Duma passed legislation that would require non-Russian tech companies to store all domestic data within Russia for at least six months. And Kommersant, a well-regarded newspaper, reported that a commission set up by Russian President Vladimir Putin is recommending a system that would allow the government to filter and access all content passing through Russian servers.

 

It is still unclear whether major companies like Google and Facebook will agree to the expensive task of placing servers and data-storage centers inside Russia—or if Moscow will follow through with blocking access to the sites if they do not. Whatever he decides to do, Putin is representative of an accelerated push by autocratic leaders worldwide to reign in the unwieldy Internet space. But doing so once populations have already experienced the value and convenience of open access can be difficult. Here's a look below at some case studies of web censorship—ranging from the most extreme version of a truly "sovereign" web to one of evolving ad-hoc efforts to chip away at Internet freedom. All of these censorship regimes exist with varying degrees of coerced self-censorship brought about by threats of punishment for posting content deemed immoral or harmful to the state. Users and companies are aware that their online activity may be monitored at any time and themselves become players in creating a censorship environment.

 

North Korea's 'Walled Garden'

Operating as a nationwide intranet, a truly sovereign system can only be accessed from within the state. The one standout "success" in this complete censorship regime is North Korea's Kwangmyong (Bright) network. There is little information about the network because few people outside the so-called "hermit kingdom" have been able to access it. But according to a report by the AP news agency, the system contains up to 5,500 websites that are mostly associated with universities and government-run entities. This type of network is one that can really only work in places where there is a virtual blockade on information from the outside world, such as North Korea or Cuba, which has a similar system. This type of domestic intranet environment is also difficult to establish in all but the most oppressive societies because experience with the free-wheeling way the Internet works already exists.

 

China's Great Firewall

China's "Golden Shield" project, which blocks and filters content deemed harmful by the ruling Communist Party, has been largely successful because the government decided early on that the Internet was something that needed to be controlled. As Internet use grew rapidly in the first decade of the 21st century, homegrown sites that accepted the authorities' censorship rules—and assisted in blocking content—became the norm. While Western companies have struggled to or refused to adapt to the rules governing content-filtering, domestic companies like Baidu, the country's largest search engine, have thrived. Chinese users wishing to access blocked sites can use proxies, which provide access to third-party servers to avoid censors, but because the web already caters to the domestic audiences, most users will not go through the effort of doing so.

 

Iran's 'Halal' Network

Iran's censorship of the Internet increased markedly following disputed elections in 2009 that saw thousands of anti-government protesters flood the streets of Tehran. Access to Western sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube were cut off and, in 2011, Iran began work on a "halal" network that would exist only within the country. The plan, according to one minister, was that users would only be able to access content that maintained the appropriate "ethical and moral level." Although Tehran says it's still working on this intranet, three years later the country continues to rely on censors to blacklist and filter websites deemed threatening to the Islamic republic. Creating an entirely new system without an already existing infrastructure, like in China, has proven to be difficult. And many users still manage to access Western social networking sites through proxies.

 

The Evolving Turkish Model

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been in an ongoing battle against the "dark forces" of the Internet since anti-government protests swept the country last June. He went on the attack in early 2014 when secret audio recordings were posted online that appeared to incriminate his family in corruption. His government ordered Twitter and YouTube blocked in March. Despite a court order to reverse Erdogan's edict, YouTube is reportedly still inaccessible. Erdogan has viewed the recent success of his party in municipal elections as a mandate to continue the Internet crackdown. Turkey's spy agency was given increased power to access users' data and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have begun to use technology similar to that being used in China to scan and log online activity.

 

At first glance, Russia might seem an appropriate candidate for a Chinese-style firewall. Homegrown Russian sites like the Yandex search engine and Vkontakte, a social network, have larger shares of the Russian market than their Western competitors. But these same companies owe some of their success to foreign practices and investment. Yandex is registered in the Netherlands and is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange in New York. VKontakte's founder fled Russia in April after he said he was forced into giving up his shares in the company to figures close to the Kremlin. Leaders at both companies have complained about the new Internet legislation in Russia potentially harming their businesses. Up until now, Russia has largely targeted individual websites and bloggers, like opposition figure Aleksei Navalny, with shutdowns or punishments. But it seems clear the Kremlin wants to do more. Although a "sovereign Internet" may be the Kremlin's ideal, a layered approach—similar to that seen in Turkey—where Internet freedoms are slowly stripped away, may be the most likely scenario.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 05/09/2014

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SINGAPORE: Education Minister Shares 4 Principles on ICT Use in Education

 

The Ministry of Education in Singapore is now preparing for the fourth Education Master Plan. According to Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education, education must equip students with the necessary competencies to race with and not race against technology. Heng laid down four key principles that he thinks will guide the Ministry moving forward.

 

1. Stay Focused

The Ministry will be focused on its commitment to a student-centric and values-driven education, and ICT can help them do this better. “By staying focused on our goal to bring out the best in every child, we will use technology to transform learning in every school and every student, enabling them to develop strong fundamentals for life-long learning,” he said. To ensure that all schools and students benefit from ICT-enabled learning, the Ministry is currently developing an online Student Learning Space to provide all students access to quality digital teaching and learning resources. The Ministry is also focused on cyber wellness among students. “We cannot assume that just because our children can handle technology, they know how to use technology responsibly. There is no roadmap for the digital world. We need to give every student a compass and to help them develop navigation skills.”

 

2. Stay Curious

Heng urged educators to innovate and experiment new ways of teaching and learning using technology. He believes that ICT can enable personalise learning, he said: “This is an important aspect of our student-centric education. The ultimate goal is customised learning and differentiated teaching for every child.” New technologies may also improve the way assessment is done, such as diagnosing a student’s mastery of concepts, or recommending the most useful digital resources.

 

3. Stay Grounded

While ICT promises a world of possibilities, Heng emphasised the importance of sound pedagogical content knowledge. “A good technological tool placed in the hands of a skilful teacher can breathe life into lessons, and lessons into life. Our teachers must be grounded in strong pedagogy and have the knowledge to use ICT meaningfully and appropriately,” he added. During the last Master Plan, the Ministry has trained about 1,400 ICT mentors, who were instrumental in driving ground-up initiatives. Lessons were shared on an online platform called The ICT Connection, so best practices can be accessed by the wider community.

 

4. Stay Together

“From parents to industry partners, we need to involve the wider community. Together, we can play an active role to bring out the best in each child in every school, at every stage, whatever their starting point,” said Heng. The Ministry will be working more closely with the industry players, tertiary education and other key stakeholders to develop a conducive environment to groom young talents.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/10/2014

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U.S.: 7 Ways to Innovate Government IT

 

Seven ingredients to tip the balance toward innovation in your organization. At the risk of stating the obvious, the average government CIO isn’t able to spend much time dreaming up new projects. “Keeping the lights on” or “putting out fires,” whatever business-speak you prefer, tends to dominate the CIO’s work schedule. This point was driven home yet again in a recent NASCIO survey: A third of respondents said they spend up to 90 percent of their time simply keeping the lights on. More than 40 percent said they spend as much as 75 percent of their time on such tasks. On the other hand, half of respondents said they spend one-quarter of their time or less on innovation, and almost 30 percent said they spend just 5 percent or less of their time on innovation-related tasks. Carving out time to pursue innovation is not a new workplace challenge, nor is it unique to government. Phil McKinney, a former CTO of HP’s Personal Systems Group and author of Beyond the Obvious: Killer Questions that Spark Game-Changing Innovation, suspects that most private-sector companies also are struggling to find a balance between daily operational tasks and innovation. “Innovation needles to zero in most organizations,” McKinney said bluntly. Still, government CIOs say the pressure to innovate is rising and expectations are increasing. More citizens are tech conscious and more public leaders realize that technology is a pathway for improving service and reducing costs. CIOs now must somehow find a way to focus on innovation. Finding a balance isn’t easy, but some government CIOs have found practical ways to fit innovation into their own schedule and within the culture of the office they manage. Here are seven common-sense imperatives for driving innovation in the government enterprise.

 

1. Be Specific About Innovation

Innovation has become so common in business lexicon that one could argue that the word has lost meaning and become too much of a catch-all. Everybody wants to be an innovator, but most don’t spell out what it means. A definition can help ensure expectations are kept in check and help avoid a “shoot for the stars” mentality that all innovation is possible — even though resources are always limited. A definition also can help measure time spent on innovation. “Innovation in government isn’t necessarily you sitting there producing brand-new products that are new to the market. Innovation could be the conversations you have, the type of initiatives you push, your approach to solve the same old problems. That, in and of itself, can be strategic and innovative,” said Adel Ebeid, Philadelphia’s chief innovation officer. Innovation also is a matter of perspective. Los Angeles CTO Steve Reneker said that when he talks to elected officials about innovation, they might think first about a mobile app or a new website. But the IT department is looking foremost at what it takes to manage and maintain the city efficiently — both are needed types of innovation. Definitions of innovation can vary widely, but Bryan Sivak, CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, calls it “a direct result of the freedom to experiment.” If you define it that way, Sivak says he spends much of his time on innovation. Most public-sector organizations aren’t spending time and resources on innovation because they don’t value experimentation or are risk averse, he said.

 

2. Prepare for Failure and Embrace It

Nine out of 10 innovation efforts will end in failure, McKinney said. That may sound like a deal breaker, but failure is an unavoidable byproduct of innovation. On the bright side, failure actually can be a learning moment that leads to a later success, McKinney said. Make sure to review the lessons learned when a project crashes and burns. McKinney recently saw a ski industry CEO describe his biggest failure to a crowd of 500 company managers. The CEO said it wasn’t a career killer and that failed innovation doesn’t have to be deadly. Of course, failure isn’t perceived as an acceptable outcome for most government CIOs who face outsized public expectations and rising pressure from the executive suite and elected leaders. When a new IT system fails, the CIO and other staff can be fired because “wasting” taxpayers’ money is intolerable. Colorado CIO Kristin Russell said today’s CIO must have a courageous mindset in order to survive and thrive. Blame comes with the position. Being transparent and bringing as many people in as possible early in an innovation-related project can help. “When we’re doing something risky, I let people know this may fail — even to legislators, stakeholders, the state cabinet. And you remind them of that through the process,” Russell said.

 

3. Carve Out a Little Personal Time

A short burst of brainstorming can sometimes be as productive as a formal, department-level meeting. Each week Russell tries to set aside two hours on her work calendar so she can get out of the office to research something she doesn’t know about — and the topic isn’t necessarily related to technology. She uses the time to think about strategy and innovation. “Every time I do this it’s amazing. I walk away with 20 different ideas we could go and do. It’s hard to carve out that time and pull myself from the desk, but every time I do, I gain something and I bring it back to the organization,” Russell said. Reneker makes time to visit the numerous websites that report on government and technology news. Web browsing can be a time waste, but Reneker’s focus is simple: He looks for creative ideas from other cities and counties that might align with an existing project request from an L.A. council member or executive sponsor. That allows him to work on innovation while also fulfilling the wants and expectations of elected leaders and his bosses. Government likely will never have the luxury of Google’s “80/20” rule, which allows the company’s employees to use 20 percent of their work time on personal work projects. But there’s no harm in letting your employees take a few minutes to explore what others are doing in the innovation space.

 

4. Consider a Name Change and an Innovation Office

Perhaps the job title of chief information officer is becoming counterproductive to the innovation agenda. The CIO’s responsibilities are much broader and diverse than 20 years ago, when the main charge truly was only to keep the computer systems running. The position was in the back office. That isn’t the case anymore, of course. “I believe the title of CIO should be abolished,” Sivak said. Sivak thinks it’s time to call the CIO the “commodity infrastructure officer” and then put that person on the organizational chart beneath a “chief digital officer,” who would tackle the innovation activities that many CIOs are responsible for today. The beginnings of this shakeup could already be under way in cities like Philadelphia that have named a dedicated innovation officer and an innovation management unit tasked with ensuring there are always fresh ideas in the pipeline. Splitting off innovation workers from the IT department may or may not be worth considering. Philadelphia’s innovation team is part of the Office of Innovation and Technology, which also oversees bread-and-butter IT functions like communications and infrastructure. Reneker said leveraging existing resources within the organization has its own benefits. “When you create an innovation organization, the technology you need to deploy for that level of innovation — a mobile app or enhanced website — all might require different tools. To have an expectation that an innovation group can learn it all and be an expert in everything isn’t really a reality,” Reneker said.

 

5. You Can’t Innovate Alone

Innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum, nor does it happen when going it alone. You can say innovation is important, but if you don’t embed it in your workplace culture among your staff, innovation will never get traction. Culture can be built up over time, but it must be a core attribute. When McKinney coaches and mentors chief executives, he asks them how much time they truly spend on innovation. “Don’t think that you’re sitting in a room and some guy who is leading your innovation comes in to present to you — don’t think that satisfies your innovation program,” McKinney said. You must make innovation a valued skill set among employees and hire people who, in turn, are willing to work on innovation-related activities. Not everyone’s cut out to work on open-ended projects that may fail. Sivak said the good news is that more people than you might expect are enthusiastic about innovation. Ebeid advises making careful hires when vacancies arise on the CIO’s top management team. Take the opportunity to redefine the job role and include an innovation component. If you replace positions with people who aren’t dedicated to the innovation agenda, then you have little chance of getting meaningful work done. “My agenda as CIO is not to innovate,” said Ebeid. “My job is to nurture an innovation ecosystem made up of the right individuals, the right ideation process, and constantly keeping the conversation in the forefront, always about community engagement, civic innovation, smarter government, all while delivering it for a lower unit cost.”

 

6. Put Innovation on Paper (or in an Email)

Assembling a list of innovation projects that are planned or in progress and sending it to staff and other stakeholders seems like a no-brainer, but the CIOs who do this say it makes them more effective. In Los Angeles, Reneker maintains a list of the top 25 IT projects that is sent monthly to department heads, elected officials and lead staff. About half of the projects on the list are related to operations and maintenance, and the other half are innovation projects. Many of the listed projects don’t have dedicated resources attached to them, and the list makes it clear that they’ll be done as time permits. Mixing the two types of projects is good for the IT staff’s morale because they aren’t boxed in to working on only operations and maintenance, which can become routine. “It entices existing staff to learn and innovate, and allows the CIO to manage all these projects and requests and try to get those that have the biggest bang for the buck, both politically and from a cost-savings perspective,” Reneker said. Colorado also emphasizes communication. A monthly email called “I Have an Idea” is sent to front-line staff so they can share their suggestions. If an idea results in cost savings, the staff person who originated it might get a bonus. Russell assigns ideas that can be feasibly implemented to an executive sponsor, which keeps them on track.

 

7. Think Big & Small

Some governments expect their CIO to be a visionary who generates grand ideas. That’s a commendable and necessary function for any organization, but sometimes small steps can accumulate into big results. “Everybody thinks innovation means a huge breakthrough, but you can get just as much value derived from a little innovation — doing what you do today and doing it better,” said McKinney. He advises organizations to find a few incremental innovations and do them successfully. It may not be wise to go for a grand slam home run. In fact, most organizations figure out that about 75 percent of ideas that are generated will be incremental improvements, McKinney said. Another consideration is how much the innovation project should be publicized as it’s being developed. Although many governments are committed to transparency, keeping the idea in-house can help avoid bad press and the blame game, especially if the project does not come to fruition. Remember, most innovative ideas fail. If possible, give a team permission to operate in stealth mode on small projects, McKinney said. “As soon as it gets visibility, the antibodies tend to come out and attack the idea,” he said.

From http://www.govtech.com/ 03/03/2014

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EU Parliament Backs Data Protection Rules

 

Legislation will prevent transfer of user data outside Europe without prior notification, authorisation. The European Parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly backed the European Commission's revised Data Protection Directive, which governs the use and movement of personal data. The next step will see the proposals debated by the Council of Ministers at a meeting scheduled for June. "The message the European Parliament is sending is unequivocal: this reform is a necessity, and now it is irreversible. Europe's directly elected parliamentarians have listened to European citizens and European businesses and, with this vote, have made clear that we need a uniform and strong European data protection law," said European justice commissioner Viviane Reding, in a statement. The reforms aim to establish a single pan-European law in a bid to simplify the regulatory landscape. The directive will give citizens the right to be forgotten, meaning companies that hold information on a person without a legitimate reason must, upon request, delete said information. It will also give people the means to transfer their data between service providers.

 

Companies will also require explicit consent, rather than assumed consent, to process an individual's personal data. In addition, if a firm wishes to transfer a customer's data outside the EU, it must first obtain authorisation from a national data protection authority and inform the person concerned. "Strong data protection rules must be Europe's trade mark. Following the U.S. data spying scandals, data protection is more than ever a competitive advantage," Reding said. Companies that fall foul of the Data Protection Directive – regardless of whether they are based in Europe or elsewhere – can be fined up to 5% of their global annual turnover if they fail to comply. "It will be important to ensure that the fines are not disproportionate for small businesses, such as the flourishing tech start-ups on which European policymakers are relying to boost the EU's economy," said Ovum regulation analyst Luca Schiavoni, in a research note. "A phased introduction, or a more detailed differentiation in the set of fines, will be necessary in this respect," he said.

From http://www.totaltele.com/ 03/12/2014

 

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Dutch Govt Opens Consultation on Proposed Regulation

 

The Dutch ministry of economic affairs has taken a number of ongoing projects and bundled them into one bill. The bill provides end users with more power in cases of network failures and lowers switching thresholds for SMEs and small entrepreneurships. Temporary broadcasting licenses would become available and the overall safety of broadcasting masts better secured. The 'Bundled" Telecommunications Act will be open to consultation until 7 May and then move on to Parliament.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 03/27/2014

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Russia Mulls a Digital Iron Curtain

 

An impossibly cute creature from a 1966 Soviet book and cartoon has recently found himself on the periphery of discussions about the Kremlin's growing ambitions to exercise greater control over domestic Internet use. In late April, a member of Russia's upper house of parliament proposed creating a purely domestic Internet—inaccessible from abroad with the exception, perhaps, of members of a Russian-led Customs Union—that would be named after a furry character called Cheburashka. And while the senator, Maksim Kavdzharadze, later clarified that his proposal would only apply to scientific information, the use of Cheburashka as a symbol for the Kremlin's efforts to create a more "sovereign" Internet is apt. The beast in Eduard Uspensky's story, who is theretofore unaware of humans, winds up in a crate of oranges and must adjust to a new reality after tumbling out in a Moscow shop. In Russia, it is unclear how users will react to the new reality being created around an Internet that was once widely free. In April, the State Duma passed legislation that would require non-Russian tech companies to store all domestic data within Russia for at least six months. And Kommersant, a well-regarded newspaper, reported that a commission set up by Russian President Vladimir Putin is recommending a system that would allow the government to filter and access all content passing through Russian servers.

 

It is still unclear whether major companies like Google and Facebook will agree to the expensive task of placing servers and data-storage centers inside Russia—or if Moscow will follow through with blocking access to the sites if they do not. Whatever he decides to do, Putin is representative of an accelerated push by autocratic leaders worldwide to reign in the unwieldy Internet space. But doing so once populations have already experienced the value and convenience of open access can be difficult. Here's a look below at some case studies of web censorship—ranging from the most extreme version of a truly "sovereign" web to one of evolving ad-hoc efforts to chip away at Internet freedom. All of these censorship regimes exist with varying degrees of coerced self-censorship brought about by threats of punishment for posting content deemed immoral or harmful to the state. Users and companies are aware that their online activity may be monitored at any time and themselves become players in creating a censorship environment.

 

North Korea's 'Walled Garden'

Operating as a nationwide intranet, a truly sovereign system can only be accessed from within the state. The one standout "success" in this complete censorship regime is North Korea's Kwangmyong (Bright) network. There is little information about the network because few people outside the so-called "hermit kingdom" have been able to access it. But according to a report by the AP news agency, the system contains up to 5,500 websites that are mostly associated with universities and government-run entities. This type of network is one that can really only work in places where there is a virtual blockade on information from the outside world, such as North Korea or Cuba, which has a similar system. This type of domestic intranet environment is also difficult to establish in all but the most oppressive societies because experience with the free-wheeling way the Internet works already exists.

 

China's Great Firewall

China's "Golden Shield" project, which blocks and filters content deemed harmful by the ruling Communist Party, has been largely successful because the government decided early on that the Internet was something that needed to be controlled. As Internet use grew rapidly in the first decade of the 21st century, homegrown sites that accepted the authorities' censorship rules—and assisted in blocking content—became the norm. While Western companies have struggled to or refused to adapt to the rules governing content-filtering, domestic companies like Baidu, the country's largest search engine, have thrived. Chinese users wishing to access blocked sites can use proxies, which provide access to third-party servers to avoid censors, but because the web already caters to the domestic audiences, most users will not go through the effort of doing so.

 

Iran's 'Halal' Network

Iran's censorship of the Internet increased markedly following disputed elections in 2009 that saw thousands of anti-government protesters flood the streets of Tehran. Access to Western sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube were cut off and, in 2011, Iran began work on a "halal" network that would exist only within the country. The plan, according to one minister, was that users would only be able to access content that maintained the appropriate "ethical and moral level." Although Tehran says it's still working on this intranet, three years later the country continues to rely on censors to blacklist and filter websites deemed threatening to the Islamic republic. Creating an entirely new system without an already existing infrastructure, like in China, has proven to be difficult. And many users still manage to access Western social networking sites through proxies.

 

The Evolving Turkish Model

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been in an ongoing battle against the "dark forces" of the Internet since anti-government protests swept the country last June. He went on the attack in early 2014 when secret audio recordings were posted online that appeared to incriminate his family in corruption. His government ordered Twitter and YouTube blocked in March. Despite a court order to reverse Erdogan's edict, YouTube is reportedly still inaccessible. Erdogan has viewed the recent success of his party in municipal elections as a mandate to continue the Internet crackdown. Turkey's spy agency was given increased power to access users' data and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have begun to use technology similar to that being used in China to scan and log online activity.

 

At first glance, Russia might seem an appropriate candidate for a Chinese-style firewall. Homegrown Russian sites like the Yandex search engine and Vkontakte, a social network, have larger shares of the Russian market than their Western competitors. But these same companies owe some of their success to foreign practices and investment. Yandex is registered in the Netherlands and is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange in New York. VKontakte's founder fled Russia in April after he said he was forced into giving up his shares in the company to figures close to the Kremlin. Leaders at both companies have complained about the new Internet legislation in Russia potentially harming their businesses. Up until now, Russia has largely targeted individual websites and bloggers, like opposition figure Aleksei Navalny, with shutdowns or punishments. But it seems clear the Kremlin wants to do more. Although a "sovereign Internet" may be the Kremlin's ideal, a layered approach—similar to that seen in Turkey—where Internet freedoms are slowly stripped away, may be the most likely scenario.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 05/09/2014

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UK Set to Continue Its Filibuster of EU General Data Protection Regulation

 

European Union Justice and Home Affairs ministers will meet in Brussels this week. Top of the agenda will be discussions on reforming EU data protection rules. Viviane Reding (justice commissioner) and Cecilia Malmstr?m (home affairs commissioner) will represent the European Commission; Theresa May (home secretary) and Chris Grayling (justice minister) will represent the UK. A memo released Friday by the EC makes it clear that the GDPR, although currently struggling, remains a high priority. EC vice-president Viviane Reding said, "I am confident we will be able to build on the momentum injected into the negotiations by the Greek Presidency at the last informal Council meeting in January. Seeing the latest progress, I will continue working with Ministers for an adoption of the data protection reform before the end of this year." The memo sets out the Commission's position. "The Commission fully supports the Greek Presidency in achieving swift progress on the reform, in line with the commitment of European heads of state and government to adopt the new data protection legislation in a 'timely' fashion and in any event before 2015."

 

It is clear that although the December blow caused by Hubert Legal, head of legal services for the European Council, has scuppered Reding's hopes for formal adoption before the European elections in May, she does not consider it a fatal blow. Her aim is still get the GDPR adopted before the end of this year. But the UK has always been a critic of the new data protection proposals. In May 2013, the UK data protection regulator, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, published a report claiming that the GDPR will cost British business millions of pounds – a claim rejected by Viviane Reding. Last Thursday, Theresa May made a written ministerial statement outlining her view of this week's council meeting. It includes, "The UK continues to believe that this proposal is far from ready for a general agreement, and that no such agreement can occur until the text as a whole has been approved. The proposal remains burdensome on both public and private sector organizations and the Government would not want to see inflexible rules on transfers outside the European economic area which do not reflect the realities of the modern, interconnected world."

 

She makes it clear that the UK will continue to work against the current GDPR proposals that have been largely agreed by the rest of Europe. But in adding reservations on data transfers 'which do not reflect the realities of the modern, interconnected world,' she also makes it clear that Britain would oppose any separate suspension of the existing safe harbor arrangement with the US. A call for 'immediate suspension' of safe harbor will be voted on by the full European Parliament, as part of a report prepared by the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE), on 12 March.

From http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/ 03/03/2014

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Ukraine Steps Up Information Security Policy

 

The Ukrainian government plans to prepare a strategy on information security in the next month, reports Cnews.ru. This includes steps towards the launch of a national secure OS and anti-virus software. The actions were initiated by a decree from Alexander Turchinov, the acting Ukrainian President. The government is also preparing a draft policy on responses to eventual information security aggression from other countries.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 05/05/2014

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LATIN AMERICA: OECD Sees Deficiencies in Latest Telecom Bill in Mexico

 

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued an analysis of the secondary telecommunications legislation in Mexico, judging it as having "serious deficiencies." The OECD points out that the bill currently under debate would introduce market regulations it described as too restrictive and which would make it difficult for the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) to analyze market conditions and issue regulations. The report also said that the penalties that the bill establishes for telecommunications companies that the IFT has ruled to be monopolies are not internally consistent. The OECD also said that consumer protection has historically been a problem in Mexico's telecommunications sector and the new legislation doesn't take any steps to define how the IFT will cooperate with the Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece) and the Federal Consumer Protection Agency (Profeco).

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 04/17/2014

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NORTH AMERICA: How Canada Plans to Fuel Its Economy with Data

 

The Canadian government committed $3 million this month to funding a new Open Data Institute charged with finding, compiling and standardizing government and private sector data that companies, entrepreneurs and academics can use as the raw material for new products and services. The investment, which was matched by an additional $3 million from the private and nonprofit sectors, comes amid a global push to release as much raw data as possible in machine-readable formats. The consulting firm McKinsey & Company estimates that opening up data in just seven sectors could add more than $3 trillion annually to the global economy. Canada’s Open Data Institute is being managed by the Canadian Digital Media Network, a quasi-governmental organization that receives public and private funding and is focused on commercializing Canadian digital technology. Nextgov spoke recently with CDMN’s managing director Kevin Tuer about his organization’s plans for the institute, what open data can do for Canadian businesses and citizens and open data’s international potential. The interview below is edited for length and clarity.

 

You’re obviously in the very early stages now, but what are your plans for the Open Data Institute?

Like many other countries, Canada is sitting on a lot of data. There’s a lot of public data and publicly-funded data, but, for the most part, it’s not well known that that data’s available. In many cases, the data that is available may not be machine readable or easy to access and in the end there’s just barrier after barrier to actually creating economic benefit out of this data. What the Open Data Institute is proposing to do is to remove a number of those barriers and get this data into the hands of academic, of entrepreneurs and of business so they can capitalize on what I consider very much a natural resource. A lot of our work will be creating awareness that the data is available and removing those barriers. We’ll be setting standards, developing tools to facilitate access to that data and providing resources to help users of the data access and use it in the most appropriate manner. It will take a lot of expertise and a lot of knowledge but it starts with access. We want to put this data in the hands of people who can make economic benefit out of it.

 

Where is most of that data now?

There’s lots of data out there but there are no standards around it. Some governments have websites that make this data available, but some of it is in PDF format and what do you do with that? You can read it and that’s about it. We’ve found since the announcement that we got funding for this that there are a lot of initiatives going on out there but they’re all very siloed. Even where we’re sitting here in the Waterloo region of Canada, surrounding cities have already started coming to us saying ‘we’ve got data here and we want to get it out there.’ Part of what we see the Open Data Institute being is that go-to repository, that one stop shop for everything data. We’ll work through all those standards so it doesn’t matter if the data comes from Statistics Canada, from Environment Canada, from Health Canada, from wherever. The way you access it, the data format and the resources to help you access it will be the same. We also see the opportunity to expand beyond government data to private sector data as well.

 

What are some of the siloed initiatives you’ve looked at?

The province of Ontario has something like 180 data sets. I didn’t know they had 180 data sets. I was contacted by an equine association that’s interested in documenting trails for horseback riding that could also be used for hiking and snowmobiling. Recently I read an article about a Canadian gold company that has all this private sector data, terabytes worth of data, on geological surveys. The company opened that data up to the world and said ‘help us use this data to find where the gold reserves are and we’ll pay you a handsome fee.’ These are just some examples. So imagine if you could bring a concerted effort to this what kind of outcome you could create.

 

What kind of roadblocks are you facing?

As with any national effort, the big challenge is taking that leadership position and bringing champions on board so people can see this common vision and buy into it. That will be the single most difficult thing. I have no doubt that once the data is available in machine-readable format that companies and entrepreneurs and academics and student will do great things with it. But it’s going to take some time and effort to get there. We’ll discover the specific barriers once we start building the consortium from those living in the trenches of open data.

 

What are the go-to examples of economic benefit coming from open Canadian data at this point?

There’s weather data of course. That’s potentially lifesaving and valuable to Canada as a whole. There are also startups that are taking information from hospital trips and analyzing that data to project wait times in emergency rooms. With that information you may find that instead of going to your local hospital you’d stand a better chance of getting into an ER by driving an hour to a different hospital. There’s a company in town that was started based on that, and that’s a good example of a product that could benefit citizens as a whole.

 

What sectors do you expect Canadian open data to most benefit in the future?

We’ve looked at things like intelligent transportation systems, being able to map traffic flow and things of that sort. Anything that creates those sorts of efficiencies would obviously be interesting. The weather network seems to have done pretty well with Environment Canada data. But there are hundreds if not thousands of data sets out there that others will find new and interesting and value-added ways to use. From our perspective, this is uncharted territory. Our job is to make sure the landscape is as amenable to exploration as possible. The U.S.’s open data repository Data.gov is managed from within government whereas Canada’s Open Data Institute is being managed by this public-private partnership.

 

What’s the reasoning behind the Canadian approach?

This is hypothetical, so take it for what it’s worth. But the CDMN is a private-public funded organization. We’re funded by the government and also heavily funded through the private sector and I think the government sees our relationship with businesses and industry as being very enviable. I think they believe we can connect with that demographic easier and more effectively than they can alone. So having us lead this initiative from a market-driven perspective outside of government is very appealing to them. We’ve already established a national network for commercialization and innovation to tap into resources from around the country. So we already have some experience and some knowledge about building national consensus. But it’s taken us five years to get to where we are today and we’re just starting to hit our stride. So it’s going to take some time, but we can leverage the knowledge we’ve already amassed and apply it to the Open Data Institute.

 

Do you see the potential for national governments to cooperate on an international open data repository or on open data standards?

There is an opportunity for that, I think. But there would have to be a clear value proposition for doing it. Within national borders you can reason that you’re opening this data up for the good of the country and to create economic benefit for the country. When you extend that internationally, to be honest, that value proposition isn’t as immediately obvious. There’s a part of me that says there is a role for creating international standards. We’ve seen that happen in a lot of industries. The most obvious example is telecom. You can travel around the world and use your cellphone and there’s obviously a good value proposition for that. I’m sure there’s a value proposition out there for doing that for open data for international engagement but that’s yet to be seen. I think we need to be careful about understanding what that value proposition is but ready to act on it if it makes sense.

 

Do you see the Open Data Institute continuing after its current round of funding, which will last for three years?

Will that mean more government and private sector funding or a different funding model? For organizations like CDMN and the Open Data Institute, our greatest success is that we disappear. That would mean that we’ve enabled and catalyzed the industry sufficiently that these things happen on their own and we’re not needed as an intermediary anymore. I don't see that happening in three years for open data and I can’t speculate on how long it would take. But the idea is that we’re going to accelerate that pace and if we’re finding the kind of outcomes the government invested in us to do I can’t see them not continuing to fund us. There’s also a lot of value for the private sector in this, so we’ll be looking for a lot of private sector engagement as well.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 02/27/2014

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Canada: Digital Privacy Act Will Require Firms to Report Data Breaches

 

In the slew of announcements from the Digital Canada 150 strategy today, measures to protect privacy weren’t forgotten – while details about updates to privacy legislation were scant, it was made clear the government will pursue a new requirement that firms report data breaches to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Speaking from Waterloo, Ont. on Friday, Industry Minister James Moore said he would be in the House of Commons next week to unveil new legislation called the Digital Privacy Act. The act is designed to be an update to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), he said. After referencing the recent Target data breach, Moore gave one clue about what to expect in next week’s legislation. “What we will put in place in this legislation is a mandate that firms that have this private personal information, if there’s any data breach, they can’t sit on it, they have to immediately inform those customers,” he said. “They have to tell them about the mitigation taking place to protect the information and they have to inform the privacy commissioner.”

 

Moore added the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada would be getting new powers and responsibilities to protect Canadians’ privacy online. Though he did not outline exactly how the privacy commissioner’s role would change, he indicated the Digital Privacy Act wouldn’t dramatically change the office’s role. A private member’s bill previously brought to the House of Commons “went too far in my view in providing prosecutorial powers to the privacy commissioner. This one doesn’t do that,” he said. “It provides new tools, but it still provides the ombudsman role for the privacy commissioner.” In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for the privacy commissioner said the office was also still waiting on more information. “What we can tell you at this point is that we are encouraged by this morning’s announcement and look forward to seeing the details. For some time now, our Office has been saying that PIPEDA needs to be updated to better protect the privacy rights of Canadians and ensure consumer trust in the digital economy,” the email read, adding the law needs to be modernized for stronger powers for enforcement, as well as a mandatory policy getting companies to report data breaches when they occur.

 

What remains to be seen is the exact wording of the legislation for both data breach reporting and the privacy commissioner’s role, said John Lawford, executive director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC). “It’s not very clear. Aside from vaguely defined enforcement powers, we don’t know how it will translate,” he said. “During the question and answer part after, Moore did say the [privacy] commissioner can’t be proactive, and won’t be an inquisitor … But the wording is all important.” Like the privacy commissioner’s office, one thing PIAC is hoping for is a policy where businesses must inform the privacy commissioner if they’ve suffered a data breach. Right now, that’s a voluntary action – but PIAC wants the privacy commissioner to be able to fine businesses if they fail to say anything. Still, for a strategy that was four years in the making, the lack of detail was disappointing for David Christopher, communications manager of OpenMedia.ca. Nor was he optimistic about the kind of new powers the privacy commissioner would be receiving. “He seemed to downplay the prospect of giving the privacy commissioner extra powers,” Christopher said. “It seems like that’s not going to be beefed up the way it needs to be.”

From http://www.itbusiness.ca/ 04/04/2014

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Industry Minister Unveils Canada’s Digital Economy Strategy in Waterloo

 

Industry Minister James Moore unveiled a long-awaited national digital economy strategy at Waterloo-based OpenText Corp this morning in an announcement that was live-streamed online. The plan, dubbed Digital Canada 150, will include 39 new initiatives towards a more connected Canada, according to Industry Canada. A wide-ranging plan that touches upon several aspects of parliamentary law-making around technology regulation and support, the plan is built on five pillars. That covers: connecting Canadians, protecting Canadians, economic opportunities, digital government, and Canadian content. The plan follows an online consultation exercise that took place over three months in 2010. It aims to have 98 per cent of Canadians given the opportunity to access to providers offering high-speed Internet connections at 5 megabits per second, confidence their online transactions are secure and privacy is protected, and hold wireless telecommunications companies to capped roaming rates or else face penalties.

 

Telecommunications and rural broadband

Funding to the tune of $305 million will expand the 5 mbps Internet connections to 280,000 rural households. Those households will be gaining access to high-speed Internet for the first time, Moore says. The government is capping roaming fees in order to boost competition, Moore says. This will prevent wireless providers from charing other companies more than they charge their own customers for mobile voice, data and text services while outside of Canada’s borders. “We’re not looking forward to greater consolidation and concentration of Canada’s wireless services,” he said. “We have an obligation and a responsibility as a government to inspire more competition.” Industry Canada will go ahead with its plan to auction the 2500 megahertz band spectrum in April 2015. But will also implement a “use it or lose it” policy for all companies that hold wireless spectrum licences, meaning it can’t be hoarded without being put to use for a service benefitting Canadians.

 

New privacy legislation coming

Moore says he will introduce new legislation in parliament next week, a bill called the Digital Privacy Act. It will update the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). “This is an update to the PIPEDA legislation that’s already on the books and updating it for the digital age,” Moore said. “This will give the Privacy Commissioner new powers to protect Canadians as they venture online.” The Privacy Commissioner will remain in an ombudsman role but will have some new tools to use to enforce privacy laws. The new law will require organizations to notify the Privacy Commissioner when they experience a data breach, Moore said. He used the example of his 75-year-old father doing some online shopping with his iPhone to demonstrate how fraud could discourage online shopping.

 

Related

CASL - Canada's Anti Spam Legislation Government unveils final anti-spam regulations, dates “It only takes one horrible experience to learn about his information to be stolen or credit card information to be stolen to scare him away from that for good,” he says. Also new are anti-moneylaundering and anti-terrorist financing regulations for virtual currencies. An enhancement to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.

 

Digital economy investments and policy

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will earmark $200 million to support technology adoptions for SMBs under the digital strategy. It will also have an additional $300 million available for venture capital to invest in companies in the information and communications technology sector. In addition, the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program will increase to $100 million to help digital entrepreneurs. Moore also touched upon recent international negotiations around updating intellectual property laws in the digital age. “In the world of patent trolls and IP thieves and everything else, we have to make sure that when someone patents an idea, it’s not just applicable in Kitchener/Waterloo or in Ontario, or in Canada, but across the world,” Moore said. “This is a global digital economy, therefore our laws have to be updated.”

 

Modernizing the federal government

To build upon the government’s open data strategy, it will create an Open Data Institute. The government will begin by testing prototypes developed by private sector players to provide new data products and services to the marketplace. Many of those first projects may be based upon the Canadian Open Data Experience appathon that say 900 developers creating apps based on open data from the government. “Wer’e going to be modernizing the government of Canada internally, to finally catch up to the 21st centrally,” Moore said. “Why are we building our digital Canada government infrastructure for a $300 laptop instead of for the $1,000 smartphone?” As part of that effort, the government’s 60 different email systems, 300 data centres, and 3,000 electronic networks will be merged and streamlined.

 

Canadian content in a digital world

A partnership with Historica Canada will see the creation of new new “Heritage Minutes” short films on key events in Canadian history every year until 2017. Historica’s digital archive The Memory Project will also be expanded, documenting the involvement of Canada in several wars during the 20th century. “It’s a sad stat but it’s an important one, in only four of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories is it required to take a Canadian history class to graduate from high school,” Moore said. “We need to make sure all of our institutions are sharing Canadian history so we can build and grow and share from each other.”

From http://www.itbusiness.ca/ 04/04/2014

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U.S.: House-Passed IT Reform Bill Expands Single CIO Mandate to DoD

 

The version of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act that passed the House on Tuesday contains a handful of revisions from the version passed out of committee in 2013. Most importantly, the law’s mandate that all agencies employ a single official with the title chief information officer and the authority to manage that agency’s IT budget has been expanded to include the Defense Department, which was previously exempted. The revised bill also pares back a proposal for a governmentwide collaboration center that would assist agencies with especially complicated technology contracts. Under the House-passed legislation the center would only be funded as a three-year pilot. The law also clarifies that agencies aren’t required to consult with the collaboration center or with separate agency-based centers with expertise in a particular type of technology contract if they don’t want to. Changes to the bill were made on a bipartisan basis by the IT Reform Act’s Republican and Democratic cosponsors and aimed at raising the likelihood the bill would pass both the House and the Senate, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said while introducing the bill on Tuesday.

 

Issa, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who is ranking member on the committee’s government operations panel. The Senate version of the reform act, known as the Federal Information Technology Savings, Accountability, and Transparency Act, is awaiting action in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. That bill would also mandate a single CIO for each federal agency but it would only give those CIOs budget authority for commercial, off-the-shelf items and require that they play a major role in budget decisions about other IT purchases. Those differences will have to be ironed out in a House-Senate conference if the Senate bill is passed. Auditors’ reports have routinely shown a large portion of the government’s $80 billion annual IT bill is lost to bureaucratic inefficiency. Congressional interest in addressing the problem spiked significantly, though, after the high profile failures of HealthCare.gov, the Obama administration’s federal health insurance marketplace, during its first two months online. The Senate legislation is sponsored by Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Mike Johanns, R-Neb. It was introduced in December, about two months after the HealthCare.gov launch.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 02/26/2014

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House Passes Federal Data Center Efficiency Bill

 

A bipartisan energy conservation bill easily passed by the House this week includes provisions to put federal data centers on a path to operating more efficiently. The measure, which the House passed 375-36 on March 5, would require the Office of Management and Budget, the EPA and the Department of Energy to lead the development of standards for measuring data center performance, including adopting more advanced energy metering and power management tools, and optimizing the use of data centers so money and energy aren’t wasted powering and cooling underutilized systems. The bill, sponsored by West Virginia Republican David McKinley, also would require OMB to set a performance goal for agencies to evaluate their success in acquiring and using energy efficient IT, with the CIO Council charged with setting best practices for achieving the goals.

 

Under the bill, OMB would be required to update a 2007 report that is used as a baseline for energy efficiency. Additionally, the bill would create an open data project on federal IT energy use, to allow for businesses and innovators to come up with their own solutions for the problems of data center efficiency. The data center provisions were introduced in February as a stand-alone measure by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.). That bill was folded into the broader package of four measures that the House passed March 5. "My legislation will save the federal government energy and money by requiring the use of energy-efficient and energy-saving technologies, specifically in federal data centers," Eshoo said in a statement, citing an estimate by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy that pegs cost savings from federal data center efficiency at $1.64 billion over 15 years. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) introduced a version of the data center bill in the Senate last June, but it has seen no action.

From http://fcw.com/ 03/06/2014

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Netflix Wants to Expand Federal Rules on Internet Speeds

 

Netflix is calling for new federal regulations to ensure it doesn't have to pay extra fees to deliver high-quality video streams to its customers. In a blog post Thursday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings warned that without government intervention, negotiations between Web services and Internet providers over connection deals could result in the kinds of blackouts that already plague cable television. Last month, Netflix agreed to pay for direct access to Comcast's network. The agreement ensured smooth streaming for Comcast subscribers who watch Netflix, but it was the first time the Web video company had ever had to pay for such a direct connection deal. Hastings called the fee that Comcast demanded an "arbitrary tax." "If this kind of leverage is effective against Netflix, which is pretty large, imagine the plight of smaller services today and in the future," Hastings wrote in the blog post.

 

The Netflix chief executive urged the Federal Communications Commission to bar Internet providers from "charging a toll" for interconnection deals. The FCC enacted net neutrality rules in 2010 that require Internet providers to treat all Internet traffic equally, but the rules never covered interconnection deals like the one between Netflix and Comcast. The FCC is currently trying to rework its net neutrality rules after a federal court sided with Verizon in January and tossed out the old rules. Hastings argued that the FCC should expand the new rules to ensure that Web services have free access to Internet providers' networks. "The essence of net neutrality is that [Internet service providers] such as AT&T and Comcast don't restrict, influence or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make," he said. "The traditional form of net neutrality which was recently overturned by a Verizon lawsuit is important, but insufficient."

 

In a statement, Comcast claimed it is a strong supporter of net neutrality but that the rules were never intended to deal with Internet connection deals. "Providers like Netflix have always paid for their interconnection to the Internet and have always had ample options to ensure that their customers receive an optimal performance through all ISPs at a fair price," David L. Cohen, Comcast's executive vice president, said in a statement. "We are happy that Comcast and Netflix were able to reach an amicable, market-based solution to our interconnection issues and believe that our agreement demonstrates the effectiveness of the market as a mechanism to deal with these matters.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 03/21/2014

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Senate Passes Bill Demanding Uniform Coding for Agencies' Spending Data

 

The Senate passed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act on Thursday, raising the likelihood the spending transparency measure will become law. The DATA Act, sponsored by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, would require agencies to use a uniform coding system for federal spending data so internal auditors and external watchdogs could easily compare how one agency is spending its money versus another. The bill would also force improvements to the federal spending transparency website USASpending.gov, making it easier for external watchdogs to track and compare how tax dollars are spent across federal agencies. A similar bill, sponsored by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., passed the House in November. Warner described the Senate version of the bill in a press release as a bipartisan compromise draft crafted by sponsors and committee chairs in both chambers. “Our taxpayers deserve to know how their federal funds are spent -- dollar for dollar -- and it is the government’s obligation to share that information in a clear and accessible way,” Warner said following the bill’s passage.

 

The White House suggested rolling back some of the DATA Act’s transparency language in a document leaked in January, including by removing a requirement that agencies publish spending information using common data standards. Instead the White House suggested agencies use open data practices. That would have ensured spending information was publicly available but not that it was consistent across agencies. The White House version would also have required agencies to report information quarterly rather than monthly and would have put the White House’s Office of Management and Budget in charge of implementing the new law rather than the Treasury Department. The suggested changes were criticized by transparency groups, and Warner said he would not water down the bill. Issa said the bill as it is lays the foundation for a digital revolution in how we govern. “Without accurate, timely, program by program spending data, we will never be able to truly track federal spending, which is the only way we can address the massive amount of waste and fraud in government,” Issa said in a statement. “I applaud the Senate’s action today, and I will work with my House colleagues to send this bipartisan, bicameral compromise to the president’s desk.”

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 04/10/2014

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Lawmakers Want Pentagon to Clarify Cloud Security Standards

 

Two House members are proposing legislation they say would ease the way for cloud computing vendors to sell services to the Defense Department. The Defense Cloud Security Act would require department officials to set clearer security requirements for cloud storage and other cloud services “and give vendors an opportunity to meet those standards,” said an aide to Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass. Tsongas and Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., are expected to introduce the legislation April 28. Although the Defense Department already buys cloud services from a number of private vendors, Tsongas and Kilmer say that more companies could be providing more cloud services if the military had clearer security requirements. For vendors, the military represents a large and potentially lucrative market for cloud storage and applications. And for the Defense Department, the cloud represents a way to reduce the cost of owning and operating its own servers and software. “Storing benign information on internal DOD servers is an increasingly large expense, particularly given the widespread availability of secure, fast, reliable, and affordable storage services utilized in the private sector,” said Tsongas aide Katie Enos. Cloud data storage by commercial sector vendors already enables other federal agencies to store data at a fraction of the cost of operating their own physical data centers, she said.

 

“The point of this legislation is to ensure that the Department of Defense establishes its security requirements for cloud storage in a timely fashion, and to give vendors the opportunity to meet those standards,” said Enos said. “Without established standards, vendors are not able to determine whether or not they can meet DOD’s requirements to provide cloud services.” Among cloud vendors, there’s a perception that the Defense Department has not moved quickly enough to establish security standards that will enable more use of the cloud, said Charlie Benway, director of the Advanced Cyber Security Center in Boston. Besides prodding the Pentagon to set cloud security standards, the Defense Cloud Security Act would also require the department to study best practices in cloud computing in both the private and public sectors and determine which the military should adopt; and study commercial cloud computing technologies that the military might use to meet security requirements and save money.

 

“It’s important for the DOD to fully embrace innovative technologies the private sector can provide,” Kilmer said in a statement. Despite the difficulties some cloud vendors have encountered, four so far have managed to satisfy DOD security requirements and win contracts. In March, for example, Amazon Web Services received the go-ahead to provide cloud services for unclassified information to the military services and civilian defense agencies. To satisfy the military’s security requirements, Amazon had to meet standards set by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, known as FedRAMP, and then meet additional security requirements set by the Pentagon. It’s those additional standards that remain unclear to many vendors, a congressional aide said. The Defense Cloud Security Act would require the Pentagon to clarify the requirements.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 04/25/2014

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OMB Plans Digital Service to Improve IT Delivery

 

Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel wants to formalize the process of bringing in outside experts to work on complex IT projects. The Office of Management and Budget is looking for funds to operate a 25-person technology shop inside the office of Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel, with an eye to developing common platforms, moving agency development and acquisition to the agile model, and overseeing critical, public-facing IT projects. If the budget request is approved, this Digital Service project will include tech professionals serving in government for two- to four-year rotations on a full-time basis, possibly supplemented with private sector professionals scrubbing in on a project basis for a month at a time, VanRoekel told reporters after a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that focused on IT acquisition. "We've talked to some leading, cutting edge private-sector companies about establishing programs where their sabbatical program could support a rotation in government," VanRoekel said.

 

Currently, OMB is running a pilot program to scope out the Digital Service model. While VanRoekel didn’t share specifics on agencies and programs, he said that so far four private-sector professionals have come in to work with agencies to analyze projects and make recommendations about how to improve performance. If the funding comes through, the Digital Services team will be tasked with looking at the highest priority items in the federal IT portfolio, some as they are in mid-stream and some as they are being drawn up. He cited the 2020 Census and a planned Social Security Administration modernization as the kind of projects that might benefit from an advance look by the Digital Service team. The new PortfolioStat guidance from OMB issued earlier this week asks agencies to identify their highest priority projects. "By bringing this team in to work with the agencies proactively to do a deep engagement, it'll all be about figuring out where they are in-flight and then applying recommendations to identify where are the gaps, what are the approaches they're doing that maybe aren't compatible with getting the results we want to see, and what do we do to address that, and then hold them accountable with regular check-ins," VanRoekel said. "This isn't taking over. It's not rescuing these efforts. It's really about working side by side-with-them," he added.

 

In his testimony before the Senate committee, VanRoekel said the Digital Services team will work in conjunction with 18F, the design and development squad being launched as a kind of government start-up inside the General Services Administration. The move comes as congressional overseers and the Government Accountability Office press for more checks on IT spending, better management of projects, and a shift to a more iterative, agile development style. Much of the impetus for IT reform has come from the very public failure of HealthCare.gov when it launched in October 2013, but committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) is just as concerned about everyday IT spending. "Most struggling IT projects do not get the type of response -- or media attention -- that we saw with HealthCare.gov, with a team of experts rushing in to set things straight. Rather, what typically happens is we continue to sink more money into these programs as they sputter along," he said. The GAO released a report, timed to coincide with the hearing, that said key federal agencies aren't following through on OMB policies dating back to 2010 to develop IT in increments, with major projects delivering on new capabilities every six months. According to the GAO review of five agencies, the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs, only the VA has requirements in place and a system to enforce compliance.

 

Dave Powner, the GAO's Director for IT Management, also noted OMB's plan to move TechStat -- the meetings convened to investigate what is going wrong with projects that are behind schedule or over budget -- to the agency level, and away from OMB. According to Powner, only two projects received the TechStat treatment by OMB in fiscal 2013. While he supports empowering agency CIOs to conduct TechStat, Powner said, "We strongly think that OMB should hold TechStat sessions on a selected basis for troubled projects, or projects that are top national priorities." Carper announced that the Federal Data Center Consolidation Act, which would enshrine the OMB policies on closing and combining data centers into federal law, had won committee approval and would be brought to the Senate floor for expedited consideration within a few weeks.

 

However, another Senate IT reform bill to that would give agency CIOs some measure of control over agency-wide IT budgets, has yet to come up for a hearing or vote in the committee. A source in the Senate said the sponsors were meeting with the committee to talk about the bill, but there was no firm date set for a hearing. The administration continues to oppose a related reform bill that passed the House called the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act. VanRoekel is concerned that it focuses on existing policy rather than looking to the future. "It says a lot of really good stuff [but] it doesn't do a lot of things," VanRoekel told reporters. To improve IT delivery, you have to look outside the "IT swim lane," he said. "It's got to be about the acquisition people, companies working with government, all the things we have in play there need to be considered. I think the legislation doesn't take us all the way we need to go."

From http://fcw.com/ 05/08/2014

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Data Sovereignty Laws Hamper International Crime Investigations: AFP

 

International cyber crime police work is being hampered by data sovereignty laws, according to Australian Federal Police's national manager of high tech crime operations, Tim Morris. Speaking at CeBIT in Sydney this week, assistant commissioner Morris said the old idea of where soil is attached to a server "is not going to serve us well into the future", as it slows down the process of obtaining information during investigations. For example, he said that because a cloud server, which could contain data from overseas countries, is "attached to a bit of soil in California" this officially means that the data is held in the United States. "For law enforcers, this means a long and convoluted process of what we call mutual legal assistance requests. These take months to process and there is no way they can keep up with a contemporary investigation that we face today," said Morris.

 

Another challenge facing the AFP is what Morris called attribution. Without attribution back to an online source, he said that cyber crime investigations can't be successful because the AFP and other agencies need to prove the source of the crime to build a successful prosecution case. "That's why [police] agencies talk about the importance of metadata," he said. Metadata is 'data about data' such as the non-image-related information stored when people snap a photo on a digital camera. "Without metadata, successful investigations can never be conducted. In our inter-connected world, if it is a rape, kidnapping or online child exploitation, without attribution back to a source it is almost impossible to get a conviction," he said. Morris conceded that this is a "controversial area" because of people's concerns about privacy. "All I can offer is the policeman's realistic perspective and that is that many investigations won't be worth taking on."

From http://news.idg.no/ 05/09/2014

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China Regulates Online Advertising for User Security

 

Industrial standards for China's Internet advertising went into effect on Saturday as concerns rise over users' information security.The standards, created by the China Internet Association, require that the collection, use, transfer and sharing of user information should stick to mutual agreements and abide by laws and regulations.Websites are required to make clear to users when they are collecting and using information and notify users in a timely manner for privacy protection. Sensitive information can only be collected after agreement by users, according to the standards.The association said that, unlike traditional advertising, online advertisers can target special groups of users based on their online behaviors, which can be recorded and analyzed, stirring privacy concerns.Mainstream Internet companies, advertising firms, and third-party companies have also participated in creating the standards, according to the association.

From http://www.news.cn/ 03/15/2014

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Beijing Mulls Big Data

 

The Beijing municipal government is considering building a big data platform to integrate data from various institutions and academies.Such data from government institutions, scientific research academies and industrial organizations will be integrated and made accessible to the public, according to a statement released by the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission (BMST) on Thursday."Every year, a lot of scientific data in medical and clinic research, traffic and finance is released, while scientific academies roll out many technical achievements and data on new products and technology," said Yan Aoshuang, director of the BMST.Data is scattered across various platforms and archived without development and utilization, Yan said.The platform will help Internet companies explore the economic and social values of big data, and a number of such companies like retailer Beijing Jingdong, IBaidu and Yonyou Software will benefit, Yan said.Wang Xiao, general manager of big data at Jingdong, said e-commerce companies can use of such data to analyze consumption and reduce outsourcing risks.The building of the platform will boost the big data industry in Beijing, said Gu Haijun, vice president of IZP Technologies Co., Ltd.

From http://news.xinhuanet.com/ 04/11/2014

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China to Establish National Base Station

 

China's telecom industry is set to restructure its infrastructure networks and build a "super" national base station, as initiated by three of China's major telecom operators.China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile will hold the shares of the new company (the national base station) with a registered capital of more than 10 billion yuan, according to Caijing.com.A source with China Telecom told the website that the new company will be in charge of building new base stations, telecom towers and tunnels in the first stage. Telecom operators will rent the national base station afterwards -- instead of building their own.China's telecom industry is in the early stages of the 4G era and the national base station company will expand very fast. China Mobile plans to build 500,000 4G base stations by the end of the year, which will all be part of the new firm.The article said once the operators integrate the infrastructure networks, the new firm will save them more costs to launch 4G networks.

From http://www.news.cn/ 04/30/2014

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JAPAN: National Cybersecurity Certification Planned

 

The government will create a national licensing system to certify the expertise, knowledge and skills of information security specialists, probably in fiscal 2016, sources said Monday. In response to the rising threat of cyber-attacks targeting private companies, the government is aiming to develop greater human resources with expertise in cybersecurity. The government expects that the licensing system will lead to improved measures against information leakage in a wide range of sectors, including electric power, gas and other infrastructural domains as well as hospitals, education, academic research and financial institutions. Cyber-attacks in recent years have targeted not only administrative bodies but also the infrastructure essential for daily living. The 2012 London Olympics faced at least 160 million attempted cyber-attacks. The attacks included attempts to take down systems related to the organizing committee, and attempts to illegally access the system. It is highly likely that Japan will be targeted by cyber-attacks ahead of and during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

 

It is thus an urgent task to foster human resources with expert knowledge on information security. The new national licensing system is tentatively being called the information security management examination. The government expects the exam will be held twice a year, with about 20,000 test takers each time, 30 percent to 40 percent of whom are expected to pass The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry will administer the new system and consider the appropriate difficulty level for the exam during fiscal 2014. The ministry will use know-how from the private sector to draft exam questions over the course of roughly one year. Questions might cover how to take appropriate measures to deal with virus attacks on company smartphones, or how to respond when a company’s website is brought down by cyber-attacks. In light of the fact that cyber-attack methods continue to grow more sophisticated over time, those who receive certification will be required to keep pace, and the government expects that the license will require periodic renewal.

 

According to the ministry, there are about 265,000 engineers engaged in work related to cybersecurity in Japan—a figure they say is 80,000 short of the number needed— and around 160,000 of these professionals lack sufficient knowledge or skills to combat cyber-attacks. Although there already exists a national licensing system called the Information Technology Passport Examination, which tests basic knowledge concerning information technologies in general, there is no license system specialized for information security.  Information security refers to measures and actions to secure safety in cyberspace by preventing illegitimate access, data thefts, computer virus infection and other attacks. As of fiscal 2012, the number of detected cyber-attacks against Japanese government entities was about 1.08 million. Experts have said that it is necessary for the whole of the nation to adopt appropriate cybersecurity measures.

From http://the-japan-news.com 05/12/2014

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SOUTH KOREA: Court Rules Midnight Ban on Online Games Constitutional

 

The Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that a law limiting children's access to online computer games after midnight is constitutional. In the ruling against a group of teenagers who enjoy online games, their parents and gaming firms, the court said the law has the "justifiable" purpose of protecting minors from Internet game addiction and "a proper means" to implement this aim.

From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr 04/24/2014

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Mobile Carriers Face Tougher Public Notice Rules

 

The government's recent revision to the Telecommunications Law forcing mobile carriers to publicize notices on mobile phone subsidies is expected to help chill competition. The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) announced the revision which will become effective in October. The KCC, the nation's telecommunications watchdog, said it would enforce an upper limit on subsidies given by mobile carriers to 270,000 won. The KCC expects this will help regulate mobile carriers, which habitually violate subsidy regulations. However, companies have different positions on subsidies, which significantly affect their business. The nation's three mobile carriers ― SK telecom, KT and LG Uplus ― have a respective 50 percent, 30 percent and 20 percent market share. Market insiders say that SK and KT may not agree to raising the upper limit of subsidies because this might cause them to lose subscribers to LG, while LG could welcome the measure.

The companies declined to comment on the issue, saying they are not allowed to talk about the details and will accept the KCC's decision, whatever it may be. KCC officials and industry analysts also point out that the law will help stabilize the mobile phone market by easing the intense competition between the carriers. "If market competition is overheated, mobile carriers can stop attracting customers away from each other," KCC official Jang Dae-ho said by telephone. "The revised law can regulate the market better than in the past." "Expanding the regulation, which used to focus on mobile carriers, to cell phone makers and dealers can help ease the competition," said IBK Securities analyst Kim Jang-won. The MSIP said that it will support the bill, which will allow the KCC to order mobile carriers to stop illegal acts such as giving excessive subsidies to customers. Under the new law, mobile carriers will be required to submit monthly reports to the KCC and the MSIP, including information on cell phones' original prices and subsidies.

From http://www.koreatimes.co.kr 05/25/2014

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INDONESIA: Mayor Reveals Plans for Highly Mobile and Open Smart City

 

In an exclusive interview with FutureGov, Danny Pomanto, Mayor of Makassar, Indonesia’s sixth most populous city with 1.5 million residents, described his plans for a highly mobile and connected smart city. Mobility and open data form the foundation of Pomanto’s plan for this city. “Mobile applications will provide real-time data that helps residents plan their day and improve ease of communicating and transacting with businesses and government agencies.” He described how he envisions the future Makassar City to be: “Using my mobile phone, I can check road and traffic conditions so I can plan the best route to my desired destination. An application shows me real-time availability of parking lots nearby. If I need to pay taxes, I can do it anywhere through mobile banking.” Makassar City has the highest economic growth rate of 9.88 per cent, compared to the national average of 6.1 per cent. According to statistics from Telcos, Makassa’s internet penetration rate is higher than that of Jakarta, and is the second highest in Indonesia, after Palembang.

 

To prepare city residents for mobile and online services, Pomanto is working on setting up free wifi in public spaces. During his campaign for mayorship, he was known as ‘Son of Makassar Alley’, because one of his priorities is to ensure the inclusion of commoners living in the alleys. And part of this goal includes providing digital accessibility to these people. “I want everyone to have access to internet, even people who live in the alleys,” he added. More surveillance cameras will be put up around the city to improve safety and traffic management. “We now have CCTV cameras set up at five corridors. This will increase to 100 corridors in the near future.” Pomanto will also be leveraging ICT to transform how the city government of 18,000 employees will be managed. He was inspired after seeing ‘Flightradar24’, a flight tracker providing real-time information about thousands of aircraft around the world. “If we can use technology to provide oversight on our employees, tracking our activities and operation, I am certain we can improve our efficiency and solve more problems,” he said. The City will soon launch e-payment systems that enable businesses to easily pay all types of taxes and fees. Pomanto expects the roll-out to increase tax revenue by 200

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/03/2014

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MALAYSIA: Government Prioritises E-Government, E-Learning and Healthcare IT in 2020 Vision

 

Malaysia’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit under the Prime Minister’s Department has highlighted deeper use of IT in government, education and healthcare in its 2013 Annual Report of the Economic Transformation Programme.

 

E-Government

In 2014, it aims to have 80 per cent of government services online and encourage the use of online services such as the myGovernment Portal. In the long run, all public-facing government services will be migrated online with the goal of “zero face-to-face interactions” by 2020, stated the report. It also targets to have a paperless government by replacing paper archives with digital ones. The Government will look into trends around cloud computing, Big Data analytics and cybersecurity.

 

Healthcare IT

The Malaysian Government plans to provide all healthcare facilities, patients and insurance companies with a single platform for expedient information-sharing to help improve the quality of healthcare in the country by 2020. The 1Gov*Net platform will allow healthcare providers to access applications that will increase their productivity while lowering costs and errors. The Government will also explore new models of adopting technologies at a lower cost of rollout to support the planned transformation of the Ministry of Health.

 

E-Learning

The Government looks to establish a “common knowledge platform for students and professionals to enhance teaching methods”. By 2020 it aims to have all 6 million students attending government primary and secondary schools in the country to be connected to high-speed internet through the 1BestariNet programme. The focus for 2014 will be to ensure quality delivery of internet access to schools and increase education content in the virtual learning environment provided by the Government. This will be supplemented by virtual training of teacher across all connected schools. Minister of Communication and Multimedia, Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, highlighted that upgrades to broadband speed are a key enabler in reaching these goals. “We will work together with the respective ministries to explore ways on how ICT can further support Government service delivery and private sector efficiency, towards achieving the nation’s 2020 aspirations,” he added.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 05/15/2014

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PHILIPPINES: Agency CIO Updates on Anti-Corruption Financial Management Information System

 

The Philippine Government Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released PHP600 million (US$20 million) more for the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS). The system will embed transparency in day-to-day operation of government, said Richard Moya, DBM Undersecretary and CIO. GIFMIS will link financial processes together and facilitate their automated management. DBM Secretary, Florencio Abad, described it as one of the keystones in the Government’s larger plan for fiscal transparency and accountability. “Because it’s web-based and updated in real-time, all data in the system is easily tracked to ensure the integrity of our public financial management processes,” he continued “Our drive to ensure transparency and accountability in financial processes will depend largely on our ability to come up with a seamlessly integrated IT system. It’s an urgent governance requirement that we’re quickly addressing head-on,” Moya added. As part of the Philippine Government Financial Transaction Digitisation project aimed at minimising corruption in public finance management, the tender for GIFMIS was released in August last year. “When budgeting, accounting and auditing are accomplished faster, we’re also in a position to serve the citizens better,” Abad concluded.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 03/26/2014

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City in the Philippines Prioritises IT Investment for Citizen Services, Government Efficiency & Revenue Generation

 

Investing in technology to enhance citizen services, government efficiency and revenue generation is high on the list of priorities, Mayor Oscar Moreno of Cagayan de Oro City told FutureGov. Cagayan de Oro City, with a population of 163,676, is the hub of Northern Mindanao (also known as Region 10), which is the fastest out of six regions in Mindanao. Its growth rate is higher than the national average. According to Moreno who assumed office last June, his focus is for Cagayan de Oro City to play a leadership role in Region 10, and ensure that the region’s growth is sustained and accelerated. “Other regions besides Northern Mindanao are all catching up. With the continued growth, we aspire that Mindanao will be a bigger contributor to the growth of The Philippines and the wider ASEAN region,” he said. “Technology upgrading is certainly on my agenda, with a goal to improve government services and efficiency and for revenue generation. If we want to achieve more for our people, technology is the key,” Moreno added.

 

The City is looking to invest in technology that can improve information sharing, enable easier planning and optimise government processes. “There has been some investment in the past, but they were done in bits and pieces. I want to catch up now and have an integrated approach. We want to leverage IT in every possible area, starting first in real estate management, treasury, as well as accounting and budgeting,” he noted. One of the challenges faced by his team is in making the growth inclusive. “Everyone in the community should benefit from the City’s growth. Currently, the biggest difficulty is in resettlement.” Moreno previously served as Governor of Misamis Oriental for three terms where he achieved success in resettling informal settlers. He aims to bring that same success to Cagayan de Oro City. Moreno has an eight point agenda, he coined ‘PRIMEHAT’:

•Poverty alleviation, Peace and Order

•Revenue generation and Resettlement

•Infrastructure

•Metropolisation

•Environment and Education

•Hospital and Health services

•Agricultural productivity

•Tourism, Traffic and Transportation

 

Cagayan de Oro City is the first local government unit in the Philippines to apply the Electronic Commerce Act which allows business transactions with the city hall to be made via internet. It is also ranked the top most competitive emergent cities by the National Competitiveness Council in 2009.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/04/2014

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The Philippine Government Reveals ICT Priorities: Health IT, White Space, Cloud

 

In an exclusive interview with FutureGov, Louis Casambre, Under Secretary & Executive Director, ICT Office, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), The Philippines reveals the key priorities and challenges for this year.

 

Health Services

“Our focus has always been on ICT projects that impact and benefit multiple agencies,” said Casambre, whose team is working with the Department of Health (DOH) on getting the systems interoperable. “The challenge we are facing now now is that many systems are operating independently. Data is stored in separate silos. The Health Information Exchange Layer project will provide the shared services layer by creating a common API across systems,” he said.

 

Local Government

Electronic Local Government Units (eLGU) is another key initiative this year. “While many local government units see the value of e-government, they may not have the financial and human resources needed to implement certain systems,” explained Casambre. The national government is investing in cloud services so that local government units can benefit from the latest technology resources without having to invest in expensive infrastructure.

 

TV White space

According to Casambre, the technology that presents the greatest opportunity for DOST is TV White Space. In a recent survey, the Department of Education (DepEd) found that 83 per cent of schools are situated in areas without an internet service provider. “This figure gives a good picture of the actual connectivity rate across the country. How will citizens benefit from all the great ICT-enabled public services if they don’t even have access to the internet? We are working with the DepEd, DOH, Department of Social Welfare on leveraging TV White Space to deliver public services,” he added. The Philippine government is creating a regulatory environment so that the infrastructure can be deployed by the private sector. TV White Space has proven to be effective for enabling communications during disaster recovery. [Casambre speaks on the benefits on white space in another recent interview here.]

 

Shared services

iGovPhil, a whole-of-government initiative, is one of DOST’s flagship projects to provide citizens with a secured digital signature so that they can communicate and transact with multiple agencies without having to register for each online service. “There will be four basic registries: citizens, companies, land and transportation. The common registry will allow systems across different government departments to interconnect,” he commented.

 

Capacity Building

The Philippine leadership is actively pushing for the civil service to adopt technology and deliver more ICT-enabled citizen services. “Over the next three years, the Government will be investing in 250,000 laptops for civil servants, including teachers. There are plans to roll out cloud-based thin client devices to replace PCs in government offices and training programmes to build up the skills of government employees,” Casambre concluded.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/29/2014

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SINGAPORE: Government Enhances WiFi Network and Will Double Hotspots by 2015

 

Singapore residents and tourists can now enjoy easier access to WiFi hotspots with a new automatic login feature which started on 1 April. The new enhancement is part of ongoing efforts by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) to improve the user experience of Wireless@SG, a free public Wi-Fi service that offers Internet access speeds of up to 2Mbps. Dubbed EAP-SIM, this new SIM card-based login feature offers users an ‘always on’ experience by allowing them to automatically connect to any Wireless@SG hotspot using a supported device with a local SIM card. This means new and existing users of Wireless@SG no longer need to sign up for the service or enter any credentials to access the Internet at any Wireless@SG hotspot. Wireless@SG users can easily configure their supported mobile devices to make use of this new login feature by following the connection guide available from the IDA web site.

 

Visitors in Singapore will benefit from the improvements, too. From June 2014, visitors can register for a free account at any Wireless@SG hotspot and receive their login details through SMS messages sent to their foreign mobile numbers. Alternatively, visitors can buy a local prepaid SIM card from M1 and StarHub to log on to Wireless@SG via the new SIM-based login feature. This will enhance the travel experience of smartphone-toting visitors, who are increasingly using their devices as travel guides to discover new sights and find their way around Singapore. Speaking at the launch of the Next Phase of Wireless@SG, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, said: “These enhancements are timely. The pervasive cellular network and presence of Wi-Fi hotspots have paved the way for service providers to roll out location-based and context-driven services to consumers and businesses.” To support the expected growth in demand for free public Wi-Fi services, the IDA, with the support of Wireless@SG operators and venue owners, will roll out more hotspots progressively.

 

By 2015, the IDA will double the total number of hotspots to 10,000. This will be further doubled to 20,000 by 2016. Khoong Hock Yun, IDA Assistant Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Services Development Group, said: “Singaporeans have become increasingly Internet savvy and at ease with the mobile lifestyle. Since the launch of Wireless@SG in 2006, usage of the service has increased six-fold, and now stands at nearly 32 hours per user per month”. “The new SIM card-based login feature will provide easy access to Wireless@SG and increase usage of wireless services among consumers. In addition, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can tap on Wireless@SG to support their IT needs and improve productivity through business applications offered by Wireless@SG operators,” he added. From June 2014, enterprises can look forward to standardised business applications such as data analytics and targeted advertising solutions from Wireless@SG operators that ride on the same public-facing Wireless@SG network. Such standard IT solutions can be rolled out quickly and at a lower cost. Khoong said: “This will help Singapore companies become more competitive, while providing more free Wireless@SG hotspots for the public”. SMEs that are keen to offer Wireless@SG services at their premises can apply for a one-time subsidy capped at $2,400 from IDA to offset the cost of wireless equipment. IDA will provide more details on how SMEs can apply for the subsidy at a later date.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/03/2014

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Singapore Government Sets Up Digital Inclusion Fund as It Prepares to Be a Smart Nation

 

The Singapore government will set up a S$8 million (US$6.3 million) Digital Inclusion (DI) Fund to raise the adoption of infocomm for low-income households, and encourage social innovations to help voluntary welfare organisations better manage the well-being of their beneficiaries with relevant technology, announced Dr Yaacob Ibrahim (pictured), Minister for Communications and Information. “The Internet today is increasingly becoming a utility for individuals, households and organisations. The Government has been stepping up its efforts at digital inclusion to ensure that no segment of the community is excluded from the benefits that the internet can bring – for example, access to information and e-services,” he said. The Government’s existing programmes include the NEU PC Plus Programme, Silvercomm Initiative and Infocomm Accessibility Centre reach out to students from low-income families, senior citizens and persons with disabilities respectively. The DI Fund will help individuals and households level up and enjoy the benefits that come with advancements in digital technology as Singapore prepares to wire up as a Smart Nation. For example, targeted households will benefit from home internet access to surf for information and perform digital voice calls.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/04/2014

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Singapore Education Minister Shares 4 Principles on ICT Use in Education

 

The Ministry of Education in Singapore is now preparing for the fourth Education Master Plan. According to Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education, education must equip students with the necessary competencies to race with and not race against technology. Heng laid down four key principles that he thinks will guide the Ministry moving forward.

 

1. Stay Focused

The Ministry will be focused on its commitment to a student-centric and values-driven education, and ICT can help them do this better. “By staying focused on our goal to bring out the best in every child, we will use technology to transform learning in every school and every student, enabling them to develop strong fundamentals for life-long learning,” he said. To ensure that all schools and students benefit from ICT-enabled learning, the Ministry is currently developing an online Student Learning Space to provide all students access to quality digital teaching and learning resources. The Ministry is also focused on cyber wellness among students. “We cannot assume that just because our children can handle technology, they know how to use technology responsibly. There is no roadmap for the digital world. We need to give every student a compass and to help them develop navigation skills.”

 

2. Stay Curious

Heng urged educators to innovate and experiment new ways of teaching and learning using technology. He believes that ICT can enable personalise learning, he said: “This is an important aspect of our student-centric education. The ultimate goal is customised learning and differentiated teaching for every child.” New technologies may also improve the way assessment is done, such as diagnosing a student’s mastery of concepts, or recommending the most useful digital resources.

 

3. Stay Grounded

While ICT promises a world of possibilities, Heng emphasised the importance of sound pedagogical content knowledge. “A good technological tool placed in the hands of a skilful teacher can breathe life into lessons, and lessons into life. Our teachers must be grounded in strong pedagogy and have the knowledge to use ICT meaningfully and appropriately,” he added. During the last Master Plan, the Ministry has trained about 1,400 ICT mentors, who were instrumental in driving ground-up initiatives. Lessons were shared on an online platform called The ICT Connection, so best practices can be accessed by the wider community.

 

4. Stay Together

“From parents to industry partners, we need to involve the wider community. Together, we can play an active role to bring out the best in each child in every school, at every stage, whatever their starting point,” said Heng. The Ministry will be working more closely with the industry players, tertiary education and other key stakeholders to develop a conducive environment to groom young talents.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/10/2014

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New Programme to Train Data Protection Officers

 

SINGAPORE: The National Trades Union Congress' e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and Straits Interactive on Thursday launched a training programme for data protection officers (DPO). In a joint statement, they said the objective of the programme is to equip companies with the competencies to approach and manage data and privacy protection, and policies. As part of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), which will be enforced on 2 July, all organisations are required to designate one or more individuals to be responsible for ensuring that the organisation complies with this Act. Gilbert Tan, CEO of e2i, said: "The introduction of the Personal Data Protection Act has implications on the way companies do business and how they market to customers. "Companies, especially SMEs, will need skilled PMEs to take on the role of DPO so as to implement and comply with the PDPA. "To meet this industry need, we partnered Straits Interactive to deliver a hands-on training programme that allows prospective DPOs to quickly acquire new competencies by using a practical approach and borrowing from best practices." Straits Interactive is a company which provides personal data protection and Do Not Call (DNC) Registry solutions. The four-module training programme is open to SMEs to send their local workers who will be appointed as a DPO, or who have been designated to help their companies comply with the Act. The DPO training programme, which costs S$4,999, will receive 50 per cent funding from e2i. 

From http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ 05/15/2014

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INDIA: Government Plan to Connect Rural India with Bharat Broadband by End-2013 Moves Beyond Deadlines

 

NEW DELHI: If India is to study, transact, consume, shop and read on electronic devices, it needs universal and last-mile connectivity. Even as several private players do their thing, in their own patches, the one government project that aims to connect all of India down to its villages, Bharat Broadband, remains a case of missed deadlines. What was supposed to have been in place by end-2013 has moved little beyond pilots — fibre being laid in just 40 development blocks covering 800 panchayats. The Rs 20,000-crore project, started in 2011, planned to lay down fibre in 250,000 panchayats , providing Internet connectivity to 600,000 villages and deliver services like education, healthcare, egovernance and e-commerce online. A despondent N Ravi Shanker, chairman and MD of Bharat Broadband, is hesitant to give yet another deadline. When pressed, he says, "Depending on work starting (laying fibre), end of 2015 should see complete rollout. And then, adds a qualifier: "A clear picture will emerge in the next three months" , the reference ostensibly to the next government at the Centre. Bharat Broadband obtained permission from all but one state (Tamil Nadu) and union territory (Lakshadweep) to lay fibre in the ground. "Now, it's incumbent on the three PSUs to work within the existing schedule of rates (rates fixed by government). These have not been revised, leading to delays," says Shanker.

 

The three PSUs are BSNL, RailTel and Power Grid Corporation, which are the main shareholders of Bharat Broadband and which are laying the fibre. Bharat Broadband is the best way to take Internet to India's 1.2 billion people — its 100 mbps capacity optic fibre cables will be the backbone for mobile networks carrying 2G and 3G services. "There are synergies between wireless networks and optic fibre network for broadband proliferation. Last-mile access will be wireless," says Shanker. Subho Ray, president of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI ), an industry grouping, is concerned by the trickledown effect of the delay in the Bharat Broadband rollout. "The government has a target of 600 million Internet users by 2020 and half of them will come from rural areas . Here, Bharat Broadband is vital to create the e-infrastructure," he explains. "The problem is, for such a hitech area, we have 100-year-old laws that govern digging and permission to lay fibre, leading to delays." So far, Internet services have largely been an urban phenomenon. According to IAMAI data, of the 213 million Internet users as on December 2013, 70% were in urban areas. Of this, about half of them accessed the Internet on mobile devices, but only 20 million did it on speedy 3G connections. That's partly because of the limited rollout of 3G and the higher cost of 3G-enabled smartphones (upwards of Rs 6,000).

 

Bharat Broadband, with its pan-India spread, is capable of increasing both usage and speed at a significant pace. "The next five years should see the completely converged network along with affordable devices and cheaper access," says Shanker. Demand for services is driving the growth of the Internet. "The benefits the more savvy users are able to get — like, apply for passports online, pay bills, buy tickets without standing in long queues — will trickle to other areas and boost Internet growth in the country," says Asheesh Raina, principal analyst, Gartner, a research firm. Raina says this is not just true of urban areas; it's also true in rural areas. "For long, we have been talking about how fishermen from Kerala benefit by using phones," he adds. "Now, this trend has migrated up north, with sugarcane farmers from Uttar Pradesh using smartphones to access markets and tie up logistics to transport produce from fields to factories." That creates the pull factor. There's also a push factor. Facilitating such shift in usage are handset makers and telecom operators. Handset makers are launching more smartphones and dropping price points. Nokia, for instance, has launched 19 devices in its affordable Asha series in the last two years. Similarly , local handset maker Karbonn has brought 50 smartphones into the market in the last two years, at a price between Rs 3,500 and Rs 20,000.

 

The other push is coming from telecom operators, who are eyeing data as their next growth lever. "Data revenue for telcos is about 10% (of revenues) at present and will be 50% in the next three to five years," says Debdas Sen, leader, technology consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers India. "That will come from higher mobile Internet use. Also, growth of e-governance and six new bank licences (which the central bank is expected to announce soon) will propel financial inclusion and mobile banking to remote areas, creating demand for newer Internet services, like mobile banking."

From http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/ 03/18/2014

 

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India's IT Act Is 'Ill-suited' to Deal with Social Media: Global Network Initiative

 

NEW DELHI: Information Technology Act of India, the world's second most populous country and behind only the US and China in Internet users, is "ill-suited" to deal with social media and user-generated content, a report by Global Network Initiative (GNI) said today.  The report, Closing the Gap: Indian Online Intermediaries and a Liability System Not Yet Fit for Purpose, prepared by trade-related affairs consultancy Copenhagen Economics said that online platforms that support user-generated content can contribute about Rs 2.49 lakh crore to India's GDP by 2015. GNI -- a non-government organisation promoting Internet freedom and privacy rights -- has tech firms like Google, Facebook, Microsoft among its members including civil society groups (human rights and press freedom groups), investors and academics.  "India's Information Technology Act, hurriedly amended in 2008 and updated with rules for Internet intermediaries in 2011, is ill suited to deal with ICT innovations such as social media and user-generated content, with negative consequences for intermediaries and users alike," GNI Board Chair Jermyn Brooks said in the report. India is a country of particular importance to GNI. As the world's largest democracy, the country trails only the US and China in the number of Internet users, despite an Internet penetration rate of only 10 per cent, he added.

 

Hundreds of millions of Indians are on the verge of gaining Internet access, particularly via mobile devices, with huge opportunities for users as well as serious challenges. "India's robust tradition of freedom of expression and its dynamic ICT (information communication and technology) sector are threatened by anxieties around issues such as hate speech, political criticism, and obscene content," Brooks said.  The Information Technology Act, 2000 was amended by the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 and was enforced on October 27, 2009. It provides legal framework to address various types of cyber crimes and prescribes punishment.  In 2011, the government had notified the IT (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011 under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act pertaining to liability of intermediaries.  It requires Intermediaries, which include national and international social networking sites, to observe due diligence while discharging their duties.  The intermediaries shall inform the users of computer resources not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, update or share any information that is harmful, objectionable, affect minors and unlawful in any way.  According to GNI's report, online platforms that support user-generated content can become an important part of India's Internet economy and contribute around Rs 2.49 lakh crore (USD 41 Billion) by 2015, in addition to the contribution of other elements of the Internet economy. "Two years from now their GDP contribution may increase to more than 1.3 per cent, provided that the current legal liability regime is improved," it added.

From http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ 03/25/2014

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Indian IT Laws Unfit for Social Media

 

The existing IT laws governing Internet companies in India are not fit to deal with innovations such as social media and user-generated content, says a recent report. The report titled: ‘Closing the Gap: Indian Online Intermediaries and a Liability System Not Yet Fit for Purpose’ and brought out by the Global Network Initiative (GNI) Board states that the laws do not protect the right of users and stand in the way of the economic benefits that India can achieve through the Internet. According to the report first published in Business Line, the IT laws in Indian Internet companies create excesscosts for online intermediaries including search engines such as Google and social media platforms such as Facebook. These Internet intermediaries would have otherwise contributed more to the Indian economy. The report highlights the cases of companies such as MouthShut and Quikr, which have suffered due to the uncertain legal liability regime governing online intermediaries in India. Moreover the GNI report claims that the current legal regime in India under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act and the 2011 Intermediary Due Diligence Rules also does not offer adequate protection and legal certainty to online platforms with regard to when they would be held liable for user-generated content.

From http://www.cxotoday.com/ 03/26/2014

 

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AZERBAIJAN: Developing Rules for Electronic Recording of Employment Contracts

 

New rules for recording labour contracts in the electronic information system were submitted by Azerbaijani Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population to the government for approval, according to a message from the ministry. Following the approval of these rules, the use of an electronic information system with the help of the 'electronic government' portal will start in Azerbaijan, according to the message. Development of software for the electronic recording system has already been completed. The system will include individual identification codes of employees. The launch of the new recording system, along with securing the employees' rights, will also prevent the cases of formal registration of labour contracts, when a copy of the signed contract is not given to the employee and is kept by the employer, the ministry said. Thus, the employed citizens will not have to provide the certificate of employment, wage and so on. Such information will be available in the new system for electronic registration of labour contracts.

From http://en.trend.az/ 03/13/2014

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Azerbaijan to Create Electronic Fund for State Standards

 

Issues regarding standardization, metrology and patent were discussed at a meeting of the Caspian European Club (CEIBC) held in Baku on April 9 with participation of Ramiz Hasanov, Chairman of Azerbaijani State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patent. Information about the state committee was presented to the CEIBC member companies during the meeting. Ramiz Hasanov said the state committee is carrying out its standardization-related work through created technical committees. The state committee is also attracting relevant services of government agencies to more effectively work out standards. "It would be easy to have all world standards translated into Azerbaijani and deploy them in Azerbaijan. We are conducting stage by stage introduction and taking the market requirements into account," he added. Hasanov also said that a twinning project, covering 24 months is currently underway. The project is aimed at improvement of the legislation in the field of standardization. "The option of creating an electronic file of standards is currently being considered," the chairman of the state committee stressed. He said that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev declared 2014 the Year of Industry. Speaking about the development of the industrial sector, Hasanov emphasized that a technical committee, based on Sumgayit Technologies Park, was created in March. Standards, to be introduced in the near future, have been defined thanks to this work. Apart from this, a technical committee engaged in petrochemistry was created jointly with SOCAR.

 

In general, based on international standards, the state committee plans to adopt about 300 standards in Azerbaijan this year. A new service has also been created in the field of metrology. Thanks to this service, the most modern laboratory of the South Caucasus was created in Azerbaijan last year jointly with the Agency for Nuclear Energy. The national standard base is also planned to be modernized this year, the head of the committee added. Speaking about the accreditation, Hasanov stressed that the new law about accreditation has already been prepared and submitted to the parliament of Azerbaijan for consideration. The draft bill has passed through two readings and is expected to be adopted within two months. Hasanov also said the state committee is conducting an active work concerning industrial property - the patents. The work in this direction is carried out with corresponding structures of the UN. He stressed that the certification in Azerbaijan is carried out in accordance with international standards. The state committee has so far accredited 30 companies in this sphere. Hasanov also touched upon the introduction of Euro-4 standard in Azerbaijan starting from April 1. "Since there is a small difference between Euro-4 and Euro-3, the head of state decided to introduce Euro-4 standards in Azerbaijan", he said. Due to the introduction of new standards, today Azerbaijan imports Premium-95 petrol that fully meets Euro-4 and Euro-5 standards. Addressing the session, Telman Aliyev, the President and CEO of the CEIBC spoke about the forthcoming 1st International Caspian Energy Forum-2014, to be held in Baku on April 23. Telman Aliyev said the forum will have a one-day agenda consisting of two parts. The first part will cover the development of the oil and gas, energy and environmental sectors.

 

Thematic forums, Caspian European Financial Forum, Caspian European IT Forum, Caspian European Industry Forum and Caspian European Infrastructure Forum, will be held within the framework of the section dedicated to the development of the non-oil sector. He also said CEIBC was established in June 2002 in association with Caspian Energy International Media Group and under intensive support of largest oil and gas companies operating in the Caspian-Black Sea region. Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, has been the chairman of CEIBC. Telman Aliyev said the CEIBC has promoted attraction of oil sector revenues into development of the non-oil sector since its establishment. CEIBC is operating in 50 countries worldwide, carrying out an active work in maintenance of the dialogue between government agencies and the private sector. Following the meeting Ramiz Hasanov, Chairman of the State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patent of Azerbaijan, was presented CEIBC honorary membership certificate.

From http://en.trend.az/ 04/09/2014

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KAZAKHSTAN: Communication and Information Agency Created

 

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered creation of a Communication and Information Agency, the Kazakh presidency reported on March 7.  The measure is aimed at further improvement of the government system in Kazakhstan.  "I order to create a Communication and Information Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan as a central executive body," the presidential decree said.  The Agency will control the sphere of communication, information, automation of public services and coordination of service centers, archives and documents.  Moreover the president restructured the Kazakh Culture and Information Ministry into the Culture Ministry.  Nursultan Nazarbayev also abolished Kazakh Information and Archives Committee under the Culture and Information Ministry and Communication and Automation Committee and Committee for Control over Automation of Public Services and Coordination of Public Service Centers under Transport and Communications Ministry.

From http://en.trend.az/ 03/07/2014

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AUSTRALIA: ACCC Releases Safety Guide for Online Business

 

The ACCC has released a new publication with best practice tips for online sellers and marketplaces. It will also help consumers. The publication is called ‘A Guide for Business: Consumer Product Safety Online’. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said the publication was needed because Australian consumers are increasingly looking to online stores to purchase consumer products. “But the online environment creates some unique product safety challenges and requirements that online suppliers need to be aware of,” he said. “For example, while a consumer can quickly and easily check the mandatory ingredients list of a cosmetic product while in-store, they are unable to do this online unless the list is clearly displayed with the product information. The ACCC is concerned that some online sellers, particularly those based overseas, may not be aware that all businesses supplying to Australian consumers have the same obligations under the Australian Consumer Law,” Dr Schaper said.

 

Businesses breach the law if they sell banned products, do not meet all requirements of mandatory product safety standards or fail in their obligations related to product liability, consumer guarantees and misleading and deceptive conduct. “Mandatory standards and bans are critical in preventing product-related deaths, injuries and illnesses. The ACCC regularly checks for non-compliant products being sold to Australian consumers, including via online stores,” Dr Schaper said. For example in 2013, ACCC surveillance identified two online businesses supplying banned small, high powered magnets to Australian consumers. Following negotiations with the ACCC, these suppliers stopped selling the magnets to Australians and conducted national product recalls. “Product recalls can be expensive for a business but the cost of a recall is not the only potential financial consequence to online businesses who supply unsafe products. Penalties can include infringement notices and the ACCC can seek court-imposed penalties of up to $1.1 million for serious breaches,” Dr Schaper said.

 

Compliance tips for online businesses include:

# clearly displaying warnings and product labelling

# using good quality product images

# providing clear product descriptions, including

# recommended usage

# age-grading for children’s products

# checking the requirements of Australian safety standards and bans prior to listing a product as available for sale.

 

“Businesses must remember that the Australian Consumer Law applies regardless of whether products are sold in a ‘bricks and mortar’ shop, in an online store or via an online marketplace, and regardless of where the seller is based, I encourage all online suppliers to download a copy of the free report,” Dr Schaper said

From http://www.itwire.com 03/21/2014

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Australia’s Digital Privacy Laws ‘Lag Other Countries’

 

Australian digital privacy laws lag those of other countries, according to a leading academic who says legislation has struggled to keep pace with new technology allowing unprecedented levels of intrusion, surveillance of personal activities and communication of private information. Professor Barbara McDonald from the Sydney Law School, who is heading the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Inquiry into Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era, is to expand on her concerns and outline how other countries have met the privacy challenges posed by the digital age at a lecture tonight at the University of Sydney. “How can the law be one step ahead of emerging technology?” said Professor McDonald. “Australian law is lagging considerably behind other countries with which we share a common legal heritage and those that come under European Union law. Our common law does not provide an action for deliberate invasions of privacy. Legislation across the country is best described as a patchwork.”

 

Professor McDonald – who will tonight outline proposals for new laws to protect individuals from invasions of privacy in the digital age - says privacy issues arise from intrusions or surveillance by government, media or activist organisations or data mining by commercial entities. “At the individual level, there are concerns about things such as inappropriate use of social media for ‘revenge porn’, bullying and harassment, or simply surveillance by neighbours. “At the same time, the law must protect freedom of speech and the many other valuable public interests which often collide with an individual’s privacy.” In tonight’s Distinguished Speakers’ Program lecture, Professor McDonald will also announce the proposals in a new ALRC Discussion Paper. The ALRC will provide a final report to the Attorney-General in June.

From http://www.itwire.com 03/27/2014

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Ludlam’s Return Signals Strong Green IT Policy

 

Counting in the Western Australian Senate Election rerun has confirmed that Greens Senator Scott Ludlam will remain in Parliament for another six years. That’s barring a double dissolution on other electoral anomalies. That’s good news for the IT and communications industries – whatever your politics it is undeniable that Ludlam’s knowledge of and passion for the industry is a benefit to the country, in a Parliament populated mostly by technological illiterates. Ludlam was in danger of losing his seat after the last Federal Election. The first count had him narrowly out, the second count narrowly in, until the Australian Electoral Commission’s bungling, and a subsequent court case, saw the whole state back to the ballot boxes. The count currently has the Liberal Party with two seats, and the Greens, Labor ad Palmer United with one seat each. The sixth is being disputed by Liberal and Labor and will most likely fall to the conservatives. Ludlam greatly increased the Green’s vote over the general election. His victory means he will continue to be a thorn in Malcolm Turnbull’s side, with his articulate and dynamic membership of the Senate Committee on the NBN. He is also a passionate advocate of digital rights, renewable energy, and education.

From http://www.itwire.com 04/08/2014

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Australia Government Urges Digital-By-Default, Cloud-First & Big Data Strategies

 

The Australian Government has weighed in with full support for key technology platforms driving the business of government. These include a broader adoption of cloud computing, big data, and digital platforms through to 2017. The administration’s just-released Report of the National Commission of Audit May 2014 canvasses a digital cloud first approach to whole-of-government IT procurement. Among the recommendations, this report, delivered by an influential National Commission of Audit, requires agencies to be proactive about digital and cloud-first operations. With a focus on cost-savings, and large-scale cut-backs in Canberra, the commission acknowledge the role of technology to deliver wide-spread savings, while reducing duplication, and streamlining services.

 

Cloud-first policy

Despite the rhetoric of cloud adoption, the commission notes the Commonwealth remains slow to adopt cloud computing. “A reliance on bespoke, legacy systems, concerns about security and privacy of placing public data in the cloud, and general risk-aversion all impede progress.” Drawing on the banking sector, the commission notes a “cloud-first” policy can initially target low-risk, generic ICT services. Over three to five years, this may progressively reduce ICT costs, as cloud computing becomes a “default option.” The commission proposes the Department of Finance establish a whole-of-government cloud computing provider panel. This panel is designed to confirm the viability, capability, and costs of using large-scale cloud computing providers. The focus is ensuring that access to cloud service providers remains competitive, viable, and offers appropriate levels of security.

 

Big data

The Commonwealth holds large amounts of data. But this information is not being used to its best effect. “Some agencies collect data in the natural course of their operations and tend to focus more on collection, rather than analysis and wider use.” The government’s massive data repository is often rarely connected, has duplicates, varies in quality, and is not supported by consistent standards. “The value of data holding to the whole-of-government is rarely articulated.” Moreover, there is little, or no effort to fully examine data holdings, or assess the value of existing data. Agencies can prepare plans that make better use of data, and source innovation from outside government. The government’s Data.Gov portal holds just 3,164 datasets. This compares with 10,000 datasets in the UK, and around 200,000 datasets in the US. Despite this showpiece, there is insufficient access to public data, including disability, aged care, job seekers, and the socially-disadvantaged.

 

The Australian Public Service needs to improve its capacity for data analytics. This involves analysing large datasets, in real-time, and being able to share insights, identify anomalies, and allocate resources, as and where needed. With a renewed focus on big data, planners need to identify and prioritise projects, spanning key service delivery bodies. These include the Department of Human Services, Australian Taxation Office, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

 

Digital by-default

Like the UK, the Australian government may support a “digital strategy by default.” This strategy can be supported, more aggressively, under the auspices of the Department of Human Services’ MyGov on-line offering. This portal offers access to information from Medicare, Centrelink, child support, health, veterans’ allowances, and disability insurance. But boosting access to digital services involves a more “ambitious strategy.” The administration plans to ensure that every interaction, occurring more than 50,000 times a year, will be done on-line by 2017. Government correspondence is also expected to be available digitally, over the next four years. Australia’s slow uptake of “digital government” is attributed to fragmented arrangements involving multiple agencies, and a policy disconnect. The commission proposes that core expertise be consolidated, under a single team. This can be led by a chief digital officer, a role more likely filled by a private sector leader, with the nous to deliver digital transformation programmes.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 05/02/2014

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Australian Government Reinforces ICT Modernisation Reforms

 

The Australian Government has weighed in with full support for key technology platforms driving the business of government. These include a broader adoption of cloud computing, big data, and digital platforms through to 2017. The administration’s just-released Report of the National Commission of Audit May 2014 canvasses a digital cloud first approach to whole-of-government IT procurement. Among the recommendations, this report, delivered by an influential National Commission of Audit, requires agencies to be proactive about digital and cloud-first operations. With a focus on cost-savings, and large-scale cut-backs in Canberra, the commission acknowledge the role of technology to deliver wide-spread savings, while reducing duplication, and streamlining services.

 

Cloud-first policy

Despite the rhetoric of cloud adoption, the commission notes the Commonwealth remains slow to adopt cloud computing. “A reliance on bespoke, legacy systems, concerns about security and privacy of placing public data in the cloud, and general risk-aversion all impede progress.” Drawing on the banking sector, the commission notes a “cloud-first” policy can initially target low-risk, generic ICT services. Over three to five years, this may progressively reduce ICT costs, as cloud computing becomes a “default option.” The commission proposes the Department of Finance establish a whole-of-government cloud computing provider panel. This panel is designed to confirm the viability, capability, and costs of using large-scale cloud computing providers. The focus is ensuring that access to cloud service providers remains competitive, viable, and offers appropriate levels of security.

 

Big data

The Commonwealth holds large amounts of data. But this information is not being used to its best effect. “Some agencies collect data in the natural course of their operations and tend to focus more on collection, rather than analysis and wider use. The government’s massive data repository is often rarely connected, has duplicates, varies in quality, and is not supported by consistent standards. “The value of data holding to the whole-of-government is rarely articulated.” Moreover, there is little, or no effort to fully examine data holdings, or assess the value of existing data. Agencies can prepare plans that make better use of data, and source innovation from outside government. The government’s Data.Gov portal holds just 3,164 datasets. This compares with 10,000 datasets in the UK, and around 200,000 datasets in the US. Despite this showpiece, there is insufficient access to public data, including disability, aged care, job seekers, and the socially-disadvantaged.

 

The Australian Public Service needs to improve its capacity for data analytics. This involves analysing large datasets, in real-time, and being able to share insights, identify anomalies, and allocate resources, as and where needed. With a renewed focus on big data, planners need to identify and prioritise projects, spanning key service delivery bodies. These include the Department of Human Services, Australian Taxation Office, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

 

Digital by-default

Like the UK, the Australian government may support a “digital strategy by default.” This strategy can be supported, more aggressively, under the auspices of the Department of Human Services’ MyGov on-line offering. This portal offers access to information from Medicare, Centrelink, child support, health, veterans’ allowances, and disability insurance. But boosting access to digital services involves a more “ambitious strategy.” The administration plans to ensure that every interaction, occurring more than 50,000 times a year, will be done on-line by 2017. Government correspondence is also expected to be available digitally, over the next four years. Australia’s slow uptake of “digital government” is attributed to fragmented arrangements involving multiple agencies, and a policy disconnect. The commission proposes that core expertise be consolidated, under a single team. This can be led by a chief digital officer, a role more likely filled by a private sector leader, with the nous to deliver digital transformation programmes.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 05/02/2014

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Australia Plans Whole-of-Government Open Source Cloud-Based Content Management System

 

The Australian Government is planning a whole-of-government Content Management System (GovCMS) using open source Drupal software hosted on public cloud, Government Chief Technology Officer, John Sheridan announced. GovCMS will support more effective service delivery through the web channel and enable agencies to focus on higher-value activities that are more aligned with their core missions. Sheridan emphasised on the use of cloud services as an important step towards simplifying ICT, and eliminating duplicated and fragmented activities across agencies. The use of open source for GovCMS will enable sharing of code, modules and applications, and is expected to reduce development costs. “We expect all code and modules developed for use in the open source platform would be made freely available for all Government agencies (and the wider open source community) to freely utilise modules developed for the chosen open source platform,” states the draft Statement of Requirements as one of the objectives of GovCMS.

 

The system also looks to deliver cost savings to agencies as multiple government agencies use a common and scalable cloud-based platform to host websites. It also aims to reduce compliance costs for individual agencies and make it easier for agencies to comply with standards and policies in security, accessibility, privacy and digital design standards. The platform must be able to withstand “large scale and prolonged Distributed Denial of Service attacks” and must have a disaster recovery plan, adds the document. The Department of Finance aims to have GovCMS go live in September 2014. The feasibility study has found that between 182 and 437 government websites can be migrated to the GovCMS platform in four years.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 05/12/2014

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ARABIAN STATES: The United Arab Emirates - A Rising Star in E-Government

 

How the small Middle Eastern country jumped from 49th to 28th in online service delivery should have state and local CIOs in the United States paying close attention. Some small countries have had outsized success with e-government. For years, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Singapore and South Korea have scored high on international rankings for online service delivery. But another small country from outside the digitally advanced regions of Europe and Asia has quietly yet quickly moved to the forefront of tech-savvy governments: In 2012, the United Nations ranked the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 28th in its global survey of e-government, up from 49th in 2010. It’s no small feat to advance 21 positions in just two years, and how this small Middle Eastern country on the Persian Gulf did that should have state and local CIOs paying close attention.

 

Once considered a backwater in the Middle East, the UAE today is highly developed. Dubai, one of the UAE’s seven states, hosts some of the world’s tallest and most impressive buildings. Governed by a Supreme Council made up of seven emirs who appoint a prime minister and cabinet, the UAE started down the e-government path in 2001 when it launched an electronic card to collect service fees. Since then, the kingdom of 9 million has continued to build its e-government reputation, which was solidified earlier this year when the tech giant Accenture placed it third in its annual roundup of leading digital governments. A lot of UAE’s success has to do with its management style. It’s taken an approach that states and their local partners might find interesting: Government departments in the UAE’s principalities can create any new online services they want, while the central authority focuses on building the common parts that all departments need, like payment and customer support. This hybrid approach results in standardization, best-practice sharing, cost savings and fast deployment.

 

Look at “Markabati,” a portal from the central authority that lets all UAE residents connect easily with every aspect of vehicle service in the public and private sector. Whether the need is car insurance, spare parts, customs and registration forms, or car rental, everything can be found and transacted through the portal. Or look at the country’s experiment with mobile technology. The UAE sees itself as moving from e-government to “m-government.” Home to one of the largest smartphone and mobile penetration rates in the world, the government announced earlier this year that it was setting up the Arab region’s first lab to test secure ways to offer residents mobile government services. This initiative is part of the UAE’s larger effort to make digital technology, networks and apps a central part of how it operates and interacts with citizens. By May 2015, the UAE hopes to have all government departments providing a one-stop store for apps and enabling all transactions through a single log-in. It will allow the public to deal with government departments using their smartphones “any time, any day of the year,” Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum told Arabian Business.

 

The UAE backs up all of its e-government initiatives with serious money. IT spending is expected to grow nearly 13 percent from $716 million in 2013 to $808 million in 2014, according to the International Data Corp. All this investment and work is paying off in two ways. First, UAE views its public spending on e-government as another way to seed the field for private investment in the country’s growing technology sector. Second, it has led to one of the highest rates of customer satisfaction in the world for service delivery. There are certainly many differences between the UAE and the U.S., but we should admire the level of state and local cooperation there, and consider how we can replicate that here. (This story is part of Governing's annual International issue.)

(BY TOD NEWCOMBE)

From http://www.govtech.com/ 04/29/2014

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EUROPE: Italian Unions Urge PM to Accelerate Broadband Deployment

 

The general secretaries of three of Italy's leading trade unions – Cgil, Cisl and Uil – have written to prime minister Matteo Renzi to call for an acceleration of the development of the country's broadband network "on which Italy's recovery depends". In the letter the unions urge Renzi to support the deployment of the next generation network through measures such as the recapitalisation of Telecom Italia and the intervention of the state-backed holding company Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP). However, according to the unions, the spin-off of Telecom Italia's fixed network is not the way forward because it would be tantamount to "expropriating a property" from a private company, while the second possibility of leaving it all to the markets is equally unpalatable because "in practice this would mean giving a free reign to Telefonica." In this regard, the unions express their concern that Telefonica’s increased presence in Telecom Italia is “simply a financial operation rather than an industrial one” and that allowing Telefonica to effectively merge with Telecom Italia would create a highly indebted group unable to invest in new technologies which would be a disaster for Italy, potentially affecting 45,000 workers.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 03/28/2014

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NORTH AMERICA: Canada - Ontario Fails at Its Own Open Government Strategy Once Again

 

The Government of Ontario has once again failed in its commitment to open government and open data. After patting itself on the back for opening an open data portal in 2012, the governmnet has done little to live up to that commitment and, in fact, is doubling down on releasing information in closed formats that are difficult to navigate and read. Under provincial law, the salary and position of every public sector employee earning more that $100,000 per year must be disclosed annually. The so-called sunshine list is a measure of accountability. Since it began being posted online, the list of government employees and their salaries has been posted in a series of closed HTML files and PDFs.

 

In the 2012 release, the list of employees included more than 70,000 records. To most governments in Canada, and in accordance with Ontario’s own OpenData strategy, that’s a simple spreadsheet posted to a website where interested parties can download and peruse the relevant information. But Ontario bureaucrats decided to post that information as raw text spread across 60 different web pages in 2012. That’s a 6. Followed by a 0. And they called it disclosure. Backlash from journalists and open data advocates rang loudly and this year was supposed to be different. The government evolved, leadership changed and the open data site expanded. But no dice.

 

Instead of being truly transparent and encouraging citizens to mine the data, the Ontario Ministry of Finance has posted the data across more than 60 different web pages. Alternatively, 14 different PDF files could be downloaded and converted manually. When asked why, a representative from the government told me: “It is possible to copy and paste the information from the HTML version on the website into an Excel spreadsheet.” Meanwhile, many of the names and salaries contain duplicate information and are poorly sorted to begin with. With incredible frequency, there are duplicate entries in the data which is published online, entries like this:

 

Algoma District School Board DUNSEATH JONATHAN Elementary Vice Principal $102,557.41 $413.46

Algoma District School Board DUNSEATH JONATHAN Elementary Vice Principal $102,557.41 $413.46

Algoma District School Board EDWARDS JANICE Elementary Vice Principal $102,557.32 $413.46

Algoma District School Board EDWARDS JANICE Elementary Vice Principal $102,557.32 $413.46

Algoma District School Board EVANS PETER Secondary Vice Principal $113,394.55 $413.46

Algoma District School Board EVANS PETER Secondary Vice Principal $113,394.55 $413.46

Algoma District School Board FORBES LAURIE Elementary Principal $115,790.28 $413.46

Algoma District School Board FORBES LAURIE Elementary Principal $115,790.28 $413.46

 

The Government of Ontario opened a new Open Data site in late 2012 that promised to increase government transparency by making key government data downloadable in machine-readable formats like spreadsheets and databases. Meanwhile, journalists are using automated computer programs to compile the data and strip away duplicate information anyway. Journalists are then posting this information online for all to see and use. Journalists are doing the rest of the job the government, which is mandated to provide the information, is simply too lazy or inept to do.

From http://o.canada.com/ 03/28/2014

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Facebook Releases Government Data Request Stats

 

Facebook has revealed its second report revealing all of the crime-related information requests the social network receives from various governments around the world. In this latest report 174 requests were made for 217 user accounts with a 50 per cent success rate. Back in 2012, the Canadian government received 192 information requests related to 219 Facebook accounts. By law, Facebook was ordered to hand over information for 44 per cent of those requests. While the report doesn’t go into deep specifics, it’s nice to see a website, especially one that has suffered from security in the past, show a level of transparency. Looking at Canada in comparison to other developed countries, the numbers are relatively low. Although it’s important to point out that this list only consists of requests related to criminal offenses and not requests related to intelligence. In comparison the United States has 12,598 requests for 18,715 users with a 81.02 per cent approval rate. (The U.S. has a population that is about 10 times the size of Canada’s, though.)

From http://www.montrealgazette.com/ 04/14/2014

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Athabasca University’s CIO Explains Why IT Governance Is a Must-do

 

To some CIOs, it may occasionally seem like the inmates are running the asylum with all the demands for greater device choice, unrestricted use of apps and so on. Without any kind of IT governance, however, the situation could be even worse. Good IT governance provides a common framework for making all kinds of technology investment decisions, from back-office and infrastructure to data in the cloud and beyond. At the recent CIO Association of Canada Peer Forum, we took an opportunity to talk to Mike Battistel at Athabasca University about why IT governance has emerged as his most important priority.

From http://www.itworldcanada.com/ 05/08/2014

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U.S.: Government Transparency Means All-ish Data All the Time

 

Open data is a change in thinking and behavior as much as legislation. All-ish” may be better than all in. Remember the dot-com era excitement around digital government at the turn of the century? Speechwriters (and even a bill or two dropped in the legislative hopper) used the phrase “everything ‘e’ by 2003.” It rhymed and got at the important idea that e-government was more than an alternative service delivery mechanism. But defining the goal as everything turned out to be a mistake. It set the jurisdictions that used the phrase up for failure if even one thing was left offline. It also removed the need for prioritization. And it confused intent, which a fair reading suggests was to make e-government the default for public information and services. Fast-forward a decade to see that open data advocates and practitioners may have been prevented by circumstance from making the same mistake.

 

As Government Technology reported last fall, New York City committed itself anew to the nontrivial task of creating a public inventory of government-held information and releasing dozens of additional “high-value” data sets on a revamped open data portal. At the Sunlight Foundation, the nonpartisan government transparency group, Policy Analyst Rebecca Williams lauded the city as “the first U.S. government [to have] completed a comprehensive data set inventory.” Coining the term “all-ish,” her critique focuses on legislative limits that stop disclosure short of everything. New York state is on a parallel track, “bringing the people back into government …” as Gov. Andrew Cuomo describes it, through the state open data portal at data.ny.gov.

 

The New York experience became a model for Washington state, where the Legislature took up a bill this session to expand its open data portal and the organizational infrastructure behind it. Executive branch agencies complained about the cost and complexity of publishing their data, winning them a reprieve in amendments that would extend the compliance timelines — giving them 15 months, rather than 180 days to file a compliance plan — and giving them a potentially sweeping exemption around the preparation and publishing of data “which would impose undue financial, operative or administrative burden on the agency.” Does it include everything? No. Is it the new default? Yes. It’s a distinction with an important difference.

 

A year ago, the Obama administration issued an executive order “making open and machine-readable the new default for government information.” A bumper-sticker-length version of that same language — “Set the default to open” — is the cornerstone of Sunlight’s 32-point plan for sound and sustainable open data policy for government. Those five words define the goal, the tactic for getting there and a mindset for governing. The other 31 points boil down to four behaviors for those on this journey:

 

?Being purposeful enough to build on existing public disclosure laws (with exemptions continually tested for their contribution to the public interest) while safeguarding sensitive information; surface public information — including bulk data — online through a designated data portal;

?Being particular and peculiar enough to maintain a public, comprehensive list of all information holdings and processes to ensure data quality;

?Being confident enough to appoint an oversight authority (that may or not include you) and to knock down barriers to accessing and reusing information held by government;

?Being bold enough to mandate things that matter — the capture of specific new information, publishing metadata, use of open formats, setting ambitious timelines, use of electronic filing, and the use of and future reviews of the policy itself in light of ongoing changes in the “art of open.” There’s one more bit of good news that distinguishes this all-ish open data era from the earlier e-government era. There’s no year that I know that rhymes with “open.” Take that, speechwriters.

From http://www.govtech.com/ 02/25/2014

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7 Ways to Innovate Government IT

 

Seven ingredients to tip the balance toward innovation in your organization. At the risk of stating the obvious, the average government CIO isn’t able to spend much time dreaming up new projects. “Keeping the lights on” or “putting out fires,” whatever business-speak you prefer, tends to dominate the CIO’s work schedule. This point was driven home yet again in a recent NASCIO survey: A third of respondents said they spend up to 90 percent of their time simply keeping the lights on. More than 40 percent said they spend as much as 75 percent of their time on such tasks. On the other hand, half of respondents said they spend one-quarter of their time or less on innovation, and almost 30 percent said they spend just 5 percent or less of their time on innovation-related tasks. Carving out time to pursue innovation is not a new workplace challenge, nor is it unique to government. Phil McKinney, a former CTO of HP’s Personal Systems Group and author of Beyond the Obvious: Killer Questions that Spark Game-Changing Innovation, suspects that most private-sector companies also are struggling to find a balance between daily operational tasks and innovation. “Innovation needles to zero in most organizations,” McKinney said bluntly. Still, government CIOs say the pressure to innovate is rising and expectations are increasing. More citizens are tech conscious and more public leaders realize that technology is a pathway for improving service and reducing costs. CIOs now must somehow find a way to focus on innovation. Finding a balance isn’t easy, but some government CIOs have found practical ways to fit innovation into their own schedule and within the culture of the office they manage. Here are seven common-sense imperatives for driving innovation in the government enterprise.

 

1. Be Specific About Innovation

Innovation has become so common in business lexicon that one could argue that the word has lost meaning and become too much of a catch-all. Everybody wants to be an innovator, but most don’t spell out what it means. A definition can help ensure expectations are kept in check and help avoid a “shoot for the stars” mentality that all innovation is possible — even though resources are always limited. A definition also can help measure time spent on innovation. “Innovation in government isn’t necessarily you sitting there producing brand-new products that are new to the market. Innovation could be the conversations you have, the type of initiatives you push, your approach to solve the same old problems. That, in and of itself, can be strategic and innovative,” said Adel Ebeid, Philadelphia’s chief innovation officer. Innovation also is a matter of perspective. Los Angeles CTO Steve Reneker said that when he talks to elected officials about innovation, they might think first about a mobile app or a new website. But the IT department is looking foremost at what it takes to manage and maintain the city efficiently — both are needed types of innovation. Definitions of innovation can vary widely, but Bryan Sivak, CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, calls it “a direct result of the freedom to experiment.” If you define it that way, Sivak says he spends much of his time on innovation. Most public-sector organizations aren’t spending time and resources on innovation because they don’t value experimentation or are risk averse, he said.

 

2. Prepare for Failure and Embrace It

Nine out of 10 innovation efforts will end in failure, McKinney said. That may sound like a deal breaker, but failure is an unavoidable byproduct of innovation. On the bright side, failure actually can be a learning moment that leads to a later success, McKinney said. Make sure to review the lessons learned when a project crashes and burns. McKinney recently saw a ski industry CEO describe his biggest failure to a crowd of 500 company managers. The CEO said it wasn’t a career killer and that failed innovation doesn’t have to be deadly. Of course, failure isn’t perceived as an acceptable outcome for most government CIOs who face outsized public expectations and rising pressure from the executive suite and elected leaders. When a new IT system fails, the CIO and other staff can be fired because “wasting” taxpayers’ money is intolerable. Colorado CIO Kristin Russell said today’s CIO must have a courageous mindset in order to survive and thrive. Blame comes with the position. Being transparent and bringing as many people in as possible early in an innovation-related project can help. “When we’re doing something risky, I let people know this may fail — even to legislators, stakeholders, the state cabinet. And you remind them of that through the process,” Russell said.

 

3. Carve Out a Little Personal Time

A short burst of brainstorming can sometimes be as productive as a formal, department-level meeting. Each week Russell tries to set aside two hours on her work calendar so she can get out of the office to research something she doesn’t know about — and the topic isn’t necessarily related to technology. She uses the time to think about strategy and innovation. “Every time I do this it’s amazing. I walk away with 20 different ideas we could go and do. It’s hard to carve out that time and pull myself from the desk, but every time I do, I gain something and I bring it back to the organization,” Russell said. Reneker makes time to visit the numerous websites that report on government and technology news. Web browsing can be a time waste, but Reneker’s focus is simple: He looks for creative ideas from other cities and counties that might align with an existing project request from an L.A. council member or executive sponsor. That allows him to work on innovation while also fulfilling the wants and expectations of elected leaders and his bosses. Government likely will never have the luxury of Google’s “80/20” rule, which allows the company’s employees to use 20 percent of their work time on personal work projects. But there’s no harm in letting your employees take a few minutes to explore what others are doing in the innovation space.

 

4. Consider a Name Change and an Innovation Office

Perhaps the job title of chief information officer is becoming counterproductive to the innovation agenda. The CIO’s responsibilities are much broader and diverse than 20 years ago, when the main charge truly was only to keep the computer systems running. The position was in the back office. That isn’t the case anymore, of course. “I believe the title of CIO should be abolished,” Sivak said. Sivak thinks it’s time to call the CIO the “commodity infrastructure officer” and then put that person on the organizational chart beneath a “chief digital officer,” who would tackle the innovation activities that many CIOs are responsible for today. The beginnings of this shakeup could already be under way in cities like Philadelphia that have named a dedicated innovation officer and an innovation management unit tasked with ensuring there are always fresh ideas in the pipeline. Splitting off innovation workers from the IT department may or may not be worth considering. Philadelphia’s innovation team is part of the Office of Innovation and Technology, which also oversees bread-and-butter IT functions like communications and infrastructure. Reneker said leveraging existing resources within the organization has its own benefits. “When you create an innovation organization, the technology you need to deploy for that level of innovation — a mobile app or enhanced website — all might require different tools. To have an expectation that an innovation group can learn it all and be an expert in everything isn’t really a reality,” Reneker said.

 

5. You Can’t Innovate Alone

Innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum, nor does it happen when going it alone. You can say innovation is important, but if you don’t embed it in your workplace culture among your staff, innovation will never get traction. Culture can be built up over time, but it must be a core attribute. When McKinney coaches and mentors chief executives, he asks them how much time they truly spend on innovation. “Don’t think that you’re sitting in a room and some guy who is leading your innovation comes in to present to you — don’t think that satisfies your innovation program,” McKinney said. You must make innovation a valued skill set among employees and hire people who, in turn, are willing to work on innovation-related activities. Not everyone’s cut out to work on open-ended projects that may fail. Sivak said the good news is that more people than you might expect are enthusiastic about innovation. Ebeid advises making careful hires when vacancies arise on the CIO’s top management team. Take the opportunity to redefine the job role and include an innovation component. If you replace positions with people who aren’t dedicated to the innovation agenda, then you have little chance of getting meaningful work done. “My agenda as CIO is not to innovate,” said Ebeid. “My job is to nurture an innovation ecosystem made up of the right individuals, the right ideation process, and constantly keeping the conversation in the forefront, always about community engagement, civic innovation, smarter government, all while delivering it for a lower unit cost.”

 

6. Put Innovation on Paper (or in an Email)

Assembling a list of innovation projects that are planned or in progress and sending it to staff and other stakeholders seems like a no-brainer, but the CIOs who do this say it makes them more effective. In Los Angeles, Reneker maintains a list of the top 25 IT projects that is sent monthly to department heads, elected officials and lead staff. About half of the projects on the list are related to operations and maintenance, and the other half are innovation projects. Many of the listed projects don’t have dedicated resources attached to them, and the list makes it clear that they’ll be done as time permits. Mixing the two types of projects is good for the IT staff’s morale because they aren’t boxed in to working on only operations and maintenance, which can become routine. “It entices existing staff to learn and innovate, and allows the CIO to manage all these projects and requests and try to get those that have the biggest bang for the buck, both politically and from a cost-savings perspective,” Reneker said. Colorado also emphasizes communication. A monthly email called “I Have an Idea” is sent to front-line staff so they can share their suggestions. If an idea results in cost savings, the staff person who originated it might get a bonus. Russell assigns ideas that can be feasibly implemented to an executive sponsor, which keeps them on track.

 

7. Think Big & Small

Some governments expect their CIO to be a visionary who generates grand ideas. That’s a commendable and necessary function for any organization, but sometimes small steps can accumulate into big results. “Everybody thinks innovation means a huge breakthrough, but you can get just as much value derived from a little innovation — doing what you do today and doing it better,” said McKinney. He advises organizations to find a few incremental innovations and do them successfully. It may not be wise to go for a grand slam home run. In fact, most organizations figure out that about 75 percent of ideas that are generated will be incremental improvements, McKinney said. Another consideration is how much the innovation project should be publicized as it’s being developed. Although many governments are committed to transparency, keeping the idea in-house can help avoid bad press and the blame game, especially if the project does not come to fruition. Remember, most innovative ideas fail. If possible, give a team permission to operate in stealth mode on small projects, McKinney said. “As soon as it gets visibility, the antibodies tend to come out and attack the idea,” he said.

From http://www.govtech.com/ 03/03/2014

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White House Seeks Feedback on Big Data and Privacy

 

The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy is seeking public feedback on how the government can best protect citizen privacy as it and the private sector increasingly turn to big data analysis. The request for information posted on Thursday is part of a larger investigation of big data and privacy being led by White House Counselor John Podesta. Big data refers to data from sensors, video, Web, social media and other content that doesn’t fit neatly into a spreadsheet. A number of tools have been devised in recent years to draw insights from this “unstructured data,” that analysts say could transform how the government and the private sector gather information and manage their operations. Big data also has the power to pare back citizens’ privacy, however, as more information about their purchases, medical care, Web searches and social media posts becomes fodder for government and industry data analysts.

 

The RFI includes five questions for public input:

1.What are the public policy implications of the collection, storage, analysis, and use of big data? For example, do the current U.S. policy framework and privacy proposals for protecting consumer privacy and government use of data adequately address issues raised by big data analytics?

2.What types of uses of big data could measurably improve outcomes or productivity with further government action, funding, or research? What types of uses of big data raise the most public policy concerns? Are there specific sectors or types of uses that should receive more government and/or public attention?

3.What technological trends or key technologies will affect the collection, storage, analysis and use of big data? Are there particularly promising technologies or new practices for safeguarding privacy while enabling effective uses of big data?

4.How should the policy frameworks or regulations for handling big data differ between the government and the private sector? Please be specific as to the type of entity and type of use (e.g., law enforcement, government services, commercial, academic research, etc.).

5.What issues are raised by the use of big data across jurisdictions, such as the adequacy of current international laws, regulations, or norms?

The Office of Science and Technology Policy co-hosted an event focused on big data and privacy with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on March 3. The office will host another event on March 17 at New York University titled The Social, Cultural, & Ethical Dimensions of Big Data, which will be streamed here.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 03/06/2014

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Industry Perspective - Open Data Is a Civil Right

 

There is a wealth of information housed in local governments that should be public by default to help fuel a new wave of civic participation. As Americans, we expect a certain standardization of basic services, infrastructure and laws -- no matter where we call home. When you live in Seattle and take a business trip to New York, the electric outlet in the hotel you’re staying in is always compatible with your computer charger. When you drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I-5 doesn’t all-of-a-sudden turn into a dirt country road because some cities won’t cover maintenance costs. If you take a 10-minute bus ride from Boston to the city of Cambridge, you know the money in your wallet is still considered legal tender.

 

But what if these expectations of consistency were not always a given? What if cities, counties and states had absolutely zero coordination when it came to basic services? This is what it is like for us in the open data movement. There are so many important applications and products that have been built by civic startups and concerned citizens. However, all too often these efforts are confided to city limits, and unavailable to anyone outside of them. It’s time to start reimagining the way cities function and how local governments operate. There is a wealth of information housed in local governments that should be public by default to help fuel a new wave of civic participation. 

 

Appallicious’ Neighborhood Score provides an overall health and sustainability score, block-by-block for every neighborhood in the city of San Francisco. The first time metrics have been applied to neighborhoods so we can judge how government allocates our resources, so we can better plan how to move forward. But, if you’re thinking about moving to Oakland, just a subway stop away from San Francisco and want to see the score for a neighborhood, our app can’t help you, because that city has yet to release the data sets we need. In Contra Costa County, there is the lifesaving PulsePoint app, which notifies smartphone users who are trained in CPR when someone nearby may be in need of help. This is an amazing app—for residents of Contra Costa County. But if someone in neighboring Alameda County needs CPR, the app, unfortunately, is completely useless.

 

Buildingeye visualizes planning and building permit data to allow users to see what projects are being proposed in their area or city. However, buildingeye is only available in a handful of places, simply because most cities have yet to make permits publicly available. Think about what this could do for the construction sector — an industry that has millions of jobs for Americans. Buildingeye also gives concerned citizens access to public documents like never before, so they can see what might be built in their cities or on their streets. Along with other open data advocates, I have been going from city-to-city, county-to-county and state-to-state, trying to get governments and departments to open up their massive amounts of valuable data. Each time one city, or one county, agrees to make their data publicly accessible, I can’t help but think it’s only a drop in the bucket. We need to think bigger. 

 

Every government, every agency and every department in the country that has already released this information to the public is a case study that points to the success of open data — and why every public entity should follow their lead. There needs to be a national referendum that instructs that all government data should be open and accessible to the public. Last May, President Obama issued an executive order requiring that going forward, any data generated by the federal government must be made available to the public in open, machine-readable formats. In the executive order, Obama stated that, “openness in government strengthens our democracy, promotes the delivery of efficient and effective services to the public, and contributes to economic growth.”

 

If this is truly the case, Washington has an obligation to compel local and state governments to release their data as well. Many have tried to spur this effort. California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom created the Citizenville Challenge to speed up adoption on the local level. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has also been vocal in promoting open data efforts. But none of these initiatives could have the same effect of a federal mandate. What I am proposing is no small feat, and it won’t happen overnight. But there should be a concerted effort by those in the technology industry, specifically civic startups, to call on Congress to draft legislation that would require every city in the country to make their data open, free and machine readable. Passing federal legislation will not be an easy task — but creating a “universal open data” law is possible. It would require little to no funding, and it is completely nonpartisan. It’s actually not a political issue at all; it is, for lack of a better word, and administrative issue.

 

Often good legislation is blocked because lawmakers and citizens are concerned about project funding. While there should be support to help cities and towns achieve the capability of opening their data, a lot of the time, they don’t need it. In 2009, the city and county of San Francisco opened up its data with zero dollars. Many other cities have done the same. There will be cities and municipalities that will need financial assistance to accomplish this. But it is worth it, and it will not require a significant investment for a substantial return. There are free online open data portals, like ckan, dkan and a new effort from Accela, CivicData.com, to centralize open data efforts. When the UK Government recently announced a 1.5 million investment to support open data initiatives, its Cabinet Office Minister said, “We know that it creates a more accountable, efficient and effective government. Open Data is a raw material for economic growth, supporting the creation of new markets, business and jobs and helping us compete in the global race.”

 

We should not fall behind these efforts. There is too much at stake for our citizens, not to mention our economy. A recent McKinsey report found that making open data has the potential to create $3 trillion in value worldwide. Former Speaker Tip O’Neil famously said, “all politics are local.” But we in the civic startup space believe all data is local. Data is reporting potholes in your neighborhood and identifying high crime areas in your communities. It’s seeing how many farmers’ markets there are in your town compared to liquor stores. Data helps predict which areas of a city are most at risk during a heat wave and other natural disasters. A federal open data law would give the raw material needed to create tools to improve the lives of all Americans, not just those who are lucky enough to live in a city that has released this information on its own.

 

It’s a different way of thinking about how a government operates and the relationship it has with its citizens. Open data gives the public an amazing opportunity to be more involved with governmental decisions. We can increase accountability and transparency, but most importantly we can revolutionize the way local residents communicate and work with their government. Access to this data is a civil right. If this is truly a government by, of and for the people, then its data needs to be available to all of us. By opening up this wealth of information, we will design a better government that takes advantage of the technology and skills of civic startups and innovative citizens.

 

Last year at CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference), Former Speaker New Gingrich called Lt. Gov. Newsom’s Citizenville, about the open data movement "the best single book on moving out of bureaucracy into a Tocquevillian society where you, the citizen, are empowered to solve your own problems.” In the book, the former San Francisco Mayor also praises Republican Minority Leader Eric Cantor and Congressman Darrell Issa for their work in empowering citizens. If a Democratic President, two of the staunchest conservatives in Congress, the architect of the 1994 “Republican Revolution” and a San Francisco liberal can all agree on the same issue, I would say an open data bill at the least deserves a debate in Congress. Who is with me?

From http://www.govtech.com/ 03/12/2014

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U.S. Government to Give Up Key Internet Powers

 

Facing international pressure, the U.S. government has agreed to give up control over important technical aspects of the Internet. The Commerce Department will no longer oversee the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers, a nonprofit group that manages the Internet's address system. Larry Strickling, the assistant secretary of Commerce for communications and information, said the "global Internet community" will have the final say over the database of names and addresses that allows computers around the world to communicate with each other. The Internet was invented in the United States, and the country has long maintained a central role. But as the Internet has grown, other countries have demanded a greater voice in its governance.

 

Edward Snowden's leaks about the National Security Agency's mass-surveillance programs have exacerbated resentment over the central role of the United States in managing the Internet. But officials argued the transition is not a response to the international controversy over NSA spying. Strickling said the U.S. oversight of the Internet's domain system was always meant to be temporary. "The timing is right to start the transition process," he said. "We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan." Fadi Chehadé, the president and CEO of ICANN, said he will work with governments, businesses, and nonprofits to establish a new system for managing the Internet's domain system. "All stakeholders deserve a voice in the management and governance of this global resource as equal partners," he said.

 

The U.S. government will continue its role until its current contract with ICANN expires in September 2015. Strickling said ICANN's proposal must meet certain criteria, including that it "maintain the openness of the Internet" and preserve security and stability. He insisted that foreign governments and intergovernmental groups will not gain new powers over the Internet. But some business groups are nervous about what the transition will mean. Daniel Castro, an analyst for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a pro-business think tank, warned that giving up the traditional U.S. oversight role could result in "a splintered Internet that would stifle innovation, commerce, and the free flow and diversity of ideas that are bedrock tenets of world's biggest economic engine."

 

Bob Liodice, the CEO of the Association of National Advertisers, said he is "very disappointed" with the announcement. His group has battled with ICANN for several years over its plan to allow for thousands of new Web address endings beyond the traditional ".com" and ".org." "We saw the U.S. relax accountability with the recent domain name expansion," he said. "In a world without U.S. oversight, we worry that such issues will be further aggravated potentially causing significant economic concerns, consumer confusion and impairment to brand ownership." Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, has been a frequent critic of ICANN's decisions. But he said Friday that the announcement is consistent with U.S. efforts to ensure the Internet is free from government control. "Since 1998, the U.S. has been committed to transitioning management of the Internet's domain name system to an independent entity that reflects the broad diversity of the global Internet community," he said.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 03/17/2014

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Big Data, Big Challenges

 

It's no surprise to any of us by now: Big data is changing the way government operates. With the huge amounts of data that the public sector is collecting, managing and storing, agencies are devising strategies and approaches to utilize and create services geared to the public using this data. On Wednesday, nearly 80 government and industry employees gathered for a GovLoop in-person event focused on the Big Data Frontier (you can read our top 5 insights we took away about big data here). The panels and speakers shared experiences and insights from distinguished public sector and industry leaders, and discussed applicable case studies. While the crowd expressed excitement about the potentials of big data and the way some of their agencies are using it, there was also plenty of shared frustration. Just because big data is there doesn't mean everybody knows what to do with it -- or how to best use it. Wanting to address that, GovLoop asked several attendees to tell us their biggest challenges when it comes to big data. Read some of the interesting responses below.

 

"There's an aversion of federal agencies to leverage other organization's data and data of other efforts." "There are too many different softwares and data systems trying to interact."  "It's difficult to get executive leadership buy-in on big data. There's defensiveness." "Not sure how to answer the classic question: What's in it for me?" "Leadership doesn't support business needs for data collection or serving."  "There's a lack of organizational support, and we're not given the funds to support the system properly." "The government isn't yet prepared and educated enough when it comes to big data."  Regarding that last point: That's what we're here to change. If you want to learn more about big data, make sure to download our guide, Innovations that Matter: Examining the Big Data Frontier. And if you're dealing with big data challenges at your agency, share them with us below. After all, we learn more by acknowledging challenges and obstacles than by ignoring them. Let's come up with some answers together.

From http://www.govloop.com/ 03/27/2014

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New Apps Make Government Wallets Transparent

 

While it may sound trite, “following the money” remains one of the best ways to pinpoint priorities in business or government. It was on this premise that Socrata, a Seattle-based cloud software company known for its open data offerings, unveiled a suite of financial transparency apps that can be used to publish and simplify spending data. The new lineup, launched this month, includes Socrata Open Budget and Socrata Open Spending, apps that deliver charts, graphs and tables to visualize complicated financial data for easy-to-read analysis. "When we talk about citizen engagement, it's really about allowing citizens to better understand how their governments are allocating their funds and appropriating the budget, and then how that money is being spent over time,” said Bill Glenn, Socrata’s vice president of marketing.

 

Interest for the financial transparency suite came from Socrata clients -- jurisdictions that reported a rising number of financial data requests. Primary drivers of the demand, he said, were residents, the media and government employees. “We found these customers really looking for a way to bring more financial transparency to budgets and spending in particular, to be able to make a better connection with their citizens and to drive better trust and engagement with citizens,” Glenn said. The Open Budget App features charts and visualizations generated directly from updated budget data, revealing details like money allocated for specific programs and departments. Citizens can also see funding going towards programs and projects in their own neighborhoods. A sibling to Open Budget, Open Spending depicts trends in government spending over time and by category. The app can provide graphics comparing spending across a large range of topics, down to check-level detail. It also enables users to browse government vendors and identify how much each has received for government projects and services.

 

While the financial suite is a first for Socrata, tools like this are becoming popular in government. As they enter the marketplace, Socrata’s additions will compete with similar government financial transparency apps such as the popular OpenGov platform, used by Los Angeles and more than 40 other jurisdictions. The suite will likewise compete against open source programs such as NYC Checkbook, free open source code developed by New York City to shed light on city spending, contracts and payroll information. The program was initially promoted as a way to spotlight and eliminate wasteful spending in New York City’s roughly $70 billion budget. Competition notwithstanding, Socrata’s integration of the financial suite into its established ecosystem of civic apps, platforms and support services will likely be a compelling draw for government decision-makers as the battle for open data app dominance continues. 

 

"As technology advances, I think government leaders and government staff members are going to turn to the use of apps to communicate highly complex information in much more understandable ways,” Glenn said. A future adopter of both of the budget and spending apps, Montgomery County, Md., was a catalyst for the suite. Victoria Lewis, project manager for the county’s open data platform dataMontgomery said the process began when county officials requested a custom finance app. "Once we saw people looking at these other open checkbook sites we felt the audience around us might be ready for something like that,” Lewis said, referring to county residents who would llikely embrace the technology.

 

A collaborative development process ensued as Socrata worked closely with the county’s technology and finance teams to understand budget and spending practices in addition to hearing resident feedback. When Socrata presented a concept of the two apps, Lewis said it “fit the bill.” “Unless you really know the budget, and how we compile the budget here, or unless you know how we spend money and what our terms are, the data sets would be really hard for the general resident to understand,” said Lewis. “These really common understandable ways to slice and dice this data are going to be the best part of this.” Yet, as plug-and-play as the apps are made to be, research and deliberation is ongoing at the county, which is why the apps have not yet been installed on their site. Lewis explained that not all county financial data can be made public -- exceptions include private financial data and data protected by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

 

"That's the large challenge our financial department has in trying to figure out what they're going to filter out,” Lewis said. "I think once we've completed this, and have a solution, we're going to learn a lot from it.” The filtering process is expected to occur relatively soon, she said. The budget app will launch sometime this spring, with the spending app following shortly thereafter. Best practices for launching the apps are being documented and the county will share this information with other interested jurisdictions. Socrata intends to add more transparency apps to the suite later in the quarter that will detail government contracts and revenues. The long-term hope for the suite, Glenn said, is for it to become a robust set of apps that benefit a variety of demographics beginning with the citizen and extending to academia, businesses, open data entrepreneurs, political activists, journalists and government employees themselves.

From http://www.govtech.com/ 04/10/2014

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What Government Can Do to Attract Top IT Talent

 

Competing with the likes of Facebook and Google is tough, but it’s more crucial than ever. In the wake of a deadly fire, New York City officials set out to determine what buildings were most likely to burn. After an analysis determined that being in foreclosure and having been built before 1938 were among the factors strongly correlated with fire risk, the city used the data to prioritize inspections. Those inspections then yielded a 13-fold increase in the issuance of orders to vacate. Predictive analytics is just one of the ways technology can improve both government efficiency and the quality of public services. But to achieve these goals, governments must attract and retain top-notch technology talent, and as a 2013 report prepared by a consulting firm for the Ford and John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur foundations documents, that just isn't happening. For every success like New York's building inspections, there are stories such as the initial failure of HealthCare.gov and the more profound and lasting problems with several of the states' Affordable Care Act online health-insurance exchanges.

 

Among the causes that Freedman Consulting identifies for the severe public-sector technology talent shortage are non-competitive compensation, a lack of access to ground-breaking work and a government culture that often doesn't welcome potentially disruptive innovation. Government is also highly bureaucratic and risk-averse, thanks in part to the threat that elected officials might face punishment at the ballot box for any failures. To those with technology skills, on the other hand, entrepreneurs like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Sergey Brin are the heroes, and workers are more attracted to the kinds of innovative, open and creative environments that facilitate development of the next eBay or Tumblr. In 2008, just 1 percent of those with Ph.D.s in math or computer science worked in state or local government.

 

Governments must address the cultural problems that prevent them from recruiting and retaining technology talent, but there are other issues that have an impact. Since traditional public-sector pensions aren't portable, for example, they exacerbate the wage gap for those who might otherwise want to spend a few years in public service. Creating portable retirement systems would go far toward creating a class of technology professionals who rotate between the public and private sectors, as is the case in so many other fields. Connections between academia and the public sector also should be strengthened. Government technology professionals need not be public-policy experts, but new academic programs that include public policy basics would make it easier for technology graduates to work for government. Prior to graduation, more public-sector internships and fellowships would also make young people more aware of career options in government.

 

But strengthening the technology talent pipeline will require more than just making young people aware of public-sector options. To attract the talent it needs, government must take advantage of enhanced partnerships with academia to become more sophisticated and make the changes that would create an environment that is more welcoming to the tech-savvy. Currently, too many government officials don't even know what their technology needs are. Until more do, it will be impossible to create plausible public-sector career ladders to attract technology professionals. Governments are fairly limited in what they can do to address the gap between what they can pay and what those with much-needed technology skills can earn in the private sector. But there is much they can do to create a culture that is more tech-friendly. And culture can go a long way toward attracting the best and brightest to spend at least part of their careers working in government.

From http://www.govtech.com/ 04/21/2014

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7 Things to Know About the White House Big Data Report

 

Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values focuses on how the public and private sectors can maximize the benefits of big data while minimizing its risks. A group of senior Obama administration officials delivered a report to the White House on May 1 examining how big data will transform the way we live and work, and how it will alter the relationships between government, citizens, businesses and consumers. The report, Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values, is the outcome of a 90-day study announced by President Obama in his Jan. 17, 2014 remarks on the review of signals intelligence. The effort was spearheaded by White House counselor John Podesta, who led a working group of senior administration officials in creating the report. The working group also engaged hundreds of stakeholders from industry, academia, civil society and the federal government through briefings at the White House. The report focuses on how the public and private sectors can maximize the benefits of big data while minimizing its risks. It also identifies opportunities for big data to grow the economy, improve health and education, and make the nation safer and more energy efficient. One section of the report focuses exclusively on public-sector management of data, including implications for health-care delivery, education, homeland security and law enforcement. Though a variety of observations and recommendations were presented, here are seven of the notable takeaways unearthed in the findings:

 

1. BIG DATA IS INEVITABLE

According to the report, “The big data revolution will take hold across the entire government, not merely in departments and agencies that already have missions involving science and technology.” The report projects that departments and agencies that have not historically made wide use of advanced data analytics have perhaps the most significant opportunity to harness big data to benefit the citizens they serve.

 

2. BIG DATA IS TRANSFORMATIONAL AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT

The report underscored that the power of big data does not stop at the federal level, but will be equally transformational for states and municipalities, pointing to New York City’s Office of Data Analytics and Chicago’s SmartData project as examples of some of the most innovative uses of big data to improve service delivery.

 

3. PRIVACY NEEDS REFORMS

One action item identified by the report is reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which drew support from a number of technology groups, including TechAmerica and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). “We are extremely pleased that the White House has chosen with this paper to back several reforms that the technology industry has been backing for years, namely creating a national data breach law and reforms to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act,” said Mike Hettinger, senior vice president for Federal Government Affairs and Public Sector for TechAmerica. ITI Vice President for Global Privacy Policy and General Counsel Yael Weinman echoed that sentiment. “We applaud that this report points to ECPA reform as a priority,” he said. “Reform is critical to address the concerns that Americans have about law enforcement having access to their online information. ITI will continue to advocate that this statute be updated to require law enforcement to obtain a warrant, without carve outs, to gain access to online content.”

 

4. A NEW ERA OF CUSTOMIZED LEARNING

While privacy safeguards were foundational in education, and especially with children, authors duly noted that big data could spell substantial breakthroughs in learning in future years. The ability to process and analyze large volumes of student data, they said, would lead to an increase in personalized teaching methods through network-enabled devices. This personalized learning experience will be seen at all levels of learning. Big data education is expected to be supported by the president’s ConnectED initiative, which will connect 99 percent of U.S. students to high-speed broadband and wireless internet within five years.

 

5. PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS IS NOT THE BE ALL, END ALL

The study advised that though predictive analytics is a valuable resource, it should not be a sole determinant to prove guilt; it must respect all rights and freedoms of citizens. As an essential requisite,  authors said big data analysis conducted by law enforcement should be isolated to criminal investigations and protect individual privacy and civil liberties — a task to require careful monitoring. “To prevent chilling effects to Constitutional rights of free speech and association, the public must be aware of the existence, operation and efficacy of such programs,” authors stated.

 

6. BIG DATA IS THE NEW NATIONAL RESOURCE

Similar to the way land wilderness was gradually acknowledged as a national resource, the report labeled the rise of big data as a national resource. As such, it was urged that data, like any other significant resource, should be protected through secure storage while simultaneously made readily available to the public, as it is deployed for economic prosperity and social good. As an application of this mindset, open data initiatives to release valuable data sets was encouraged. Data.gov, the national repository of federal data tools and resources, was highlighted as a vehicle to preserve and utilize big data.

 

7. BIG DATA REQUIRES INVESTMENT, RESOURCES

As the saying goes, you get something for something and nothing for nothing. This notion holds true for big data just like anything else, the report said. Departments and agencies were recommended to match data to resources in terms of staff, internal education efforts and financial investment. The Obama administration was told it should lead an effort to identify areas where big data analytics can provide the greatest impact to benefit Americans, and to encourage data scientists to develop social, ethical and policy knowledge. Areas where that showed promise for research included an investigation of data sources, de-identification and encryption, and data tools that can be used by consumers.

From http://www.govtech.com/ 05/02/2014

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Tracking Corrupt Politicians Gets Easier with New Data Platform

 

Mass media is constantly criticized for its limited attention span. News comes and goes, coverage exists in short life cycles, and all too often, a story's context goes missing, along with its intended insight and accountability. However, a relatively new tool that confronts the issue is gaining momentum. The platform, designed by Chilean journalist Miguel Paz, is called Poderopedia — or Powerpedia, in a Spanish-to-English translation — and uses crowd-sourced journalism to show the links and conflicting interests of decision-makers. Funded by the Knight Foundation in June 2011 with $200,000 and launched in Chile during the fall of 2012, the platform was released for Venezuela earlier this month and will be released in Columbia later in May, according to a Poderopedia blog post. Beyond a simple catalogue of politicians and influencers, the platform highlights confirmed links to notable family members, friends, business interests, political affiliations, financial institutions, educational organizations, and government departments and agencies.

 

It illustrates these through an interactive diagram that looks much like a mind map with a photo of the public figure at its center, surrounded by icons of connected individuals and organizations. Additional features of the platform include a list of associated documents and a linked listing of sources. The move into both Venezuela and Columbia is likely to draw attention if the countries’ 2013 Corruption Perception Index is any indication. Created by Transparency International, an international anti-corruption organization, the index reports both countries suffer from a high degree of corruption, with Venezuela hit hardest out of all South and North American countries. “I knew from the beginning that turning Poderopedia into an international distributed platform operated by local journalism organizations should be a primary goal,” Paz said in the blog post. “Now we are paving the first miles of this road to internationalization.”

 

In Paz’s native home of Chile, the platform has been used by journalists for a variety of investigative reporting coverage and projects. It has red flagged a politician who’d attempted to defer legal punishment for his son, who was involved in a drunk driving collision that killed a pedestrian. And it has illustrated business interests and the political voting trails of politicians on sensitive national issues. “The platform is now a wealth of information about the powerful in Chile,” Paz said. “At this writing [May 2], it contains info on 3,107 individuals, 1,398 companies and 812 institutions.” He added there are currently six Chilean newsrooms republishing data through Poderopedia, and there have been nearly 300 news stories related to the tool. The platform, Pas said, has nearly 3,600 registered users and is growing rapidly. While there hasn’t been any announcement about a U.S. chapter yet, Paz has spoken about interest from journalists and technologists in other countries such as Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Canada and Mexico.

From http://www.govtech.com/ 05/09/2014

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White House Directives Emphasize IT Effectiveness

 

Federal agency IT portfolio review sessions will scrutinize impact, not just efficiency, of investments, involve more leaders at the table. The White House Office of Management and Budget issued new directives this week to federal agencies to improve the effectiveness of the government's IT investments. In a May 7 memo issued by OMB deputy director for management Beth Cobert and federal CIO Steven VanRoekel, OMB laid out enhanced guidelines for conducting OMB's IT investment portfolio review sessions -- known as PortfolioStat -- that place new emphasis on the effectiveness -- not just the efficiency -- of federal IT investments. The IT portfolio review sessions will continue to focus on consolidating commodity IT, they said, but will now devote greater attention to "identifying and assessing high-impact investments" and ensuring they meet customer needs, with the intended impact.

 

The sessions, due to be completed by July 31, will also involve more senior leaders at the table, including the deputy secretary and agency financial, acquisition, human capital, and operations chiefs, as well as CIOs, CISOs, and program managers. OMB began using the PortfolioStat review sessions in fiscal year 2012 to eliminate wasteful IT spending and improve the return on the government's IT investment portfolio. The sessions also reinforced the president's management agenda to ensure IT initiatives improve services to citizens and businesses; increase the quality and value of the government's core functions; open government data and research to the public to spur economic growth; and enhance the government's current and future workforce. OMB developed a series of key performance indicators (KPIs) designed to gauge whether agencies had made cost-efficient IT investments, met customer needs in innovative ways, and protected federal data and systems.

 

The sessions also held agency executives, not just CIOs, accountable for delivering IT investments on time and on budget. IT projects must also be delivered faster, in more modular fashion, and make use of new technologies, such as cloud computing. They also must increasingly rely on automated configuration and vulnerability management tools and other security controls. The PortfolioStat sessions "identified approximately $2.5 billion in savings opportunities through the end of FY 2015," and agencies have already captured 77% of those savings, Cobert and VanRoekel said. In a May 8 report released by the Government Accountability Office, David Powner, director of IT management issues, said opportunities continue to exist to improve the acquisition and management of federal IT investments.

 

The report noted that as of April, 201 federal IT investments, worth $12.4 billion, out of 760 major government IT investments listed on OMB's IT Dashboard were in need of management attention, with 42 of those projects cause for significant concerns. OMB's IT Dashboard website lists IT investments at 27 top federal agencies. Powner reiterated nine common factors critical to successful IT acquisitions. Among them: having program officials actively engaged with stakeholders; having end users involved throughout the requirements and testing phases of the project; and employing program staff with the necessary knowledge and skills. OMB said that going forward, it would also look to strengthen the data and analysis methods it uses to evaluate the PortfolioStat KPIs. It would would also institute more explicit action plans and timelines around delivery, innovation, and protection goals.

From http://www.informationweek.com/ 05/10/2014

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Innovative Technologies to Help County Governments Improve Service Delivery

 

World Bank approves $30 million for ICT applications to support Nairobi and other counties to enhance accountability in revenue management. County governments will benefit from transformational use of innovative technologies to improve their efficiency and effectiveness in public service delivery. This initiative will be supported by a $30 million additional financing approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors for the Kenya Transparency and Communications Infrastructure Project (KTCIP). It will help the counties to develop master plans for use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to increase their accountability in the management of their resources. “The innovative use of ICT will reduce revenue leakages and address other gaps in the revenue collection and management systems of the devolved county governments,” says Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director for Kenya. “These applications will integrate the counties to the national government’s Integrated Financial Management Information System and link them to a unified communications system that will enable them to respond to the demand for better services by their citizens.”

 

The new program will enable the national government to work closely with county governments to improve their services through ICT reforms and also enhance transparency and good governance in the management of county governments’ affairs. It will help all the counties to develop road maps for development and deployment of ICT applications. Funded by the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA)*, the program will expand open data initiatives to the counties by scaling up the activities being implemented under the KTCIP. It will boost the total Bank funding for the entire project to $199.5 million. “The information on the money collected and used by the counties will become an important component of the data needed to revitalize Kenya’s Open Data Initiative in Nairobi and the other counties,” says Arleen Cannata Seed, the Task Team Leader of the KTCIP project. “The ultimate beneficiaries of this initiative will be Kenyan citizens, who will hold their county governments more accountable in the collection and use of county taxes and fees.” In Nairobi and two other counties, it will facilitate the implementation of some aspects of the plans, including rolling out of the Integrated County Management tool to enhance accountability in their revenue management and related functions.

 

KTCIP is part of the Regional Communications Infrastructure Project supporting Kenya, Burundi and Madagascar. Its implementation since 2007 has enabled Kenya to lower prices of international capacity and extend the geographical reach of broadband networks. It has also contributed to improved government efficiency and transparency through e-government applications. The project has enabled Kenya to achieve significant technological advances including digital inclusion, content development and digitization of government records. It has also expanded eGovernment shared services, contributing to increased efficiency, reduced duplication and cost savings. Moreover, it has supported Kenya to establish a Business Process Outsourcing and IT-enabled services sector. The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing zero-interest loans and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $16 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

From http://www.worldbank.org/ 03/26/2014

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CHINA: Government Microblogs Highlight Interaction with Public

 

Government departments and officials are using their microblog accounts as channels to hear voices of the public and provide public services despite slow growth in account numbers, according to a report released on Tuesday.The number of microblog accounts operated by government departments and individual officials increased by 46 percent in 2013, said the report issued by the E-Government Research Center with the Chinese Academy of Governance. It has issued the report annually since 2011.The growth rate was mild compared with the 249 percent in 2012 and 776 percent in 2011, the report noted.Verified government accounts on the four top microblog services in China -- Sina, Tencent, People.com.cn and Xinhuanet -- totaled about 258,700 by the end of 2013.About 70.8 percent of them were operated by government departments and the rest were individual users whose identities were verified to be government officials.

 

The report attributed the slowdown to users shifting to new social network tools such as WeChat, an instant massaging application claiming to have about 400 million active users.The reducing popularity of microblog services among ordinary Internet users dampened the governments' enthusiasm for launching blogs, said Wang Yimin, the research center's director.However, Wang said the slower growth is to be expected and did not indicate that the government paid less attention to these platform.Each year, the report selects the top 100 government microblog accounts that are considered best maintained.In 2013, each account of the top 100 posted an average of about 10,000 entries, or 28 every day, up 30 percent over 2012. Each account recorded a total of 737,000 reposts annually on average, up 166 percent over 2012, and 206,000 comments, up 182 percent."We saw a notable tendency in 2013 for these government accounts to become much more interactive with Internet users than previous years," Wang said.

 

Government departments and officials have gained good experience in managing microblog accounts that can also be applied to WeChat accounts and other newer emerging tools, he added.More efforts should be made to integrate different communication platforms, including traditional media, websites, microblogs and other social media, the report suggested.It also highlighted continuing disparities among regions and government departments in terms of microblog use.Governments in richer regions and bigger cities have proved more inclined to communicate with the people through microblogging, it said.Among various government departments, police have been the most active bloggers, according to the report. Four out of the top 10 government microblog accounts were operated by police departments.

From http://www.news.cn/ 04/08/2014

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Official Micro Blogs Remain Active

 

Governmental departments and officials continue to use their micro blogs as channels to listen to residents and publicize services, despite a slowdown in the growth of accounts, according to a report released on Tuesday.The number of micro blog accounts operated by government departments and individual officials increased by only 46 percent in 2013, the report said, a mild rate compared with the 249 percent growth seen in 2012 and 776 percent in 2011.The report was issued by the E-Government Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Governance, which has provided such data annually since 2011.Verified government accounts hosted on the four top micro blog service platforms in China - Sina, Tencent, People.com.cn and Xinhuanet.cn - totaled about 258,700 at the end of 2013.About 70.8 percent of the accounts were operated by government departments, and the rest were from individual users whose identities were verified as government officials.

 

The report attributed the slowdown in micro blog growth to users shifting to new social networking tools such as WeChat, an instant messaging application claiming around 400 million active users.The reduced popularity of micro blog services among ordinary Internet users has dampened governments' enthusiasm for launching blogs, said Wang Yimin, the research center's director.Wang said slower growth was to be expected and doesn't indicate that governmental entities had paid insufficient attention to micro blogs.Each year, the report recognizes the top 100 government-affiliated micro blog accounts considered to be the best maintained. In 2013, those top accounts averaged about 10,000 posts, or 28 posts daily, up 30 percent over 2012.The accounts averaged 737,000 reposts annually, up 166 percent over 2012, and an average of 206,000 comments, up 182 percent."We saw a notable tendency in 2013 for these government accounts to become much more interactive with Internet users than in previous years," Wang said.

 

Departments of the government and various officials have gained valuable experience in managing micro blog accounts that can be applied to WeChat accounts and other emerging tools as they come along, Wang added.The report suggested that more efforts should be made to integrate different communication platforms, including traditional media, websites, micro blogs and other social media.It also highlighted the continuing disparities between different regions and governmental departments.The governments in wealthier regions and in bigger cities were more inclined to communicate with residents through micro-blogging, it said.Of the various governmental bodies that employ the online tools, the police have been the most active bloggers, the report said.Four out of the top 10 micro blog accounts maintained by governmental bodies were operated by police departments, it said.

From http://www.news.cn/ 04/09/2014

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JAPAN: Govt to Standardize Farm-Related IT Data

 

The government will start working out a strategy on Monday to unify the standards of IT systems used for agricultural production, so data such as the amount of exposure to the sun’s rays and crops’ growth situation can be utilized as “big data” to help farmers increase their production and improve the quality of their crops, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. A panel of experts at the government’s comprehensive IT strategy headquarters will begin the task. It is aimed at having data input systems for farming-related IT, which currently differ among electronics and farm equipment makers, join hands, with accumulated data put into a database and utilized as “big data” for fostering more competitive farmers. The panel will compile its strategy by the end of May and draw up guidelines for utilizing the data. Major electronics makers and farm equipment makers have developed systems designed to help farmers increase production and improve crop quality by enabling them to record their daily work with portable devices and check the amount of crops with sensors attached to agricultural machines such as combines.

 

According to government sources, the items inputted into current systems and their ways of obtaining data differ among manufacturers, and the systems are not linked to each other. Because of such restrictions, farmers using different companies’ systems cannot combine their stored data. They also cannot have past data reflected in a new system when they change from one maker’s equipment to another’s. The government therefore decided to develop guidelines for standardizing data input items, such as the amount of exposure to the sun, air temperature, soil temperature and crop growth situation, to utilize the data from the new fiscal year.  After that, the government intends to interconnect different company’s systems. This will let farmers compare their situation with other farmers and facilitate the making of special branded products from particular regions and areas. There have been few attempts of this kind in the world. The government has also considered measures for protecting accumulated data from being disseminated to other countries, considering the international standardization of the system in the future. The government aims to have the standardized data lead to an expansion in scale for Japanese farming households. “There will be more opportunities for competent farmers, leading to the greater international competitiveness of Japanese farmers,” a government official said.

From http://the-japan-news.com 03/23/2014

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Japan Establishes Cyber Defence Unit

 

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) established a Cyber Defence Unit (CDU) on 26 March to detect and respond to attacks on the MoD and the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF). An MoD spokesman told IHS Jane's that the CDU's objective is to help government and the JSDF: "deal effectively with the threat of cyber-attacks, which become more sophisticated and complex by the day". The CDU will be tasked with monitoring MoD and JSDF networks and will collaborate with other ministries and agencies in strengthening Japan's capability to respond to cyber threats, said the MoD in a statement. The unit will be located within MoD facilities and integrates about 90 JSDF personnel that previously undertook separate cyber-related activities in Japan's air, land and sea self-defence forces.

From http://www.janes.com/ 03/25/2014

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SOUTH KOREA: Telecom Ministry Urges Adoption of Smartphone Anti-Theft Feature

 

South Korea's telecom ministry said Thursday it plans to order local smartphone makers to install an anti-theft feature in all products in a bid to deter increasing thefts of the mobile devices in the country. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said it finished the development of a new smartphone security solution, dubbed "Kill Switch," with local tech players. The project began in August 2013.

From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 04/10/2014

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Lim Jae-Hong: E-Government Key to Good Governance

 

With Korea’s advanced information technology, its know-how in e-government services could provide a key tool for developing countries to help achieve good governance and effective public administration, the head of the U.N. Project Office on Governance said.  “E-government is one of the best paths to good governance that the humans have found so far, playing a key role in achieving a wide array of domestic and global policy objectives,” UNPOG director Lim Jae-hong said in a recent interview with The Korea Herald.  The organization was set up in 2006 as a subsidiary of the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs with the principal aim of assisting member states to improve their governance capacity for 10 years. Its work is financed by an annual $1 million trust fund run by Seoul’s Ministry of Security and Public Administration.  In recent years, the idea of e-governance has emerged across the UNPOG’s three pillars of activities ― research and policy development, capacity development, and communication and outreach ― with Korea being a good example as a vibrant democracy and IT powerhouse, according to its director.

 

Its concept, he noted, also embraces the eight key components of good governance laid out by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific: accountable, transparent, responsive, equitable and inclusive, effective and efficient, follows the rule of law, participatory and consensus-oriented. Lim pinned high hopes on President Park Geun-hye’s vision for “Government 3.0,” which calls for broader public access to state data and participation in the decision-making process, increased transparency and greater interagency cooperation. The initiative followed the “e-Korea Vision 2006,” a third edition of the four-year national “informatization” plan unveiled in 2002. The package included building ICT capacity and industry, promoting e-commerce, upgrading the legal system and stepping up international cooperation.

 

“I think Korea’s public administration system has advanced very much along the lines of technological development, making more information available and expanding communications with citizens,” he said. “The ‘Government 3.0’ drive will help Seoul maintain its leading position in the e-government field as it basically seeks to create new values through open data, information sharing and communications.” A former ambassador to Thailand and Sri Lanka, Lim took the helm of the UNPOG last October shortly after retiring from the Foreign Ministry. During his 35-year diplomatic career, he assumed various posts related to the U.N. and the development issue, including chief of planning and coordination, minister-counselor at the mission to the U.N. in New York, and director for human rights and social affairs. He is gearing up for three major projects this year: the annual U.N. Public Service Awards, an international e-government forum and the launch of the biennial U.N. e-Government Survey in which Korea topped the list over the last four years.

 

The awards mark the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service, officials say. This year’s ceremony will take place on June 23 in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province, as the centerpiece of a four-day public service forum organized by the UNPOG and New York-based DESA. The two agencies launched the e-government forum in Seoul in 2012 to boost the understanding on the concept around the world. The yearly event will be held in Kazakhstan in October. With the office’s 10-year term nearing its end, Lim is stepping up efforts to turn it into a permanent organization with greater financial capabilities and a bigger workforce so that it can help more developing countries beyond the Asia-Pacific.  “It will not be a wise decision to give up on the investment that we have made throughout the past decade ― governance is an idea that will dominate the 21st century, not a waning industry or a thing of the past,” the director added.  “I’m hoping that the UNPOG will be able to assist those in need such as least developed, post-conflict or landlocked countries, expanding its foray into Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.”

From http://theinsidekorea.com 04/27/2014

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Govt to Develop Long-Range Ship Identification System

 

The Korean government will develop a system to identify ships from a long range in an effort to crack down on illegal Chinese fishing boats and prevent maritime accidents. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said they will jointly develop the system starting in 2015. The system will take three years to develop and cost 12-billion won. The system will utilize long-range radio frequencies allowing authorities to confirm a ship's authorization from up to ten kilometers away in around ten minutes. The government is also planning to link the coast defense monitoring system to the current maritime radar system to boost surveillance on illegal fishing boats. Authorities estimate illegal Chinese fishing boats cause 580-billion won in damages to Korea every year. 

From http://world.kbs.co.kr 05/05/2014

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South Korea Train 14 Nigerian Public Officers on E-Government

 

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), on Friday in Seoul, commenced training of 14 Nigerian public officials in e-government. Jang Bong Hee, the Deputy Resident Representative of KOICA in Nigeria in Seoul that the programme was part of ongoing efforts by the South Korean government to develop an e- government master plan for Nigeria. He underscored the importance of putting in place an e-government policy in Nigeria if the country with the largest economy in Africa was to achieve sustainable development. According to Jang, the UN says the key to achieving development in any nation and increasing literacy level is through the implementation of e-government. He quoted the 2012 UN survey on e-government carried out in over 200 countries as ranking Nigeria at the 168th position, while Korea ranked first. He said Nigeria had enough resources to achieve development and that  Korea would make every effort to assist it to attain the status. ``If the Federal Government and Nigerians cooperate, we can achieve this in a short time. We are aiming to improve Nigeria's ranking to at least the first 100 in the next five years. ``KOICA has been training public officers for over three years in e-government. This year, it introduced the economic development workshop to share Korea's experience with officers who are in charge of economic planning.’’ Jang  said KOICA was also making plans to set up a modern training centre in the FCT, equipped with the latest technologies, to introduce top state and federal government officers to the importance and role of e-government in national development.

 

The agency had granted annual scholarships to Nigerian nationals in various fields and provided infrastructure to schools and hospitals, as well as technical aid. He, however, said that the attitude of Nigerians and some government officers to the concept of development was not as positive and strong as it should be, and that had stalled the development efforts of government. ``Some Nigerians do not care about the national identity, but we see Nigeria as having the potential to develop if the people put in more effort and patriotism and government evolves proper policies. The KOICA deputy resident representative said that in assisting Nigeria, Korea hoped to improve mutual understanding, thereby deepening relationship between both countries. Jang said this would enable both countries to explore and promote their cultural and tourism potential through exchange of ideas. The training programme, which will last for 21 days, aims to expose officers to national e-policy, e -strategy and management skills. It also aims to provide ideas and concepts on e-government and national informatisation to enable them to assume advisory role at national and local levels, as well as in their organisations. Some of the participating organisations include the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology (FMCT), Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN) and Galaxy Backbone.

From http://www.dailytimes.com.ng 05/17/2014

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INDONESIA: Promoting Government Transparency with Social Media

 

Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (abbreviated in Bahasa Indonesia, KPK) has highlighted the importance of social media in promoting transparency and openness to fight corruption. Chairman of the Commission, Abraham Samad, explained that as the frontline of every public sector agency, public relations teams form the bridge between the community and the agency, and play a vital role in combating corruption. Indonesia is the second largest user of social media. “Government agencies should cut down on opacity. The emergence of social media should be harnessed and used as an additional channel for engaging with the citizens,” he said, addressing public relations teams from 153 Indonesian agencies at the central and provincial level. Social media has become an inevitable part of citizen engagement, Abraham noted. Stakeholders including employees, citizens and journalists use social media as a source of reference. Further from managing the “image” of agencies, public relations teams should use this space for engaging in dialogue with its communities. However, he added that agencies need to be cautious when using social media. For example, information on social media may not be factually correct. Criticisms and misguided opinions are formed quickly and so it is important for public relations teams to have a good strategy that allows speedy and transparent response to comments.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 03/10/2014

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Indonesia Capital City Government and Google to Monitor Civil Servants’ Performance

 

Jakarta Provincial Government plans to collaborate with Google to develop a system for better monitoring of civil servants’ performance in the Indonesian capital. Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaya Purnama (or Ahok as he is commonly known) shared that he has spoken with Google to build a tool that will track civil servants’ position and monitor their performance. Ahok has emphasised that technology plays a crucial role in ensuring transparency in government. He expects such a system to help improve productivity of public sector officials in the Jakarta Government. Moreover, Ahok has also pointed to a possible collaboration with Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation app acquired by Google in 2013, which has proven popular among Indonesians. He shared that to maximise the benefits from this app, data from the Jakarta Government’s database should be integrated with the data collected by Waze. This would allow the government to respond to any reports of traffic congestion in real-time and analyse traffic conditions. It would also be useful for emergency and disaster management, he added.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 05/15/2014

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PHILIPPINES: To Spend 13.38 Mln USD for Anti-Corruption IT System

 

The Philippine Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Thursday that it has released 600 million pesos (13.38 million U.S. dollars) to kick-off the automation of government financial systems this year. Dubbed as the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), the information technology (IT) system will integrate all public financial management processes and enhance transparency in the government's financial transactions. "Because GIFMIS is web-based and updated in real time, all data in the system are easily tracked to ensure the integrity of our public financial management processes," said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad in a statement. The IT system is a government-wide, browser-based web application that will link government financial processes together and facilitate their automated management. These financial processes -- accounting, cash management, reporting, and auditing are regularly executed by the DBM, Commission on Audit, and the Department of Finance. Once in place, the DBM said the system will "embed" financial transparency in the day-to-day operation of the Philippine government.

From http://news.xinhuanet.com/ 03/20/2014

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Philippine Government Gives Donor Agencies Access to Transparency Portal’s Content Management System

 

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda announced earlier this week, that 64 partner countries and seven multilateral organisations will be given access to the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH) website content management system, in a bit to better track foreign aid given to victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan last year. FAiTH was launched in 18 November, 2013 10 days after the Super Typhoon struck central Philippines. The portal aims to provide information on calamity aid and assistance, whether in cash or in kind, received by the Philippines from nations and multilateral organisations, as well as those coursed through our embassies abroad. The Office of the President will be providing all relevant donor organisations with information on how to log in, manage content, and track their pledges on the FAiTH website through the account details to be distributed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). “It will enable donors to input cash and non-cash pledges electronically, with each successful pledge entry generating a unique transaction ID that can be used to monitor submitted information,” Lacierda said. Information submitted by donors and partners will be authenticated and sent to the DFA before it gets published on FAiTH. “FAiTH has always been an embodiment of the Aquino administration’s commitment to enhance mechanisms for transparency in government,” Lacierda said. “This development brings into the process our partners and friends in the international community—a testament to the importance of monitoring and managing aid, and, more importantly, a testimony to the shared responsibility of holding everyone accountable,” he added.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/10/2014

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The Philippines Government Promotes Open Government with National Citizen Engagement Portal

 

The Philippines Government will be launching a National Feedback Mechanism soon as part of its commitment to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) which it has been a founding member of since 2011. “Envisioned as a link between government and civil society, it will serve as an online platform where citizens will be able to engage government by launching petitions or making queries online,” Said Secretary Edwin Lacierda, Presidential Spokesperson of the Office of the President, The Philippines. The new platform will provide avenues for citizens to contribute to policy making and monitor the implementation of major programmes and projects by the Philippine Government. “Citizens play an enormous role in checking government activities. With a structured avenue for communication, organisations and citizens’ groups will find it easier to work with government toward our common goal of improving our country,” said Lacierda. Since 2011, the Philippines has launched several online portals including Open Data Philippines, Budget ng Bayan by Department of Budget and Management, and the Official Gazette by the Presidential Communications Operations Office to make documents and information that affect people’s lives available to the public. This new portal was among highlights at a forum of the Knowledge for Development Centres (KDCs) held April 23 to 25 in the Philippines. KDCs comprise of 15 universities, policy and research institutions in the Philippines, in partnership with the World Bank Group. The forum is supported by the Government of Australia.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/29/2014

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SINGAPORE: Police to Improve Engagement on Facebook

 

Singapore Police Force (SPF) is currently looking at developing more content and increasing their engagement rate to create a larger fan base for its Facebook page, Fong Weng Kiong, Assistant Director (Policy & Development), Public Affairs Department told FutureGov. “We would be doing this by widening our scope of content posted on the platform and finding new ways to engage our current and new fans in a bid to stay connected and relevant in the rapidly evolving media and technological environment,” said Fong. The SPF Facebook page was set up in 2009 and has more than 353,000 fans till date. It is currently used to push out regular and timely crime alerts, prevention tips, recruitment information, incident updates and more. SPF is now exploring different types of content, such as games, contests, posts on the agency’s heritage, etc to improve the quality of the online engagement. The monthly “Throwback Thursday” postings seek to honour our policing past and create emotional connections with our viewers. Our first “Throwback Thursday” post, on the last week of January this year, highlighted the role of the Road Safety Park in increasing road safety awareness amongst children and road users over the previous generations. “Another example is a word search contest where fans have to spot police-related words in a matrix of maze of alphabet letters. That attracted close to 200 comments and more than 100 likes,” continues Fong. Besides widening its scope of content posted on the platform, the agency is also trying out new ways to connect with its audience on Facebook. SPF tries to ‘humanise’ the Force through story-telling, such as featuring stories on female police officers and officers who reject bribes. “Our latest Facebook feature story showcasing officers from Ang Mo Kio Division rejecting a bribery attempt was a success. It garnered 3537 likes, 392 comments and 73 shares, with many of our fans lauding the officers for the integrity they had displayed”.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 03/20/2014

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Singapore and Oman Agree to Deliver Innovative E-Government Services for Labour Market

 

Singapore’s IDA International and Oman’s Information Technology Authority (IRA) have signed an agreement to deliver innovative digital services for Oman’s Ministry of Manpower. This collaboration is a crucial step in ITA’s E-Government Transformation Plan, which aims to accelerate and automate internal processes in government agencies. Ultimately, it looks to bring about better public services to citizens and greater operational and procedural efficiency in the Omani Government. The agreement will see IDA International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), provide consultancy services to simplify and streamline the visa processes for the Ministry of Manpower and deliver more customer-centric public services to the labour market in Oman, including blue collar, white collar and foreign domestic workers. IDA consultants will also conduct a detailed study to improve the inspection processes related to labour law violations. The agreement was signed between Hamed bin Khamis al-A’amri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Manpower, Dr. Salim al-Ruzaiqi, Chief Executive Officer of ITA and Tan Lark Yang, Group Director of IDA International. Vincent Wong, Chief Executive Officer of IDA International, said, “As the public workforce in Oman becomes increasingly technologically savvy, it is imperative that smarter ways of work are adopted to enable more effective delivery of government services to citizens and residents in the Sultanate.” “As we seek to push forward the Digital Oman National Strategy, this strategic and timely collaboration with IDA International signifies a key step toward achieving the key pillar of our E-Government Transformation Plan,” shared Dr. al-Ruzaiqi.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/09/2014

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THAILAND: City Mayor Reveals How Facebook Is Used for Crisis Communications and Flood Management

 

In an exclusive interview with FutureGov, Vichai Bandasak, Mayor of Pakkret City, a Thai city with a population of about 80,000, shares his challenges on managing the City’s flood crisis and how technology plays a part. The general Pakkret Municipality area is low-lying and densely populated along the Chao Phraya River. During the raining season, Pakkret City is often affected by floods. “We have been successfully in reducing the impact of flood on the community. About 20 years ago, 30 per cent of the area were affected. Last year, we brought that down to 5 per cent. My aim is to drop that figure to zero,” says Bandasak. Two years ago when one of the biggest floods hit Thailand, only 2000 people in Pakkret, out of its 80,000 residents, were affected by the flood. Much of the people’s lives - both culturally and for their livelihood - revolve around the river, so the work of building a dam has been opposed by some. Bandasak and his team has been using social media, particularly Facebook, to educate the City’s residents. “The reach and engagement on Facebook have been positive. Most of the audience consists of working adults and students. Many of them now support the City’s cause.”

 

Besides engaging the people, Pakkret City’s Facebook account plays a more important role of communicating flood warnings to the public. “Other than broadcasting warnings over the local radio stations and sending out SMS notifications, Facebook is an effective channel to alert people of a pending flood. We keep them updated on the water level and the location of evacuation sites,” he adds. Although not all of the population are on Facebook, the working adults and students who are connected will always pass the message on to their family members. Pakkret City also has a 24-hour monitoring and information centre equipped to deploy sandbags and other flood mitigation tools. Residents can also visit the centre to gather information, such as nearby evacuation sites which often are temples or sports stadiums.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/11/2014

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How India's E-Government Plans to Support 22 Official Languages

 

In a crucial step towards making online public services more inclusive, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) of India has launched a set of tools to develop online content in local languages for the various e-government portals and services.

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The localisation portal offers basic tools and services for making e-government applications available in the official language of each state apart from English. Tools are currently available to support 6 Indian languages, and will gradually be made available for the other 16 official languages in India. Each project under India’s National e-Governance Plan has several online applications and portals, and the localisation portal provides standards, best practices and guidelines to support the agencies undertaking localisation of their applications. Joint Secretary for e-government at DeitY, Rajendra Kumar, shared that the localisation tools have already been used for seven projects, including content for health, e-district, public distribution system, pension, education and agriculture.

 

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing is helping ministries and departments in the localisation process and has designed the Localisation Projects Management Framework (LPMF). It will assist with “surface localisation” of the user interface and static information on websites and “internal localisation” of online applications including linked databases. The localisation portal offers code converter APIs for converting legacy data to Unicode, JavaScript based on-screen keyboards, Sakal Bharati OpenType font (which supports all 22 Indian languages) and transliteration services. The portal also displays a dashboard illustrating progress of localisation across the various e-governance projects based on the LPMF.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 02/25/2014

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E-governance: 1.3 Lakh Fake Pensioners Weeded Out in State

 

Thanks to electronic governance and linking of pensioners' accounts with their Aadhaar cards, the state has weeded out 1.3 lakh fake pensioners since last summer, with around 80% of them being removed from the list in the past two months. "We have already removed 1.3 lakh fake pensioners from the list of old-age, widowed and disabled pensioners," chief secretary RS Sharma told Hindustan Times. Till last year, the state had been doling out pension of around Rs. 642 crore to 10.66 lakh beneficiaries per year. The fresh list has 9.36 lakh pensioners, down by 12%. The state government will now save Rs. 80 crore per year. In fact, e-governance seems to be transforming the entire bureaucratic culture in the state. If an official, from the peon to the principal secretary, does not turn up in office by 10.30am, an SMS is automatically sent to his cell phone saying, "You are yet to mark your biometric attendance." "There has been a phenomenal change in the reporting time of staff," said Rajdeo Pandey, an official in the rural development department. "Earlier, most officials used to turn up around noon. Now everyone comes in before 10.30am and does not leave before 6pm."

 

The new human resources management (HRM) system lets anybody check attendance summary of individuals of all departments with different parameters in real time. The HRM software supported by biometric terminals has been installed at 16 locations housing 63 departments in the state capital, and will soon be installed at district and block levels too. Electronic measures have also been introduced in the form of treasury management, integrated financial management, SMS gateway and e-payment gateway. And then there are some department-specific applications. The chief secretary said no other state had yet implemented the attendance system and the integrated financial management system. "Jharkhand is much ahead of other states in terms of e-governance. It's a very powerful tool," he said.

From http://www.hindustantimes.com/ 03/04/2014

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From e-Governance to m-Governance: The Way Forward

 

Today, India is moving towards m-Governance, after its foray into e-Governance. The speedy diffusion of mobile ICT such as laptops, mobile phones, PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants), along with emails, instant messaging and other networking services have rapidly fuelled the mobilization of interaction. Our society is increasingly getting mobile, and people want everything available on their handsets. According to Wikipedia, nearly 850 million people in India own a mobile phone today. India is the second largest telecommunication network in the world in terms of number of wireless connections after China. m-Governance is envisaged to propel the functioning of the government, at the next higher level. In this paper, we analyze the true potential of m-Governance in the Indian scene. Also, we examine the areas where the e-Governance services can be made available through wireless and mobile technologies. The paper also rivets on M-Health as well studies some successful m-Governance projects implemented in other countries, and examines the M-PESA mobile commerce project in Kenya.

From http://www.i-policy.org/ 03/11/2014

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Big Data from IoT May Pose Challenges for Data Centers

 

As Internet of Things (IoT) deployments will generate large quantities of big data that need to be processed and analyzed in real time, this will bring newer sets of challenges to CIOs and data centre providers, says Gartner in a recent report. The report shows that IoT will include 26 billion units installed by 2020, and by that time, IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion. Fabrizio Biscotti, research director at Gartner who sees a potential transformational effect on the data center market, its customers, technology providers, and business models, raises the concern that processing large quantities of IoT data in real time will increase as a proportion of workloads of data centers, leaving providers facing new security, capacity and analytics challenges.

From http://www.cxotoday.com/ 03/18/2014

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E-Governance Projects to Be Speeded Up in Government Departments

 

Soon, Central Government departments could have a Chief Information Officer for IT adoption and to fast track e-governance projects as a part of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). This will also include several other initiatives such as cloud implementation for all mission mode projects (MMPs). At a recent meeting of the Apex Committee on NeGP, it was also decided to fast-track the adoption of ‘e-office’ for independent movement of e-files. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Ajit Seth, Cabinet Secretary. Senior officials from the Planning Commission, UIDAI and Ministry of Communication and IT attended the meeting. It was also decided in the meeting that a workshop on cloud platform would also be organised by Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) for all departments of ministries.

 

The workshop will explain the features, capabilities and the way forward for implementing cloud by default, the note said. Apart from these, it is learnt that DeitY will organise a workshop on the new e-initiatives in e-governance, such as Mobile Seva, e-Pramaan and e-Taal, for all ministries, departments and the Planning Commission. The representatives of UIDAI said that as almost 60 crore Aadhar numbers have been issued, it would be appropriate if it could now be a unifying and unique identity in all e-governance initiatives. The DeitY Secretary also clarified that linkage of UID in MMPs, wherever required, has been suggested as a key component in the ‘e-Kranti’ concept note. The committee also suggested that a standard mechanism should be established for expeditious replication of e-governance projects across the country.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 04/23/2014

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New Leap in UP in E-Governance: Driving Licenses Will Be Provided Through Online Applications

 

Seeking driving license will be simpler in Uttar Pradesh once Lok Sabha elections are over. Courtesy- introduction of online service. Taking a step ahead in e-Governance, UP government will launch online Driving License (DL) service for people in Lucknow and other cities. It will not only allow online application for the license but also simplify submission of application and payment of fee. “Right from submission of application to payment of fee, the entire process will be online,” said sources in the department. At present, though DL seekers can download the application from the transport department website, they have to submit it manually at the regional transport office. The new software, which is being tested by National Informatics Centre, Hyderabad, will make it possible to submit application and pay the fee online. Once online DL becomes a reality, applicants will be visiting the RTO only to get their biometric details recorded. The new facility might be introduced in phases much like the smart card driving license (SCDL). “It will be called Sarthi-on-web project,” said sources.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 04/23/2014

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Azerbaijan and Afghanistan Discuss E-Government Formation Cooperation

 

Afghanistan and Azerbaijan discussed cooperation in the sphere of e-government formation, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies reported on March 5. The issue was a subject of discussion in the last meeting of the third working group on the cooperation between Azerbaijan and Afghanistan in the field of ICT held in Baku, according to the Ministry. The Afghan delegation headed by the Deputy Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Aimal Marjan came to Baku for the discussions. The working group includes representatives from the ICT Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan and Afghanistan, UNDP and the Agency for International Development in Azerbaijan (AIDA). The main issues on the agenda of the working group were exploration of the possibilities of Azerbaijan's participation in the development of the Afghan ICT sector, Afghanistan's needs for ICT sphere, the definition of cooperation areas. The projects that can be implemented in Afghanistan were also considered. The possibility of investing in the ICT sector in Afghanistan, and the organization of training on IT-specialties within the framework of the established IT-University in Azerbaijan were also subjects of the discussions. The Azerbaijani Sinam IT-company presented its projects during the meeting. Earlier, the Afghan Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amirzai Sangin expressed interest in using the electronic GoMap (developer which is Sinam company) as a platform for creation of a local map for Afghanistan.

From http://en.trend.az/ 03/06/2014

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E-Documents in Azerbaijan Can Now Be Signed Online

 

The Data Processing Centre (DPC) of Azerbaijani Communications and High Technologies Ministry has presented a software for signing electronic documents online. Earlier, it was possible to sign the e-documents only using a Microsoft Windows, however the DPC's new software helps to simplify the process, which will no longer be dependant on specific operating systems and browsers, according to DPC's message. The software allows to sign e-documents online, through major popular browsers, as well as most widely used operating systems. The software's interface supports the Azerbaijani, English and Russian languages. The main goals behind developing the new solution are to expand the scope of use of e-signatures and e-document turnover, simplifying public access to state institutions' electronic services, which are available on the 'electronic government' website ( (e-gov.az).

From http://en.trend.az/ 05/07/2014

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Azerbaijani Servicemen to Hold Discussions with German IT Experts

 

Representatives of Azerbaijani Armed Forces will take part at an international event in Germany, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry told Trend on May 19. Experts meetings on information technologies (IT) will be held in the German cities of Koblenz and Euskirchen from May 20 to May 22, in accordance with the Azerbaijan-Germany cooperation program.

From http://en.trend.az/ 05/19/2014

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AUSTRALIA: 4 Lessons from Mobile Government and Open Data Project

 

ACT Government and the NICTA eGov Cluster started the Mobile Canberra initiative to develop apps that provides access to geolocational government datasets and services. This projected, initiated at the request of the ACT Government via its Executive Director of the Government Information Office (GIO), was prompted by its commitment to being an open government and its goal to make Canberra a connected and digital city. Currently, the mobile services includes locations of bus stops, playgrounds, libraries, schools, public art, public toilets, Technical and Further Education campuses and public furniture. Based on its review of the pilot’s first year, these are the key lessons learnt:

 

1. Reliable access to government source data is critical

The team realised that the success of the apps depends heavily on having reliable access to relevant source data. In order to ‘go live’ with a production version of this app, the ACT government will need to ensure that a regular updated source of published data is available from data custodians within the public sector.

 

2. Collaborative project model worked well

The project team comprised of the ACT Government through its GIO and senior Shared Services representative, NICTA Engineering and Technology Development who provided oversight of development and user experience design, the eGov Cluster project managers, and the developers. According to the team, the collaborative project model has proven to be a more flexible model, yet dynamic approach to requirements definition. This successful model can be used as a template for governments looking to embrace innovation as a means of transformational improvements.

 

3. Open Data programmes must be treated as whole-of-government initiatives

The team observed that inter-agency collaboration on open data does not happen organically because of policy, technical, cultural challenges within the public sector. Therefore, in order for innovations like Mobile Canberra to succeed, government must ensure that their Open Data programmes are first and foremost treated as whole-of-government programme and then directed, managed and resourced properly.

 

4. Challenges around using web technologies to deploy apps

The team set out to explore the possibility of using web technologies to deploy an app, which could leverage a device’s geo-location capabilities in an accurate manner. In assessing the available technologies, they found PhoneGap and Titanium to best fit their requirements, and they selected PhoneGap for its open-source nature and better OS support. However, while PhoneGap allowed for a platform-agnostic approach to coding, it was not easy to use in practice because the team had to spend a lot of time debugging and finding workarounds in the many variations.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 02/28/2014

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Comms Dept to Shed Up to 25 Percent of Workforce

 

Workers at the federal Department of Communications will be forced to reapply for their positions in a “spill and fill” process designed to slim the workforce down as much as 25 percent. Communications staff were this morning informed, via a 17-page document sighted by iTnews, of a new structure to be implemented at the agency, affecting all full-time staff members in an effort to potentially cut up to 130 positions. The department is understood to have a current headcount of 550 staff, 519 of those which are full-time equivalent. The new structure will see the majority of the department’s workforce asked to reapply for their current role. iTnews understands the opportunity will only be given to full-time equivalent staff. For workers unsuccessful in re-attaining their current position, three options are on the table: apply for a lower-grade role on a reduced salary, take a redundancy or be redeployed elsewhere within the APS. Voluntary redundancy applications wouldn’t be processed by management until the job application process wraps up, the department said in the communication to staff. “To achieve our strategic priorities, and meet our goal to be the Australian Government’s pre-eminent advisor on communications, the department will during the course of 2014 realign its structure and the roles of our staff,” it advised in the document.

 

It will take one layer of the organisation at a time before moving on the next when ‘designing and selecting’ the roles and staff for each individual layer. The department will make information about the positions available for each layer to “eligible employees” at the start of the selection process of each of the five individual organisation layers. Employees are only able to apply for jobs at their current employment level or below. President of the Community and Public Sector Union Alistair Waters said in a statement the process was “disruptive, costly and deeply divisive”. “All it will do is pit colleague against colleague and throw the department into a tail spin,” he said. “Waking up and finding out that your department is cutting jobs is bad enough but then to be told you will have to fight your workmates to hang on to job is worse.” He said while the union understood the priorities of government departments change, Communications had not approached it in the right way, and called on the department to rethink the process. “If jobs need to be cut, then the department should first ask people to apply for redundancy rather than go down this divisive route,” he said. “This is not the way to treat your staff. It’s an unprecedented example of the appalling way that this Government deals with public sector workers. Cutting thousands of workers’ jobs is bad enough but to do it this way is just cruel and vindictive.”

From http://www.itnews.com.au 02/28/2014

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Budget Cuts Will Force Government IT Staff Rethink on Role

 

Government sector IT staff will consider changing their jobs if they are affected by cuts in agency and departmental budgets expected to be announced in tonight’s federal budget, according to one major ICT recruitment firm. A survey of almost 3,000 government IT staffers by Greythorn last week found that a third believed their role will change with the budget cuts and impending restructures, and a significant 44% said they would then be forced to consider changing agencies/departments. The highest result was in the heart of the federal public sector in the ACT, where 54% of IT respondents said they would consider changing agencies or departments if their role was to change. And, according to Greythorn, 29% of Government IT staff said they were pessimistic about the work situation, with the highest level of pessimism also in the ACT, at 38%.The Treasurer Joe Hockey has forewarned that the cost savings to be announced in tonight’s budget will result in many government agencies being sold, scrapped or merged.

 

Lisa Kinney, Director of Greythorn’s ACT branch said, “Despite the impending changes within Government, the vast majority (83%) of IT candidates stated they felt satisfied and engaged in their current jobs and would recommend their employer to others. “The challenge for the Government at this time is to maintain that level of satisfaction and engagement as the sector manages this change.”

From http://www.itwire.com 05/13/2014

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NEW ZEALAND: Website for Justice Data Launched

 

The Ministry of Justice launched an online portal called “Justice Datalab” which aims to make the 2013 Justice Sector Annual Report more accessible to the public. According to an official statement, the Justice Datalab is an initiative which will give the public full transparency on the main statistics relating to the performance of the justice sector. It allows users to analyse conviction and sentencing statistics and search the Ministry’s vast research and evaluation collection. “Much of the information currently available about crime and safety trends is situated across various sources and may be hard to find, access, and compile. With the new tool in place, all that information is made available through one website, in a form which is easy to understand and where crime and safety trends can be easily identified,” says Justice Minister Judith Collins. Datalab will be a useful tool for students, journalists and other members of the public to research based on many variables such as the region or type of offence and create graphics displaying results and trends.” The Minister added that Datalab is a practical addition to the current pool of justice sector initiatives outlined in the recently released 2013 Justice Sector Annual Report.

 

“Crime in New Zealand is at a 33 year low and the Justice sector is on track to meet, if not exceed, all of its Better Public Services targets by 2017. The report shows that since June 2011, the total crime rate has fallen 13 per cent, the violent crime rate has fallen 9 per cent, the reoffending rate has fallen 11.4 per cent and the youth crime rate has fallen 22 per cent. The sector will continue to build on these results, seeking innovative and effective ways to better support vulnerable people and families, tackle the causes of crime and stop people – particularly young people – from entering a life of crime. The new Datalab tool will allow New Zealanders to see first-hand this progress we are making and increase transparency and confidence in the Justice sector”.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 03/12/2014

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New Zealand Government Opens Up Geographic Data Online

 

New Zealand’s most current publicly-owned aerial imagery, covering 95 per cent of the country, is now available online through the LINZ Data Service. Land Information New Zealand has been working with other agencies to make imagery available under an open licence, and to ensure it is accessible through the LINZ Data Service. According to Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson, “releasing publicly held aerial imagery for reuse has the potential to create cost savings for the public sector and generate economic benefits for the private sector. “Imagery can be used to improve productivity in agriculture and forestry, and can be used in construction, engineering, disaster recovery planning, and land and asset management. Making aerial imagery available is in line with the government’s goal to make more publicly held data accessible to as many people as possible,” Williamson added. LINZ is also working with local authorities and government agencies to establish a national programme for coordinating public sector imagery purchases. This will ensure imagery is purchased on an open licence and at a consistent standard, which will mean value for money and open access. Aerial imagery provides an accurate photographic representation of the earth’s surface and features, and can be used to visualise landscape or to understand how an area has evolved over time.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 05/08/2014

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New Zealand Government to Modernise Unified Portal with Faster Online Access and Responsive Design

 

With a global reputation for transparent government, the New Zealand administration is fast-tracking its investment in open data and improved access to information. This is supported by an ambitious new project, being launched in July 2014, that modernises the New Zealand.govt.nz site. This project involves 36 core agencies, and Crown entities that deliver key services. These encompass social welfare, immigration, transport, education, health, the environment, and conservation. This revamped site, currently in beta, will offer highly-intuitive access to government information, to enable citizens to access on-line services more easily. This all-of-government initiative is led by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). It supports transparent and open government reforms, and better online access to core services. New Zealand’s open government initiative reinforces digital reforms, according to Laura Sommer, DIA’s Wellington-based project lead for digital information.

 

She told FutureGov that demand remains high for improved access to on-line services. A re-designed central government site offers the ability to source and manage information in an interactive, and more intuitive environment, directly from the desktop, or mobile devices. Details about this project are available at Beta.govt.nz and the Web Toolkit site.

 

Fact-check usage

“We want to bring customers right into the site,” Sommer says. “We’re developing new ways to locate information, restructure content, and make better use of evidence-based reporting tools.” Agencies and Crown entities, linked to this site, are already able to “fact-check” content, track traffic and usage, and will be able to streamline their data analytics and information management capability. Collaborative development with agencies is critical to success. “This is because we’re talking about all-of-government programmes,” adds Sommer. “So we find that a co-creative co-design model is really important.”

 

Manage content

Tech-savvy citizens, used to navigating commercial sites, expect the same look-and-feel from government sites. Mobile apps, social media, and dash-board features improve information access for people on the move. “There are other aspects, like social media, mobility, and real-time access that remain critical to creating an open interface, and connecting more readily with citizens.” By mid-year, the New Zealand site will offer faster search and browsing capability.

 

Make design responsive

“We want to ensure that what we design is usable and accessible, especially on websites,’” Sommer says. “Apart from a highly-responsive design, people should be able look at what government is presenting online via any device.” New Zealand’s online presence focuses on a user-centred design. It will be “open by default,” nurture trust and security, and support collaborative development, and common capability. At DIA, Sommer leads a Digital Engagement team, tasked with improving the government’s online presence. This approach supports a “customer at the centre” strategy. Among its features, a re-designed site offers all-of-government information based on users’ needs, with plain English content and features that are easy to understand.

 

Improve security

The goal is helping citizens interact safely and securely with government online. A Domain Integrity Project is examining the current state of agencies’ web presence, and security management mechanisms. Plans are underway to streamline the security of critical infrastructure. Moreover, an online engagement service, that has guidance and a community-of-practice, will help agencies actively connect with end-users and other agencies. This helps inform about services and policy development. Share governments’ digital project updates at the 3rd Annual FutureGov Forum New Zealand being held Wednesday 6th August in Wellington.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 05/09/2014

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New Zealand Reinforces Open Government Roadmap

 

With a global reputation for transparent government, the New Zealand administration is fast-tracking its investment in open data and improved access to information. This is supported by an ambitious new project, being launched in July 2014, that modernises the New Zealand.govt.nz site. This project involves 36 core agencies, and Crown entities that deliver key services. These encompass social welfare, immigration, transport, education, health, the environment, and conservation. This revamped site, currently in beta, will offer highly-intuitive access to government information, to enable citizens to access on-line services more easily. This all-of-government initiative is led by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). It supports transparent and open government reforms, and better online access to core services. New Zealand’s open government initiative reinforces digital reforms, according to Laura Sommer, DIA’s Wellington-based project lead for digital information.

 

She told FutureGov that demand remains high for improved access to on-line services. A re-designed central government site offers the ability to source and manage information in an interactive, and more intuitive environment, directly from the desktop, or mobile devices. Details about this project are available at Beta.govt.nz and the Web Toolkit site.

 

Fact-check usage

“We want to bring customers right into the site,” Sommer says. “We’re developing new ways to locate information, restructure content, and make better use of evidence-based reporting tools.” Agencies and Crown entities, linked to this site, are already able to “fact-check” content, track traffic and usage, and will be able to streamline their data analytics and information management capability. Collaborative development with agencies is critical to success. “This is because we’re talking about all-of-government programmes,” adds Sommer. “So we find that a co-creative co-design model is really important.”

 

Manage content

Tech-savvy citizens, used to navigating commercial sites, expect the same look-and-feel from government sites. Mobile apps, social media, and dash-board features improve information access for people on the move. “There are other aspects, like social media, mobility, and real-time access that remain critical to creating an open interface, and connecting more readily with citizens.” By mid-year, the New Zealand site will offer faster search and browsing capability.

 

Make design responsive

“We want to ensure that what we design is usable and accessible, especially on websites,’” Sommer says. “Apart from a highly-responsive design, people should be able look at what government is presenting online via any device.” New Zealand’s online presence focuses on a user-centred design. It will be “open by default,” nurture trust and security, and support collaborative development, and common capability. At DIA, Sommer leads a Digital Engagement team, tasked with improving the government’s online presence. This approach supports a “customer at the centre” strategy. Among its features, a re-designed site offers all-of-government information based on users’ needs, with plain English content and features that are easy to understand.

 

Improve security

The goal is helping citizens interact safely and securely with government online. A Domain Integrity Project is examining the current state of agencies’ web presence, and security management mechanisms. Plans are underway to streamline the security of critical infrastructure. Moreover, an online engagement service, that has guidance and a community-of-practice, will help agencies actively connect with end-users and other agencies. This helps inform about services and policy development. Share governments’ digital project updates at the 3rd Annual FutureGov Forum New Zealand being held Wednesday 6th August in Wellington.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 05/09/2014

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NORTH AMERICA: Canadian Mobile App Industry Continues to Grow - Study

 

Nearly 25 per cent of developers extremely concerned about a skill shortage. Software developers creating mobile applications generated $1.7 billion in revenue last year according to a new study of the size of the app industry here. The Information and Communications Council report, released Monday, found that the number of people employed in the development of business, games and entertainment mobile apps has grown by nearly 25 per cent since its released a first report in October 2012. An estimated 64,000 people work developing and distributing applications here, the council found — 45,800 are employed by companies that specialize in app development, while another 12,800 are “induced,” meaning their jobs were indirectly created by the apps labour market. Most of them — 28,700, including technical and non-technical people (sales, marketing, management) – work in Ontario, followed by Quebec with 14,000 apps jobs. The report predicts that nearly 50,000 new jobs are expected to be created between now and 2019 as a result of the creation of new apps and wider enterprise and consumer adoption.

 

Still, it points out the sector has a number of challenges: international competition, shortage of skilled app developers, lack of awareness of the development companies’ service offerings and shortage of capital. “Mobile apps are a fast-growing, vibrant sector of the economy,” said Namir Anani, CEO of ICTC. “We consider that talent is one of the most important considerations in ensuring Canada takes full advantage of this opportunities offered by mobile technologies and mobile apps. We continue to work towards ensuring a sufficient supply of this talent by encouraging youth, Aboriginals and women to pursue technology careers, and by providing opportunities for training and up-skilling to all Canadians in all sectors of our economy.” In particular the report says those in high demand will be apps designers; apps developers; apps testers; programmers (C#); technical artists; software engineers; software developers; graphic designers (UI/UX); product managers; system designers; system  developers; JavaScript, MYSQL, HTML5, and PHP developers; software designers with CSS3; cloud architects; data analytics; coders and user support analysts. The ICTC is funded by the information and communications sector to research technology and labour market trends including immigration initiatives, women in IT, industry forecasts and identifying emerging technologies.

 

The mobile apps report was paid for in part by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), which represents some of the country’s biggest cellular carriers. The report was complied from 100 replies from three surveys sent to mobile app development companies between June and December 2013. The study figures there are nearly 18 million app users in Canada among the 28 million cell phone subscribers, and 2 billion app users worldwide. Over half of developers — including those who work within organizations as well as software development firms – say they are focusing on developing apps that provide business solutions. Still, the report says the industry is having trouble filling technical positions, a situation that will get worse before it gets better. Eight out of 10 apps enterprises have some concerns with respect to finding the right blend of skills in adequate quantity. Three out of five apps employers are more than slightly concerned, while nearly a quarter are extremely concerned about skills shortage and mismatch.

From http://www.itworldcanada.com/ 03/03/2014

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Half of Canadian Businesses Lacking in Mobile Apps, Survey Finds

 

For many businesses, having a mobile-first strategy seems like a “must” – and it follows logically that businesses would have some kind of mobile presence. However, in a new survey of more than 270 IT professionals in Canada, 54 per cent of CIOs said they don’t have a mobile app in place for their organizations – nor do they have any plans to build one, according to research from Robert Half Technology, an IT staffing company. While 21 per cent of the companies surveyed said they do plan to offer a mobile app in the next 12 months, just 21 per cent said they already offer one. Four per cent of the respondents said they didn’t know if they had a mobile app, or they refused to answer the question. That being said, 77 per cent of the firms surveyed said they do have a mobile strategy, with 61 per cent saying they use a mix of apps and mobile-optimized web pages to do business. However, 19 per cent said they don’t have any mobile strategy at all.

 

“As mobile devices increasingly become a part of day-to-day life, businesses will want to make it easy for customers and clients to connect with them through mobile platforms. In the next few years, this will likely become more of an expectation from consumers for doing business, and less of an option,” said Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager of Robert Half Technology, in a statement. “While most organizations have a mobile technology strategy, many are not making the leap over to the use of mobile apps as a means to connect with customers and clients … Organizations that aren’t looking to develop mobile applications are potentially missing out on the opportunity to further engage with their business audience.” Beyond a mobile strategy, Canadian businesses may also be lagging in other areas. Earlier this month, the  Canadian Internet Registration Authority released a study showing just 45.5 per cent of Canadian businesses had their own websites, even though half of Canadian consumers have gone online to buy a good or service.

From http://www.itbusiness.ca/ 03/26/2014

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Windows XP: The Final Shutdown

 

On April 8, Microsoft Corp. will end its support for the Windows XP operating system. After 12 long years of receiving security updates, having Microsoft technical support answering your phone calls or emails, and confidently receiving third-party support for new software products and peripherals, that will all end next Tuesday. Microsoft is encouraging its user base to migrate away from Windows XP to