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Winter 2014 Issue 48

 

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 Information and Communications Technology Controls Report 2013–14

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Top 10 Key ICT Trends Set to Impact Regional Market

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Cyber Defence Policy Framework

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Aiming for Global Network on Corruption

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Online Community Networking for ‘Clean India’ Launched

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Govt Sets Detailed Survey of Online Consumption

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BRAZIL: Leading Creation of Internet Governance Initiative

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CANADA: Talent and Leadership in the Digital Age

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: 10 Need-to-Know Lessons for Government Innovation Teams

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Majority of Firms Investing in Mobile Solutions - Study

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Cyber Defence Policy Framework

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Canada - Find a Strategy for Your IT Strategy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Ottawa Announces Second Action Plan on Open Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: Agencies Get New Guidelines for OK'ing Apps

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Why Large Government IT Projects Fail

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Houston Introduces New Open-Data Policy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Obama Backs Stricter Net Neutrality Rules

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Congress Passes Bills to Reduce Duplicative Reports, Improve Access to Public Records

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Resolving Cross-Border Internet Policy Conflicts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Forums on Internet Governance Reveal Tensions over How the Web Should Be Regulated

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Media and Foreign Policy in the Digital Age

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Information and Communications Technology Controls Report 2013–14

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ITU Puts Information, Communication Technology at Forefront of Global Issues

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: ChinaC Publishes Cloud Service Standard

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Rules to Protect Personal Rights Online

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Aims for Global Network on Corruption

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Law Passed to Strengthen Cybersecurity Measures

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Park Urges Global Efforts to Bridge Digital Divide

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ICT Ministers Adopt Busan Declaration

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif MYANMAR: Moving Forwards on Plan to Join Open Government Partnership

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif MALAYSIA: Region Plans for the Future with GIS

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif MAMPU Piloting Policy to Secure Use of Personal Devices

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Malaysia’s Top Three ICT Priorities? Analytics, Data Centres and Security

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PHILIPPINES: Integrating Open Data with Freedom of Information Bill

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Philippines Launches Defense Transformation Roadmap

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Expanding Digital Inclusion Programme

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: E-Tax Payments to Be Piloted in 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Vietnam ‘Needs a Stronger Push on ICT Development’

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Online Community Networking for ‘Clean India’ Launched

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Electronic Toll Collection: A Uniform Standard of Service to Commuters

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Facebook Launches User-Friendly Privacy Policy

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: To Adopt New ICT Development Program

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KAZAKHSTAN: Plan to Impose Administrative Liability for Offenses in ICT Field

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Telco Industry Steps Strategy to Combat Online Copyright Infringement

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian Government Releases New Cloud-First Policy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Government Mandates Cloud Computing

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Electronic Governance and Open Society - Challenges in Eurasia

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Ukraine: E-Governance Academy Will Help Develop E-Governance

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif LATIN AMERICA: Brazil Leads Creation of Internet Governance Initiative

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Rift Forms Between ISOC and WEF on Internet Governance

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Canada - Talent and Leadership in the Digital Age

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: 10 Need-to-Know Lessons for Government Innovation Teams

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 3 Steps Governments Can Take to Engage Citizens

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif OECD: Governing the Internet

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The Effect of Internet and Digital Media Freedom on Corruption

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Email Key for Government, While New Tools Still Lag Behind, Survey Finds

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-Government: Gap Emerging Between Processes and the Democratic Function

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif In Search of a Governance. Who Will Win the Battle for the Internet?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How Will Internet Governance Change After the ITU Conference?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ITU Steps Closer to Internet Governance, Though Multistakeholderism Will Guide Policy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif What Does the UN Think Is the Next Big Thing for E-Government?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Does the Internet Need "Governance"?

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: National Memorial Website Goes Mobile

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Websites Help Gov't Catch Rumor-Mongers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Top Internet Watchdog Vows Governance According to Law

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Promotes Online Public Procurement

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Govt Sets Detailed Survey of Online Consumption

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: ICT Ministry's Budget Up 4.8 Pct for 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S’Korean Wins UN Award on E-Govt

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korea, Poland Sign ICT Cooperation Agreement

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDONESIA: E-Government Will Fix "Broken System" Says Incoming Indonesian President

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Indonesia Launches Open Data Portal

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How Open Data Restored Citizen Trust in Indonesian Election

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Tax Agency Cautious About Using Open Source on Critical Systems

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Three E-Government Challenges for Indonesia’s New President

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Indonesia Mulls Adopting S. Korean E-Government System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif MALAYSIA: Civil Servants Must Share More Data, Says Chief Secretary Ali Hamsa

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: One-Stop Municipal Services Office to Launch App

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: ICT Ministry to Widen Role

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: Website Launched to Connect with Public

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Internet Governance and "Ungovernance" Meet Ups in Istanbul

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 'Digital India' Introduced at Internet Governance Forum

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Tracking of Government Officials

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Prez, PM Ask People to Use Technology to Fight Corruption

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SRI LANKA: The Rise of e-Government Services

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Taxing Ministry’s E-service Portal to Be Temporarily Unavailable

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KYRGYZSTAN: Learn from Azerbaijan's Experience in Automation of Public Finance Management

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Officials Unsatisfied with Connectivity, Economic Impact, Survey Finds

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australia Plans New Framework for Better Government Performance Reporting

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australia Government Puts Intellectual Property Rights Online

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian State Launches Centralised IT Management Portal

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian Government Moves to New govCMS Digital Government Platform

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: What Juncker, Ansip and Oettinger Should Do for the Telecom Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif LATIN AMERICA: Ecuador Introducing the World's First National Digital Currency

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Canada Post Lists 25 Nominees for Innovation in E-commerce

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: Mastercard Promises (Slow) Death to Online Payment Passwords

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Global Smartphone Connections to Hit 6bn by 2020

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: E-Commerce Insiders Seek to Break Barriers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Alipay, Huawei Team for Fingerprint Payment Development

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 'Made in China' Online Firms on Global Mission

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Lenovo Launches New Cloud Computing Program

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China to Float 30 Bln Yuan E-Saving Bonds

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Alibaba Moves to Tap Mobile Security Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Renren Kills Non-core Chinese Internet Businesses

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BTCChina Forges Bitcoin Deal with Chinese E-commerce Sites

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Websites Pledges to Tighten Comments Management

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China's Alipay Will Provide Internet Payment Services to Gilt

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Alibaba's 11.11 Shopping Festival Sets High E-Commerce Benchmarks

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Jumei.com Forms E-commerce Partnership with Beijing Daily Group

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Apple Pay Signs App Store Deal with China UnionPay

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Premier Li Pledges Government Support for E-Commerce

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Online Banking Fraud Targeting Firms Surges

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Convenience, Points Fuel Spread of E-Money

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Growth Prospects Help Japan's Recruit Shine in Market Debut

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Japan's Softbank to Pump About $10bn into Indian E-Commerce

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: President, Alibaba CEO Discuss Korea-China E-trade

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Trade Minister Urges More Investment in IT Products

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Gov't Further Eases Online Shopping Procedures for Foreigners

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Samsung Develops 5 Times Faster Wifi Technology

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ICT Ministry Presses Mobile Carriers, Manufacturers on Price

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Over Half of IT Firms to Post Profit Gains in Q3: Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Adobe Cloud Services Aim to Help Small Firms Market Digital Content

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif MALAYSIA: To Get Integrated Portal to Serve All Business Needs

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Singpost Boosts Investment in E-Commerce Logistics, Enhances Services

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Vietnam: Online Shopping on Uptrend

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Vietnam's Domain Name Market Warming Up

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VN Co-Operates with Thailand on E-Commerce

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BANGLADESH: Bangla PM Seeks Norwegian Investment in ICT Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Mobile Industry Is Developmental in Nature

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Catty Rivalry in India's e-Commerce Space

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Tech, Telecom Firms Roll Out Freebies for Diwali

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Maharashtra Govt to Start E-Platform to Facilitate Investors: CM

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Bengaluru Is Home to 27 Percent of Top 30 Indian IT Product Firms

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Connecting Product Discovery Behaviour with Content Marketing

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Bank Introduces Account Refill and Loan Payment Service via MobilBank and Inte

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijani Mobile Operator Continues to Invest in 3G Network Development

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-Signature of Azerbaijan Receives International Recognition

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan to Set Up Tax Control over E-Commerce

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerkosmos Signs Two Contracts on IT Supplies

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan to Change Ownership Form of Two State Communication Enterprises in 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijani IT Companies to Present on EU Markets

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Picking Commercial Partner for Its Open Source Website Plan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian Government Launches US$17.7 Million Big Data Innovation Centre

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ACS Weighs into Victorian Election, Wants Focus on Digital Economy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australia Sets US$21.8 Million for New Online Literacy Testing

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Government Ups Rural Broadband Investment by $150 Million

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Majority of NZ Firms Investing in Mobile Solutions - Study

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Funding NZ with Science

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NZ Market Set to Dip as R&D Spend Slips

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Report Proposes Releasing 700 MHz for Mobile Broadband by 2020

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Connected Europe? Broadband for All Is the Answer

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Revenue Canada Issues Tax App

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Government Looking for ISPs to Provide Rural High-speed Internet

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Three Canadian Cities Make Long List for Smart Communities

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Canadian Cloud Services with Skyrocketing Revenue

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: Using Data-driven Marketing to Improve Your Public Service

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Top 10 Ways the Internet of Things Will Impact Our Cities

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UN Internet Summit: Communists, Socialists, Globalists in Charge of Cyberspace?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet Governance Forum Topics Include Human Rights, Network Neutrality and Child Protection

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet Governance Forum: A Missed Opportunity for Human Rights

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Civil Rights Leaders Against Internet Freedom?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif On the Path of Global E-Government Forum: Saving Time for Hyperconnected Society

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Alternatives to Tor for Web Anonymity

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif An Open Internet Doesn't Equal Freedom

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet Society Statement on the NETmundial Initiative

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Tencent Invests in Online Healthcare

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet Finance Boosts IT Hiring

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China's Phone Users Reach 1.53 Bln

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Data Used to Help Patients Avoid Expensive Treatments

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Analyze, Utilize ‘Big Data’ to Ensure Appropriate Medical Costs, Quality

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EU, Japan to Develop High-Speed Mobile Internet Networks in Dense User Areas

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: KT Joins Hands with Online Community to Map Human Brain

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea to Establish Genetic Database for Families Separated by Korean War

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea Has Highest Smartphone Penetration Rate

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDONESIA: E-Procurement the Solution to Jakarta’s Public Transport Woes?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PHILIPPINES: Makati City to Upgrade GIS, Introduce Video Analytics

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The Philippines Government to Make Environmental Data More Open

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Farmers Could Use Drones to Boost Filipino Food Supplies

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Pilots Telehealth Programme for Heart Patients

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Launches Online National Child Care Registration System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif IDA to Crowdsource Data on Public’s Broadband Experience

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singaporeans Want More Digital Police Services, Poll Finds

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Open Door Portal Makes Job Search Easy for Disabled

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: Government Considers Electronic Tags for Tourists

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Thai Government Launches Mobile Data Centre for Floods

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: Citizens’ Resistance to E-Services Is a Big Challenge, Says Vietnamese Official

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BANGLADESH: Hi-tech Park May Get Going

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: PM Tactically Deploys Social Media as Communication Tool

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif IITians to Help Modi Build Smart Cities

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt to Kickstart Next Phase of Cable TV Digitization: Javadekar

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif IT Will Help Balance Environment, Development: Javadekar

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Aircel, Reliance Comm Tie Up for 3G Services in Mumbai

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Phones, Best Mode of Communicating for Those in Love: Survey

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 8 Million Follow Modi on Twitter

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif An App to Help Infants with Heart Defects

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Infosys to Design Stanford Course for Grooming Executives

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/05.gif

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: PASHA Bank Integrates Mobile E-Signature Solution into Its Internet Bank Portal

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Tourists to Be Able to Get E-Visas to Azerbaijan via Travel Agencies

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan to Create E-Database for Sharing Information on Goods, Transport

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Iran, Azerbaijan to Cooperate in Radio and TV Technologies Sphere

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif TURKMENISTAN: Mobile Operator Has Nearly Four Million Subscribers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UZBEKISTAN: Beeline Deploys 4G Network

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/06.gif

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Regional Governments Have Insufficient Economic Impact, Connectivity, Officials Believe

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: The State of IT Jobs

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Online Service for Australian Consumers to Report Medicine Side Effects

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Proposed ‘Axing’ of Digital Tech Curriculum Causes Outrage

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Cloud First Obstructed by Data Sovereignty

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Spends US$2.5m on Expanding Patients’ Digital Access to Health Records

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif One Third of New Zealanders Feel They Have No Control over Government Use of Personal Information

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: 3 in 10 Canadians Not Protecting Themselves Online, Survey Finds

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Things Bad in IT Security Now? It Could Get Worse

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: Beware the Rsik of Goverdnment Data Center Consolidation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How to Address Cross-border Internet Conflicts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif National Security Implications for Financial System Cyberattacks?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif White House Gives Agencies Lead Role in Combating ID Theft

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Cyber Doctrine Shows More Offense, Transparency

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Freedom of the Internet ‘Under Threat’

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Tool for Spy Victims to Detect Government Surveillance

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Websites Commit to Public Supervision

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Security Risks Found in Half of Govt Websites

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Cleans Up Pop-up Windows

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Wanted: Good Guys Who Can Hack Like Internet Criminals

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

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Beijing Police Target Rising Internet Crime

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Official Warns Mobile Internet Against 'Blood-Tainted Clicks'

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Faster Pace Set in Bid to Protect Internet

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Govt Must Urgently Beef Up Measures to Protect Nation from Cyber-Attacks

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Japan's Sony Hit by Cyber Attack, Bomb Threat

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Benesse Data Safety Measures Insufficient: METI

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.-Japan Defense Industry Cyber Cooperation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Governance Advocates See Crowd-Sourcing as Way to Fix Internet Ills

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: High-Tech, Prosecution, Politics Face Off over Cyber Censorship

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Personal Data of 7.45 Mln Pandora TV Users Exposed to Hackers

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Surgeon 'Map' Increases the Efficiency and Safety of Operation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore to Invest US$33 Million in Cybersecurity Research

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore to Get New Urban Analytics, Cybersecurity Centres

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: Ministry Bans Seven Websites

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Modi Government's Approach to Internet Governance Position and Regime Must Be Strengthened

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Phone Hacking Scheme Used to Finance Mumbai Attack: NYT

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Most Cyber Attacks on India Show Chinese IP Address: NTRO

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/05.gif

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: To Launch Online Copyright Protection System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Nakhchivan to Host CIS Countries’ Discussions on Industrial Security

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan Studies Ways of Integration into Info Security System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Special Attention Needs to Be Paid to Cyber Protection of Critical Energy Infrastructure

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan, Iran Unite to Combat Cybercrime

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KAZAKHSTAN: Convicts to Be Monitored Online

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Kazakh President Calls on CIS Security Agencies to Cooperate

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif TAJIKISTAN: Repeated Blocking of Websites a Worrying Trend, Says OSCE Media Freedom Representative

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif TURKMENISTAN: CIS Should Use Its Potential to Maintain Regional Security Balance

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Setting Tough New Cyber Security Requirements for All Contracts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian Human Services Improving Cybersecurity Following Audit Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-Voting Out of the Picture Due to Security, Cost Concerns

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Cyber Attacks Will Get Much Worse, Experts Believe

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/ICT_.gif

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Norway - Internet Censorship Lessons

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Russia: 'Internet Freedom Panel' to Keep Web Overlord ICANN Out of Hands – New Proposal

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Canadian CIOs Focus on Core Technologies for Digital Success

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Building Connected Networks Is the Most Important Skill of the 21st Century

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: Space Agency Now in the Cloud

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Which States Have the Best Technology?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GSA Rolls Out IT Systems for Acquisition

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How Collaboration Leads to Public-Sector Innovation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S. Gov't Announces 425 mln to Build World's Fastest Supercomputers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet Ungovernance Forum

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UN Internet Governance Forum Sees New Challengers, from Top Down and Bottom Up

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Global E-Government Forum: Leaving Gutenberg and Entering the Holographic Galaxy – OpEd

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CISCO’s New Namibian Academy Will Focus on Local ICT Skills Development

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif World Development Report 2016: The Internet and Development

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Google Analyst Speaks About Internet Freedom in Digital Age

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif On the Path of Global E-Government Forum: Innovation Challenging Practice

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ICT Releases Idencia v1.4 for Infrastructure Product Information Tracking

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 'ICT Council' Wants Joint Push Towards Digital-Economy Era

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Information Architects Launches New Improved Website

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The future of the Internet: What’s Next for the World Wide Web?

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: MIT Professor Looks into Baidu's Big Data Strategy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China's 4G Users Top 50 Million

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China ICT Market to Grow Steadily

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Future of Geographic Information Systems Seen at Smart Geospatial Expo

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S Korea Aims to Become No. 3 UAV Tech Leader by 2023 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea Stresses Global Cooperation for 5G Mobile Network

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ICT Growth Hinges on Investment: Minister

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 5G, Star of ITU Plenipotentiary Conference

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ICT Ministry to Promote Cloud Tech to ITU Members

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ITU Offers Awards for Bringing More Women into ICT Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Global ICT Firms Eye Energy Industry

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/03.gif

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Indonesia, Pakistan Pioneer Mapping Project to Find Renewable Energy Sources

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How Malaysia Is Using Mapping Technologies for Search & Rescue, Defence Operations

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PHILIPPINES: Govt Introduces Authentication Services at Metro Manila Malls

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 600 Municipalities in the Philippines to Get Internet Next Year

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Economic Planning Agency Looks to Smart Energy Solutions

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Wants You to Design Its Next Government Website

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: Regional Cooperation Urged in Geo-Informatics

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: President Sang Urges Farming Industrialisation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Vietnam to Sort Electronic Waste from 2015

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/04.gif

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BANGLADESH: 3G Users Reach 48 Lakhs

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Technology Creates New Sources of Power

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif IT Investment Region Near Bengaluru to Attract $20 Bn

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif IT Services Industry Should Look at Doing New Things: Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif A Walk Through 'Digital' Hampi Made Possible

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif As Indian Govt Plans a Web Filter, Let’s See How Internet Censorship Works in Iran, China and Cuba

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif India to Cross U.S., Become Second-Largest Internet Market Soon

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif India Needs Investment of $2 Bln for Low-Cost Cold Chain Tech

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SRI LANKA: Govt Keen to See ICT Reach Rise to 75%

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SL Moves to Digital Technology with Japanese Assistance

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/05.gif

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan, Lithuania Discuss Prospects of ICT Cooperation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The Number of E-Signature Owners in Azerbaijan Rises Almost 7%

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Agrarian Sector, Tourism, ICT Are Directions for Expanding Azerbaijan-Germany Cooperation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif World Bank, McKinsey & Co. to Assess Azerbaijan`s ICT Readiness

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijani ICT Sector Revenues Exceed $1.5 B in 2014

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KAZAKHSTAN: Government to Support IT Sector’s Development, PM Says

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Top 10 Key ICT Trends Set to Impact Regional Market

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Adelaide City to Build Internet of Things Innovation Hub

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Big Data, Big Models, New Insights - Launch of New ARC Centre of Excellence

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Record 3 Million Users on Online Tax Payment Systems

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: On Edge of Phone Revolution

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOLOMONS ISLANDS: Broadband Internet for Solomon Islands in 2016

 

 

 

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Information and Communications Technology Controls Report 2013–14

 

This audit assessed information and communications technology (ICT) Controls in the Victorian public sector.

 

Overview

The Auditor-General is the external auditor of Victoria's public sector entities, and has a legislated obligation to provide independent assurance to the Parliament about the financial status as well as the efficiency, effectiveness and economy of these entities. This inaugural report summarises the results of our audits of public sector entities' ICT general controls as part of the 2013–14 financial audits. This report is the first of its type by VAGO and aims to provide extra insight and visibility of our ICT-related audit findings, and also identify wider trends that may not be covered in the reports we give to an entity's management. Notwithstanding some deficiencies in ICT controls, VAGO was able to rely on these controls for financial reporting purposes because other mitigating controls were identified and tested. Most of ICT audit findings were medium risk, with none ranked as an extreme risk. High-risk ICT audit findings are concentrated in a few ICT general controls categories.

 

The five themes identified through our ICT audits were:

ICT security controls need improvement

management of service organisation assurance activities requires attention

prior-period audit findings are not being addressed in a timely manner

patch management processes need improvement

ICT disaster recovery planning is weak.

In future reports, we will perform detailed maturity assessments of selected entities' ICT environments and examine some selected areas of focus, such as identity and access management, software licensing and wireless network security.

From http://apo.org.au/ 10/15/2014

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Top 10 Key ICT Trends Set to Impact Regional Market

 

International Data Corporation (IDC) envisions 2015 will be a year of accelerating innovation on the 3rd Platform. “While the smartphone component of IT spending continues to grow in Asia Pacific,” explains Shyne-Song Chuang, Program Director, Cross-Pillar, Security and Technology Advisory Service Research Group, IDC Asia/Pacific. “Its relative size is plateauing as enterprises shift gears to focus on efficient workflows on both employee and enterprise-owned devices; web scale cloud systems built by agile development teams to enable new business capabilities and systemic improvements on the journey to becoming a true data driven enterprise. Not forgetting personalised digital experiences as well as branded Internet of Things (IoT) that provide an unprecedented customer experience.” Following the Chuang’s observations, IDC revised IT spending growth in the Asia/Pacific, excluding Japan, (APeJ) region down from 8.7% to 5.8% in 2014 followed by a very modest increase to 6.0% in 2015.

 

IT spending growth for the rest of the 2014-2018 forecast period however is expected to climb upwards to 6.4% in 2017. IDC expects the APeJ region to remain a most reliable engine for growth with multinational companies (MNCs) and Asian enterprises alike continuing to relentlessly look to Asia for future opportunities. As a result, revealed below are top 10 key ICT predictions in 2015 that IDC believes will have the biggest commercial impact on the APeJ ICT market:

 

1) US$15B of government funding in 2015 will turn ICT plans into battlefields innovators

In 2015, IDC expects government ICT investments to be focused on the consolidation and streamlining of scarce ICT resources; the attainment of better management tools for effective decision making; and cyber-security. In the next two to three years, IDC expects several regional authorities to utilise new sourcing models for transformational ICT such as 3rd platform technologies (i.e. cloud, Big Data/ analytics, mobility and social); continued Smart City programs; connected smart machines and intelligent sensors (i.e. edge computing); and IoT.

 

2) 60% of enterprises in 2015 will structure IT into core vs Lines of Business (LoB) IT

In 2015, IDC predicts that 60% of enterprises will structure their IT departments into two functional groups: Core IT and a separate LoB IT function. For larger organisations, these groups will become physically distinct entities, but for most Asia Pacific enterprises this separation will be logical, as the two kinds of roles will be distinctly different but the reporting structure may not differ.

 

3) The software-defined battle lines will get defined in 2015

The hybrid cloud, or federated datacenter is still the current architecture of choice for organisations trying to align their IT infrastructure to the demands of the business. Looking ahead to 2015 and based on the IDC Asia/Pacific Transformative Infrastructure (TI) Index, between 20-25% of all organisations will already have adopted Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Software-Defined Storage (SDS) or with Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC) to deliver on the hybrid cloud architecture (such as automation, show back and service catalog capabilities) across the region.

 

4) The agile development team will be in high demand in 2015 with growth in DevOps adoptions

IDC's IT Services Survey found that 45% of businesses are undergoing or planning to undergo application modernisation projects. Their ability to scale up 3rd Platform adoption will require changes to IT operation that bring agility and overcome siloed legacy systems. This need for speed will bring the first big wave of DevOps adoption in the region and will make agile development the de-facto norm.

 

5) The digital experience in 2015 will separate market leaders from followers - Agility is the new business hygiene

Organisations are experimenting with “immersive experiences” and virtual brand experiences. These initiatives attempt to drive different conversations, promote digital channels, reduce the cost per transaction, and positively change the brand and perception of the organisation. Ultimately, the goal is to improve the overall customer experience. IDC predicts that in 2015, the digital experience will separate market leaders from followers. Agility will become the new business hygiene.

 

6) 3rd Platform technology mash-ups go on steroids in 2015, driving new business models and fundamental organisational change

The mash-ups of Cloud, Social Business, Big Data Analytics and Mobile will continue to come together at a more intensified rate of adoption in 2015. IDC predicts that as the list of adopters expands, 2015 will see the greatest disruption yet across all industries. Organisations will magnify the power of the 3rd Platform technologies by integrating them.

 

7) Creating new markets with branded IoT

During the past year, IDC has witnessed an explosion in the consumer wearables market with new fitness bands, smart watches and smart clothing being launched from traditional OEM vendors and a multitude of tech startups and 3rd platform-born players. IDC believes that in 2015, the market will see a flux of consumer IoT embedded into consumer retail brands/products. Partnerships between IoT vendors (including ODM/OEM manufacturers) and non-tech consumer goods’ brands will emerge rapidly to create a sizable market opportunity for the IT industry.

 

8) Personalised businesses will thrive on disruptive platforms in 2015

In 2015, IDC predicts that there will be an influx of cloud-based, business-led innovation platforms to support the growing need for personal digital services and businesses across multiple sectors and industries. These personal services deliver a new level of customer experience that has become the new norm. Many of these will leverage cloud-based, business-led innovation platforms to support this growing need.

 

9) Data whisperers will emerge in 2015 driving the shift to a data-driven enterprise

While technology is a critical component of business success, becoming a data-driven organisation is about more than just investing in the right technologies. This transformation needs to be complemented with a cultural shift toward analytically oriented decisions and processes. IDC predicts that in the next three years, those who fail to adopt a data-driven strategy will no longer be able to effectively meet consumer demands.

 

10) Service providers will compete aggressively in 2015 for world dominance with the support of Big Data and analytics

Big Data and analytics will be a major weapon for service providers in 2015. Those that are able to attract consumer transactions and assets will have a much deeper arsenal to work with. The service provider industry is transforming and the self-defining entities within it will emerge from a wide variety of heritage. The American mega-providers will continue to lead in the near term, but other and more organisations will challenge that position. IDC predicts that the battle for global dominance of the consumer will be defined in the coming year.

From Why 2015 will be a year of accelerating innovation on the 3rd Platform across New Zealand and the region...

From http://www.computerworld.co.nz 11/19/2014

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EUROPE: Cyber Defence Policy Framework

 

Cyberspace is often described as the fifth domain of military activity, equally critical to European Union (EU) Common Security and Defence Policy (C SDP) implementation as the domains of land, sea, air, and space. The successful implementation of CSDP has been increasingly dependent on the availability of, and access to, a secure cyberspace. Robust and resilient cyberdefence capabilities are now required to support CSDP structures and CSDP missions and operations. The European Council Conclusions on CSDP of December 2013 together with the Council Conclusions on CSDP of November 2013 called for the development of an EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework, on the basis of a proposal by the High Representative, in cooperation with the European Commission and the European Defence Agency (EDA). The objective of this document is to provide a framework to the European Council and Council conclusions, as well as to the cyber defence aspects of the EU Cybersecurity Strategy. The document identifies priority areas for CSDP cyber defence and clarifies the roles of the different European actors, whilst fully respecting the respective responsibilities and competences of Union actors and the Member States as well as the institutional framework of the EU and its autonomy of decision-making.

From http://statewatch.org/ 11/20/2014

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CHINA: Aiming for Global Network on Corruption

 

China hopes to construct a global network during the upcoming G20 summit that will track corrupt officials who had fled the country, a Chinese foreign ministry official said yesterday.At the APEC economic leaders meeting in Beijing earlier this week, member economies had reached a crucial deal on tracking down corrupt officials on the run, recovering illegal funds and denying entrance of suspects into their territories, Zhang Jun, head of the international economy department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters yesterday."If the G20 also takes a step forward in this respect, we would be able to form a global network in the anti-corruption area," Zhang said.He said it was a consensus of members to put the anti-corruption issue on the agenda of the G20 summit to be held in Brisbane at the weekend.

 

Zhang said 18 of the G20 members are also members of the UN Convention Against Corruption, while the G20 has set up a work panel on combatting corruption.China has been stepping up its fight against corruption as it tries to bring more fugitives to justice."Under the current situation, it's a very important part of the global anti-corruption effort to establish a worldwide anti-corruption network," Zhang said.He cited statistics from the World Bank that bribery worldwide costs businesses roughly US$1 trillion every year."Just imagine if that was not in the hands of corrupt people, how many things it could be used on and how much in economic returns it could bring about," Zhang said.As anti-corruption work is closely linked to the growth of the global economy, it is a legitimate item on the G20 agenda, Zhang said.

From http://www.news.cn/ 11/14/2014

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INDIA: Online Community Networking for ‘Clean India’ Launched

 

This social media platform enables citizens to easily come together for taking the cleanliness campaign forward. New Delhi: Seeking to convert ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ into a ‘Jan Andolan’, the Ministry of Urban Development has enabled an online platform to enable the citizens network with each other locally and at national level to collectively take up cleanliness activities. In this regard, the Ministry is taking the help of ‘LocalCircles’, a community social media platform. A national circle, ‘Swachh Bharat’ has been launched and already 1,70,000 citizens have joined this circle. This social media platform enables citizens to easily come together, exchange ideas on cleanliness, take up appropriate cleanliness activities in their neighborhoods, share pictures of collective efforts, engage with elected representatives and take the cleanliness campaign forward. The National Circle ‘Swachh Bharat’ enables participants to know about the best practices for adoption. Further, it also enables considered and collective inputs to the implementing agencies on a regular basis on issues like garbage collection and disposal, promotion of civic sense and interventions, if any, required from the concerned agencies. To access the ‘Swachh Bharat’ circle, citizens can visit ‘http://www.localcircles.com’ and use INVITE code-SWACHHBHARAT.

From http://southasia.oneworld.net/ 10/10/2014

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JAPAN: Govt Sets Detailed Survey of Online Consumption

 

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry will conduct a detailed survey of consumption trends for 22 items such as e-books and music sold through the Internet, according to sources. The survey is set to begin in January next year. It is believed the results of the survey, which should provide a more complete picture of overall consumer spending, may boost the nation’s gross domestic product numbers. Because of the spread of smartphones, the e-commerce market is rapidly expanding. Firms are also expected to utilize the survey results to get a more accurate picture of the growing market. The ministry surveys about 8,700 households every month to determine family income and daily spending. It also surveys about 30,000 households a month to determine monthly spending and consumption trends. In next year’s survey on household Internet spending, target households will be asked about monthly expenditures for each of the 22 items, which include digital contents such as music, e-books, and reservations for accommodations and flight tickets, as well as groceries, clothes and books bought on the Internet. According to the ministry, few people regard the purchase of smartphone applications and digital contents as consumption, and it estimates total online expenditures will swell to between ¥4 trillion and ¥5 trillion when such consumption is surveyed in detail.

From http://the-japan-news.com 09/20/2014

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BRAZIL: Leading Creation of Internet Governance Initiative

 

Six months after hosting governance conference NETMundial, Brazil is leading the creation of a permanent platform to discuss improvements in the way the Internet is managed. The country's Internet steering committee CGI, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) are the organizations behind the initiative, which is presented as a collaborative group that will be coordinated by stakeholders across the globe. According to the organizers, the idea is to turn the NETmundial initiative into an "essential mechanism to advance the creation of policies and governance for the global Internet." "Dialog is essential, but the global community is now ready to take action. The NETmundial initiative channels this energy to offer practical solutions in Internet governance to solve immediate needs," says ICANN president Fadi Chehadé.

 

The platform has been described as a "meeting point", where stakeholders will be able to put ideas forward, discuss them and attract the support to make them reality if necessary. In that sense, the WEF support icomes in handy, given its reach within the business community. But the initiative's "caretakers" CGI and ICANN, as well as supporter WEF, will not be responsible for any activities regarding the selection of financing of the projects and are keen to stress the collaborative nature of the initiative. To that end, the organizations have started a process of putting together the group's coordinating council and this will be done through a nomination process, open until December 6. Some 20 individuals from all continents - from governments and academia/technology experts to private sector and the civil society - will take part in the Council. In addition, the CGI and ICANN will take two seats each, while the WEF and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will take up individual seats in the coordinating group for the initiative.

 

Demi Getschko, board member at the CGI and chief executive at the Brazilian Network Information Center (NIC.br), highlighted that the individuals that, as well as the organizations that kickstarted the initiative, the Council will have no decision-making function other than ensuring that the platform functions properly. "All Council members will also have to support and agree with the principles that came out of the NETmundial meeting in São Paulo earlier this year," he told ZDNet. According to Getschko, the collaborative work within the Internet governance initiative will be carried out mostly online and there is no set agenda for meetings, online or in person. For now, the only goals in terms of timescales are that the Council should be in place by year end and that some form of inaugural meeting will take place in January 2015 so the initiative can start its activities.

 

Brazil's role in global Internet governance

The NETmundial initiative follows a conference with the same name, organized by the Brazilian government and held in São Paulo in April, in the aftermath of the National Security Agency spying scandal that included Brazil as one of the non-adversarial countries being monitored by the United States. Back then, the Brazilian government said that the US government's plan to end its contractual oversight of ICANN over certain key aspects of Internet addressing and naming also made NETmundial "even more timely." But Dilma Rousseff's government stressed that it wasn't intending to seize control of the Internet - rather, it was advocating for a more globalized mechanism that would allow discussions around Internet governance to take place in a multistakeholder environment.

 

Local Internet steering group CGI was responsible for a manifesto document that described principles for Web use and governance and was ultimately used as a foundation for Brazil's Marco Civil da Internet (also known as the country's "Internet Constitution"), passed a day before the April event and guided many of the debates at the conference. Senior government representatives, academics, Internet heavyweights and supporters of Brazil's campaign to secure a more democratic and decentralized web all attended the São Paulo event, where two documents were produced collaboratively to set the initial agenda of the group and future governance goals. According to CGI's Getschko, while the documents are not a mandatory set of rules for supporting organizations and countries, they "paint a picture of aspirations and commitments from the overwhelming majority of the international community to guide Internet governance from that point on."

 

The Internet pioneer adds that the fact these discussions started in Brazil and the steps the country has taken towards a multistakeholder model for Internet governance meant the country was an obvious leader for the NETmundial initiative, despite the fact that other nations were also involved in the original debate. "Through CGI, Brazil is a good paradigm in that area and ended up serving as an inspiration for the process of horizontally integrating all sectors and also with regards to the meeting results, which generated a letter with fundamental principles that should guide future steps in Internet governance," Getschko says. "So when it came to following up on all those discussions that NETmundial started, CGI was naturally approached to be part of this continuation and also make it happen," he adds.

From http://www.zdnet.com/ 11/11/2014

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CANADA: Talent and Leadership in the Digital Age

 

In the first of this three part series, Jim Love, CIO and Chief Digital Office for IT World Canada interviews Mike Rollings, Research VP for Gartner Inc. discuss Skills, Talent and Leadership in the Digital Age. The move to Digital Business requires some fundamentally different skills as the nexus of Cloud, Social, Mobile and Information usher in the Digital Age. These technologies, used together are changing the expectations of the business users on how they work with the IT department. In this new world where non-technical skills grow in importance, organizations are having challenges finding people with the right skills. Mike also reveals why this is not just an IT problem – it’s embedded in our HR and recruiting processes. Organizations not only don’t search for the right talent, they may be turning away highly qualified and desirable people as they recruit tomorrow’s candidates with yesterdays requirements. In the second of this three part series, Jim Love, CIO and Chief Digital Office for IT World Canada interviews Mike Rollings, Research VP for Gartner Inc. discuss Skills, Talent and Leadership in the Digital Age. The narrowly defined skills of yesterday’s IT don’t given employees the competency base to do their job. We have to become more business focuses. We extend our discussion from employees to the CIO and the skills that they are going to need to meet the future. Mike has designed a set of questions to help organizations understand how their goals are linked to the skills and behaviours of their employees.

 

In the second of this three part series, Jim Love, CIO and Chief Digital Office for IT World Canada interviews Mike Rollings, Research VP for Gartner Inc. discuss Skills, Talent and Leadership in the Digital Age. We talk about the importance of Leadership language and behaviour. We discuss the hidden messages that we pass on to our staff and the impact that it has. We look at what changes are necessary from recruiting and interviewing to day to day management. Keeping the right people requires addressing more than money – passion, contribution and purpose are as important or perhaps more important than title and compensation. Even organizations that can’t compete on pay can still attract great people by offering personal development and enabling the employees to fulfil their true passions. CIOs need to take a long look at their own skills. The skills that made us successful in the past might not be what it takes to be successful tomorrow.

From http://www.itworldcanada.com/ 08/27/2014

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U.S.: 10 Need-to-Know Lessons for Government Innovation Teams

 

A new Bloomberg study of 20 civic tech groups around the world offers tips on how to institutionalize innovation into a working framework. That's why Bloomberg Philanthropies is attempting to put more definition in the word by analysis. In a co-authored study with investment and research firm Nesta, Bloomberg studied the workings of 20 civic tech innovation groups and funneled their insights into a package of 10 tips for cities. The idea: institutionalize some of the ingenuity of innovation, or at the very least, assemble a kind of framework. The study sits atop numerous interviews, site visits, surveys and a range of analysis. Strategies of the study groups, called “i-teams,” have been evaluated, cultures have been studied, staff skills categorized, impacts and approaches set to yard sticks. Staff sizes of the teams ranged from as low as three all the way up to 200, with a median staff size of roughly 42 people. In terms of public-sector investment, the report showcased levels of government funding for the groups, starting at $330,000 and rising as high as $151 million.

 

In addition to the observational field study, the report includes six months of office research about the groups that represent only teams set inside, funded from or established by government. U.S. examples include Boston’s Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, the Washington, D.C. based Investing in Innovation Fund, the New Orleans Innovation Delivery Team, the New York City Innovation Zone and the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity. Yet, beyond this U.S. cohort, the teams are diverse and spread across the globe. A sizable concentration sits in Europe, but a few peripheral teams are located in Asia, South and Central America. James Anderson, Bloomberg’s government innovation program lead, and formerly communications director for Michael Bloomberg’s when he was New York mayor, led the the study’s investigation. He says apart from plotting points, the study opens the curtains on just how nascent structured innovation is. “One clear finding is that most teams we profiled focused on the early stages of the innovation process, while many fewer have a hand in growing, scaling and spreading the approaches,” said Anderson. Wrapping such approaches into their quick 10-lesson tutorial on civic innovation, Anderson and Nesta underscore a few rules of the road.

 

1. Eye the Goal

Aligned with the notion to “begin with the end in mind,” the first tip is to craft an innovation group based on a clear goal (or goals). Four of these goals surfaced in the study. The first was to solve specific problems -- such as those emphasized by leadership. The second prioritized a grab for citizen and business engagement in civic processes. A third, called a long-term approach, sought to invest in innovative capabilities of departments and staff. The fourth and final goal, identified from research, was when an innovation team is tasked to refresh whole systems in policy, business models, technology or behavior.

 

2. Grab Buy-in from Above

Without connected and constant endorsement from leadership, innovation teams are vulnerable. Teams can burst against bureaucratic barriers, languish in a vacuum or wilt under a demand for “business as usual.” The report suggests innovating departments and organizations thrive best when yoked to“authorizing powers,” and especially, when housed inside offices of governors, mayors and senior officials. As a cautionary side note, it was dually emphasized that clout should be a last resort for innovators who must lean on partnerships. persuasion and dialogue.

 

3. Mix Skills

One of the key ingredients to innovation is having lots of ingredients. Specifically, this means snagging skills outside of government -- the private sector, academia, non-profits and such. Anderson explains that the vision is to take insiders who know government and graft them to outsiders who inject new ideas. He added that outsiders can contribute with skills on a project-by-project basis or through crowdsourcing. “The research showed that teams are well-served by incorporating a diverse mix of skills – from project management and stakeholder engagement to analysis and communications,” Anderson said. “Bringing perspectives from both inside and outside government is also key, helping to inject fresh thinking and also keep things real.”

 

4. Funnel Money

Creating a lean funding model for innovation isn’t just thrifty, it’s strategic. And though it appears counterintuitive (for example, how can deep pockets ever be a burden?), when put in practice the study says big budgets are problematic. Fellow departments can point to robust innovation funding as reason to disengage, deferring ownership or responsibility of a project for a comparative “lack of resources.” “The point isn’t [for innovation teams] to own programs or the associated budgets, but to help galvanize resources, talent, and creativity across the system,” Anderson said. The preferable option is for innovation teams to be a supporting hand, mobilizing budgets from other agencies and departments for projects.

 

5. Ensure Value

Valuable service is best seen when it hasn’t been seen before. For innovation teams this translates into actions that illustrate positive contrast against current culture and expertise. Duplicating efforts and inventing rounder wheels are pitfalls to be avoided, the report notes. If innovation teams desire access to department budgets, they need to deliver an inventiveness, culture, insight and forward-thinking mindset that doesn’t already exist. It’s a critical and precautionary warning. The study emphasizes problems that can stem from political leadership changes while emphasizing solid communication to shield teams from naysayers and administrative concerns.

 

6. Be Exact

Part of breaking from the herd involves an explicit and separate way of getting things done, whether it's through the sharpness of data, an outpouring of community involvement methods, iterative solutions or another method at problem solving. Specificity demystifies processes while establishing teams. Methods can be combined, but should foster a predicability.

 

7. Act and Iterate

Nothing gets done if someone doesn’t do something. An admittedly obvious statement, but not so opaque when pitted against approval pyramids, competing goals and the daily back and forth of office work. Success, which is to say productivity, requires a default to action, iteration and rapid experimentation. Early wins and small successes are the mortar in the process. One way to incentivize action is to first secure freedom for quick action from leadership, and next, to limit a team’s initial lifespan to three to five years. The short timeline raises stakes for a team to prove its worth. “Some of it is about creating and maintaining momentum,” Anderson said. “I-teams are often adept at elevating quick wins, creating curiosity about their process, and generating internal excitement. Some of it also comes down to using specific tactics – rapid prototyping, for example – that emphasize testing things early, getting user feedback and showing forward motion.”

 

8. Use Handoffs

Innovation teams take on the role of “in-house innovation consultants,” as they hop from one priority area to the next. Teams aren’t meant to maintain and manage projects. They jumpstart and transition. It’s why the study advocates clear handoffs to other departments and staff from the start. Whether a phased approach or immediate, the transition must be outlined in budgets, workflows and legal issues. “Clear handovers maximize the capacity of these teams by allowing them to wrap up their work in one issue and dive fully into another … Without handovers, we get implementation teams rather than innovation teams and the primary purpose is jeopardized,” Anderson said.

 

9. Measure Success

Tangible problem solving that's metered and monitored is a habit that tends to keep innovation teams around -- especially when cost savings can be shown. When impacts are quantified, innovation teams have evidence of progress. It also acts as a gauge for pivoting if efforts go astray.

 

10. Share Success

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” The study quotes President Harry Truman in its final tip. It’s a reminder to credit leadership, sponsors, partner organizations and any other stakeholders who fit in the mix. The underlying concept, billed by the study as the “single best guarantee” for sustainability, is that shared success incentivizes officials to further support innovation team projects and programs. Political leaders who can leverage success for reelection campaigns, department and agency leaders who gain media praise to establish departments and sponsor organizations with visible returns on their investments are all likely to continue championing the cause of innovation.

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

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NEW ZEALAND: Majority of Firms Investing in Mobile Solutions - Study

 

IDC New Zealand's recent Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) mobility survey shows that 87 per cent of New Zealand organisations are investing in mobile solutions to improve their experience with their customers. The 2014 study, which covered 2,000 businesses, has shown New Zealand to be in the top 3 countries in the APeJ region with regards to maturity of mobility adoption. According to the study, around 40 per cent of NZ businesses will be spending 10 to 30 per cent of their budgets on mobility in the 2014 to 2015 period. IDC NZ states that this is higher than that of counterparts in Australia, and signals an involvement of every organisational department in the mobility adoption process. "We are heading into a period of technology adoption where the traditional approaches to doing business are being turned on their head. Being able to add the context of location and access to information can fundamentally change the pace in which decisions will be made with or without the need for human intervention" says Adam Dodds, IT services research manager at IDC NZ.

 

The study makes note that the budget for mobility is coming from across the business. Around 29 per cent of businesses now have a budget that is dedicated to mobility. Around 35 per cent is coming from existing IT budgets and 9 per cent from marketing. The remainder is evaluated on a case by case basis (27 per cent). "When looking at mobile as a mechanism for customer engagement the opportunity to be personalised and referenceable in the engagement is incredibly compelling. With 53 per cent of businesses now saying that their 1-20 per cent of their revenue is coming online the ability to be more insightful about the customer and their customer's environment is a must,” says Dodds. Security remains the highest area of focus with the enablement of mobility solutions. There is a particular focus on network security, access and identity management. "Organisations will live and die by the value of their information and how it is protected from others. Customers are willing to share more information about their location, preferences and needs but will act with ferociousness if this is not treated with due care", Dodds says.

From http://www.computerworld.co.nz 08/26/2014

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EUROPE: Cyber Defence Policy Framework

 

Cyberspace is often described as the fifth domain of military activity, equally critical to European Union (EU) Common Security and Defence Policy (C SDP) implementation as the domains of land, sea, air, and space. The successful implementation of CSDP has been increasingly dependent on the availability of, and access to, a secure cyberspace. Robust and resilient cyberdefence capabilities are now required to support CSDP structures and CSDP missions and operations. The European Council Conclusions on CSDP of December 2013 together with the Council Conclusions on CSDP of November 2013 called for the development of an EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework, on the basis of a proposal by the High Representative, in cooperation with the European Commission and the European Defence Agency (EDA). The objective of this document is to provide a framework to the European Council and Council conclusions, as well as to the cyber defence aspects of the EU Cybersecurity Strategy. The document identifies priority areas for CSDP cyber defence and clarifies the roles of the different European actors, whilst fully respecting the respective responsibilities and competences of Union actors and the Member States as well as the institutional framework of the EU and its autonomy of decision-making.

From http://statewatch.org/ 11/20/2014

 

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NORTH AMERICA: Canada - Find a Strategy for Your IT Strategy

 

It’s hard enough for a CIO to develop a current IT strategy for an organization, particularly if the entity has many diverse divisions. What about the next step? The solution, says futurist Thornton Mays, is a having strategy for strategy — in other words, a way to determine what IT should do next. Before you think this will end up going down the proverbial rabbit hole to nowhere, Mays suggests you consider this: IT publisher IDG has asked CIOs for the last five years how IT is perceived by the C-suite. This was the first year “business game changer” came out of single digits. “If most C-level colleagues don’t see IT as a business game changer, it could be because most CIOs see IT strategic planning as a matter of translating what the business decides about where it’s going,” argues Mays. “They wait to be told what the business plans to do next year and then figure out what that means in the way of new applications, support costs, manpower and projects. “I know of a CIO at a major financial institution who once told his direct reports, “If the business wanted that, I am sure they would have asked for it.” But CIOs who see IT as a game changer think that a strategy devised by IT can actually create new endpoints.” Unfortunately, he says, most IT strategy focuses on how to do things cheaper better and faster. Instead it should ask how can we create competitive advantage. It’s hard not to see the forest for the trees — to not get bogged down in the day-to-day problems of running a data centre and the associated staff. These days, with IT security problems being reported almost hourly that’s even more true. But somehow the time must be found for planning what Mays calls “Strategy with a big S.” Let us know in the comments section below how you do it, so your colleagues can learn.

From http://www.itworldcanada.com/ 09/03/2014

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Ottawa Announces Second Action Plan on Open Data

 

The Harper government will issue a new order exhorting federal bureaucrats to maximize their efforts to release eligible government data to the public for creating apps if proposals issued Thursday are approved. The idea is one of a raft of suggestions put out by the government after consulting with the public on the next wave of its open government initiative. The proposals — what the government calls action plan 2.0 of its open data initiative — say federal departments would have to release plans detailing how they will copy with the directive, issue an inventory on their data and information holdings and only publish data in accessible and open formats under an open and unrestrictive licence. Over the next two years the government would also create an open data institute — what it now calls CODEX (Canadian Open Data Exchange) — a national marketplace that  would includes an online community for those wanting to commercialize federal open data.

 

The Harper government promised in the federal budget it will spend $3 million over three years on the institute to work with the private sector and academics to help realize the full potential of open data for Canadians. “CODEX will bring together all of the pieces to enable a sustainable market-driven, open-data ecosystem whose success is measured by commercialization outcomes such as job creation, company creation, and wealth creation,” says the proposed action plan. “CODEX will develop industry standards for open data, build a national marketplace where commercialization of open data can flourish, and support a pan-Canadian open data innovation community that will help incubate the next generation of data-driven companies. Through CODEX, Canadians will be able to see the measurable economic benefits of open data in the form of job creation, investment in data-driven companies, and the establishment of a national hub for the commercialization of open data.”

 

People have until Oct. 20 to comment on the proposals. The final plan will be released at the end of this month. Since the Harper government announced four years ago that it would officially adopt an open data policy more than 40 federal departments and agencies have made available more than 200,000 datasets on everything from weather, to border wait times, to product recalls, to maps and geospatial data has been released. It has insisted application developers will want to leverage databases for a wide range of commercial and non-commercial uses. It often quotes a 2013 study by a research company that concluded seven industries could generate more than US$3 trillion a year in additional value as a result of open data — although not all of the data would come from governments. The report also cautions that  investments in technology and expertise are required to get that dollar figure.

 

To get the ball rolling in addition to releasing data the Harper government has opened a central open data portal where organizations and people can search for databases and information Ottawa is making public, issued a new open government licence any level of government can use to frame the reuse of their data, and held an open data hackathon where some 900 developers created over 100 apps using federal data. The proposed new action plan would open a new open data portal with expanded services by 2016, and create a government-wide Open Science Implementation Plan with strategies and milestones to maximize access to federally-funded scientific data. It would also pass legislation making it mandatory for resource companies to publicly report how much they pay Ottawa in licence fees, rental and entry fees, royalties and other costs. Finally, it would develop online tools, training materials, and other resources to enable Canadians to assess and improve their individual digital skills. That includes funding initiatives aimed at improving the digital skills of Canadians, particularly in rural small business, essential skills for northern youth and business technology management accreditation.

From http://www.itworldcanada.com/ 10/09/2014

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U.S.: Agencies Get New Guidelines for OK'ing Apps

 

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has prepared new agency guidelines for screening commercial apps before federal employees download them. Third-party Android and iPhone apps have been known to harbor vulnerabilities -- either intentionally or inadvertently -- that could expose government data to outsiders. At the same time, agencies increasingly are using these apps for convenience and to enhance collaboration. So NIST this week provided the federal community with draft recommendations for vetting mobile apps. “Agencies and organizations need to know what a mobile app really does and to be aware of its potential privacy and security impact so they can mitigate any potential risks,” NIST computer scientist Tom Karygiannis said in a statement. "Many apps may access more data than expected and mobile devices have many physical data sensors continuously gathering and sharing information." Last month, a potential vulnerability in the iPhone version of Instagram was discovered that could allow outsiders to hijack a user's account. Facebook also recently fixed glitches on its Android app that could have let hackers execute a denial-of-service attack or run up a victim’s mobile bill, according to Kaspersky Labs. A Few Bad Apps: From Malicious Code to Drained Battery Power

 

As an example of the potential security holes in mobile apps, Karygiannis cited an employee sharing a photograph on a social media app that, unbeknownst to the user, is able to access confidential contacts. In a more menacing situation, apps with covert malicious code can record calls and forward them to eavesdroppers without the owner knowing. Weak apps can also simply drain battery power. NIST’s publication is not a how-to guide, but rather a backgrounder for agency managers who are contemplating whether to approve an app. The draft includes common testing requirements for security, performance and reliability, as well as tools and techniques for conducting the tests. It takes into consideration a threat to one department office might need to be discounted where the benefit outweighs the risk. A public affairs office might need a social media app to engage citizens, but could temper some potential risks by blocking sharing permissions or changing device settings. The 43-page document provides a list of vulnerabilities common in iPhone apps and a list of Android app weaknesses. A major threat to both versions: libraries that an app taps for graphics or other files can contain unexpected or malicious capabilities. Some attributes of an app cannot be tested. For example, it is hard to examine components with which the app communicates, such as an outside device, server or library, because licensing often allows developers to restrict access to these technologies. NIST is accepting public comments on the draft until Sept. 18.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 08/26/2014

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Why Large Government IT Projects Fail

 

Although the HealthCare.gov fiasco is the most recent example, the problem of underperforming government projects is so pervasive that it was described in the 2006 "Defense Acquisition Performance Assessment Report" as a conspiracy of hope. The conspiracy of hope begins when the government puts out requests for proposals for projects that are too large, long-term and complex for contractors to make credible proposals. Companies are forced to create proposals that are at best educated guesses and end up underestimating cost and time in hopes of winning the award. The winning proposal becomes the baseline for cost, time and capabilities. Five years later, everyone acts surprised when the project hasn't delivered as promised or fails completely.

 

Although the HealthCare.gov fiasco is the most recent example, the problem of underperforming government projects is so pervasive that it was described in the 2006 "Defense Acquisition Performance Assessment Report" as a conspiracy of hope. The conspiracy of hope begins when the government puts out requests for proposals for projects that are too large, long-term and complex for contractors to make credible proposals. Companies are forced to create proposals that are at best educated guesses and end up underestimating cost and time in hopes of winning the award. The winning proposal becomes the baseline for cost, time and capabilities. Five years later, everyone acts surprised when the project hasn't delivered as promised or fails completely.

 

The perils of petascale IT projects

Multiple studies show that project size is the most significant predictor of project failure. Typical multiyear projects that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to create have statistically almost no chance of being fielded in accordance with the initial proposal. Because big government has the need for big projects, should they be evaluated like baseball batters, where a one-in-three success rate is considered successful? Absolutely not! The long line of failed government IT projects hasn't occurred because we're stuck with big projects that are destined to fail. A 2010 report titled "Achieving Effective Acquisition of Information Technology in the Department of Defense" offered a clear remedy and actionable strategy. In short, large projects would be developed and delivered in small increments and created through an iterative process known as agile development.

 

The vast majority of government projects are now delivered through waterfall methodology. A large project is broken into sequential phases, starting with requirements gathering and then moving through design, development, integration, testing and finally delivery. In a waterfall project, the first time you're likely to know you have a problem is when integration and user testing begin. In a three-year project, that's about two-and-a-half years from the beginning and about 80 percent into the budget. If any significant problems come along at the end, it's possible that the project team will have to go back and reconsider its initial assumptions and perhaps throw out most or all of what's already been created. That's why many large projects end up being abandoned entirely. Fixing the problems ends up being too costly.

 

Agile accomplishes all of the work done in the waterfall phases, but instead of doing pieces sequentially, they are done in small slices simultaneously. Each week, an agile project does a little bit of requirements, design, development, integration and testing and, most important, delivers working code. Agile projects are developed by implementing the most important features first. So instead of waiting five years before a big project is delivered, agile development can often field an initial version in the first year because the most important capabilities are the first to be developed. A good example is the U.S. Transportation Command's Distribute.mil portal.

 

In August 2009, Gen. Duncan McNabb, who was USTRANSCOM's commander at the time, directed his IT division to develop and field a new supply chain portal that would serve as the unified platform for the command's planners and logistics stakeholders. The project was slated to be developed through an agile methodology. Using conventional processes, the project would have taken an estimated 36 months to deliver an initial operating capability. By using an agile development methodology, the initial Distribute.mil product was delivered in less than a year. It's time to end the conspiracy of hope and begin creating RFPs that support agile development.

From http://fcw.com/ 09/26/2014

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Houston Introduces New Open-Data Policy

 

The nation’s fourth-largest city has instituted a new open data policy that will bring new standards for managing and publishing its datasets and encourage collaboration among the city government, engaged citizens and the local civic technology community. “First and foremost, this is about increasing transparency,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker said in the city’s announcement. “It is also about citizen engagement and increasing the pace of innovation in our City. We want to engage the talents of our strong science, technology, engineering and math community to help us solve the challenges of the 21st century.” According to the city’s announcement, the new open data policy will “establish standards and refresh guidelines” for Houston’s open-data portal, which “hosts government information in open, machine-readable formats while also ensuring privacy, confidentiality and security.”

 

An enterprise data officer and an open-data advisory panel will work with various city agencies to implement the new standards and policies. Publishing data sets is not new to Houston—the city already publishes 220 datasets—but the city’s new open-data portal is designed to encourage greater collaboration between the city and citizens and organizations interested in working with the city’s data. “This portal will enable civic technologists, entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers and others to use the data to generate new products and services, as well as build businesses and develop community resources in partnership with government to better serve the public,” newly appointed Enterprise Data Officer Jackie Smith said in the city’s announcement. “We want to know what the public wants to see that isn’t already available.”

From http://www.govexec.com/ 10/26/2014

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Obama Backs Stricter Net Neutrality Rules

 

Verizon dismayed as U.S. president calls on FCC to reclassify ISPs as common carriers and subject them to tighter regulations. U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality. In a video message hosted on the White House Website, Obama said the FCC should adopt Title II of the Communications Act as the legal framework for regulating the Internet as opposed to the lighter-touch approach afforded by section 706 of the Telecommunications Act. Implementing Title II would reclassify Internet service providers as common carriers, subjecting them to much stricter rules governing charges and the treatment of traffic on their networks.

 

"The idea of net neutrality has unleashed the power of the Internet and given innovators the chance to thrive. Abandoning these principles would threaten to end the Internet as we know it," said Obama, in the video. "For most Americans, the Internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life," he said. "That's why I'm urging the Federal Communications Commission to do everything it can to protect net neutrality for everyone." More specifically, Obama said an ISP should not be allowed to block legal content, or intentionally throttle some content or speed up access to others based on its preferences. He also said the FCC should consider applying net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between ISPs and transport networks to prevent Web services being discriminated against. In addition, Obama also called for an explicit ban on paid prioritisation.

 

"The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone, but the public has already commented nearly 4 million times asking the FCC to make sure that consumers, not the cable company, gets to decide which sites they use," he said. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler welcomed the President's input. "The Internet must not advantage some to the detriment of others. We cannot allow broadband networks to cut special deals to prioritise Internet traffic and harm consumers, competition and innovation," he said. Consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge applauded Obama, and said that adopting Title II represents "the simplest and strongest mechanism to prevent discrimination of traffic online, and promote investment in broadband".

 

However, the announcement received short shrift in some quarters. "Reclassification under Title II, which for the first time would apply 1930s-era utility regulation to the Internet, would be a radical reversal of course that would in and of itself threaten great harm to an open Internet, competition and innovation," said Verizon, in a statement. The telco also warned that such a move would likely be successfully challenged in court. Lobby group Broadband for America (BfA) said adopting Title II "would lead to unprecedented interference" in the Internet. "We urge FCC chairman Wheeler to exercise his independent authority and reject this extreme proposal," the BfA said.

From http://www.totaltele.com/ 11/10/2014

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Congress Passes Bills to Reduce Duplicative Reports, Improve Access to Public Records

 

Wednesday was a productive day on Capitol Hill. The House unanimously passed Senate amendments Wednesday to two bills that would eliminate duplicative agency reports and improve public access to presidential records. Across the hall, a Senate committee approved two critical Homeland Security Department nominees. The Government Reports Elimination Act of 2014 (H.R. 4194) eliminates or modifies reports by certain federal agencies that have been deemed unnecessary or redundant. It does away with more than 40 reports from 17 different federal agencies. Among the reports to be slashed are a DHS report on the importation of products with cat and dog fur, and the Veterans Affairs Department's annual report on procurement of health care items by VA medical facilities. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) introduced H.R. 4194 in March and the bill passed on April 28. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs picked it up by in July, and the bill passed the Senate with an amendment on Sept. 16. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) applauded the passage of H.R. 4194, while introducing their own bill aimed at reducing additional duplicative government reports. The Reports Reduction Act of 2014 will eliminate or modify 67 unnecessary government reports.

 

"Eliminating or modifying these outdated and often useless reports is a simple but effective step towards cutting waste and improving efficiency in the federal government," Warner said, in a release. "Hundreds of federal employees spend countless hours producing mountains of these reports each year, and in many cases no one ever reads or even refers to those reports. Surely these agency resources could be targeted to smarter, more productive efforts that will actually provide more direct benefit to customers and taxpayers. Getting rid of 50 unnecessary reports is a solid start, but we can and should go even further, and I am pleased Sen. Ayotte and I will partner together once again to take aim at an additional 67 federal reports produced each year." In the same release, Ayotte called the elimination of the 50 government reports "a positive first step toward making government smaller and smarter." The Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014 (H.R. 1233) passed unanimously on a voice vote. It aims to improve public access to records of the President and their advisers. Currently, the President can restrict access to his or her records for up to 12 years after they leave the Oval Office, and can continue to block publication of records based on a claim of executive privilege.

 

H.R. 1233 would maintain that 12-year period, but it would establish a precedent that presidential records be disclosed after that time passes. The bill establishes the procedures the Archivist of the United States will use to make records public. These include informing the public, the sitting President, and the President during whose term the record was created, that the record will be made publicly available. The record should be released within 60 days of that notification. The bill outlines steps the Archivist should take if the President claims a constitutionally-based privilege against disclosure of the record. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) introduced H.R. 1233 in March 2013 and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform amended it. The House passed the bill in January 2014. The Senate passed the bill with an amendment on Sept. 10. Supporters of the bill include the Government Accountability Project and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Both H.R. 4194 and H.R. 1233 were considered under suspension of the rules, a procedure that caps debate at 40 minutes and prohibits further amendments. Rules are typically suspended for bills that are uncontroversial and enjoy wide support. They now head to President Barack Obama for his signature.

 

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs also approved on Wednesday two significant DHS nominations: Russell Deyo for under secretary for management, and Sarah Salda?a for assistant secretary for immigration and customs enforcement. The two nominees were ordered reported favorably by voice vote en bloc in the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Salda?a has been a U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas for three years, and previously served as the Deputy Criminal Chief for the Fraud and Public Corruption section in that office. Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) said ICE has gone too long without a presidentially-appointed leader considering the current border crisis. Deyo worked in the private sector at Johnson & Johnson for 27 years. Carper said Deyo's management perspective will help fuse the 22 agencies of the DHS.

From http://www.federalnewsradio.com/ 11/13/2014

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Resolving Cross-Border Internet Policy Conflicts

 

Although the Internet is a global platform, increasingly countries want to pass domestic laws affecting how individuals and businesses can use it. In the past few months, the United Kingdom has taken steps to have ISPs block pornography by default; Spain is considering legislation that would tax news aggregation websites; Canada is enacting a new law to curtail spam; and Singapore has just passed a bill that would require ISPs to block all websites, domestic and foreign, containing significant amounts of copyright infringing content. Even though the importance of the Internet to the global economy and society continues to grow each day, collectively nations have made little progress in creating a framework for resolving the many conflicts over Internet policy that inevitably occur between sovereign nations. In a new report to be released at this event, ITIF President Rob Atkinson and Senior Analyst Daniel Castro argue that the dominant approaches to Internet policy, which typically calls for either universal rules applied to all nations or a complete free-for-all among countries—fail to provide a pragmatic path forward to resolve the inevitable conflicts that arise. Instead, they put forth a new framework for evaluating cross-border Internet policy conflicts that respects both the global nature of the Internet and national laws and norms.

From http://www.itif.org/ 09/10/2014

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Forums on Internet Governance Reveal Tensions over How the Web Should Be Regulated

 

How the internet is governed is no longer a matter seen fit to be left to mere technical committees. With the extent of online surveillance, so dramatically revealed by the Snowden files, increased content filtering and blocking, and the issue of net neutrality, which would allow telecoms firms to “create fast web lanes” for some companies, it is a contentious area with major social and political implications. The Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which has just met for the ninth time in Istanbul, revealed the extent to which the internet’s decision-making bodies such as ICANN are heavily disputed, with schisms developing not just between governments but also different groups of civil society. A parallel Internet Ungovernance Forum was organised by activists, advocates and academics to expose the areas of discussion not up for debate at the IGF and question the fundamental ideas of governance on which it rests.

 

Created following the UN’s World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2003 and 2005 and held annually since then, the IGF brings together government, business and civil society to try and build consensus around how the internet should be governed. As a forum for debate (with no mandate for action) it complements ICANN’s decision-making executive powers on a narrower range of critical internet resources. The IGF is an open forum, anyone can register without a fee or other accreditation requirements. There are a huge range of workshops, talks and meetings on issues such as bringing broadband to the developing world, cyber-security, and freedom of expression. The current controversies over net neutrality – which would allow companies to discriminate between certain data on their networks based on content, or how much the content’s owner has paid – was high on the agenda this year. The ongoing fragmentation of the internet into national jurisdictions and networks, each with different content limitations and legal requirements, was also a cause for concern.

 

But the Snowden files, whose revelations continue to expose mass surveillance by the likes of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), were less prominently discussed than one might expect. Similarly the debate on content censorship was rather mute, particularly considering the practices of host country Turkey, where services such as Youtube and Twitter have been repeatedly shut down, and thousands of websites remain blocked. Turkish activists and academics had proposed several workshops on censorship in Turkey, but all were rejected by the IGF. The official reason was that IGF workshops have to address broader issues than just one country – but this also reflects a long-standing IGF practice of treating the host country with cautious deference.

 

In response activists organised their Internet Ungovernance Forum as an alternative where the implications of censorship and surveillance are top of the agenda. Participants from around the globe discussed how information from dissidents is suppressed, in Turkey and elsewhere. They raised ways in which people are profiled, persecuted and even killed through the help of mass data collection, and how technical infrastructure and its functions are captured and controlled by the state or by the business sector. However they also explored ways to thwart such control with alternative, secure systems, such as activist-based online communication services and encryption tools. Here, the keynote speakers were not government and business leaders but the likes of Tor developer and journalist Jacob Applebaum and, by video link, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (replacing Edward Snowden, who had to cancel due to technical difficulties). Shuttle buses to this parallel forum’s venue were even laid on to ensure that IGF participants could hear the alternative views.

 

However, the goals and arguably the significance of the Ungovernance Forum went beyond putting forward a different agenda. Its name is more than just a pun on the official forum. Whereas the IGF is a so-called multi-stakeholder process involving governments, business and civil society, the Ungovernance Forum questions the practice of engaging or collaborating with the governmental and commercial bodies, many of which abuse human rights and are striving to transform the internet into space of consumption and control. While civil society groups participating in the IGF support this multi-stakeholder process and lobby for its continuation, the activists outside highlight the need for clear alternatives rather than the inevitable (and often imbalanced) compromises such a process leads to. They claim that civil society may not be in a position to significantly make its mark on an agenda dominated by others with diametrically opposed interests, instead only lending it a legitimacy it doesn’t deserve. The IGF and the IUF thus highlighted different approaches towards understanding, developing and regulating the internet. The next IGF will take place in Brazil next year, and discussions about another alternative forum are already starting.

From http://theconversation.com/ 09/12/2014

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Media and Foreign Policy in the Digital Age

 

New information and communication technologies have now entered the realm of foreign policy, and they have a direct impact on international relations in the 21st century. The reframing of foreign policy affects diplomacy and many key segments related to it, such as business and trade, human rights, security, war and governance, culture, science and academia, innovation, and all the various facets of development cooperation. The culture of politics is changing, and so, too, are the means of international thinking and action, as they become progressively shaped by digitization and the Internet. In the age of globalization and contemporary media, “top-down” communications have changed and become more lateral between people around the world. Monopolies of power have shifted from governments to companies, smaller organizations and individuals. "Likes", Tweets and hashtags no longer merely influence private communications. In addition, decentralized ways of working have increased the efficiency and reach of communications, as well as knowledge-sharing and how information is used. In global communications, a nation’s government is now just one of many stakeholders. The increasingly uncontrollable flow of information has altered the existing power and social structures of society.

 

For foreign policy, openness and transparency present opportunities and risks alike. Developments such as the revolutions of the Arab Spring and debates centering on e-democracy, e-government and e-campaigning have triggered discourse concerning what the Internet means for political communications and democratic movements. At the same time, disclosure of diplomatic secrets has exposed new security requirements, calling traditional concepts of diplomacy and foreign policy into question. How will the new, expanded media landscape and active participation by members of civil society influence decision-makers’ scope of action? What role do (international) media have as ambassadors and mediators? Is digital diplomacy a harbinger of global media democracy? Should international organizations rethink their diplomatic strategies? What consequences will access to new communication technologies have for rapidly growing economies in developing countries? How can new media be integrated into conventional forms of public diplomacy? Experts from around the world will explore these and related questions at the 2015 Global Media Forum.

From http://www.dw.de/ 09/12/2014

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Information and Communications Technology Controls Report 2013–14

 

This audit assessed information and communications technology (ICT) Controls in the Victorian public sector.

 

Overview

The Auditor-General is the external auditor of Victoria's public sector entities, and has a legislated obligation to provide independent assurance to the Parliament about the financial status as well as the efficiency, effectiveness and economy of these entities. This inaugural report summarises the results of our audits of public sector entities' ICT general controls as part of the 2013–14 financial audits. This report is the first of its type by VAGO and aims to provide extra insight and visibility of our ICT-related audit findings, and also identify wider trends that may not be covered in the reports we give to an entity's management. Notwithstanding some deficiencies in ICT controls, VAGO was able to rely on these controls for financial reporting purposes because other mitigating controls were identified and tested. Most of ICT audit findings were medium risk, with none ranked as an extreme risk. High-risk ICT audit findings are concentrated in a few ICT general controls categories.

 

The five themes identified through our ICT audits were:

ICT security controls need improvement

management of service organisation assurance activities requires attention

prior-period audit findings are not being addressed in a timely manner

patch management processes need improvement

ICT disaster recovery planning is weak.

In future reports, we will perform detailed maturity assessments of selected entities' ICT environments and examine some selected areas of focus, such as identity and access management, software licensing and wireless network security.

From http://apo.org.au/ 10/15/2014

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ITU Puts Information, Communication Technology at Forefront of Global Issues

 

Members of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) are set to end their three weeks of discussions Friday on how the global community can be connected online, reaffirming that information and communication technologies (ICT) can contribute greatly to solving cross-border issues. Some 3,000 delegates from more than 170 member countries gathered in this South Korean port city starting Oct. 20 for the 19th plenipotentiary conference that opens every four years. This year's meeting opened with the backdrop of the missing Malaysian airplane and the Ebola scare that induced member states to seriously address the sharing of information and technology for a connected world that ensures everyone has access to the same tools in solving problems. Specifically, ITU members agreed to team up to use ICT in preventing the spread of Ebola and providing support to disease-stricken African countries, focusing on rural areas. The members also took a step forward in aviation safety by supporting a resolution on real-time flight data tracking, deciding to discuss the issue at the forthcoming World Radiocommunication Conference in 2015. The move follows the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in March that took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing. They pledged to work to further apply ICT to "monitoring and management in emergency and disaster situations for early warning, prevention, mitigation and relief."
  
At the same time, the attending nations reinforced the potential of ICT.  ICT, the members concurred, can and should be given a more prominent role in achieving the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) at the end of next year. For the host nation South Korea, event helped solidify its image as an ICT leader. Lee Chae-sub, a specialist in IT convergence, was elected to head the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, the first time for a South Korean to take one of the top posts at the ITU. A handful of South Korea-supported agenda items were approved by other members. The ITU adopted the Connect 2020 resolution, which aims to foster access to and use of ICT and bridge the digital divide. The promotion of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology was also accepted by the members. South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said the ITU was "an opportunity to promote the country's creative economy policy." A key policy of President Park Geun-hye, the creative economy drive seeks to foster economic growth by turning innovative ideas into actual businesses through the use of advanced technology. This year's meeting is also marked by a change of leadership at the ITU. 
   
Incumbent Deputy Secretary-General Zhao Houlin was elected to head the ITU for the next four years, becoming the organization's first leader from China. Malcolm Johnson from Britain was elected to succeed him as the deputy.  The UAE, meanwhile, bid to host the next ITU conference in 2018. "Flight tracking, combating Ebola, the protection of users and consumers, youth and ICTs, gender equality, combating counterfeit devices... (the conference) has renewed and strengthened the consensus among ITU member states...further enhancing ITU's engagement with all stakeholders," incumbent Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure said Thursday. "I am absolutely confident that when you meet again, in the United Arab Emirates, in four years time, the next secretary general, Houlin Zhao, will be able to report on further solid and dramatic progress," he said.  Min Wonki, the South Korean chair of the Busan conference, lauded the event as having set the stage for the next chapter. "And indeed, much work still remains to be done, but together, we have helped make our union ready to take up future opportunities and challenges," he said. 

From http://www.koreaherald.com 11/06/2014

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CHINA: ChinaC Publishes Cloud Service Standard

 

Chinese cloud services provider ChinaC is launching what it claims is the first cloud service standard for the Chinese cloud service industry.The contents of this standard, which read more like a marketing ploy, include opening cloud hosting in five minutes for new users; completing system re-installation within five minutes; and completing system reboots in five minutes.At present, the Chinese cloud computing industry does not have unified service standards and mainstream manufacturers have their own criteria.According to Zhang Yinbin, vice president of the research and development center at ChinaC, the cloud service standard represents the company's service commitment to customers.Zhang said that starting from August 2014, ChinaC promised to provide fast-response cloud services to users.

 

At the same time, the company will deliver unified-standard services in 20 data centers in 15 cities across the country. ChinaC has nationwide and international service capacity and the company will expand its service network to Hong Kong and North America. In the future, they plan to focus on the development of four large-scale nodes while cooperating with partners to develop over 100 regional nodes across China.ChinaC's technical support team will provide around-the-clock services to small- and medium-sized enterprise users, aiming to deliver attentive butler services to users.Competing, larger services from Alibaba's Aliyun and Huawei have not commented on the customer-centric ploy espoused by ChinaC.

From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 09/02/2014

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Rules to Protect Personal Rights Online

 

The Supreme People’s Court has outlined the liabilities of network service providers in a document on the handling of online personal rights violation cases.In it, the SPC calls on courts to order network service providers to provide personal data of users suspected of committing rights violations, including real names or user names, contact information and IP addresses. The information should be provided as required by investigation or at plaintiffs' requests."Rights violators usually hide in the dark online. They post harmful information out of the blue, and victims just can’t be certain whom they should accuse when they want to bring the case to court," said Yao Hui, a senior SPC judge specializing in civil cases.The document is important for the country to regulate online activities and maintain online order, said SPC spokesman Sun Jungong.

 

According to the document, those refusing to provide the information without a legitimate reason will face punishments under the civil procedure law.Network service providers should also be held accountable if they are aware that their users have committed online violations of personal rights but fail to take action.Meanwhile, those re-posting content that violates others' rights and interests will also answer for their actions, and their liability will be determined based on the consequences of their posts, the online influence of re-posters, and whether they make untruthful changes to content that mislead."If you are a verified celebrity, your obligations when re-posting online information are greater than those of the general public. An ordinary person's errors when re-posting might only be deemed slight," Yao said.Considering the high costs to victims when trying to safeguard their interests, the document stipulates that all expenses paid by victims to deter violators should be regarded as loss of property to be compensated for.

From http://www.news.cn/ 10/10/2014

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China Aims for Global Network on Corruption

 

China hopes to construct a global network during the upcoming G20 summit that will track corrupt officials who had fled the country, a Chinese foreign ministry official said yesterday.At the APEC economic leaders meeting in Beijing earlier this week, member economies had reached a crucial deal on tracking down corrupt officials on the run, recovering illegal funds and denying entrance of suspects into their territories, Zhang Jun, head of the international economy department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters yesterday."If the G20 also takes a step forward in this respect, we would be able to form a global network in the anti-corruption area," Zhang said.He said it was a consensus of members to put the anti-corruption issue on the agenda of the G20 summit to be held in Brisbane at the weekend.

 

Zhang said 18 of the G20 members are also members of the UN Convention Against Corruption, while the G20 has set up a work panel on combatting corruption.China has been stepping up its fight against corruption as it tries to bring more fugitives to justice."Under the current situation, it's a very important part of the global anti-corruption effort to establish a worldwide anti-corruption network," Zhang said.He cited statistics from the World Bank that bribery worldwide costs businesses roughly US$1 trillion every year."Just imagine if that was not in the hands of corrupt people, how many things it could be used on and how much in economic returns it could bring about," Zhang said.As anti-corruption work is closely linked to the growth of the global economy, it is a legitimate item on the G20 agenda, Zhang said.

From http://www.news.cn/ 11/14/2014

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JAPAN: Law Passed to Strengthen Cybersecurity Measures

 

The House of Representatives has enacted into law a bill that is designed to strengthen cybersecurity measures. The bill was approved Thursday by a majority vote at the day’s lower house plenary meeting with the support from the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, and such opposition parties as the Democratic Party of Japan. The bill cleared the House of Councillors on Oct. 29. The government hopes to improve its ability to fight cyber-terrorism toward key events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Under the new law, the government will set up headquarters to be led by the chief cabinet secretary. In cooperation with the National Security Council, the new headquarters will draw up a strategy to crack down on cyber-attacks and prevent damage from such attacks from spreading

From http://the-japan-news.com 11/08/2014

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SOUTH KOREA: Park Urges Global Efforts to Bridge Digital Divide

 

South Korean President Park Geun-hye called Monday for international efforts to bridge the digital divide as thousands of senior officials from more than 170 countries opened a conference to discuss issues of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). The comments came amid concerns that a digital revolution could further widen the ICT gap among countries at a time when the Internet has become a key factor that can affect economic development and job creation.

From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr 10/20/2014

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ICT Ministers Adopt Busan Declaration

 

Top information and communications technology (ICT) officials from across the world have adopted the Busan Declaration at the 2014 ICT Ministerial Meeting on October 19 in Busan.  In the declaration, ministers and vice ministers from 50 nations across Asia, America, Europe and Africa called for sustainable development with inclusive ICT. The meeting was held at the Nurimaru hall on the sidelines of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference, also being held in Busan. The Busan Declaration calls for cooperation on global ICT growth and mutual development, with goals to promote sustainable development that embrace all communities by bridging the digital divide. It also encourages all members to participate in establishing future-focused ICT strategies at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. The declaration hopes to attain internationally agreed upon development goals and objectives to overcome crises and to create value through the use of ICT. The declaration also shares the vision for the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015. 

 

Participants freely exchanged ideas during the three-hour gathering and shared their ICT policy experiences, current agendas and future visions. "We hope that all humanity, transcending nationality, race, religion and sex, would benefit from ICT, thereby living in happiness and prosperity. Korea will lead the efforts to achieve that goal," said Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning Choi Yang-hee.  "There has been enormous progress in ICT, but the digital divide remains a problem as still two thirds of the world's population does not have access to the Internet," said Choi. "We need to provide special support for marginalized and vulnerable groups, such as women, children, low-income families, indigenous people, the elderly and people with disabilities." "If young people who have not experienced ICT due to poverty are given proper opportunities for education and are allowed to develop creative ideas, they will be able to contribute to global economic growth and to the development of ICT itself," said Choi. "The development of ICT promotes economic growth and job creation and the spread of the 'Internet of Things' (IoT) will produce social and economic benefits." 

From http://www.korea.net 10/24/2014

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MYANMAR: Moving Forwards on Plan to Join Open Government Partnership

 

Myanmar has acted on its promise to join the Open Government Partnership, forming two committees to look after open government initiatives, the President’s office announced. President Thein Sein (pictured) has pledged to join the partnership by 2016. Governments must meet minimum standards in fiscal transparency, access to information, income and asset disclosures, and citizen engagement to be eligible for membership. The “leading committee” and “working committee” will help Myanmar meet criteria for membership. They will promote fiscal transparency, provide public information, reduce corruption and increase citizen engagement in policy making and administration. The two committees are headed by the Union Minister, Ministry of the President’s Office and the Deputy Minister, Ministry of Finance. The government will also have to draft an open government action plan with commitments over a two-year period before it can join the community.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 11/20/2014

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MALAYSIA: Region Plans for the Future with GIS

 

Iskandar Malaysia, a growth zone in the southern Malaysian state of Johor, is attempting to ‘future-proof’ its development plans using GIS mapping technology from Esri. Encompassing the city of Johor Bahru, several towns and a planned administrative capital for the state, Iskandar Malaysia covers over 2000 square kilometres and has its planning administered by the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), a federal government agency. With a vision to transform the region into Malaysia’s next economic growth corridor, IRDA’s Chief Executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, said that GIS technology enables their urban planners, economic managers and other key decision makers to design smarter developments in Iskandar. “Iskandar Malaysia was designed with investors in mind, as such deciding where to put up facilities, commercial and residential areas, and theme parks all requires impeccable planning and design,” explained Datuk Ismail. “By using GIS, we get a holistic view of our socio-economic environment enabling us to assess the various elements that might affect Iskandar Malaysia’s business environment and the overall liveability of communities.” Apart from visualising information on an intuitive map, IRDA is also able to enable effective data sharing across government departments, enabling them to make more informed decisions. “GIS technology provides a powerful analytic platform to slice, dice and visualise big data sets,” said Lai Chee Siew, CEO of Esri Malaysia. “The technology allows users to visualise and analyse big data in a way that reveals patterns, trends, and relationships that are often overlooked in static reports and spreadsheets. Even if data exists in many disparate systems, GIS technology can pull it all together to help users focus on their decision making.”

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

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MAMPU Piloting Policy to Secure Use of Personal Devices

 

The Malaysian government is drafting a new policy to better protect information being accessed by officials through their mobile devices, the Government Chief Information Officer has told FutureGov. “The new policy will be about protecting information, regardless of what channel or endpoint device is accessing the information,” said Dr. Suhazimah Dzazali. It will tier access to information, acknowledging that access from both government and personal devices are likely. Dzazali is currently piloting this policy in her department, the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU). The new policy will allow personal devices, but within an environment that puts greater control on access to data. “In essence BYOD will be allowed, but there will be some measure of control put in place in terms of protecting data in use, data in motion and data in the storage,” Dr. Dzazali said. At present, the government tries to restrict BYOD through mandatory registration of personal devices being used to access data.. “We can’t stop [them bringing their own devices]. The only way we can protect our information assets is by deploying these [data] controls,” she said.

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

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Malaysia’s Top Three ICT Priorities? Analytics, Data Centres and Security

 

Big Data analytics, consolidation of data centres and improved cyber security are the key priorities for Malaysian public sector ICT, the Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) has told FutureGov in an exclusive interview. Dr Suhazimah Dzazali took over the role just two months ago, and told FutureGov that “our immediate initiative will be looking at Big Data,” adding that “our stakeholders have entrusted MAMPU [Malaysia Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit] to lead the implementation of a pilot project”. Starting in 2015, this project will cover four different areas: sentiment analysis, in partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia; crime prevention with the Home Ministry; infectious disease prevention with the Health Ministry; and price watch with the Ministry of Trade. This project is a directive from the Prime Minister, Dzazali says. MAMPU will lead the project with support from other departments: “The budget is allocated to MAMPU, the project support is with MAMPU, but we are going to implement it together with other agencies”. The budget is tens of millions of dollars.

 

Creating clusters

Datasets will also be pulled together into broader clusters that can be shared across ministries, she said. For example, information on immigration is held in the home ministry and the foreign ministry. “We want to identify those clusters of information and, having identified that, we can encourage Big Data initiatives”. The four sectors of social, economic, security and public administration lend themselves to this project, Dzazali believes, but “we have not really done a thorough study.” Creating these clusters requires common information standards, she said, and this year MAMPU has published its Public Sector Enterprise Architecture Framework. “Having this framework will, we hope, enable agencies to start identifying their data from a business perspective,” she says. Once these clusters have been determined, some of the datasets may be published as open data, or used for “co-creation” projects with the private and voluntary sectors.

 

Data centre consolidation

The second big priority for Malaysian ICT is consolidating data centres and sharing information on the cloud, Dzazali saed. “Right now the cloud services are mainly applications. We would like to see more sophisticated cloud services - creating a private cloud for the public sector.” She continued: “Agencies [should] no longer need to worry about procuring assets. They will basically rely on MAMPU”. Consolidation of data centres has been mandated, and departments must justify why they have their own data centres rather than use central services. The previous leadership made up a lot of ground, however, and many departments are now on board.

 

Security focus

The third big priority is data security, Dzazali said. “Information security is fundamental for any success of Big Data, or even data centres or any infrastructure initiative,” she says. “So my next priority is to create a strong, secure platform as well as secure governance.” MAMPU will help departments initiate security programmes, but the agencies must take responsibility, she added. “But having said that, a lot of security-related initiatives need to be centralised”. For example, last year MAMPU initiated a ‘single sign-on’ project, and will do more to create a single identify management programme across government, she said. “Each agency has their own identity management, but there should be some kind of federated system - there should be centrally managed access control.” Dzazali’s background is in cyber security, having worked in information security at MAMPU for the past 6 years. Prior to that, she was at INTAN - the national institute of public administration, and also served for 15 years in the immigration department creating applications to modernise immigration processes.

 

Challenges ahead

There is one immediate challenge that Malaysia faces: capability, she said. This is true “especially for Big Data, because there are new skill sets and competencies that need to come with this.” Those skills primarily will come from data scientists and people familiar with analysing information, but people in ICT don’t tend to use statistics as regularly and will need to pick up new skills. Training will therefore become part of Malaysia’s Big Data programme, and be a priority in other areas too. Dzazali’s priorities are revealing: the basic infrastructure was put in place by her predecessor, Dr Nor Aliah Binti Mohd Zahri. Now, Malaysia is concerned with making the most of its platforms, crunching data, consolidating costs - all while keeping its networks secure.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 11/14/2014

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PHILIPPINES: Integrating Open Data with Freedom of Information Bill

 

The Philippines is integrating open data provisions into the draft Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, the Open Data Philippines team has announced, to bridge gaps in demand and supply of information. The team was tasked with coming up with a plan to integrate its open data activities and the bill. “This collaboration has now borne fruit, with the proposed bill containing some provisions recommended by the [Open Data] Task Force,” the team wrote in a blog post this week. The FOI bill, due to be passed by 2016, mandates all government agencies to publish updated datasets on data.gov.ph at least once every quarter. All datasets published on data.gov.ph and on websites of local government units should be in machine-readable and open format, the bill adds. Agencies must also publicly track the status of information requests they receive, according to the FOI bill. They should publish a matrix on their websites with the requests made, their status, the decision made regarding the request and also links to the information published for approved requests. If a request is denied, the matrix will contain the reasons for denial and the status of the appeal, if any. Agencies should follow a “release to one, release to all” policy - once information has been made available to someone through a request for information, it will also be made available publicly through a government website. “Legislation remains a crucial factor in institutionalising the [open data] movement’s core principles. Change needs time to take root, but legislation serves as a major boost,” the Open Data Philippines team wrote. The proposed 2015 Budget also contains an open data provision mandating all central government departments and offices to “adopt a policy of openness for all datasets created, collected, processed, disseminated, or disposed through the use of public funds”. These datasets should be machine-readable, in open formats and released with open licenses.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 09/18/2014

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Philippines Launches Defense Transformation Roadmap

 

The Philippine government launched on Monday a 14-year master plan for the transformation of the defense department. Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III witnessed the unveiling of the Philippine Defense Transformation Roadmap 2028 during the 75th anniversary of the Department of National Defense (DND) in the military's Camp Aguinaldo headquarters in Quezon City, Metro Manila. He said the roadmap will serve as a master plan to ensure that all the department's initiatives would be fully implemented. "Under this comprehensive plan, the roadmaps of all the attached agencies of the DND should be in sync with each other so that the transformation of our defense department will be fully realized," he said. The Armed Forces of the Philippines and its three major services - Army, Navy and Air Force - are under the DND. Among the DND's programs are the modernization of the armed forces, the provision of housing units for military personnel, and fixing of the pension system.

From http://news.xinhuanet.com/ 11/17/2014

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SINGAPORE: Expanding Digital Inclusion Programme

 

Singapore has expanded its digital inclusion programme to provide subsidised broadband to low income families, the government has announced. The S$10 million (US$8 million) Digital Inclusion Fund will provide fibre broadband to 8,000 low-income households for S$6 (US$4.8) a month. Meanwhile, student technology grants have also increased, providing broadband, devices and software to eligible students. A Social Innovation Grant was announced to support 10 digital innovations from voluntary welfare associations. The grant will fund up to 75% of a project cost, capped at $100,000 (US$79,980) per project.

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

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VIETNAM: E-Tax Payments to Be Piloted in 2015

 

The Taxation Department will pilot e-payments from 2015 onwards with a view to making it easier for taxpayers. The department will pilot the scheme in two localities before expanding it to other provinces and cities in the following years. E-services for tax have been applied in all 63 provinces and cities and over 300 tax offices. The e-tax declaration system provides services for nearly 400,000 taxpayers while receiving and handling over 17.6 million tax returns. Meanwhile, e-tax payment services have been implemented in 18 provinces and cities nationwide with nearly 4,000 businesses involved and VND2 trillion ($95.24 million) of tax collected.

From http://vietnamnews.vn/ 10/17/2014

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Vietnam ‘Needs a Stronger Push on ICT Development’

 

Vietnam’s public sector ICT infrastructure must develop faster, according to Dr Pham Hong Quang, Director of the Centre for Informatics and Computing at the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. The central government invested in its ‘112 Programme’, developing ICT infrastructure for administrative processes like office software, databases and sharing information between different agencies, he told FutureGov.“But this 112 programme is not much of a success. The tool is not really bringing benefits - people are still booking on paper”. Dr Pham believes that the problem lies in a lack of sufficient investment in ICT. “They have [an e-government] programme but they don’t pay too much attention to this. The most important lesson is strong will from the leadership,” he said. There are signs of change. The prime minister is chairman of a programme for ICT applications, and has pushed for one-stop portals to improve online public service delivery. More needs to be done, Pham said. “When you don’t have ICT infrastructure, everything develops very slowly. But when you start walking fully on infrastructure, information input is very, very fast.”

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 11/07/2014

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INDIA: Online Community Networking for ‘Clean India’ Launched

 

This social media platform enables citizens to easily come together for taking the cleanliness campaign forward. New Delhi: Seeking to convert ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ into a ‘Jan Andolan’, the Ministry of Urban Development has enabled an online platform to enable the citizens network with each other locally and at national level to collectively take up cleanliness activities. In this regard, the Ministry is taking the help of ‘LocalCircles’, a community social media platform. A national circle, ‘Swachh Bharat’ has been launched and already 1,70,000 citizens have joined this circle. This social media platform enables citizens to easily come together, exchange ideas on cleanliness, take up appropriate cleanliness activities in their neighborhoods, share pictures of collective efforts, engage with elected representatives and take the cleanliness campaign forward. The National Circle ‘Swachh Bharat’ enables participants to know about the best practices for adoption. Further, it also enables considered and collective inputs to the implementing agencies on a regular basis on issues like garbage collection and disposal, promotion of civic sense and interventions, if any, required from the concerned agencies. To access the ‘Swachh Bharat’ circle, citizens can visit ‘http://www.localcircles.com’ and use INVITE code-SWACHHBHARAT.

From http://southasia.oneworld.net/ 10/10/2014

 

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Electronic Toll Collection: A Uniform Standard of Service to Commuters

 

With the inauguration of Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) System by the Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari on October 27, a uniform and acceptable standard of service to the commuters would become a reality. ETC has already been installed at 55 Toll Plazas and their integration with Central Clearing House (CCH) operators has almost been completed. A pilot project for Interoperable ETC system of 10 toll plazas between Mumbai (Charoti) and Ahmadabad has already been tested and seamless ETC on this section is successfully in operation. The Central Government has issued orders to incorporate ETC lanes as a mandatory clause in the contracts awarded for all the Highway projects in future. Action will be taken to include ETC system by means of supplementary agreement in those projects which have not yet been started. For implementing ETC across the country, a new Company under Company`s Act 1956, with equity participation from NHAI (25%), Concessionaires (50%) and Financial Institutions (25%) has already been constituted. The name of the new company is “Indian Highways Management Company Limited”.

 

The objectives of the proposed new company are collection of toll through Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) System and to manage the project strategically, administratively, legally, technically and commercially, providing services of central ETC system which includes toll transaction clearing house operations, helpdesk support and setting up of call centres for incident management, intelligent transport systems among others. Necessary amendments have already been made in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 for fitment of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag on vehicles for ETC. Apart from Rs. 2.48 crore released in 2012-13, an amount of Rs.17.288 Crore has been released during the Financial Year 2013-14 for implementing ETC on 51 public funded projects operated by NHAI. A Service Provider Agreement for Central Clearing House Services for Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) between Indian Highways Management Company Ltd. (IHMCL) and ICICI Bank along with Axis bank, has been signed.

 

The Government of India has embarked on an ambitious plan for building India’s highway network through various phases of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) which are being financed largely through user fees collected from the users of the improved highways. The existing National Highways need regular maintenance and upgradation for which fund mobilisation is an important factor. This underlines the need for a large scale tolling of the highways. The common method of toll collection is by having a vehicle pass through a toll plaza where it pays the toll. The user fee (toll) for the National Highways is levied as per the National Highway Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008 and its amendments. For projects completed and for which agreements/contracts signed before 5th December 2008, the earlier set of National Highways (Rate of Fee) Rules, 1997 apply. The user fee is collected at the toll plazas as per the notifications issued under Section 7 of the National Highways Act, 1956.

 

At present there are some problems in collecting tolls. These are by way of not having a uniform rate throughout various sections of National Highways in India. Secondly, BOT (Toll), BOT (Annuity) and Public Funded Projects have different toll collecting agencies, which is an impediment for a uniform acceptable standard of service to the commuters. There are many complaints of overcharging and undercharging. There are many complaints of non-reporting/under-reporting of the toll fee collected by the agents who are entrusted with the job. The problems include congestion and crowding of vehicles at toll booths leading to wastage of time and fuel. In order to remove the bottlenecks and ensure seamless movement of traffic and collection of toll as per the notified rates, Government had constituted a committee on Electronic Toll Collection technology for use on National Highways under the chairmanship of Shri Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India. This Committee`s mandate was to examine all technologies available for ETC and recommend the most suitable technology for local conditions. Considering user convenience, rate of acceptance and ease of implementation, the passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) based on EPC, Gen-2, ISO 18000-6C Standards for ETC technology was adopted by the Government.

From http://pib.nic.in/ 10/21/2014

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Facebook Launches User-Friendly Privacy Policy

 

BANGALORE: The social networking site has rolled out a clearer, user-friendly privacy policy — down to 2,700 words from more than 9,000 earlier. With this, Facebook has also launched a feature called Privacy Basics — an animated guide to control what others sees about you, how others can interact with you and what you see. “Our goal is to make the information about Facebook as clear as possible. Our hope is that it will not take long for people to read through this and really get it,” Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, was quoted as having said in a Wall Street Journal report. The new policy includes questions like “What kinds of information do we collect?” and “How can I manage and delete information about me?” The answers to those questions are arranged in bulleted lists. The update also includes information on how Facebook uses payment data, noting that the company collects information on each purchase, as well as credit card data, account authentication information, billing, shipping, and contact information, the report added. Comments from the users are invited for a week. After reviewing these, Facebook will release a final version that will take effect from next month.

From http://news.siliconindia.com/ 11/14/2014

 

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AZERBAIJAN: To Adopt New ICT Development Program

 

Azerbaijan is now at a new stage of technological development. The country has developed a national strategy of ICT development. To implement it, the government needs to adopt a new state program in near future. The statement came from Azerbaijan's Communications and High Technologies Minister Ali Abbasov at the opening ceremony of the new office of HP Company in Baku on October 15. The state is the largest customer of high-tech products on the market of Azerbaijan, he noted. Currently the country's public sector is working with many major vendors and manufacturers of high-tech products, including HP Company. "The state budget for the purchase of IT-hardware and software will be increased. It has envisaged in long-term plans for the construction of DATA-centers in the country," Abbasov said. The new state program on the ICT development will be adopted in the frame of the national strategy on the information oriented society development in Azerbaijan in 2014-2020.

 

The previous ICT strategy in 2003-2012 had determined the main purposes of the activities in the coming years, including transition to the information society. A multitude of state programs and laws, including the state program "Electronic Azerbaijan" had been adopted over the past period. The new program is designed to solve the problem of "digital divide" between the center and the regions of Azerbaijan. To overcome the "divide", the projects developing broadband infrastructure and satellite systems will play an essential role. Moreover, HP and High Technology Park under the Ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in information security sphere at the event. The High Tech Park is expected to be found on a 50-hectare land area in Pirallahi district of Baku in the end of this year. The new facility will be an area with the necessary infrastructure, logistics and governing entities for conducting research in ICT, telecommunications and space use, energy efficiency, and the development of new and high technologies.

 

Residents and companies operating in the park will be exempt from the 18 percent VAT on imported infrastructural and technological goods and services. The park participants will also be exempt from tax and customs duty for seven years. The park's activity is expected to expand the ICT sector of the country based on current scientific and technological achievements, and to ensure the creation of modern complexes for research and development of new information technologies. The park will play an important role in the sustainable development of economy.

From http://www.azernews.az/ 10/16/2014

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KAZAKHSTAN: Plan to Impose Administrative Liability for Offenses in ICT Field

 

Kazakhstan plans to impose administrative liability for offenses in the field of information and communication technologies, Deputy Minister for Investment and Development Askar Zhumagaliyev said Sept. 12.  He was presenting a new draft law "On Informatization" in the Majilis (a lower chamber of the parliament).  "The current law "On Informatization" served its purpose,” he said. “But the new one is designed to realize the positive trends in the world practice."  “It is proposed to amend the six codes and 19 laws,” he said. “In particular, the off-budget stimulating measures of IT-companies were worked out. They will help support domestic producers. An administrative liability is imposed for offences in the field of ICT.”  "Moreover, a service model of informatization of state agencies, including IT-outsourcing and cloud computing is being fixed," he said. “A legal framework of ‘electronic government’ architecture was created.”

From http://en.trend.az/ 09/12/2014

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AUSTRALIA: Telco Industry Steps Strategy to Combat Online Copyright Infringement

 

Australia's telecommunications industry has sought formal regulatory approval to launch a "Follow the Money" strategy that will act to reduce the economic incentive to promote or facilitate online copyright infringement. Communications Alliance has lodged an application with the regulator, the ACCC for an authorisation that would enable telco service providers to collectively agree not to advertise their products and services on web-sites that promote or facilitate online copyright infringement. Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said the move was a practical example of internet service providers' willingness to help rights holders tackle the infringement problem. "We have real concerns about some of the proposals being put forward by Government at present, but a follow-the-money approach is a concrete strategy that will reduce the volume of advertising funds to web-sites that promote or facilitate infringement and thereby reduce their viability. We are hopeful that a very broad coalition of companies - not just in the telecommunications sector, but right across the economy - will join the strategy and make real inroads against infringement." Mr Stanton said.

 

A trial of the follow-the-money strategy being pursued in the UK generated an immediate reduction of 12% in the advertising revenue flowing to a list of infringing websites being managed by the City of London Police. The London Police have been working with brands, media agencies and ad networks to seek to ensure that advertising revenue is not directed to the websites. In July this year the Police announced they had begun replacing legitimate brand advertisements on the targeted websites with official police force pop-up banners that inform visitors that the site is under investigation for copyright infringement. Communications Alliance first raised the prospect of an Australian-industry-led follow-the-money strategy in its submission last month in response to the Government's discussion paper on online copyright infringement. At least one ISP member of Communications Alliance already has policies in place which prevent any of its advertising spend being directed to sites that promote or facilitate improper file sharing. There is a risk, however, that a united stance by ISPs would contravene Division 1 of Part IV and/or Section 45 of the Competition and Consumer Act, 2010 (CCA), which prohibits contracts, arrangements or understandings which have the purpose, effect or likely effect of lessening competition or contain exclusionary provisions.

 

"The authorisation we are seeking from the ACCC, if granted, would enable ISPs and others to join the strategy without fear of breaking competition laws," Mr Stanton said. He said Communications Alliance had approached a number of other Australian industry representative bodies seeking their support for the strategy. "Already the Australian Industry Group (AIG) has expressed in-principle support for the initiative and I hope that even broader support will soon be in evidence. We certainly also believe that rights holders should step up and work with service providers on this important initiative." In the meantime, Communications Alliance has commenced preliminary discussions with the Federal Government about how to create and maintain an Australian list of infringing web-sites. Industry believes that the list needs to be managed independently of service providers and rights holders. The Government has proposed a range of measures to combat online copyright infringement. In its submission to the Government, Communications Alliance strongly opposed the Government's proposal to extend authorisation liability in the Copyright Act - because industry believes this would create damaging unintended consequences for consumers and businesses. That view has been echoed by a large number of service providers and technology companies from Europe and the United States, which have intervened because of concerns over the potential international repercussions of the Australian Government proposals. However, ISPs also believe that any package of measures must include continued efforts by rights holders to make lawful content accessible to Australian consumers in a timely and affordable way.

From http://www.cellular-news.com 09/07/2014

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Australian Government Releases New Cloud-First Policy

 

The Australian government has released a new cloud policy to urge departments and agencies to consider cloud first. The new arrangement also allows them to store certain data on the public cloud. The new cloud policy requires government organisations to adopt cloud where it is fit for purpose, provides adequate protection of government data and delivers value for money, states a joint release by Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, Attorney-General and the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Minister for Communication. The government has also reduced the red tape and streamlined the decision making process for agencies considering cloud and other outsourced IT arrangements to encourage the adoption of cloud. Under the new arrangements, agency heads will be able to approve proposals to place certain information on either offshore or domestically hosted (onshore) public cloud servers.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 10/09/2014

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Government Mandates Cloud Computing

 

The Federal Government has released a new cloud computing policy, replacing its July 2013 version. It says Government agencies must use cloud "where it is fit for purpose".The Government says it will reduce the cost of its ICT by eliminating duplication and fragmentation, and that it will lead by example in using cloud services to “reduce costs, lift productivity and develop better services.” Fine words, but it has its work cut out. The Federal Government is the biggest user of ICT in the country, making up nearly one third of all expenditure, but its own document admits that there have been only a “modest” $4.7 million in Federal Government cloud procurements since 2012. “The Australian Government recognises that the community expects government services to be responsive to their needs and available where and when they want them,” says the policy’s Foreword, which is signed off by Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann. “Key to realising this vision is the effective use of ICT by government, including the adoption of cloud services.” To do this, government agencies need to think and act smarter when it comes to investing in ICT. The availability of cloud services offers an opportunity for government to deliver services more efficiently, as well as providing services that are more responsive to business and community needs.

 

The policy outlines a number of actions the Government intends to take to drive the greater usage of cloud computing:

# Evaluate cloud services for new ICT services and when replacing existing ICT services at ICT refresh points. To support the effective adoption of cloud services, The Department of Finance will release a Resource Management Guide (RMG) to reflect this policy.

# Update the Agency Solutions Database after acquiring a cloud service

# Trial the relocation of critical data to a secure government cloud using automated tools from 2014.

# Review the Data Centre as a Service Multi-Use-List during 2014

# Establish a Cloud Services Panel.

# Streamline obligations on entities relating to the storage and processing of Government information.

# Update information sharing to facilitate continual learning and establish a repository of case studies, better practice guides, practical lessons learned and information on entity solutions. Interested state and local government organisations will be invited to participate.

# The Government will assist entities to share experiences and best practice in developing contracts to successfully acquire cloud services.

# The Government will report on the use of cloud services across Federal Government entities.

# The government will continue to contribute to regional and international standards institutions and technical committees.

 

The policy aims to drive a greater take up of cloud services by Government agencies by adopting a ‘cloud first’ approach. “Under the Government’s Cloud Policy agencies now must adopt cloud where it is fit for purpose, provides adequate protection of data and delivers value for money. The Australian Government procures approximately $6 billion of ICT services annually and combined with state and territory governments, public sector expenditure on ICT accounts for approximately 30% of the domestic market. We are committed to leading by example, demonstrating the benefits of investing in and using cloud services.”

From http://www.itwire.com 10/09/2014

 

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EUROPE: Electronic Governance and Open Society - Challenges in Eurasia

 

The International Conference “Electronic Governance and Open Society: Challenges in Eurasia” (EGOSE 2014) will take place in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation from 18 to 20 November 2014. The EGOSE 2014 aims to address the main issues of concern within the Information Society, e-government, e-governance, and e-democracy. The Conference provides a platform for networking and collaboration of eGovernance experts in the Eurasian area. The EGOSE 2014 will be held as part of the Joint Conference «Internet and Modern Society» (IMS) which takes place in St. Petersburg annually since 1998. IMS brings together leading researches and professionals from across the globe and from a number of disciplines relating to the Information Society issues. The IMS Conference is called «joint» because it contains two collocated conferences: The International Conference «Electronic Governance and Open Society: Challenges in Eurasia» (Official Language is English) and «Information Society Technologies in Science, Education and Culture» (Official Language is Russian).

 

TOPICS OF INTEREST

The EGOSE 2014 Conference invites paper submissions and speakers on all topics related to e-government and the information system perspective with special focus on Eurasia regions. Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:

Information Society and eGovernance

Open Government Prospects

Convergence in E-Governance Services

Citizen Centered E-Government

Participatory Governance

Open Government Data

eGovernance and Policy Modeling

eGovernance and Eurasian Integration

Social Media: Tools for analysis, participation and impact

Building Smart City

Smart Citizens and Quality of Life

Disruptive E-Governance and Infrastructures

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

Sharon Dawes, University at Albany, SUNY, USA

Ralph Heinrich, United Nations Economic Commisison for Europe (UNECE)

Douglas Schuler, Evergreen State College, USA

Maria Wimmer, University Koblenz-Landau, Germany

All accepted papers will appear in the conference proceedings. Best papers will be published in the special issue of the International Journal of Electronic Governance, indexed in Scopus, Inspec, Google Scholar etc. http://www.inderscience.com/ijeg.

From http://www.sptimes.ru/ 11/19/2014

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Ukraine: E-Governance Academy Will Help Develop E-Governance

 

In November the e-Governance Academy with its partners will start assisting the Ukrainian government in the development of e-governance and the nation's first e-services. The e-Governance Academy and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) have signed a cooperation agreement to support the Ukrainian government in the introduction of e-governance. The agreement covers the development of policy documents, planning of e-governance activities, development of legislation, enhancement of e-capacity, promotion of involvement in the development of e-governance, and development of e-services for the population and businesses. According to Hannes Astok, Member of the Management Board of the e-Governance Academy, the agreement constitutes the first support of such a large scale to the promotion of e-governance of Ukraine’s central government. “For the State Agency for e-Governance of Ukraine, which commenced activities in October, this is the first large-scale international project in support of e-governance at the central government level. Based on the cooperation between the governments of Estonia and Sweden, the e-Governance Academy has contributed to the introduction of e-governance applications in Western Ukrainian local authorities from 2012,” Astok said. The e-Governance Academy will implement the agreement over the next seven months in collaboration with experts from Estonia, Sweden and Moldova. The project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. The total financial volume of the agreement is nearly 0.5 million euros.

From http://www.ega.ee/ 11/18/2014

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LATIN AMERICA: Brazil Leads Creation of Internet Governance Initiative

 

Six months after hosting governance conference NETMundial, Brazil is leading the creation of a permanent platform to discuss improvements in the way the Internet is managed. The country's Internet steering committee CGI, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) are the organizations behind the initiative, which is presented as a collaborative group that will be coordinated by stakeholders across the globe. According to the organizers, the idea is to turn the NETmundial initiative into an "essential mechanism to advance the creation of policies and governance for the global Internet." "Dialog is essential, but the global community is now ready to take action. The NETmundial initiative channels this energy to offer practical solutions in Internet governance to solve immediate needs," says ICANN president Fadi Chehadé.

 

The platform has been described as a "meeting point", where stakeholders will be able to put ideas forward, discuss them and attract the support to make them reality if necessary. In that sense, the WEF support icomes in handy, given its reach within the business community. But the initiative's "caretakers" CGI and ICANN, as well as supporter WEF, will not be responsible for any activities regarding the selection of financing of the projects and are keen to stress the collaborative nature of the initiative. To that end, the organizations have started a process of putting together the group's coordinating council and this will be done through a nomination process, open until December 6. Some 20 individuals from all continents - from governments and academia/technology experts to private sector and the civil society - will take part in the Council. In addition, the CGI and ICANN will take two seats each, while the WEF and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will take up individual seats in the coordinating group for the initiative.

 

Demi Getschko, board member at the CGI and chief executive at the Brazilian Network Information Center (NIC.br), highlighted that the individuals that, as well as the organizations that kickstarted the initiative, the Council will have no decision-making function other than ensuring that the platform functions properly. "All Council members will also have to support and agree with the principles that came out of the NETmundial meeting in São Paulo earlier this year," he told ZDNet. According to Getschko, the collaborative work within the Internet governance initiative will be carried out mostly online and there is no set agenda for meetings, online or in person. For now, the only goals in terms of timescales are that the Council should be in place by year end and that some form of inaugural meeting will take place in January 2015 so the initiative can start its activities.

 

Brazil's role in global Internet governance

The NETmundial initiative follows a conference with the same name, organized by the Brazilian government and held in São Paulo in April, in the aftermath of the National Security Agency spying scandal that included Brazil as one of the non-adversarial countries being monitored by the United States. Back then, the Brazilian government said that the US government's plan to end its contractual oversight of ICANN over certain key aspects of Internet addressing and naming also made NETmundial "even more timely." But Dilma Rousseff's government stressed that it wasn't intending to seize control of the Internet - rather, it was advocating for a more globalized mechanism that would allow discussions around Internet governance to take place in a multistakeholder environment.

 

Local Internet steering group CGI was responsible for a manifesto document that described principles for Web use and governance and was ultimately used as a foundation for Brazil's Marco Civil da Internet (also known as the country's "Internet Constitution"), passed a day before the April event and guided many of the debates at the conference. Senior government representatives, academics, Internet heavyweights and supporters of Brazil's campaign to secure a more democratic and decentralized web all attended the São Paulo event, where two documents were produced collaboratively to set the initial agenda of the group and future governance goals. According to CGI's Getschko, while the documents are not a mandatory set of rules for supporting organizations and countries, they "paint a picture of aspirations and commitments from the overwhelming majority of the international community to guide Internet governance from that point on."

 

The Internet pioneer adds that the fact these discussions started in Brazil and the steps the country has taken towards a multistakeholder model for Internet governance meant the country was an obvious leader for the NETmundial initiative, despite the fact that other nations were also involved in the original debate. "Through CGI, Brazil is a good paradigm in that area and ended up serving as an inspiration for the process of horizontally integrating all sectors and also with regards to the meeting results, which generated a letter with fundamental principles that should guide future steps in Internet governance," Getschko says. "So when it came to following up on all those discussions that NETmundial started, CGI was naturally approached to be part of this continuation and also make it happen," he adds.

From http://www.zdnet.com/ 11/11/2014

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Rift Forms Between ISOC and WEF on Internet Governance

 

The keyword is "bottom-up," and it refers to the ideal of a governance system comprised mainly of stakeholders whose collective goals and principles are carried out by an executive that is something less than a "chief." The problem with implementing any kind of bottom-up system, as the Soviet Union learned, is that the definition of "bottom" is almost always the opposite of whoever declares him- or herself at the time the authority on directions. In a surprise split, the Internet Society--which represents cooperative initiatives backed by major Internet stakeholders--backed away from an effort begun last April in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to plan a transitional roadmap for Internet governance. That initiative, called NETmundial, first convened under the auspices of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br) and the country's Ministry of Communications, set about to coordinate what they described as a "bottom-up" model for Internet policy governance with fewer ties to particular governments, especially that of the United States.

 

ICANN, the Internet's original authority for marshalling the maintenance of its address structure, was first established by the U.S. and is still perceived worldwide as having ties to U.S. policy. While the Internet Society (ISOC) agrees that governments are among the Internet's stakeholders, its leaders have argued that policy should not end up being authoritatively directed by governments, either acting collectively or individually. Until this weekend, it appeared to the world that ISOC and NETmundial were in agreement on this issue. But a diplomatically worded statement issued by the ISOC Board of Trustees Sunday declares a sharp split from the initiative, going so far as to accuse ICANN, the World Economic Forum, and CGI.br of creating a completely new and separate initiative with an altogether different goal. "The Internet Society's longstanding position is that there is no single, global platform that can serve to coordinate, organize or govern all the Internet issues that may arise," the ISOC board writes.  "At its heart, the Internet is a decentralized, loosely coupled, distributed system that allows policies to be defined by those who require them for their operations and that ensures that issues can be resolved at a level closest to their origin. The ecosystem draws its strength from the involvement of a broad range of actors working through open, transparent, and collaborative processes to innovate and build the network of networks that is the cornerstone of the global economy."

 

What appears to be at issue here is the increased involvement of ICANN in the NETmundial process, which now includes being credited as one of the Initiative's three key partners, along with CGI.br and the WEF. In a statement issued last November 6, in advance of the Initiative's most recent meeting, ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehade referred to two ideal governance structures: A "distributed Internet governance ecosystem" and a "polycentric solution formation"--both creating mental images of de-centralized power-sharing structures. But a glimpse of such a structure from a higher perspective may reveal something resembling more of a singular, if huge, organism. That perspective was provided by ICANN board member Wolfgang Kleinwächter, in a statement published on NETmundial's Web site:  "The NETmundial Initiative has now the great opportunity to further enhance this multi-stakeholder approach by translating the São Paulo Principles into actions via projects that will bring solutions to the broad range of Internet related policy problems, make the innovative multi-stakeholder Internet governance model more sustainable and strengthen the IGF as the main annual discussion platform for the global Internet community." It's that "main platform" image that resembles most every effort by certain technology providers to form an "open" coalition centered around their own products, services, or agendas.

 

The most recent view we have into ISOC's current opinion of ICANN comes from one of its most outspoken members, itinerant research consultant Dr. Avri Doria--who actually received an award from ICANN, where she formerly served, in June of this year. Despite this, Dr. Doria wrote the following on Tumblr just three months later: "In terms of ICANN processes, the various policy development processes (PDP) define the manner in which decisions will be made.  Anyone who is paying even the slightest attention to ICANN these days know that the PDP no longer holds sway in an environment where ad-hoc processes, invented by the Board and the Staff, sometime known as the Adhoceracy, replace the PDP anytime it is convenient.  And while sometimes there is a need that an existing process does not meet, when that happens, they do not work with the members of the community to craft a new, albeit interim, process.  Instead they just invent something, sometimes even something clever like the current Accountability process, and then try to bluster their way through any opposition, only stopping when the people rise up and embarrass them with letters of non-support.  The point is that the process of ICANN has become unpredictable, something that no one could possibly trust." Dr. Doria's words inspire this paraphrase of Pete Townshend: Meet the new bottom, same as the old bottom.

 

For more:

- read the Internet Society statement

- check out Dr. Avri Doria's Tumblr page

From http://www.fierceenterprisecommunications.com/ 11/18/2014

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NORTH AMERICA: Canada - Talent and Leadership in the Digital Age

 

In the first of this three part series, Jim Love, CIO and Chief Digital Office for IT World Canada interviews Mike Rollings, Research VP for Gartner Inc. discuss Skills, Talent and Leadership in the Digital Age. The move to Digital Business requires some fundamentally different skills as the nexus of Cloud, Social, Mobile and Information usher in the Digital Age. These technologies, used together are changing the expectations of the business users on how they work with the IT department. In this new world where non-technical skills grow in importance, organizations are having challenges finding people with the right skills. Mike also reveals why this is not just an IT problem – it’s embedded in our HR and recruiting processes. Organizations not only don’t search for the right talent, they may be turning away highly qualified and desirable people as they recruit tomorrow’s candidates with yesterdays requirements. In the second of this three part series, Jim Love, CIO and Chief Digital Office for IT World Canada interviews Mike Rollings, Research VP for Gartner Inc. discuss Skills, Talent and Leadership in the Digital Age. The narrowly defined skills of yesterday’s IT don’t given employees the competency base to do their job. We have to become more business focuses. We extend our discussion from employees to the CIO and the skills that they are going to need to meet the future. Mike has designed a set of questions to help organizations understand how their goals are linked to the skills and behaviours of their employees.

 

In the second of this three part series, Jim Love, CIO and Chief Digital Office for IT World Canada interviews Mike Rollings, Research VP for Gartner Inc. discuss Skills, Talent and Leadership in the Digital Age. We talk about the importance of Leadership language and behaviour. We discuss the hidden messages that we pass on to our staff and the impact that it has. We look at what changes are necessary from recruiting and interviewing to day to day management. Keeping the right people requires addressing more than money – passion, contribution and purpose are as important or perhaps more important than title and compensation. Even organizations that can’t compete on pay can still attract great people by offering personal development and enabling the employees to fulfil their true passions. CIOs need to take a long look at their own skills. The skills that made us successful in the past might not be what it takes to be successful tomorrow.

From http://www.itworldcanada.com/ 08/27/2014

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U.S.: 10 Need-to-Know Lessons for Government Innovation Teams

 

A new Bloomberg study of 20 civic tech groups around the world offers tips on how to institutionalize innovation into a working framework. That's why Bloomberg Philanthropies is attempting to put more definition in the word by analysis. In a co-authored study with investment and research firm Nesta, Bloomberg studied the workings of 20 civic tech innovation groups and funneled their insights into a package of 10 tips for cities. The idea: institutionalize some of the ingenuity of innovation, or at the very least, assemble a kind of framework. The study sits atop numerous interviews, site visits, surveys and a range of analysis. Strategies of the study groups, called “i-teams,” have been evaluated, cultures have been studied, staff skills categorized, impacts and approaches set to yard sticks. Staff sizes of the teams ranged from as low as three all the way up to 200, with a median staff size of roughly 42 people. In terms of public-sector investment, the report showcased levels of government funding for the groups, starting at $330,000 and rising as high as $151 million.

 

In addition to the observational field study, the report includes six months of office research about the groups that represent only teams set inside, funded from or established by government. U.S. examples include Boston’s Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, the Washington, D.C. based Investing in Innovation Fund, the New Orleans Innovation Delivery Team, the New York City Innovation Zone and the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity. Yet, beyond this U.S. cohort, the teams are diverse and spread across the globe. A sizable concentration sits in Europe, but a few peripheral teams are located in Asia, South and Central America. James Anderson, Bloomberg’s government innovation program lead, and formerly communications director for Michael Bloomberg’s when he was New York mayor, led the the study’s investigation. He says apart from plotting points, the study opens the curtains on just how nascent structured innovation is. “One clear finding is that most teams we profiled focused on the early stages of the innovation process, while many fewer have a hand in growing, scaling and spreading the approaches,” said Anderson. Wrapping such approaches into their quick 10-lesson tutorial on civic innovation, Anderson and Nesta underscore a few rules of the road.

 

1. Eye the Goal

Aligned with the notion to “begin with the end in mind,” the first tip is to craft an innovation group based on a clear goal (or goals). Four of these goals surfaced in the study. The first was to solve specific problems -- such as those emphasized by leadership. The second prioritized a grab for citizen and business engagement in civic processes. A third, called a long-term approach, sought to invest in innovative capabilities of departments and staff. The fourth and final goal, identified from research, was when an innovation team is tasked to refresh whole systems in policy, business models, technology or behavior.

 

2. Grab Buy-in from Above

Without connected and constant endorsement from leadership, innovation teams are vulnerable. Teams can burst against bureaucratic barriers, languish in a vacuum or wilt under a demand for “business as usual.” The report suggests innovating departments and organizations thrive best when yoked to“authorizing powers,” and especially, when housed inside offices of governors, mayors and senior officials. As a cautionary side note, it was dually emphasized that clout should be a last resort for innovators who must lean on partnerships. persuasion and dialogue.

 

3. Mix Skills

One of the key ingredients to innovation is having lots of ingredients. Specifically, this means snagging skills outside of government -- the private sector, academia, non-profits and such. Anderson explains that the vision is to take insiders who know government and graft them to outsiders who inject new ideas. He added that outsiders can contribute with skills on a project-by-project basis or through crowdsourcing. “The research showed that teams are well-served by incorporating a diverse mix of skills – from project management and stakeholder engagement to analysis and communications,” Anderson said. “Bringing perspectives from both inside and outside government is also key, helping to inject fresh thinking and also keep things real.”

 

4. Funnel Money

Creating a lean funding model for innovation isn’t just thrifty, it’s strategic. And though it appears counterintuitive (for example, how can deep pockets ever be a burden?), when put in practice the study says big budgets are problematic. Fellow departments can point to robust innovation funding as reason to disengage, deferring ownership or responsibility of a project for a comparative “lack of resources.” “The point isn’t [for innovation teams] to own programs or the associated budgets, but to help galvanize resources, talent, and creativity across the system,” Anderson said. The preferable option is for innovation teams to be a supporting hand, mobilizing budgets from other agencies and departments for projects.

 

5. Ensure Value

Valuable service is best seen when it hasn’t been seen before. For innovation teams this translates into actions that illustrate positive contrast against current culture and expertise. Duplicating efforts and inventing rounder wheels are pitfalls to be avoided, the report notes. If innovation teams desire access to department budgets, they need to deliver an inventiveness, culture, insight and forward-thinking mindset that doesn’t already exist. It’s a critical and precautionary warning. The study emphasizes problems that can stem from political leadership changes while emphasizing solid communication to shield teams from naysayers and administrative concerns.

 

6. Be Exact

Part of breaking from the herd involves an explicit and separate way of getting things done, whether it's through the sharpness of data, an outpouring of community involvement methods, iterative solutions or another method at problem solving. Specificity demystifies processes while establishing teams. Methods can be combined, but should foster a predicability.

 

7. Act and Iterate

Nothing gets done if someone doesn’t do something. An admittedly obvious statement, but not so opaque when pitted against approval pyramids, competing goals and the daily back and forth of office work. Success, which is to say productivity, requires a default to action, iteration and rapid experimentation. Early wins and small successes are the mortar in the process. One way to incentivize action is to first secure freedom for quick action from leadership, and next, to limit a team’s initial lifespan to three to five years. The short timeline raises stakes for a team to prove its worth. “Some of it is about creating and maintaining momentum,” Anderson said. “I-teams are often adept at elevating quick wins, creating curiosity about their process, and generating internal excitement. Some of it also comes down to using specific tactics – rapid prototyping, for example – that emphasize testing things early, getting user feedback and showing forward motion.”

 

8. Use Handoffs

Innovation teams take on the role of “in-house innovation consultants,” as they hop from one priority area to the next. Teams aren’t meant to maintain and manage projects. They jumpstart and transition. It’s why the study advocates clear handoffs to other departments and staff from the start. Whether a phased approach or immediate, the transition must be outlined in budgets, workflows and legal issues. “Clear handovers maximize the capacity of these teams by allowing them to wrap up their work in one issue and dive fully into another … Without handovers, we get implementation teams rather than innovation teams and the primary purpose is jeopardized,” Anderson said.

 

9. Measure Success

Tangible problem solving that's metered and monitored is a habit that tends to keep innovation teams around -- especially when cost savings can be shown. When impacts are quantified, innovation teams have evidence of progress. It also acts as a gauge for pivoting if efforts go astray.

 

10. Share Success

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” The study quotes President Harry Truman in its final tip. It’s a reminder to credit leadership, sponsors, partner organizations and any other stakeholders who fit in the mix. The underlying concept, billed by the study as the “single best guarantee” for sustainability, is that shared success incentivizes officials to further support innovation team projects and programs. Political leaders who can leverage success for reelection campaigns, department and agency leaders who gain media praise to establish departments and sponsor organizations with visible returns on their investments are all likely to continue championing the cause of innovation.

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

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3 Steps Governments Can Take to Engage Citizens

 

Citizens, with their rapidly changing expectations, can play a role in making government what they want and need it to be. Expectations of citizens are changing rapidly. They want what they want -- be it information, products or services -- and they want it now. But how does government re-imagine itself to respond to these demands? Officials attending the 2014 California Leadership Forum held in Sacramento, Calif., on Sept. 18 had a few ideas. As we live in this amazon.com culture, we have to start reframing the way we do business inside of government," said Kiran Jain, deputy city attorney for Oakland, Calif., who was part of a panel on how governments should evolve to serve an increasingly digital society. Citizens can play a role in reshaping government to meet their expectations, they said. Here are three ways governments can start engaging constituents in the transforming process.

 

1. ASK FOR HELP

"The first way to engage people is to ask for it," said panelist Greg Weber, director of the Office of the CTO at communications and collaboration systems provider Avaya. "There are a lot of studies out there -- [citizens] want to help and they want the recognition," he said. "Money’s great, but they want recognition and they want to go in and start solving problems."

 

2. TACKLE SMALL PROBLEMS FIRST

Though the problem itself may be small, that doesn't necessarily mean the impact will be small, Weber said. "There are some problems you can solve on the surface and get big gains from," he said. "It starts changing platforms tremendously when you start changing small problems."

 

3. LET CITIZENS PROFIT

Many people have created apps based on government data, so why not allow them to make some money off the services they develop? Many apps are free, and it's the enhancements that cost extra. But if you let these citizens profit a bit, "I think you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck," Weber said. "People inevitably start raising the bar, so allow them a framework to do that and solve problems at the same time." The bottom line for improving engagement: I think you start by just starting, Jain said. As for keeping up with citizens' changing expectations, how governments design and build their systems is key, Weber said.

 

With the new types of architectures are out there -- shared services, flexible platforms -- governments should design their systems knowing they're going to replace different parts at different times. "You don’t have to replace all of it at one time," Weber said. "Build systems very modular and go in with a mindset that you’ll be switching things out." Jain added that governments have these clunky systems due to layers upon layers of laws that have been passed over decades. "We need to look at these and say why," she said. "We need to promote social equity policies, and ask ourselves how can we streamline that process so we can be more agile and lean, and more responsive to this next generation of citizens."

From http://www.govtech.com/ 09/18/2014

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OECD: Governing the Internet

 

Today’s post is by Rudolf van dcr Berg of the OECD Science, Technology and Industry Directorate. “Internet”, it’s a word we use daily. “Look it up on the Internet”, “I have no Internet”, “Read it on the Internet”, “Connect it to the Internet”, “Meet him/her on the Internet”, “because of the Internet”. There are so many ways the Internet has changed our lives that many of us would be hard pressed to remember daily routines without it. Perhaps, there has never been a technology capable of pervading our activities so much, so quickly and on such a global scale. A tram (like the one in Iljitsch van Beijnum’s photo above), a train or a bus may already be connected to the Internet with few of us being aware. The number of connected devices in our homes is increasing as are the range of connected devices that we wear or are all around us, from fitness trackers to light bulbs.   A new idea for a device or service developed in Shanghai, in Silicon Valley or in Stockholm can overnight be taken up by people around the world. Think of the games “Flappy Bird”, developed in Vietnam, or “Angry Birds”, from Finland, and extend that phenomenon to everyday activities across the world.

 

This has had an unprecedented effect on global governance. It is no longer enough to have your national governance of a sector. Unless you cut the cord, the governance of others is directly influencing yours. Whether it is access to undersea cables, satellites, harmful and illegal content, cybersecurity, health or trade, a country’s rules affect those of others. And it is for this reason that each year the Internet Governance Forum (IGF2014) comes together. This week, 3000 representatives of business, civil society, the Internet technical community, Inter-governmental Organisations and governments come together in Istanbul to discuss the width and breadth of Internet governance. They’re primarily discussing the role of regulators, the deployment of local infrastructure, the creation of local content, the triangle of privacy-security-trust, the governance institutions, and what it all means for the Internet and future developments, such as the Internet of Things. Moreover, the topics are expanding, in parallel with the Internet’s influence, to encompass what it all means for areas such as employment, health, energy and transport.

 

The OECD is present at the IGF2014 since the Organisation is one of the principal forums where its 34 member countries and partners discuss issues relevant to Internet governance. The OECD publishes each year a number of reports on policies and good practices on how to preserve the open Internet, how it influences economic and social development and how to take advantage of opportunities and address challenges. This year we are participating in a number of sessions and presenting our most recent work on the Internet economy. We will in particular have an Open Forum on Thursday at 14:30 in Workshop Room 03. The focus of this year’s forum is on the many economic layers and dimensions that make up the open Internet, in a holistic manner. The OECD will engage with policy experts, economists, the technical community and civil society to discuss the different possible approaches to assessing the economics of the open Internet. This session will provide an opportunity to update the IGF on OECD’s ongoing work in this area and to present the OECD Ministerial on the Digital Economy to be held in Mexico in 2016.

From http://www.i-policy.org/ 09/03/2014

 

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The Effect of Internet and Digital Media Freedom on Corruption

 

Corruption is a serious problem across the globe and it is therefore essential to find tools that can work as means of fighting corruption. Determinants of corruption have been examined in empirical studies for decades. However, the effect of internet and digital media freedom on corruption has still not gained attention. Since its emergence, internet and digital media has grown immensely and has influenced many aspects of a society. Therefore, this paper is devoted to test whether internet and digital media freedom has an effect on corruption at country level. Random effects estimation of unbalanced panel covering the years 2010 to 2012 and two different indexes of corruption has been used in answering the research question. A linear relationship between internet and digital media freedom and corruption has been tested. One of the corruption indexes supports a linear relationship while the other rejects it. The discrepancy makes the linear relationship questionable. The two indexes of corruption are in agreement with that internet and digital media freedom has to exceed a threshold before having a positive effect on corruption. The reasoning behind this is that not all restrictions to internet and digital media freedom are strongly correlated with corruption.

From http://pure.au.dk/ 09/23/2014

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Email Key for Government, While New Tools Still Lag Behind, Survey Finds

 

The report - ‘Government Connectivity, Citizen Engagement and Economic Impact in Asia Pacific’ - was commissioned by Cisco Systems, and surveyed over 100 selected senior officials across Australia, Malaysia, India and Singapore. Officials in all four countries were asked to rate from a list the importance of specific connectivity tools to their agency. The top three were email, with a score of 92.5%; internet, scoring 87.5%; and intranet (85.5%). Meanwhile, the least popular on average were instant messaging, video conferencing and social media, scoring 53%, 56.3% and 57% respectively. However, in the case of instant messaging and social media, Malaysian officials were far more enthusiastic, giving instant messaging a score of 75% and social media 74.5%. Malaysian officials also gave a score of 74% for Bring Your Own Device, against an average score of 59.5% - and an Australian score of 49%. The scores for teleconferencing were equally mixed across the four countries surveyed. Australian officials scored it at 74%, while the average was 61% and both Malaysia and Singapore gave it a score of under 50%.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 09/30/2014

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E-Government: Gap Emerging Between Processes and the Democratic Function

 

This week, over a thousand representatives from more than 70 countries are gathering in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana for the annual Global e-Government Forum. In Astana, VoR's Tim Walklate spoke to Dr Richard Harvey, senior lecturer in computer science at the University of East Anglia, about how e-government is used in Britain, and what dangers it can pose. Dr Harvey told us that the strong emphasis in Britain is on cost-saving - "every third word is 'cost'" - whereas the Kazakh government's primary concern is not cost, it is much more important to them to modernise the country and show the public that the nation is a modern one. "When I analysed the interviews we'd had with the Brits and the Kazakhs, the rights and needs of the citizen came up much more often with the Kazakhs than with the Brits," he told VoR, acknowledging that "that might just be because in Britain it's taken for granted that that's what civil servants are for." Another big motivator for the Kazakhs is the elimination of petty corruption - bribes to smooth the path of bureaucracy don't work with an online system. "That seems to me very pro-citizen, and actions that are pro-citizen are basically pro-democracy, it seems to me."

 

Petitions and taxes

Petitions are one example of how the British government is using e-government, though Dr Harvey says this is a very low-volume activity. The high-volume transactions are all related to tax: "The British appear to like paying their tax and they like paying it online! From an information architect's point of view, the petitions are pure window-dressing. Politicians look at them, but I wouldn't see them as a key plank for e-government in Britain." So how will e-government be developing in Britain? Dr Harvey says he thinks the most likely main challenge will be how to reconcile e-government with increasing demands for privacy. He thinks that people will probably start asking more questions about their data - such as where it is stored, and how safe it is. "And because that data is distributed around the world, these questions are not easy to give good answers to," he says. "Most of the people at this conference have a background in computer science. Yet a lot of the decisions being made at conferences like these are likely to impact very heavily on the way the public interact with the government, and on public opinion.

 

"So there's a possible education gap in IT, and I'm not sure how to bridge it. It's not sorted out. Is this politics? Is it information architecture?" He says that there is even a tendency to regard all countries as 'enterprises' to be architected. "Somebody yesterday said there's no need for ministries, but if you asked a politics student about that, they would say a ministry is not about what it does, it's about accountability, how the citizens communicate with government." Therefore, he thinks there is a very interesting gap developing between the process-orientated view of government, and the democratic function of government.

 

Security

There are major concerns over security, he says: "The fact that the National Security Agency in the United States can effectively read your data wherever it is held is a real one that needs to be addressed very smartly and quickly by implementers of e-government systems, otherwise we're going to have trouble on our hands." Different countries are handling this at different paces - it's a major concern in Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel's 'phone was hacked; the UK may be at the same stage in a year's time, and developing nations may take quite a bit longer, but they will get there. He says that though he's not building these systems and doesn't want to diminish the work of those who are struggling with the challenges of building them, he is concerned that "we're designing systems now that are possibly not fit for the future."

From http://voiceofrussia.com/ 10/09/2014

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In Search of a Governance. Who Will Win the Battle for the Internet?

 

There’s a battle going on, and it’s raging for the future of the Internet. From net neutrality, to the so-called right to be forgotten, to the multi-stakeholder or multilateral approach to Internet Governance, several bodies and institutions are busy at forging the future of what is probably the greatest human invention of recent times. Right now, there are a few organisms which play an important role in defining and managing the architecture of the Net. This governance is called “multistakeholder” and involves coordinating functions performed by the private sector, policies enacted by governments and functions performed by relatively new global institutions like the Internet Engineering Task Force and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the W3C.

 

This is completely decentralized with the exception of some coordinating functions over domain names and numbers that require some degree of centralized oversight because each name and number has to be globally unique. “The US government has, because of the history of the Internet arising in the US, unique oversight of some of this but has announced that it is transitioning this oversight to a global, multi-stakeholder entity. The US and Brazil (and other countries) have made clear that the transition has to be to multi-stakeholder rather than multilateral oversight,” says Laura DeNardis, director of research of the Global Commission on Internet Governance, (GCIG) an international think-tank which includes Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt; the former head of British intelligence service GCHQ, Sir David Omand; former secretary of the US homeland security department Michael Chertoff, and others.

 

Others feel that a multilateral organization like the UN should have more jurisdiction over the Internet, something which would change the way the Internet is governed from a relative balance of powers among stakeholders to greater government control. “I am personally an advocate of the multistakeholder approach – DeNardis says.” The Net Mundial conference held last April in Brazil ended with a declaration supporting the multistakeholderism; the fight, however, is still open. The choice between the multistakeholder and the multilateral approach it’s not the only factor to take into consideration when dealing with future scenarios. A menace to the preservation of the online world as we know it could also come from the so-called “balkanization of the Internet“. Revelations about the widespread surveillance of electronic communications made by former NSA’s analyst Edward Snowden have pushed some States (like Germany) to promote the idea of building up a European communication network to avoid emails and other data passing through the United States.

 

“There is a risk of balkanization of the Internet, but not for this reason,” Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of the website La Quadrature du Net and member of the French Parliamentary Committee on Law and Rights in the Digital Age, tells me. “The real risk, is that to protect authoritarian regimes or for purposes of copyright enforcement, censorship or the protection of some local economic interests, a growing number of states would try to control data flows entering or exiting them.” “A legal obligation to relocalize data may also entail risks when it is applied in authoritarian States,” he adds. “But actually in the case of Germany, the (yet to be seen) national storage of data is one way to impose respect of the National law, in particular for what concerns data protection.” Aigrain, however, does not believe that this is the best way to reach the goal. “One can impose respect of European law simply by stating that services that process European residents data are submitted to this law and by suspending agreements such as the Safe Harbor that circumvent the respect of European law,” he says.

 

Regardless of who’s going to win the battle, one thing is for certain: the Internet of the future should be designed around the needs and the rights (and obligations) of the users, not of States and corporations; but for this to be possible, there’s the need first to reach a consensus on what these rights are. Around the world a number of commissions and committees are exploring the issue. From the GCIG, launched in January, which will work for two years to develop a strategic vision for the future of Internet governance that can inform policymakers, technologists, and others about shared international concerns and policies for a free and open Internet; to the draft declaration on Internet Rights prepared by the Study Committee on Internet Rights and Duties of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies; to the work of the Bundestag’s committee on the Digital Agenda in Germany. It’s still early to tell if their work will bear lasting fruits; to reach an agreement on such complex issues will take time, and diplomacy. But it’s something we can no longer postpone, if we want to keep the Internet as the great engine of discovery and innovation that we’ve known so far.

From http://www.forbes.com/ 10/26/2014

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How Will Internet Governance Change After the ITU Conference?

 

Is the United Nations trying to take over the internet? Read anything in much of the western media about the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and you might think so, especially in the lead-up to the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference 2014 just wrapping up in Busan, Korea. If internet governance were a James Bond movie, ITU would be cast as the cat-stroking villain with an intricate and ambitious model laid out before her (we can always hope) plotting world domination through seizing control of global communications. “The whole world will listen to me, and only me! Ha ha!” The reality, as ever, is far less dramatic and not significantly less sinister. Internet issues do form a minor part of ITU’s mandate, and were overshadowed at the Busan event by a range of other issues: political disputes over Crimea and Palestine, resolutions to address Ebola and better ways to track planes, a four-year debate on how to define “ICT”, public access to ITU’s documents, and an unexpected 30m Swiss Franc reduction in ITU’s budget for the next four years.

 

ITU is not taking over the internet

Member States often presented as the foes of the internet (Russia, the Arab states, India and, on occasion, Brazil) submitted some proposals that had a few liberal western countries wringing their hands in earnest before the plenipot had begun. Russia proposed that ITU begin allocating internet protocol (IP) addresses, which is a function already performed by other non-intergovernmental organisations. The Arab states had submitted proposals that would have strengthened the role of governments in making decisions about the internet and would have given the ITU a role in developing legal and policy frameworks to combat illegal international online surveillance. Brazil made proposals for ITU to work on online privacy issues. And India submitted a last-minute proposal that would have required some major changes to the way the internet works. (The proposal aimed to keep all domestic internet traffic within national borders, so citizens would have to use a telephone-style international dialling code to access a site outside the country. Most of the proposal is possible to implement, but would require work outside ITU’s current mandate.)

 

These were proposals that had the US administration in a bit of a spin, with Penny Pritzker, US secretary of commerce, telling a key group of internet folk at the opening ceremony of the most recent ICANN meeting, “We will see proposals to put governments in charge of internet governance. You can rest assured that the United States will oppose these efforts at every turn.” However, anyone with any experience of intergovernmental negotiations knows that proposals start off fairly strong, then get watered down to the politically homeopathic levels. This is what happened at the plenipot. For example, both the proposals to give governments a more active role in the internet as well as the proposals to give non-governments a more active role in ITU kind of neutralised each other.

 

Also, back room negotiations spearheaded by the US delegation meant many of the changes proposed by other countries were taken off the table. Those negotiations took placed behind closed doors, but it is understood that the US gave up its demand to have non-governmental groups invited into ITU’s council working groups, which were designed to be for governments only. In return, other states withdrew proposals about online privacy, cybersecurity and other internet proposals. No major threats to the internet have emerged as a result of the conference. Instead, many of the hottest internet issues have been shunted off to a small group of the ITU, known by the convoluted name of the Council Working Group on International Internet-related Public Policy Issues, or CWG-Internet for short. As a result of compromises made at the plenipot, this group, which is attended by barely more than a handful of states, will decide at the beginning of each year what its topics of discussion will be.

 

ITU is about far, far more than just the internet

The feel-good resolution was about using technology to combat the spread of viruses such as Ebola. Unfortunately, none of the three countries most affected by Ebola attended, having been asked by a panicked South Korean government to “minimise” their participation. Another notable new resolution was passed on global flight tracking. Malaysia’s very recent experience with flight MH370 meant that although aviation isn’t usually part of ITU’s activities, member states found a way for ITU to, in a small way, work with the aviation industry to help improve flight tracking in future. Look, no vote! A present to me! The plenipot is the last meeting for the outgoing ITU secretary general Dr Hamadoun Toure, who wanted to go out in a blaze of glory. Toure did everything to ensure the event wasn’t a repeat of the highly divisive World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in 2012 - and largely succeeded. No member states pushed for a vote, even on the Crimea and Palestine.

 

Toure described this lack of voting as a wonderful present to himself at his last plenipotentiary as secretary general. But it’s unlikely that Ukraine, Russia, Palestine and Israel weren’t thinking of Toure as they engaged in very intense discussions in Busan. ITU is certainly not the correct venue to solve territorial disputes like Crimea and Palestine, but aggrieved countries in such disputes traditionally try to have any and all UN bodies produce resolutions that support their claim to sovereignty and disputed lands. Using ITU resolutions about recognising the right to use telecommunication resources (including phone numbers and radio spectrum) may sound like a fairly odd way to solve such disputes. Yet the USA has said it will withdraw funding from the ITU if Palestine is recognised as a sovereign state, while Russia’s President Putin sent one of his private secretaries to negotiate on Russia’s behalf - both demonstrating how seriously governments viewed the proposed resolutions.

 

More difficult moments

Intense political negotiations about Crimea and Palestine were predictable. What the layperson may not have predicted were intense debates about the definition of “ICT”. One state asked if the term “ICT” meant the same as the acronym “ICT”: the next state on the microphone, perhaps as stunned by this question as many others in the room, suggested it was time for a coffee break. There were also intense debates about how to deal with counterfeit devices, such as mobile phones. Bean counters, though, could have predicted that the budget and a new office for ITU would be trigger points. Particularly given the fact that ITU was facing a budget reduction of 30m Swiss Francs in member state contributions over the next four years.

 

Which states came out on top?

Not the USA, despite the fact that Toure gave the USA credit for helping with the Crimea and Palestine negotiations. USA tainted its image early in the conference, when it criticised the chair of the group handling internet and cybersecurity related issues. The USA was also a little too aggressive in some of its responses to proposals it didn’t like and a bit too keen to hint to others that it had done deals to get proposals it disliked off the table. In contrast, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden all appeared to come out of the plenipot with greater respect of other member states, including some traditional foes of the internet.

 

What’s next?

Discussions on internet issues were intense, but the outcomes were fairly insubstantial. It suggests the internet cold war is definitely thawing after the key battle at WCIT in 2012. States will still need to posture and clearly state their policy positions in proposals, but are more willing to let them go by the wayside … as long as proposals by those with opposing views also aren’t incorporated. This doesn’t mean that states don’t want to pursue their goals - it simply means they are being more patient about how long it will take to get there. The next big meeting to discuss technology and internet issues in the UN world is the General Assembly’s special high-level meeting in December 2015. That will review a decade of activities since the World Summit on the Information Society was held in Tunis in 2005. It is at this meeting, the highest level of the UN family of agencies, that many governments may choose to take up internet issues again - though without secretary general Toure. In one speech in praise of him, a South African delegate said: “We’re not going to part with him. He’s just being recycled within the ITU space and the ICT space.”

From http://www.theguardian.com/ 11/08/2014

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ITU Steps Closer to Internet Governance, Though Multistakeholderism Will Guide Policy

 

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) concluded working-level negotiations Nov. 4 with the adoption of amendments to four Internet-related resolutions at its quadrennial plenipotentiary conference in Busan, South Korea. The approved changes will be made final at plenary sessions held until Nov. 7. The 193-member United Nations institution accepted the U.S. government's proposal for inclusion of all stakeholders in its future Internet-related decisions and policy actions. The newly amended resolutions will increase the ITU's involvement in the Internet's global development and the transition of Internet governance toward participation by all stakeholders. The documents under discussion were:

Resolution 101 on Internet Protocol-based networks;

Resolution 102 on the ITU's role with regard to international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources including domain names and addresses;

Resolution 133 on the role of administrations of member states in the management of internationalized multilingual domain names; and

• Resolution 180 on facilitating the transition from IPv4 to IPv6.

 

Finished documents are not immediately available and the circumstances of the agreement on proposed changes are not known. Musab Abdulla, an official of Bahrain's Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, who chaired the Working Group of the Plenary during the Busan conference, said, “This is a very carefully negotiated and delicately balanced package.” Julie Zoller, senior deputy coordinator of the Office of International Communications and Information Policy at the U.S. Department of State, said, “The revisions to these four resolutions, which are the result of a positive environment of compromise, appropriately update these documents and will help guide us over the next four years.”

 

U.S. Positions Reportedly Carry the Day

The outlook for the agreement was uncertain in the early part of the conference because of opposition from a number of member states to the U.S. delegation's insistence on multistakeholderism as the global standard for Internet governance. Iran, which was among the opponents of the U.S.-led approach, summarized the surprisingly amicable tone of the agreement at the conclusion of the working group activity. “It is time to move on from resolutions to real action, and the real action is to work together, collaboratively and cooperatively, under a multistakeholder approach in order to implement these very important decisions,” said Kavous Arasteh, senior adviser to Iran's Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.

 

Referring to the March 14 U.S. announcement of its intention to transition its current supervisory role over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' performance of key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community, Arasteh said, “With respect to the accountability of ICANN, with which we have established very good relations, having all groups involved in dealing with the Internet is a very positive point.” Russia, which previously made a vigorous counter-argument to the U.S. delegation's proposed multistakeholder model, said through a member of its delegation, “There was a very serious amount of work that was completed.”

 

Decision 11

Separate from the four policy resolutions, ITU's Decision 11 on the operation of the ITU Council's seven functional working groups has been revised in line with the U.S. proposal to incorporate multistakeholder principles into decision-making on Internet governance. The Australian delegation, which led the discussion on Decision 11, reported that a new section inserted into its text would mandate the ITU Council to “promote and enhance equitable geographic distribution and gender balance,” as proposed by the U.S. delegation to expand representation in the ITU's decision-making body to all stakeholders across regional and gender lines. Russia and other opponents had criticized the U.S. proposal on Decision 11 for favoring “well-resourced” developed countries at the expense of developing countries, when it comes to making decisions on Internet governance. “The revisions to Decision 11 do represent a compromise between various regional positions and individual member state proposals,” according to a briefing from Australia.

 

`Connect 2020' Resolution

The ITU also approved a new resolution proposed by South Korea, the host country of the plenipotentiary conference, to implement the “Connect 2020” agenda of the Busan Declaration, which was adopted Oct. 19 at the ministerial meeting opening the conference. The resolution tasks ITU with “global telecommunication/ICT goals and targets” for the Busan Declaration's vision of “an information society empowered by the interconnected world, where telecommunications/ICTs enable and accelerate socially, economically and environmentally sustainable growth and development for everyone.” The “Connect 2020” resolution will become a cornerstone of the ITU's new Strategic Plan 2016-2019, which is expected to be approved toward the end of the plenipotentiary conference.

From http://www.bna.com/ 11/09/2014

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What Does the UN Think Is the Next Big Thing for E-Government?

 

 “For the first time in human history, all 193 [UN] member states are presenting themselves online to their citizens,” enthuses Jonas Rabinovitch, a United Nations expert on e-government. Rabinovitch works in the division responsible for the bi-yearly United Nations’ E-Government Survey, which assesses and ranks country performance across the world. FutureGov caught up with him recently to discuss the current trends for e-government, the best ways to improve performance, and the next big thing he expects to see public sector agencies adopting.

 

The big trends

The UN E-Government Survey analyses the key trends that can be seen in the regional leaders. Five clear trends presented themselves, Rabinovitch explains: cross-agency working; e-participation; the digital divide between old and young, rich and poor; open government; and multi-channel service delivery. Many of the themes can be tackled together. The leading countries are making groups across society feel more included through e-participation initiatives and a mixed approach to service delivery. “It’s not just about computers: it’s about how the government provides services to people,” Rabinovitch says.

 

Online, citizens “are becoming more and more demanding,” he warns, with private sector developments - particularly in the banking sector - pushing what’s expected from e-government. E-participation initiatives help prioritise improvements, he says, and also create greater public ownership in project management - putting pressure on politicians to continue reforms even when governments change. Korea is the leader in this area, but learned a key lesson along the way. It started off by simply obtaining feedback from citizens, but soon discovered the importance of sharing the results of that feedback so they can be used to hold government to account. Sharing that information motivates people to continue contributing and builds a sense of trust, Rabinovitch says.

 

How to make quick progress

New approaches and technologies are helping some countries “leapfrog” more developed nations, he notes, because they provide an opportunity to dodge key problems. For example, Sri Lanka has made big progress in the past few years by embracing mobile government, Rabinovitch says. It has avoided focusing on costly infrastructure - using apps to deliver services - and has also prioritised inter-agency working (see our full interview with Sri Lanka’s ICT chief). Change has to come from senior politicians, though, he warns. “Institutional coordination is something that has to come from the top, and this is why e-government is increasingly linked to the highest levels of decision-making within countries”.

 

The next big thing

Mobile government is one big trend, Rabinovitch says, while another is enhanced authentication - where citizens are given online identities by the state. Estonia has now used this technology to run seven general elections online, where people don’t need to leave their homes to vote. “They don’t use biometrics, they don’t use voting machines, they use accounts that give identity and authentication to each citizen,” he says. The United Kingdom has just announced plans to develop online authentication plans. If others take up the mantle, it may be measured in the next e-government survey (2016). The e-government world rankings could receive a significant shakeup.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 11/09/2014

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Does the Internet Need "Governance"?

 

It's remarkable to me that there are now two powerful agencies fighting to "govern" the Internet — the ITU and the FCC. On any given day, it's hard to tell whether they are on the same side or different sides. The ITU process apparently began in earnest with the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) meetings, where the concept of "Internet Governance" became an urgent goal. The FCC process began when incumbent Internet Access Providers (IAPs) argued that "Net Neutrality" was a stalking horse for government control and definition of the Internet, followed by calls for regulatory definition of the Internet as a "Broadband Service" through the Regulation of "Broadband". I recently signed a letter referring to the inconsistencies between the two efforts, which threaten, when combined, to destroy the whole idea of a "network of networks", replacing it with a "vertically integrated service" concept, in the quest to "govern" something. But both efforts seem to have the Internet wrong in different ways.

 

As I've noted, the Internet is not Broadband, in my post What the Internet Is, and Should Continue to Be. But the FCC wants to view it as a "service" because for historical reasons, the FCC bureaucracy is organized around the idea that every activity or application of any sort in communications is a "service" that stands on its own. The Internet is a unification of all communications capabilities, so it just does not fit into the vertical integration idea that the FCC promotes by the structure of its regulations. (a reading of the enabling legislation does not require organization around "discrete services", by the way) The ITU also seems to be focused on "defining the Internet" as a "service", but they focus on trans-national issues as well. In the US, the FCC does not deal with international communications — that is the province of the US State Department, which deals only with governments and quasi-governmental organizations, not with citizens of any countries. Though certain powerful multinational communications carriers are granted a seat at the table, largely because a number of countries including the US, have privatized their communications transport industries.

 

What is "defining the Internet" about? Well, largely it is about creating something to "govern" by inventing a governable entity, based on a lot of discussions with "stakeholders" [note: I am not considered a stakeholder because I represent myself. The technical language that defines stakeholder in both the FCC and ITU is someone who "represents an interest”, where interest is a governmental agency, a corporation, or an organized interest group dedicated to influencing legislation in the interests of its members.The Internet users themselves are not interests]. And they are trying to define it as a service that is provided by a "provider" who owns or otherwise controls the medium. In other words, the assumption is that the Internet is a "vertically integrated" concept, that starts with applications, and is supported by a variety of gear that the "service providers" pay for, and resell to users in the form of services. This gives them a thing to "govern".

 

This is attractive to bureaucrats who seek power and control over communications activities, whether the bureaucrats are in governments, international quasi-governmental agencies, or corporations. The move is to define the activity, and then limit the activity to a particular physical resource (wires, fiber, switches, gateways, spectrum property rights, ...), and then control from the bottom. This paradigm of "governance" by creating property rights in physical media and then controlling all services built on that property is extremely attractive, and has reached full flower in the POTS and radio communications arenas. But as I began, the question is: does the Internet need governance? By design and history, the answer is no.

 

The Internet was designed as a "network of networks" that could easily extend across all networks, merely by finding a way to transport Internet Protocol Datagrams (IP datagrams, or IP packets) across each network, whereupon a gateway (switch or router that understands IP datagram addressing) then can forward the IP datagram towards the eventual destination. Since all destinations and sources have IP addresses, the Internet Protocol and the gateways provide sufficient glue to create a universally connected network of networks. This design avoids the need for any governance whatsoever in the delivery of packets. Further, the design is such that the content and intent of the datagrams need not play any role whatever in the gateways' function. Only the IP Datagram "header" is used to make decisions about where the datagrams go. Part of routing the datagrams is the ability of the gateways to decide what route to take to deliver the datagram to the intended destination. But again, no global "governor" is needed to carry out the function efficiently — as the network of networks grows, a distributed algorithm for routing is both more resilient and more effective at getting packets to where they need to be.

 

Since content plays no role in Internet delivery, encryption of each datagram's content may be used to further protect and to authenticate content against forgery. A key part of the Internet's design was and is the ability to carry encrypted content for this reason — it prevents malicious tampering and reading of datagrams, up to the strength of the encryption algorithm and the key management maintained by the source and destination. It is this ability of the Internet to be a universal network of networks that does not depend on applications that has led to its ability to serve as the "lingua franca" that spans international and corporate boundaries, facilitating any application that wants to use it, and also incorporating any underlying technology for communications — starting with dedicated digital circuits and voice-grade switched lines using acoustic encoding (so-called "dialup"), and now including fiber, cable TV coax, wideband radio, mesh networks, etc. So the Internet is not an application or "service" in the sense that the ITU and FCC would like to define it. It is not "Facebook + Google + Instagram + The Cloud + email + Twitter + Amazon + iTunes + Alibaba" — an amalgam of current popular services that happen to exploit the universal openness of the Internet.

 

Nor is it Broadband or LTE or GSM.

This is why the "network neutrality" discussion, framed as "who will govern the Internet" is wrongheaded from the beginning. As I've noted, the Internet "needs a little help from the Law". But the key point here is that law is not the same thing as governance. Laws are rules that humans (and "persons" like corporations) must obey, or be punished. Not all laws come from governments. There is a whole body of "common law" that is generally accepted, transcending government. One such law is that you cannot steal a package that you've agreed to transport from point (a) to point (b). That is true whether or not there is a "contract". It's just not done, and courts in any jurisdiction, no matter what the government, will hold to that principle.

 

So reading and benefiting from a private communications that you happen to be carrying as part of the Internet should be covered by this standard principle. We don't need the Internet to be "owned" as a whole, or "governed" as a whole to prevent that or to discipline those who might do so. Similarly, discriminating at a hotel based on the color of some guest's skin is equally noxious. There are those who think all laws should be based on absolute property rights who struggle to find such ideas acceptable — usually by defining people as non-persons due to their forbears' genetic makeup. But in a modern society, we know that there is no basis for such discrimination. There is a tendency to blame the Internet for the kinds of communications that go over it — and to try to hold the Internet liable. But the criminal behavior that happens over the Internet is not caused by the Internet transport of packets. Again the idea that the Internet is somehow a service is based on a fundamental confusion. Should we blame the English language (or the Pashto language) because people can conspire to commit crimes by speaking in English (Pashto)? Should we blame a culture's literature and newspapers for the behavior of individuals who belong to that culture?

 

Trying to conceive of the Internet in terms of "governance" reflects a peculiar redefinition of what the Internet is about. The Internet is a form of universal glue. It's built by those who use it, and based on a design concept that allows a network of networks to scale to any size on any technology that can carry IP Datagrams. What the Internet needs, however, is some help from the law. The help is required largely because governments create or subsidize monopolies. Examples include radio spectrum rights (you cannot get the right to operate a transmitter in the US or a receiver in countries like the UK without a very restrictive license that bars most modern communications techniques other than those of a small set of "incumbent" providers), and local "franchise rights" created and maintained by local and national governments (RCN was not allowed to build out Fiber in Philadelphia, the corporate home of Comcast, by a mayoral decision based on the claim that it would "cost jobs").

 

The Internet can run fine across these monopoly platforms, but the temptation of some of the monopolies is to claim the right to muck with Internet packets — and this is not a theoretical claim. It is at the core of behavior that has been documented, including products from Phorm, NebuAd, Sandvine, Ellacoya and others that are designed to read all IP datagrams to analyze content, modify content, act as a "man-in-the-middle" to control connections unbeknownst to the endpoints, etc. Those companies are doing great business selling to access providers the tools to exploit what is inside of IP Datagrams, in most cases without disclosure, and if disclosed there is only a mention of the possibility in a Terms of Service, and maybe an obscure "opt-out" mechanism that can be offered when the exploitation is discovered. If the state grants such monopolies, the state must be responsible to police those monopolies' actions. And that's one place where the Internet needs a little help from the law.

 

One could argue that the Constitutional Protections in the US for Free Speech and Free Assembly only protect against "government action" to block free speech — that companies who interfere with speech and assembly on the Internet do so privately, and therefore outside the purview of the US Constitution. But that is clearly wrong for a simple reason: the government created the monopolies! So the government is responsible for the curtailment of free speech and free assembly by its monopolies. That includes monopolies at the level of Towns, Cities, States, and other jurisdictions in the US — the constitutional rights bar those governments from mucking with speech and assembly rights. And this principle goes beyond America — many (if not most) countries guarantee freedom of speech and assembly, and most, if not all, countries grant monopoly rights to communications carriers.

 

This could be easily solved with a simple law: any company that handles Internet datagrams may not read or modify the content, nor infer intent or meaning for the purpose of deciding what datagrams to deliver or to not deliver. That's a pretty simple principle, and it happens also to be the design principle behind the Internet, and what has made it work. If a Cable TV company chooses not to offer Internet service at all, that's fine. Let them. They then would not have a "franchise" right for Internet service, and someone else who chooses to offer full Internet service could enter the market, which is awesomely large! There's no risk there. Similarly, if a wireless company chooses not to offer Internet service at all, great! Again, they would be wasting the value of their monopoly spectrum, and someone would find a way to offer Internet service. But the law would merely exist to protect the simple rules about IP datagrams — no peeking, no changing, no routing some but not others based on content.

 

We might not even need the law if the governments would get out of the business of granting monopolies, as I have argued is possible (and needed) in the case of digital networked radio technologies. The argument that spectrum rights are needed for radio communications to function is technically wrong in a fundamental way. In fact, we would have vast improvements in wireless capability if we were to take advantage of the ability of digital techniques (modulation, sensing, cooperation, and interoperation as a network of networks) for radio. The major block here is that the current incumbents control the regulatory framework, because they like monopolies given out by the government. However, separating the necessity of monopolies from the question — the law can easily say that the monopolists that offer Internet access and transport must not peek, modify or discriminate, as a condition of holding the monopoly. We might not need the law if we could adopt a universal framework for encryption and secure routing among all the glue parts of the Internet, such that there would be no ability to peek, modify, or discriminate. I find this less likely to happen, because it would require a significant effort on the part of vendors and applications that use the Internet to ensure that all these parts get built and implemented widely.

From http://www.circleid.com/ 11/16/2014

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CHINA: National Memorial Website Goes Mobile

 

China's National Memorial launched its portal app on Tuesday allowing users to access the museum's website via smart phones just ahead Victory Day commemorations on Sept. 3.The National Memorial's website itself, cngongji.cn, is fairly new, having just opened in July. It was designed to promote the commemoration of the Nanjing Massacre in World War II, after China's top legislature set December 13 as a national memorial day for Nanjing Massacre victims.The Nanjing Massacre is a six week period in late 1937 which saw Japanese soldiers kill more than 300,000 people in the city of Nanjing in east China's Jiangsu, then capital of China.One website function allows users to log in and participate in digital candle-lighting and tree planting as part of mourning process for the victims.The app's logo is a red seal stamp with the Chinese characters of "National Memorial". It's available in three languages - Chinese, English and Japanese.The memorial hall co-sponsors the website along with the Xinhua News Agency website, Xinhuanet.com.

 

By Tuesday, the National Memorial website had logged more than 40 million clicks, with 1.7 million participating in digital mourning activities, according to Zhu Chengshan, curator of the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall.The launch of the website has led a series of commemoration activities preluding the first national memorial later this year. Earlier this year, the hall began a drive to track down descendants of survivors, offering them a chance to register and share stories.Zhu said about 100 eyewitnesses who survived the massacre are still alive. The memorial has organized the registration to help record their memories and those of their families.He said so far, the memorial has registered 1,513 people. Some of them called the memorial's hotlines from the U.S., Canada and Denmark to assist in registration.Wednesday marks the 69th anniversary of China's victory in the anti-Japanese war. Top leaders will attend a ceremony in Beijing.

From http://www.news.cn/ 09/02/2014

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Websites Help Gov't Catch Rumor-Mongers

 

More than 100 Internet companies in Beijing signed an agreement on Thursday to fight the distribution of illegal and improper information online, promising they will punish those spreading fake messages and accept public supervision.The companies are required to set up 24-hour hotlines to deal with reports from residents, ensuring that problems can be addressed in a timely manner, according to China's Internet security watchdog.Under the agreement, if the corporations are alerted to unverified rumors, to information involving terrorism or to the distribution of pornography, they will clean them out and punish the troublemakers, the State Internet Information Office said.Companies that cannot or will not respond to reports in a timely manner will be exposed, criticized and potentially even closed, an official of the reporting center under the authority said.The center has received more than 4.66 million reports and exposed more than 200 Web companies suspected of spreading improper information since it was established 10 years ago, said the official, who declined to be named.

 

"We also reward those who provide valuable reports, hoping to inspire more people to join us to crack down on illegal and improper online information," he said.The center received 680,000 reports, including 9,000 pieces of information relating to terrorism, over the past eight months, and paid more than 2 million yuan ($326,000) to more than 800 informants, according to an official statement."The report service can encourage residents' efforts to purify the cyber environment, while the Internet companies can also make use of the channel to build their credibility and shoulder more social responsibility," he added.Li Tong, chief inspector of Sina.com, one of the country's largest websites, said his company has published its hotline on the website's front page and dealt with more than 15,000 pieces of information provided by the center."We supply a reporting channel for each product of our company, aiming to guarantee that reported clues can be followed up," Li said, adding they have deleted about 5 million pornographic messages on Sina Weibo, Chinese largest Twitter-like service.

 

Wang Yi, deputy chief editor of Baidu.com, China's largest search engine, said her team will reply to informants within 24 hours, adding that Baidu can track down serious offenses, such as those involving terrorism, within four hours.Wu Chenguang, chief editor of Sohu.com, another large site, said the biggest challenge is to confirm whether reports are true or false."The reports are sent to different divisions in accordance with their contents, and will be deleted if they appear to be illegal," Wu said."But if we are not sure whether the reported information is proper or not, we have to ask authorities, such as the public security departments and the nation's Internet information office," he said, adding that this consumes time and labor resources.To alleviate the problem, Internet giant Tencent has assigned more than 200 employees to manage reports, according to Chen Weisi, a senior manager. The number of reports each day can reach 600,000, Chen said.

From http://www.news.cn/ 09/12/2014

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Top Internet Watchdog Vows Governance According to Law

 

China's top Internet watchdog on Sunday pledged to govern online space in accordance with the law, echoing the Party's embrace of rule of law at a key plenum.The Party's fourth plenum spirit of law should be vigorously applied to the Internet to ensure regulators and online users behave within the limits of law, said Lu Wei, Minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China.The 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held the Fourth Plenary Session from Monday to Thursday, with the central theme of "rule of law."Local officials in charge of cyberspace administration on Sunday gathered in Beijing to discuss the way of protecting the Internet security and online privacy.To govern the Internet according to law is in essence consistent with the Party's leadership, said Tong Liqiang, director of Beijing cyberspace information office."To regulate the Internet in accordance with law must strengthen the Party's leadership over Internet, in this way, right and sound development of the Internet can be guaranteed," Tong added.

From http://www.news.cn/ 10/27/2014

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China Promotes Online Public Procurement

 

China is boosting online shopping for public procurement to reduce costs and curb corruption.

Chinese central government launched its online procurement center on September 1. The website, zycg.gov.cn, has attracted 87 companies, including Haier, Tongfang and Lenovo.More than 10 local governments, including the governments of Shanghai, Tianjin, Chengdu and Hangzhou, have also opened their online shopping centers.Hangzhou municipal government tried its hand at "online supermarket" in 2009. It keeps 1,814 products available on the official website.According to He Liming, president of China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, China spent about 20 trillion yuan (3.3 trillion U.S. dollars) in public procurement last year."Public procurement helps to stimulate domestic demand and adjust industrial structure," he said.

 

"But it is often accompanied by scandals of corruption."When purchases are made online, common people could see clearly how much money is used for a product and how many products are bought, said Song Chunzheng, a manager with e-commerce giant JD.com. "Procurements of the government are subject to public supervision," he said.However, some experts see loopholes in online public procurement, like low efficiency due to complicated procedures."The Government Procurement Law also needs improvement," said Liu Hengbin, director of the regional procurement center of Inner Mongolia. "It only tells what you cannot do, but doesn't tell you how to do the right thing," he said."Better policies should be drafted to promote online public procurement," he added.

From http://www.news.cn/ 11/11/2014

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JAPAN: Govt Sets Detailed Survey of Online Consumption

 

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry will conduct a detailed survey of consumption trends for 22 items such as e-books and music sold through the Internet, according to sources. The survey is set to begin in January next year. It is believed the results of the survey, which should provide a more complete picture of overall consumer spending, may boost the nation’s gross domestic product numbers. Because of the spread of smartphones, the e-commerce market is rapidly expanding. Firms are also expected to utilize the survey results to get a more accurate picture of the growing market. The ministry surveys about 8,700 households every month to determine family income and daily spending. It also surveys about 30,000 households a month to determine monthly spending and consumption trends. In next year’s survey on household Internet spending, target households will be asked about monthly expenditures for each of the 22 items, which include digital contents such as music, e-books, and reservations for accommodations and flight tickets, as well as groceries, clothes and books bought on the Internet. According to the ministry, few people regard the purchase of smartphone applications and digital contents as consumption, and it estimates total online expenditures will swell to between ¥4 trillion and ¥5 trillion when such consumption is surveyed in detail.

From http://the-japan-news.com 09/20/2014

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SOUTH KOREA: ICT Ministry's Budget Up 4.8 Pct for 2015

 

South Korea's ICT ministry said Monday its budget for 2015 will rise 4.8 percent on-year, with planned allocations to assisting start-ups, developing the country's own space rockets and building a defense against electromagnetic attacks. The Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning said its budget for next year, subject to parliamentary endorsement, is set to increase to 14.3 trillion won (US$13.7 billion), up 659.9 billion won from 2014.

From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr 09/22/2014

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S’Korean Wins UN Award on E-Govt

 

For three consecutive years (2010, 2012 and 2014), South Korea has been ranked number one in the United Nation’s e-readiness and e-government ranking. This is contained in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja by the Korea International Cooperation Agency on Monday. The statement said that Korea has been benched marked on e-government since Nov. 14, 2010. It stated that Korea has recently signed a record of discussions to implement “Project for Capacity Building of E-Government in Nigeria”. The project, according to the statement, is aimed at sharing Korea’s technical expertise, reinforce practical e-government capacity of Nigeria civil servants, raise Nigeria UN ranking in e-government readiness index and develop an e-government master plan for Nigeria. The Capacity Development Programme is targeting to train about 22,625 civil servants in both Federal and State MDA’s in Korea and in the e-government training centre. The statement said the CDP would help raise the awareness of civil servants about e-government and empower them with skills and knowledge required to function in an e-government enable environment. According to the statement before the commencement of the CDP, an e-government Master Plan is being developed by KOICA contracted Korean experts in consultations with FMCT, National Information Technology Development Agency and other federal MDAs. The statement said that the Master Plan, which is expected to be completed in October 2014, is in its final stages.

 

The e-government master plan is expected to provide a vision that will direct Nigeria e-government implementations, policy formulation and strategies required to drive e-government awareness in federal, state and local government levels, it added. It states that in an effort to complete the e-government master plan for Nigeria, which is scheduled to be completed in October, a team of Korean experts contracted by KOICA is expected in the country from Sept. 23 to Oct. 6. The team is expected to hold a technical meeting with Nigerian officials in NITDA on implementation of the CDP and the finalisation of the master plan. The statement said that KOICA Nigeria office had produced the architectural design of the proposed ETC, selection of MDA’s from federal and state level, criteria for selection of participants and instructors for the programme, and the programme timetable. It said, “The master plan team from Korea led by Prof. Park of Sangmyung University also presented 10 strategies and five policies that will be included in the e-government master plan. “Contributions and discussions were made with the Nigerian experts for various MDA’s represented at the meeting.” To finalise the e-government master plan, the statement said that a technical workshop has been scheduled to hold on Oct. 2 in NITDA with Nigerian experts from various MDA’s and the Korea experts. According to the statement, the team is scheduled to visit the National Planning Commission for project briefing of the Minister, Dr Abubakar O. Sulaiman, before living for Korea on Oct. 6.

From http://www.punchng.com 09/29/2014

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Korea, Poland Sign ICT Cooperation Agreement

 

South Korea and Poland signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday to forge stronger cooperation in the ICT sector through personnel exchanges and joint projects. The agreement, initiated by Poland, is expected to assist local tech firms penetrate the East European market, South Korea’s ICT ministry said. It was signed on the sidelines of the International Telecommunication Union conference underway. “The two agreed to join hands in mobile network, frequency management, broadband, Internet, information security, software, contents and other areas as well,” the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said. “Poland is an attractive partner whose ICT sector is growing, and can take on an important role for (South Korean firms’) penetration into the EU market,” said Yoon Jong-lok, the ministry’s second vice minister. “The ministry will provide full-fledged support to local firms so that they can participate in various ICT-related projects in Poland.” The two sides will exchange ICT experts and carry out joint projects that are mutually beneficial to their industries, and also cooperate at international organizations such as the ITU, the ministry said. 

From http://www.koreaherald.com 10/23/2014

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INDONESIA: E-Government Will Fix "Broken System" Says Incoming Indonesian President

 

E-budgeting, e-catalogues and e-auditing are the three most powerful weapons in the fight against corruption, announced Joko Widodo (Jokowi), the incoming Indonesian President who assumes office next month. “The system must be repaired. And people have to follow the system. Opportunities for deviation must be closed,” said Jokowi yesterday, referring to his successful introduction of e-governance during his short spell as Governor of Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city. During the Presidential campaign Jokowi argued strongly for greater use of e-government systems to improve citizen access to services, and reduce the scope for corruption. A suite of budgeting, procurement and audit applications were introduced to the Jakarta administration - introducing transaction traceability and automated financial controls within city hall for the first time. “These e-government tools have successfully reduced the chances for people to play around,” Jokowi added. “They can be made to work at the national level as well.”

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 09/05/2014

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Indonesia Launches Open Data Portal

 

The Indonesian government has officially launched its open data portal today, starting off with 700 datasets from 24 agencies. The portal data.id has a clean look with a prominent search bar on the homepage, and the content is written simply. According to the portal, it aims to promote a more credible government, better public services and encourage innovation in the society. The portal also features visualisations which citizens and government agencies have made using the open datasets, so that users without data skills can benefit from the portal as well. Another section on the website has applications which the government and citizens have developed using open data. Apart from making data available to communities, the portal also aims to engage citizens’ ideas and feedback. It has a ‘Community’ section where users can also propose open datasets which they would like to see on the portal or join a mailing list to stay connected with the open data community. The portal is currently in beta and will later become data.go.id. The portal is part of Indonesia’s larger open government movement. These include One Map Indonesia, a portal which integrates all government maps and public service competitions on openness. Citizen engagement is also a part of this movement, the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has highlighted during the Open Government Partnership Asia Pacific Regional Conference. Apart from social media activity, the government has launched initiatives to crowdsource citizens’ ideas, and to make it easier for people to file complaints and questions. Indonesia’s open government initiatives are led by the Open Government Indonesia team which consists of representatives from ministries, central government agencies and NGOs.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 09/05/2014

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How Open Data Restored Citizen Trust in Indonesian Election

 

When both presidential candidates claimed to have won the July election, Indonesian citizens got together online and used open data to verify the votes. The General Elections Commission had earlier published scanned tallies from close to 500,000 polling stations on their website. Ainun Najib, an IT expert based in Singapore got his friends together and set up a website where 700 volunteers manually transcribed the scanned tallies into a spreadsheet. “The volunteers, located across 27 countries, managed to transcribe more than 470,000 scanned documents in less than a week,” Najib told FutureGov. The system was designed so that a user can process one document in just 5 seconds. The numbers were made available to the public on a website (called KawalPemilu) and data was continuously refreshed every 10 minutes as volunteers updated the table. “In total, we had more than 3 million page views and over a million unique visitors. When traffic peaked in July, we had as many as 5000 visitors on the page at one time,” he added. The table showed the breakdown of votes from 33 regions across Indonesia and overseas voters. While the website does not represent an official count of the General Elections Commission, it restored trust in the elections process among the people. When the Indonesian high court confirmed Joko Widodo (Jokowi) as the new president last month, the general public were confident that the election had been fair. Jokowi recognised Ainun and the volunteers last month at a ceremony honouring young leaders. Jokowi commended KawalPemilu for making the election open and transparent.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 09/26/2014

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Tax Agency Cautious About Using Open Source on Critical Systems

 

The open source community in Indonesia is still small and this has discouraged the Indonesian tax agency from moving some big systems to open source, its Transformation and ICT Director told FutureGov. Open source is usually used by universities in Indonesia, he said, and the source code is not published so “it’s in a small group”, said Harry Gumelar. “Our difficulty right now is that we don’t know who to contact if we have a problem,” he added. The tax agency has asked for help in the past, but not received any response from the community. Even though Indonesia has been using open source tax systems for 12 years, it has not moved its most critical systems to open source due to this lack of support, he said. Gumelar does have hope that the community will grow. One of the largest banks in Indonesia is now developing its own applications using open source, Gumelar said. Only its core banking systems are still on proprietary software. He believes that this will help build up the open source community in Indonesia.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 11/13/2014

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Three E-Government Challenges for Indonesia’s New President

 

Indonesia’s new president is an enthusiast for e-government, but he faces three key challenges: interoperability, skills shortages, and a small budget, according to the head of the e-government lab at Universitas Indonesia. The three tiers of government - central, regional and local - all have different IT systems that don’t interact, explained Dana Sensuse. “There is no integration among those applications. It’s a problem right now.” Sensuse said that the new president should push to ensure common standards and a common architecture. Second, he said, “many of the people who run e-government in local government lack IT skills. Those who have IT training tend to be promoted, so they replace them with new ones who do not have IT skills. It’s not sustainable.” The third problem is budgetary, Sensuse noted. “If we want to implement e-government, the budget should be sustained. We follow an annual budget so sometimes a government has difficulty in proposing budgets because [Parliament] always rejects the IT budget.”

 

He called for longer-term planning and investment. The academic said that the new President, Joko Widodo, should make citizen satisfaction the measure of his success in e-government. “Our president is concerned about IT. If the stakeholders - citizens - are not satisfied with these services, he can consider that e-government has failed. The indicator of the success of e-government is user satisfaction.” Sensuse also called on the President to do more for mobile phone users. “We don’t yet think about mobile applications - we talk about desktop applications, which we consider a priority,” he said. There are two notable success stories that the new President Widodo inherits, however. The e-procurement system was mandated by central government for all agencies, ensuring that they will all use the same system by 2015. Sensuse also praised officials for providing a high level of technical support to develop IT skills in local government. Second, he said, is a mobile system that allows citizens to report problems on projects. People can complain if there is slow progress on a large project, potentially flagging corruption.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 11/14/2014

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Indonesia Mulls Adopting S. Korean E-Government System

 

Indonesian government is planning to ultimately use information technology to run its government by adopting the e-government system used in South Korea, a senior official said on Thursday. "E-government is the answer to modern governing system, using an integrated information technology system," State Apparatus and Bureaucracy Empowerment Minister Yuddy Chrisnadi said on the sidelines of a forum to heed an MoU on e-government and bureaucracy reform cooperation between Indonesia and South Korea held here. The forum was attended by 130 Indonesian and South Korean officials. The MoU was signed by officials of the previous Indonesian government and their South Korean counterparts last year. Yuddy said South Korea apparently has proven good records in applying the e-government system that makes Indonesia keen to adopt it. According to the minister, Indonesia has actually applied information technology systems in its institutions and agencies, but the systems were separated from one another. He said the e-government system to be applied by the present government will integrate information compiled by each of those institutions and agencies. He added that the government has six priority programs to use e- government system in a bid to create effective, efficient and transparent governing system. They include government's cyber security, intra-government broadband, interconnection of government service system, integrated electronic data center, national one-window licensing service and empowerment of public service portal. Discussions on preparing implementation of the e-government system in Indonesia between officials of both governments are now underway. South Korea is willing to provide assistance in training human resources to run the system.

From http://www.globalpost.com/ 11/20/2014

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MALAYSIA: Civil Servants Must Share More Data, Says Chief Secretary Ali Hamsa

 

Sharing data across agencies is a priority for Malaysian government officials because it will reduce duplication, increase value for money and create “seamless integrated services,” chief secretary Ali Hamsa has told FutureGov in an exclusive interview. Malaysia’s most senior government official said that data sharing “reduces overlap and multiple agencies having the same programmes. It is value for money, basically”. Hamsa had spoken at the FutureGov Summit in Malaysia this month, saying that government is “focusing on expediting data sharing across agencies through integrated services that will benefit all citizens.” In particular, he cited the 1GovNet ICT network, 1GovApp store and 1 Malaysia One Call Centre and said that more platforms will follow. “Data integrity and information security will be the utmost priority in integration,” he added. The government has launched a “SMART” government initiative, focusing on social, mobile, analytics and big data, radical openness and reuse of data, Hamsa said. The chief secretary also told FutureGov that officials must do more to innovate and engage with citizens. “It’s very important because we are in the business of people-oriented public services,” he said. Innovation, in particular, is “every civil servant’s job, and also actors in the country including the private sector. Innovation is everyone’s business.”  Malaysia is committed to “change agencies and accelerate the digitisation of business processes,” Hamsa said. The chief secretary told the FutureGov Summit that he “strongly advocates” the open innovation concept. “None of us has a monopoly on good ideas, so working together and combining ideas from multiple sources we are more likely to come up with innovative solutions. In particular, he called on officials to use crowdsourcing, include the public in the design process, and launch an idea portal where individuals can approach organisations with their own ideas.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 10/23/2014

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SINGAPORE: One-Stop Municipal Services Office to Launch App

 

Singapore residents will soon be able to report complaints through a single smartphone app, without having to know or find out which of the eight government agencies is responsible for addressing the issue. The app will allow the public to reach the Municipal Services Office, the government’s coordination body for municipal service delivery, announced Grace Fu, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office. She told local media that users can simply take a photo of the problem and submit it via the app, even if he or she is uncertain whether it is under the jurisdiction of the Land Transport Authority or the Housing Development Board. Fu who will oversee the office has been visiting the eight agencies involved to better understand how each of them currently collates and processes feedback and complaints. The office is now focused on establishing standard processes for these agencies to manage and track feedback in a timely manner. The office will be open on 1 October next week. The agencies collaborating in the back-end include Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority, Housing & Development Board, Land Transport Authority, National Environment Agency, National Parks Board, People’s Association, Public Utilities Board and Singapore Police Force.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 09/26/2014

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THAILAND: ICT Ministry to Widen Role

 

The Information and Communications Technology Ministry is set to expand its role and restructure its operation to serve the government's policy of promoting a digital-based economy. To that end, ICT Minister Pornchai Rujiprapa said yesterday that the ministry was considering approaching the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre to have it placed under its control. The centre is currently under the Science and Technology Ministry.  However, Pornchai declined to comment on reports that the ICT Ministry would change its name to the Digital Ministry.This week MR Pridiyathorn Devakula, the deputy prime minister for the economy, said the government would create long-term plans, including a new focus on the digital economy. Pornchai met with Thares Punsri, chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, yesterday to discuss a collaboration between the ministry and the NBTC that aimed to steer the ICT industry. He said it also aimed to solve the ministry's and NBTC's problems, including their redundant roles, and possibly amend laws. Both bodies would soon set up a joint committee to work out possible areas of collaboration. Pornchai said the ministry would set up a joint committee with the NBTC to amend the Frequency Allocation Act and have the roles of the two bodies defined more clearly. His other priorities included amending computer and e-commerce-related laws and improving the financial performance of state telecom enterprises.

From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ 09/19/2014

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VIETNAM: Website Launched to Connect with Public

 

The 132nd General Assembly of the Inter-parliamentary Union, to be hosted by Viet Nam in the capital city, launched a website yesterday in preparation for the event in March, 2015. Written in Vietnamese, English and French, the website www.ipu132vietnam.vn provides information on the meeting and also serves as a channel through which the Organising Board, the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments and member states, can communicate. It also provides working schedules, agendas and supporting documents, as well as news, photographs and videos. Maps, tourist information, hotels and restaurants are also posted on the website. The assembly is expected to attract more than 1,300 delegates from 160 countries and territories.

From http://vietnamnews.vn/ 10/07/2014

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INDIA: Internet Governance and "Ungovernance" Meet Ups in Istanbul

 

NEW DELHI: The ninth Internet Governance Forum (IGF) took off in Istanbul on Tuesday to discuss the way forward for the internet. India has a substantial presence at the forum with representatives from civil society, government and even business in attendance. But interestingly, on Sept 4 and 5, the same city will also witness a parallel Internet Ungovernance Forum (IUF) "unconference" where discussions will centre on online surveillance and censorship. Organisers say that out of the 250 registrants so far, 10 are from India. At the heart of the contrasting meet ups is a raging debate on censorship. Turkish activists also disapprove of the way IGF functions. Mishi Choudhary, legal director at the Software Freedom and Law Center (SFLC) says she would be attending the IUF to show solidarity. "Global civil society must support local efforts and join forces to criticize actions of suppressive regimes to prevent free flow of information," she says.

 

The IUF website, organised by a group of Turkish activists, states the issues thus: "We see that at IGF the most urgent problems of the Internet do not get the right attention. Due to the 'multi-stakeholderism' format, the main perpetrators of many of the Internet's problems, governments and corporations, are getting representation in IGF they don't deserve. Given these circumstances, we decided to take initiative to defend the Internet as we know it and to create a space to raise the voices of civil society initiatives, activists and common people." Turkey has seen a slew of online censorship measures in recent times. The latest one was in March 2014 following a high level leak on the video-sharing website. "A lot of workshops proposed by the Turkish activists who are facing immense free speech problems were not approved. Only one was. There are problems with the way the government crackdowns on internet works and IGF does little to address them. More than 30,000 websites are blocked...and the reason for blocking are political," explains Choudhary.

 

Anja Kovacs, who heads the research and advocacy platform Internet Democracy Project, agrees that issues of censorship "could have more detailed treatment" at the IGF. However, she says the blame can't be put squarely on the IGF. "Last year, surveillance was put on the agenda of one of the main sessions of the forum. Yet when comments were invited from the floor, these surprisingly remained relatively mild," points out Kovacs, who will also be attending the "ungovernance" forum. "What we want to achieve is the creation of alternative forums where states and corporations do not have a dominant position. We would regard ourselves as successful if forums like ours become institutionalized in future," says Melih Kirdilog, one of the IUF organisers, adding that the internet is "fast becoming a dystopia of censorship and surveillance and governments and large corporations are responsible for this."

From http://www.i-policy.org/ 09/03/2014

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'Digital India' Introduced at Internet Governance Forum

 

NEW DELHI: The new government had embarked on a very ambitious initiative called Digital India - which aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy. While elaborating on the component of Digital India, Department of Information Technology secretary RS Sharma also talked about National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN), National Information Infrastructure (NII) and other efforts of the government. Speaking at the ninth meeting of the Internet Governance Forum, 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey, Sharma noted, “25 per cent of the people in India amount to around one billion people. More than 800 million mobile subscribers are connected to the telecommunication backbone. All possible steps are being taken to connect everyone to the Internet.” The fact that just around four billion people around the world have access to internet should be treated as an opportunity and not a challenge, he added. The Main Focus Panel at the meet was ‘Policies enabling access, growth and development on the Internet.’ Nigerian Communication Minister Omobola Johnson, deputy assistant secretary of state & U.S. coordinator for international communications Daniel A. Sepulveda and Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission, commissioner for digital agenda were also present at the panel discussion.

 

Other important components of Digital India, all of which contributed to the improved access mentioned were: Cradle to Grave Digital Identity to every person, mobile phone and bank account to everyone, creation of digital resources in Indian languages and setting up of Common Service Delivery Centres in each panchayat. This will allow transparent and efficient electronic service delivery. In this regard regulations related to Electronic Service Delivery are being prepared and will be implemented in the near future. Additionally, post offices will also be used as Common Service Delivery Centres. Many countries have appreciated India’s excellent public delivery system model. Sharma also emphasised that the problem of access should not be looked merely from the perspective of creation of infrastructure. There are many issues like capacity building, content creation, especially in local languages, business models for service delivery and coordination among various agencies which will need to tackled in a coordinated manner. He also mentioned about the Digital Literacy Programme, an on-going project which aims at building capacity among potential users of the internet. In addition to this, the government has also launched e-Bhasa project or e-Language project which would ensure availability content in local languages.

From http://www.i-policy.org/ 09/04/2014

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Online Tracking of Government Officials

 

NEW DELHI: Bureaucrats seem to be in for some tough times in the Modi regime with a new website helping not only the government but also the public keep a watch on their movements. The website attendance.gov.in, launched Sep 30, clocks the in and out times of bureaucrats. It informs which official attended office on any day, how punctually they arrived, if some of them left midway and where did they go. The portal covered 50,748 employees in 149 organizations. Some of the organizations registered include Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, the Armed Forces Tribunal, Central Water Commission, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Ministry of External Affairs. The website informs about the attendance through graphs. Any user can find out how many officials in the registered organizations reported for work on a particular day. A senior official said that the idea had come from Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself. The idea was not just to improve punctuality but to weed out ghost employees as well, he added.

From http://www.siliconindia.com/ 10/14/2014

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Prez, PM Ask People to Use Technology to Fight Corruption

 

NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for making optimum use of modern technology in tackling corruption. In his message on the beginning of 'Vigilance week' starting today, the President said "use of modern technologies can play an important role in eliminating human interface in service delivery systems." Emphasizing that it is a collective responsibility of citizen as well government officials to fight corruption, Mukherjee said corruption is a complex problem that needed multi-faceted action. "One of them is the use of technology that can help promote openness and transparency," he said and asked people to adopt technology initiatives in combating corruption to maximise benefits. The Prime Minister stressed on the integrity of public servants. "It is needless to point out that integrity of public servants and transparency in public offices is utmost necessary in making transparent and efficient administration free of corruption," Modi said. "I appreciate the CVC's outreach initiatives and endeavours to combat corruption with optimum use of technology," he said. Vice President Hamid Ansari said in his message that eradication of corruption from society is not only a legal obligation but also a moral duty of every Indian. The vigilance awareness Week will be observed till November 1. The theme of the week is "Combating Corruption - Technology as an enabler".

From http://www.siliconindia.com/ 10/28/2014

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SRI LANKA: The Rise of e-Government Services

 

Sri Lanka as a country is growing rapidly in every aspect. The country has achieved better gross domestic product (GDP) rates, a single digit level inflation, a solid GDP per capita income and low unemployment rates over the last two years, with positive contributions from key sectors of the economy. This growth is expected to produce better results in upcoming years with a high momentum, supported by an increase in investment, a favourable macroeconomic environment and continued recovery in the global economy. Overlook of ICT sector In such an environment, Sri Lanka’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector has grown in a remarkable fashion. According to the latest report titled ‘Sri Lankan IT/BPM Industry2014 Review’ by Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM), IT sector’s export revenue grew from US$ 213 million in 2007 to an estimated US$ 720 million in 2013. Total employment grew from 33,700 in 2007 to an estimated 75,100 employees in 2013, and the number of companies in the industry grew from 170 in 2007 to over 220 in 2013.

 

The government has set a strategic goal for the sector which is to achieve US$ 1 billion worth of IT exports by 2016. ICT authority bodies such as the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology, Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) and SLASSCOM have worked tirelessly over the last five years with other stakeholders in the industry to make this US$ 1 billion target a realistic goal. Global companies such as ATKearney, Gartner and IBM have already put Sri Lanka on the top of their global rankings and now the ICT sector is slowly progressing towards their next big goal; reaching US$ 5 billion in revenue, create 200,000 direct jobs and 1,000 startups by 2022. Big win on e-Government services One major area of progress for Sri Lanka was e-government. Sri Lanka was ranked number one in the South Asia by the United Nations, for country’s continuous developments in the e-government initiatives.

 

Sri Lanka has climbed 41 places from the 115th position in 2012 to 74th position in 2014 out of 192 countries, according to the report titled ‘United Nations E-Government Survey 2014’ which was compiled by the Economic and Social Affairs Department of United Nations. Sri Lanka is in a commanding position in the E-Government Development Index (EGDI), surpassing second ranked Maldives (94) and third ranked India (118). According to the report, country’s percentile ranking is 38.5 percent which means that Sri Lanka is in the top 40% of the countries in the world that are engaged in implementing robust e-government programmes.

Sri Lanka has also done well in the sub-indexes of the report where it has been included in the top 50 global e-participation performers. The country is ranked 33rd in the global e-participation sub-index and has secured the first place in the lower middle income group, and fifth place out of 48 lower middle income countries in the world and ranked seventh among the countries that has a high online service performance relative to income. Finally, Sri Lanka is globally ranked at the 37th place among top online service delivery countries, securing sixth place within its income group.

 

Sri Lanka started its E-Government initiative back in 2005 under the ‘e-Sri Lanka national development project’. The online portal offers A-Z government web indexes, 108 e-services for citizens, 51 e-services for businesses and 10 non-residence related e-services. The portal also offers extensive mobile and SMS services, an e-participation portal, easily accessible government forms, a developed open data portal with data available in various formats as well as whole-of-government strategy. Importance Considering these statistics, Sri Lanka has been able to significantly improve e-government processes and climb the rankings to become the number one in the South Asian region. There is more to be achieved, however, if Sri Lanka wants to compete with top global e-government countries such as Republic of Korea, Singapore and Australia.

 

These numbers are going to affect several global rankings such as Network Readiness Index (NRI), Doing Business Index (DBI) and Global Competitive Index (GCI). ‘UN E-Government Survey’ is considered as a feeding tool for these rankings and the progress we have made here from 2012 to 2014 as a country would contribute to these global rankings to elevate the country’s position in the coming years. The country should utilize e-government and innovation to offer momentous opportunities to convert public administration into a tool of sustainable growth.     E-government is ‘the use of ICT and its application by the government for the provision of information and public services to the people’ (Global E-Government Readiness Report 2004). In a broader aspect, e-government is the idea of using information technology tools in public administration to simplify and integrate processes to administer data and information in an effective manner to improve public service delivery, engage people using versatile communication channels and empower them. The opportunities offered by the digital development of recent years, whether through online services, big data, social media, mobile apps, or cloud computing, are expanding the way we look at e-government.

 

Through e-government innovations, public administrations around the world can be more competent, provide better services and respond to demands for transparency and accountability. E-government can help governments go green and promote effective natural resource management, as well as stimulate economic growth and promote social inclusion, particularly of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. ICTs have also proven to be effective platforms to facilitate knowledge sharing, skills development, transfer of innovative e-government solutions and capacity-building for sustainable development among countries. E-government can generate important benefits in the form of new employment, better health and education. The measurement sticks of government services are reliability and productiveness. When the services are electronically implemented, reliability and productiveness should increase with great discipline. Each and every person in the country finds benefits and their lives have been made easier by e-government services. This was the brainchild of ICTA whose main objective is to serve, fulfill and empower Sri Lankans through their e-government service. On a final note, let me congratulate ICTA on their tremendous effort and finish by saying that ICT is the bedrock upon which we can dream of building a society with equitable distribution of opportunity and knowledge through robust e-government platform services.

From http://www.i-policy.org/ 09/05/2014

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AZERBAIJAN: Taxing Ministry’s E-service Portal to Be Temporarily Unavailable

 

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Taxes has informed taxpayers of the temporary suspension of the portal of e-services e-taxes.gov.az in connection with the ongoing maintenance work, the ministry said Aug. 23. The maintenance work started at 20:00 on August 22 and will last until 20:00 on August 24, according to the ministry. The portal includes more than 50 services. One can be registered with the tax bodies, open a bank account, fill in electronic applications through the resource. The entrepreneurs can suspend their activity, as well as carry out the registration as a VAT payer. E-taxes.gov.az portal has extensive information base for the taxpayers. A taxpayer can quickly get all the necessary information, use the updated legislative base, submit electronic declarations, etc. with the help of the resource.

From http://en.trend.az/ 08/23/2014

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KYRGYZSTAN: Learn from Azerbaijan's Experience in Automation of Public Finance Management

 

The Kyrgyz Finance Ministry and the State Personnel Service are examining Azerbaijan's experience in the field of automation of public finance management, IT-company Sinam said Aug. 21.  A preliminary agreement on cooperation in this area between the Azerbaijani and Kyrgyz Ministries of Finance was reached, according to a Sinam report.  Sinam's automated solutions were demonstrated at the Kyrgyz Ministry of Finance in mid-August with the participation of representatives of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Finance. The company's solutions are currently applied.  FARABI information system, which is currently used in the financial system of Azerbaijan, the tax service modernization project of Kyrgyzstan, information about existing information systems in the Azerbaijani treasury were presented to the Kyrgyz ministry.  Moreover, the information about the structure of the budget of Azerbaijan, applicable international standards and innovations in terms of the introduction of a uniform system of accounting in budgetary institutions was provided.  The ministry has expressed its willingness to cooperate with Azerbaijan, which is especially important amid the upcoming reforms of the Kyrgyz financial system, the report said.

From http://en.trend.az/ 08/23/2014

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AUSTRALIA: Officials Unsatisfied with Connectivity, Economic Impact, Survey Finds

 

Senior IT officials in Australia are unsatisfied with the levels of connectivity that their agencies have achieved, and with the broader economic impact that their organisations are having, an exclusive FutureGov report has found. The report - ‘Government Connectivity, Citizen Engagement and Economic Impact in Asia Pacific’ - was commissioned by Cisco Systems, and surveyed over 100 selected senior officials across Australia, Malaysia, India and Singapore. Officials were asked to rate the importance of connectivity to their organisation, and also to rate their current level of it. Australian officials gave connectivity a 93% score for importance, but 72.3% for the level of connectedness their organisation has achieved. Relatively speaking, officials in Australia were the most critical when they scored their level of connectedness, with India (76%), Malaysia (78.8%) and Singapore (84%) giving themselves higher scores for their achievements in this area. Australian officials noted that this area is of key interest to their agencies, and that there are barriers that need to be overcome. “The issues that matter most to me are access to government services via mobile devices and interconnected government systems that enable one stop shops for citizens,” one senior official said.

 

Another added: “How do you break down the silos limiting inter-connectivity between departmental agency systems and processes?” The survey also asked officials to rate the importance of economic impact to their agency, and the level of economic impact that their organisation is having. Australian officials gave a score of 81% to the importance of having an economic impact - higher than the regional average of 77.3% - but rated their current level of economic impact at 64.8% - lower than the regional average of 65.6%.Asked why he believes that Australian officials expressed the greatest regional concern about connectivity and economic impact, Andrew Thomson, Cisco’s Director of Public Sector Strategy, said: “Australians recognize that the global economy, and their place in it are changing. There is increased expectation that new technology will open up new means of driving jobs, economic growth and development.” He continued: “As one of the most developed economies in the world, we are seeing Australia take the lead in the transition to cloud and app-based services. This is increasingly evident across government departments, but also has seemingly increased the appetite for fully transactional service delivery at all levels and across all types of services.”

 

Responding to officials’ concerns about breaking down silos, he said: “Within government and between departments we see new connectivity tools improving efficiencies and driving greater inter-departmental co-operation. With the advent of more cloud and big-data information sources coming online, I would expect that Australia will take the lead in developing new policy approaches that - up to now - have been too difficult to implement using existing silo-based systems.” Australian officials favoured connectivity tools that connect information over those that connect people, the survey found. Asked why he thinks this is the case, Thomson said: “Australian government is data driven. A strong adherence to driving results and looking for efficiencies emphasises the need for more connected information. Citizens are also looking for more seamless services, and that is driving the need more inter-departmental data sharing, which again is information focused. I expect that as more governments gain technology traction we will see similar results across the region.” When asked to rank engagement tools, Australian respondents gave low scores to instant messaging (IM) (27.8%), Bring Your Own Device (45%) and social media (47.3%).

 

Thomson said that “Although there is a strong interest in multi-channel service delivery, policy makers are really looking for how tools provide better quality and more transactional services, as opposed to just more information about those services.” He added: “I think policy makers are rightly sceptical about the incremental value of IM and social media as tools for service delivery, but at the same time understand the value in citizen engagement.”

From http://www.futuregov.asia 09/08/2014

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Australia Plans New Framework for Better Government Performance Reporting

 

The framework introduces two new types of performance information - corporate plans and annual performance statements - “to improve the standard of planning and reporting for Commonwealth entities, especially regarding the delivery of public services and programmes”, the Department of Finance has said in its proposal - Enhanced Commonwealth Performance Framework - published this week. The performance framework will be implemented over time, starting from 1 July 2015. Currently there is no single document to guide the government’s performance management, the proposal said, leading to a performance management system that is “incomplete and lacks overarching coherence”. The new corporate plan will be the key planning and operations document for government organisations. The framework also proposes improving portfolio budget statements which will include information on resource allocation and programme monitoring. These two documents will be produced at the start of the financial year.

 

The end-of-financial year annual reports will be adjusted to incorporate the new annual performance statements and will be the main performance reporting document for Australian government organisations. The new elements of the performance framework will be integrated into the existing documents used - “we are seeking to build on, rather than disrupt existing good practice”, the proposal said. The Department of Finance paper also mentioned a longer term goal to create an integrated performance reporting system, which will include monitoring and evaluation, and help the government make decisions about where to best invest scarce public resources.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 09/13/2014

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Australia Government Puts Intellectual Property Rights Online

 

The Australian government will soon publish all of its intellectual property (IP) rights data online so companies can easily search and find partners. The information being made available comprises more than 350 million data points, including rights to patents, trademarks, designs and rights granted to the breeder of a new variety of flora. The data will be updated annually. The government expects that the open data will help companies find each other more quickly to collaborate, build their product and get it to market, said Bob Baldwin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry in a release. “Placing IP rights data on the web in a way that is easily searchable will make it easier for business to come together to innovate, create jobs and boost our economy,” he said. “The data includes information about IP rights applications that can be matched to individual firms along with information about their size, their technology and their geographic location.”

 

This location information also allows the government to map innovation and pinpoint exactly where new ideas have been developed in Australia, and by which companies. Another advantage of this mapping is that it will be easier to identify where Australia’s growth sectors are, as IP rights can be linked with geospatial data and business information. Australia is the first country to publish all IP rights data online.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 10/09/2014

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Australian State Launches Centralised IT Management Portal

 

The Department of Education in the Northern Territory in Australia has launched a centralised portal to monitor the status of its IT services and infrastructure. The IT team, which supports more than 40,000 staff and students across 245 locations, used to rely on separate systems to manage operations, system configuration, applications, wired and wireless device information, network performance metrics and real-time bandwidth consumption. With the launch of the new iCentre, all users can report problems and get self-help tools on this centralised portal. This means that the IT team can get immediate visibility on the status of IT networks, bandwidth, applications, servers and more, said Satpinder Daroch, the department’s CIO. The portal was developed to support the department’s staff in delivering ICT-enabled teaching and learning.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 10/17/2014

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Australian Government Moves to New govCMS Digital Government Platform

 

Australia.gov.au is going Drupal through the Acquia Platform, with the site launching ahead of the official govCMS launch in February 2015. Acquia bills itself as ‘the digital experience company’, and is a company created by the founder of Drupal, with clients such as Pinterest, Mercedes Benz, Warner Music Group, and Stanford University among the more than 4,000 others. The company today announced that Australia.gov.au has launched as the first site on the govCMS platform, which is the “home page” for the Australian Government, and a central destination for digital government services used by more than 2 million visitors every month. As I was attending the Zuora event today on at the same time as the Acquia and govCMS launch, I met up with Acquia’s representatives, David Churbuck, VP of Corporate Marketing, and Chris Harrop, Acquia’s Asia Pacific Regional Director, who spoke to me to explain today’s launch and its significance - the video is below. govCMS is an officially sanctioned distribution built on Drupal, and will ‘help government agencies across Australia decrease costs and increase their agility and ability to better engage citizens with government services.’

 

Today’s press briefing saw the Australian Government’s Chief Technology Officer, John Sheridan, announce that ‘the first site to use the innovative govCMS platform has gone live on the Acquia Cloud, the cloud-based platform innovated by Acquia to support some of the world’s most sophisticated  and ruggedly resilient digital experiences.’ ASADA, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority will also ‘be among the first external agencies to adopt govCMS; the full migration of the authority’s site to govCMS is planned for early 2015.’ Acquia says The Department of Finance is working with it ‘to provide govCMS, an open cloud platform for the development and continuous delivery of its Drupal-based govCMS service.’ Acquia is working with the govCMS team to ‘create common themes and templates that may be used by a variety of government Departments, Agencies, official blogs, and policy microsites. Together they’re also developing a range of procurement options and pricing plans to provide greater value and flexibility to agencies that adopt govCMS.’

 

The Australian Government will also offer ‘free Get Ready for govCMS training courses on Friday 14 November in Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne. The courses are part of Drupal Global Training Days, an initiative of the Drupal Association to introduce new and beginning users to Drupal.’ As Acquia explains, ‘govCMS is an important service offering for Australian Government entities. It reflects the Government’s commitments regarding the use of shared, cloud-based services. Agencies using govCMS will benefit from a standardised procurement model and achieve compliance for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). govCMS incorporates and extends the aGov Drupal distribution, which was developed specifically for Australian government organisations.’ Acquia says it ‘helps the Australian Government meet these requirements through its Acquia Platform, which brings together key capabilities for engagement and digital experience management.’

 

The platform features Acquia’s Digital Experience Cloud, which supports DevOps best practices by helping engineers create and manage high-quality applications faster. The Digital Experience Cloud simplifies the management of a complex portfolio of sites for engineers and architects, helping them build, govern, and scale the continuous delivery of many experiences across an organisation while administering them from a single administrative dashboard. The Acquia Platform also empowers government agencies to tap into the innovation of the global Drupal community, connecting new applications, modules and technologies to their sites as they emerge.

Chris Harrop, Acquia’s Asia Pacific Regional Director said: “Acquia’s Digital Experience Cloud and world-class professional support is enabling the Australian government to go to market faster with a solution that delivers on the promise of eGovernment to agencies all across the Commonwealth.”

From http://www.itwire.com 11/11/2014

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EUROPE: What Juncker, Ansip and Oettinger Should Do for the Telecom Sector

 

The European Commission should carry out a whole review of the digital sector regulatory regime as soon as possible, because of the following reasons:

1) The telecom industry is a strategic sector for Europe. The perspective of having networks controlled by non European companies entails enormous risks in terms of security for member states and citizens as well

2) The current regulatory regime was designed and thought of for liberalization. Market context has changed. US and Asian companies are in good health, especially internet players in the US and manufacturers and device producers in Asia. The regime is too complex and hampers large scale investments in new broadband networks and service.

3) Europe needs a new wave of investments in the digital industry as a driver for economy recovery: in this moment fiscal and monetary policies have limited capacity to invert the economic cycle - after years of economic turn-down - and public finances are not in such a state to afford broad investment plans. Therefore private investments must be encouraged as much as possible. The investor community is expecting new policy moves soon and they need trust and confidence in the actions of the EU institutions for the next mandate.

 

The review should be carried out first of all by means of the publication of a white paper or a communication, to be released for public consultation, that gives straight away positive signals for investors, for companies and for citizens. Positive signals are needed because the policy debate is now centred around a draft regulation that, after Parliament first reading, serves no objectives of growth and is reduced to a mere draft law regulating roaming and net neutrality. The Parliament and the Council, which are stuck in such discussions, should be brought on board as from the very beginning in the building of reasons in favour of a general review, while now this is not the case. The review should take into account the following areas / lines of proposals, that must be further developed and deepened with a new approach and out of the box thinking:

 

1) The relationship between ex ante rules and competition rules. No more lengthy procedures and reduction of the litigation and appeals. Times are mature, after 16 years of liberalization, to really rethink the way rules are applied to networks. Too much regulatory effort is being spent with no clear results of the positive effects in terms of market growth and rise in investments. Such a brainstorming needs also to take into account the overall role of Regulatory agencies as they are defined in the current Directives and their relationship with competition law authorities. We need a new liberalization: the liberalization from rules that are not fit for purpose and only justify regulatory functions per se.

 

2) More consumers attention: no more roaming (for example) but more needs to be done. High value content should be made available over networks and new agreements must be encouraged (see e.g. Netflix agreements with Comcast, Verizon and ATT). This requires a review of copyright and the regime of protection of content owners. TV over fibre should be encouraged. All players of the content distribution chain should be brought into the discussion as well. Happy and satisfied consumers will be ready to pay more for better services. We must get out of the regulatory cycle that has brought prices down over years in favour of for free services. Such developments has benefited US companies to the detriment of declining revenues for EU companies (telcos, broadcasters, publishers).

 

3) A new model of market development: consolidation of players throughout the EU. No other comparable markets have such a high number of fixed and mobile players. More efficient companies will likely generate a new wave of revenues and keep the debt under control (difficult to finance on the capital markets), again generating with more confidence for investors. Such moves can keep under control the risk of massive foreign market access and all related dangers and threats. Can the EU afford foreign control of the information and communication networks? A strategic analysis should be carried out.

 

4) Privacy and data protection: because of the reasons explained, European citizens and member states’ governments are very concerned about the protection of data. Legislation in favour of better protection has limited effects but more can be done if companies are put in a position to manage traffic and keep data flows under control.

From http://www.i-policy.org/ 11/09/2014

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LATIN AMERICA: Ecuador Introducing the World's First National Digital Currency

 

Ecuador is on track to become the world’s first nation to create its own digital currency. The country’s central bank announced last week (link in Spanish) that it would begin distributing the yet-to-be-named currency in December. Backed by liquid assets, the currency will initially rely on demand to dictate how much will enter the marketplace, the bank explained. Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio reported (link in Spanish) that the currency will be circulated via the country’s mobile network. Analysts suspect the move is aimed at weaning the country off its dependency (link in Spanish) on the US dollar, which it has used as its official currency since 2000, following the 1998-99 banking crisis that destroyed the value of its physical currency, the sucre. The new digital currency will be valued as equal to the dollar on the universal currency exchange. With public debt at its highest level since 2010 (roughly 25% of the nation’s GDP), Equador’s president Rafael Correa views the digital currency as a way to pay off debt and help poorer Ecuadorians, who are largely cut off from traditional banking.

 

But there are drawbacks. Digital money may be cheaper to disseminate and use without having to invest heavily in infrastructure and logistics, but it’s also more difficult for people to wrap their heads around and trust, according to Jeremy Bonney, product manager at Coindesk, a digital currency news site. “It may benefit some people but it’s going to be hard for them to get a really strong adoption rate,” Bonney told Quartz. And there are hidden costs. A centralized digital currency (one controlled by a state’s central bank rather than market forces) may be easier to replicate and counterfeit, says Bonney, so it requires investing in protection from cyber attacks. For example, Bitcoin, the world’s largest digital currency exchange, relies on powerful computers and sophisticated cryptography to stay secure. For now, the Ecuadorian government has banned Bitcoin in favor of a digital currency it can regulate. But if it can’t, a giant pile of physical dollars will be waiting in the wings.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 09/04/2014

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NORTH AMERICA: Canada Post Lists 25 Nominees for Innovation in E-commerce

 

Canada Post has released its list of finalists for its E-Commerce Innovation Awards, naming 25 contenders with a shot at winning almost $1 million in prizes. Divvying up its finalists into seven categories, Canada Post has made room for not only Canada’s biggest retailers, but also some homegrown startups. Its categories include the best e-commerce shopping experience, the best omni-channel integration, the most innovative startup, the best customer and community outreach, the best mobile experience for large retailers, the best mobile experience for small retailers, and the most creative marketing campaign among small retailers. Among those listed as finalists are Canadian retailers like Aritzia, Best Buy Canada Ltd., MEC, ALDO Group, Hudson’s Bay, Frank & Oak, Telus, and Walmart Canada. However, there were also a handful of startups, like Carnivore Club, Tees for the People, the Roasters Pack. Vancouver’s ClearlyContacts.ca also scored two nominations, one for best customer and community outreach, and one for best e-commerce shopping experience.

 

SAN FRANCISCO - Visa Inc. has launched its answer to online shopping woes for consumers and merchants alike - Visa Checkout, a new product that’s geared towards making e-commerce and mobile payments quicker. The judges choosing the winners for each category include Twitter Canada’s Kirstine Stewart, Diane Brisebois, the president and CEO of the Retail Council of Canada, and Duncan Payne of Hut2Hut Events and the co-founder of DX3, a marketing conference. Other judges also include Rafe Petkovic, Google Canada’s head of industry and retail, as well as Stéphane Ricoul, director of client relations at Sid Lee Technologies. There’s also a chance for consumers to participate through online voting, allowing them to choose a winner for the Consumer Champion Award. The winner is the company with the most votes. This is Canada Post’s third annual E-Commerce Innovation Awards, with the event originally created in 2012 to boost Canadian e-commerce growth and to honour retailers based within the country. Last year’s winners included NailPolishCanada.com, Lowe’s Companies Canada, Well.ca, Snakes & Lattes, Jewlr.com, Build.ca, and Ten Tree International. The winners of this year’s E-Commerce Awards will be named Sept. 23.

From http://www.itbusiness.ca/ 08/27/2014

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U.S.: Mastercard Promises (Slow) Death to Online Payment Passwords

 

Credit card giant MasterCard has shared plans to do away with passwords in online payments, with an all-new authentication standard to eventually replace 3D Secure. 3D Secure is the extra layer of security placed on many online card payments, underlying systems such as MasterCard SecureCode, Verified by Visa, and American Express SecureKey. Originally developed by Visa, the 3D Secure protocol has been widely disliked for years, recently described by media celebrating its potential downfall as "hated" and by academic researchers as "a textbook example of how not to design an authentication protocol." Its requirement for complex passwords and erratic behaviour patterns irritated end users, while the use of pop-ups and later iframes from third-party sites worried security experts. Development of the new system is being jointly led by MasterCard and Visa, and promises to "utilise richer cardholder data", opening up opportunities for all sorts of second-factor authentication options.

 

Exactly how it will work and what sorts of second factors may be supported remains to be finalised, but MasterCard's news release mentions one-time passwords and fingerprints. It also notes that it's been looking at face and voice recognition, and even heart-rhythm-reading wristbands. Using aspects of your body to identify you would make authentication processes smoother, although the wisdom of using something you cannot change is regularly questioned. One-off passwords, coming from a code-generating dongle or app or sent to your phone as an SMS, interrupt the flow of things a little more but also provide decent security. The problem with most of these in the past has been their reliance on additional technology. While you can carry passwords around in your head, fingerprints and heartbeats need to be read by something, and computer-generated codes need to be generated by something. You'd then need that something to hand anytime you wanted to make a payment online.

 

This problem is slowly being overcome by our mobile devices. The most basic cellphone can provide SMS-based codes, smartphones can handle code-generating apps easily, and higher-end models now all have inbuilt fingerprint readers, so many of these options will be available to many people much of the time. Still, of course, there's the issue that not everyone will be on board. Not everyone has even a "dumbphone", and those who do don't always have charge or signal. Not everyone would be willing to deal with one-off codes, and for now at least, only a small minority would want to wear a bio-sensing device at all times. So the death of passwords may still be some way off. As MasterCard puts it, the system "could be adopted in 2015" and will "gradually replace" the existing model, meaning the change will take some time even if it's adopted soon. It even says it expects "far fewer prompts for passwords", rather than none at all. The new model is expected to run alongside the current one, for a while at least, and adoption is likely to be led by the wealthier and more tech-savvy, who tend to be less at risk from fraud in the first place. So, it's unlikely that the cybercrooks will be rethinking their target list any time soon, but it's good to see some signs of progress towards retiring an old and sloppily-implemented security paradigm.

From https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/ 11/17/2014

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Global Smartphone Connections to Hit 6bn by 2020

 

GSMA Intelligence predicts 80% of smartphone connections will come from developing markets. GSMA Intelligence on Thursday predicted that the number of smartphone connections worldwide will reach 6 billion by 2020, accounting for two thirds of all mobile connections excluding machine-to-machine (M2M). According to the industry body's research arm, there are currently 2 billion smartphone connections, two thirds of which are in developing markets. By 2020, GSMA Intelligence predicts that developing markets will account for 80% of the world's smartphone connections as developed markets become saturated. Indeed, smartphone penetration in Europe and North America is expected to reach 75% in 2020. The growth rate in these two regions between 2010 and 2013 was 39%, whereas developing parts of Asia Pacific and Latin America saw growth rates of more than 80% over the same period.

 

China is currently by far the largest smartphone market, boasting 629.2 million connections at the end of the second quarter, comfortably ahead of the U.S., which sits in second place with 196.8 million. Brazil, India and Indonesia complete the top five with 141.8 million, 111 million, and 95 million smartphone connections each. "The smartphone has sparked a wave of global innovation that has brought new services to millions and efficiencies to businesses of every type," said Hyunmi Yang, the GSMA's chief strategy officer, in a statement. "As the study released today shows, smartphones will be the driving force of mobile industry growth over the next six years, with one billion new smartphone connections expected over the next 18 months alone." Several factors are fuelling growth, GSMA Intelligence said. A fall in average selling price (ASP), driven by the proliferation of low-cost smartphones, is tempting feature phone users to upgrade. Tariffs that allow customers to buy data in small, affordable chunks are lowering the barrier to adoption in developing markets, while data-centric price plans are proving popular incentives in developed markets.

From http://www.totaltele.com/ 09/11/2014

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CHINA: E-Commerce Insiders Seek to Break Barriers

 

While Chinese consumers do much of their shopping with the click of a mouse or a fingertip, some foreign products aren't so easily obtained.Chinese and foreign e-commerce insiders gathered at the China International Fair for Investment and Trade, which runs Sept. 8 to 11 in Xiamen, Fujian Province, to discuss challenges to cross-border online retail.China is the world's largest online retail market, with a total revenue expected to reach 3.1 trillion yuan (502.4 billion U.S. dollars) in 2014, according to data from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).Many of 332 million online shoppers, among the total Chinese population, have higher income, better computer knowledge and more fashion-sensitive."E-commerce in China is entering a golden era," said Cai Hua, co-founder of the Global Cross-border E-commerce Association who has 12 years of experience managing three foreign e-commerce platforms.

 

Cai's optimism was shared by Nigel Sims, director at a British company Union Jack Marketing, which provides logistics and support for e-commerce businesses in the United Kingdom."I'm establishing an online platform in China next year, because China is a very exciting market," Sims told Xinhua, adding that he plans to sell brands Chinese people are not quite familiar with."Mostly smaller and specialized brands," he said. "Not everyone can afford a French handbag or an Italian suit."Sims's company is just a drop in the ocean of foreign businesses looking to access the Chinese market through e-commerce, said Stephen Phillips, chief executive of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC).UK Trade and Investment signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the e-commerce giant Alibaba during British Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to China last year to help raise the profile of British companies among Alibaba's huge user base.Last month, fashion retailers Top Shop and Miss Selfridge announced partnerships with Shangpin.com in hopes of reaching Chinese customers.

 

So far, over 20 British brands have established flagship stores on China's major business-to-customer platforms.At the same time, a growing number of foreign online retailers, such as Mothercare and Wiggle, are now running Chinese language websites.Along with foreign big names "looking east," Chinese e-commerce companies have already started targeting overseas customers.Lightinthebox.com is a Beijing-headquartered retail website that sells and delivers products directly to consumers around the world. More than 90 percent of the company's revenue comes from overseas sales.Lightinthebox Vice President Jiang Yong said the company has built warehouses overseas and hired locals for after-sale services."Customers around the world can easily buy high-quality, low-price products on our website," Jiang said.

 

"Chinese products are competitive, as the production costs in China are still well below Western levels," said Li Yansheng, senior vice president of Shenzhen 4PX Information Technology Co., Ltd., which specializes in helping foreign e-retailers set up platforms in China.Moreover, China's middle class families have enough money to buy European-made products and luxuries, said Li, making e-commerce between China and the rest of the world profitable.Prospects for cross-border e-commerce may be bright, but insiders warned much should be done to tap the market's full potential.Building a presence in foreign e-commerce markets typically requires trusted local partners for technical and logistics support.

 

"England is a small country, which means it is easier to move things around on the same day or next day. Obviously, in China it's more difficult given longer distances," Sims said.Conference attendees said cross-border shipments require cooperation between the two countries' customs, tariff reductions and other preferential policies to help the industry thrive.Phillips said tastes, preferences and buying habits vary among customers in China and the West, which means foreign companies must localize product offerings and marketing."But our view at the CBBC is that these challenges can be overcome," said Phillips. Cai is also confident, while his association begins training business professionals in cross-border e-commerce."The cake is big enough for domestic and foreign companies to share," he said.

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

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Alipay, Huawei Team for Fingerprint Payment Development

 

Alipay and Huawei announced that the two parties have worked together in the launch of standard solutions for fingerprint payment in China.In this partnership, Alipay is responsible for creating more convenient payment experience to users, while Huawei provides devices and payment technologies.The new fingerprint payment function was officially available on September 4, 2014.Alipay's fingerprint payment is to determine personal identity by human biological fingerprint features and connect it with Alipay accounts. It is secure and fast to implement transactions and payments with the fingerprint identification technology. This new function will be first installed on Huawei's Mate7 smartphone.According to Alipay, fingerprint payment is only one category of biological identification and others include iris identification and facial identification. However, fingerprint identification is currently the most mature technology. Alipay said that the company is establishing a fingerprint identification system, which will be opened to more phone makers in the future.Huawei's senior vice president Li Xiaolong said that the fingerprint information will be saved locally instead of uploaded to servers. So that will hopefully assuage users' worries about privacy and security.

From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 09/10/2014

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'Made in China' Online Firms on Global Mission

 

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has been in the limelight recently with its much-anticipated initial public offering of shares in New York. But its chairman Jack Ma has also been busy making trips to countries like South Korea to expand the company's flagship e-commerce business.Ma, who held extensive discussions with South Korean President Park Geun-hye during his trip to Seoul last month, was making his third trip to the country in the past six months, including a trip in July as part of President Xi Jinping's official delegation to the country.Joining Ma on the trip in July were top executives from some of the biggest and most innovative Chinese Internet firms, like Robin Li, the chief executive officer of search company Baidu Inc.Li was also part of Xi's delegation to Brazil in July. During the trip, Xi, along with his Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff, witnessed the launch of the Portuguese version of the Baidu search engine. Though it was not the first time that Baidu had launched a non-Chinese language search engine, it was certainly the first time that a Chinese leader was promoting its services.The Internet sector has never been as important in China as it is now, with domestic Internet companies and services being part of the top leaders' overseas marketing list, which includes basic goods, value-added mechanical and electrical products, and high-end, high-speed railway systems and nuclear power plants.

 

According to a recent study conducted by McKinsey Global Institute, the business and economics research arm of global consulting firm McKinsey & Co, the Internet sector could add 0.3 to 1 percentage points to China's GDP growth rate from 2013 to 2025.This could fuel some 7 to 22 percent of the incremental GDP growth through 2025, translating into 4 trillion yuan ($650 billion) to 14 trillion yuan in China's annual GDP by that point.Whether the Internet sector and other high-tech emerging industries are going to become China's new weapon to help win more global market share is still too early to tell, but it is clear that some of China's leading firms have already had the capacity to provide services outside the country and are starting to put overseas expansion into high gear.Apart from launching a Portuguese search engine in Brazil, the Beijing-based Baidu also signed a strategic agreement with Brazil's Ministry of Science and Technology to jointly develop Internet technology in Brazil.Baidu will offer tailor-made solutions to help with Brazil's Internet innovation and build a technology innovation center in Brazil to cultivate local talent and startup companies.Alibaba has been even more aggressive in the overseas markets. From May to July, it had teamed up with the official postal departments in Singapore, Australia and Brazil to ease logistics procedures and facilitate cross-border e-commerce between these countries and China.

 

Neil Flynn, head equity analyst at Shanghai-based Chineseinvestors.com, a leading financial analysis firm of US-listed Chinese companies, said that he has seen Chinese firms focusing on domestic markets because they understand their customers, and it is often difficult for foreign firms to enter the market."However, understanding the Chinese consumers can be very beneficial for expanding overseas. For example, Baidu has search engines specifically for the Thai and Brazilian markets. This is because these countries are emerging economies, and consumer behavior tends to be similar to that in China. So instead of having to wait several decades to get access to half a billion people, Chinese firms can expand overseas and get immediate access," he said.Justin Ren, professor of technology management at Boston University's School of Management, said Chinese Internet companies are expanding overseas for several reasons."Building a true global company is the dream of many Chinese entrepreneurs. China's Internet companies, which currently enjoy little brand-recognition overseas, all aspire to become the next Google or Amazon. Expanding globally will help elevate their status," said Ren.Apart from the enhanced visibility, there is also the need for new markets, new suppliers, and new talents and ideas, he said. Previously, Chinese Internet firms were often seen as copycats of Western technologies.For example, QQ was seen as an imitation of Microsoft's MSN Messenger, WeChat as an imitation of WhatsApp and Weibo an imitation of Twitter.

 

"But what we've seen is that these Chinese products have transformed from imitations to innovations. In particular, if we look at WeChat, its services are much more advanced than WhatsApp, and Western tech firms are looking to the Chinese market to understand the innovation and change that is happening," said Flynn, adding that the Internet sector will be a key driver for China's outbound direct investment.Yu Yongfu, CEO of UCWeb Inc, which is China's largest mobile browser by market share, said in an earlier interview that unlike the personal computer-based Internet sector, which was pioneered by Western companies—US companies, in particular—Chinese firms can be leaders instead of followers in the mobile Internet industry."The mobile Internet has a lot to do with lifestyle. For example, people in the US and Europe spend a lot of time driving to work, while the majority of Asian people use public transportation. That means that Asian smartphone users on average spend more than two hours every day on the mobile Internet."The strong reliance on the mobile Internet leads to innovation. What is more, the PC-based Internet is an industry with a unified world standard, while the mobile Internet industry varies among regions, he said.But Ren sees many challenges for Chinese Internet companies to be successful in the global arena."Becoming an established global business requires strong institutional support from its home country: Its financial, legal (particularly those related to intellectual property), taxation and education systems all need to function well so companies can thrive. In this respect, China's companies have a long way to go" he said.

From http://www.news.cn/ 09/16/2014

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Lenovo Launches New Cloud Computing Program

 

Chinese technology company Lenovo announced a new cloud computing program during its enterprise business strategy and ThinkServer Gen5 launch meeting.The company also published its self-developed cloud platform management solution named ThinkCloud.Gerry Smith, Lenovo Group's executive vice president, head of enterprise and head of Lenovo's North America operations, said that apart from PC, enterprise business is another major profit contributor for Lenovo. By acquiring IBM's X86 server business, Lenovo aims at the top of the global server market.Chen Xudong, Lenovo Group's senior vice president and president of Lenovo's China and Asia Pacific emerging markets, revealed that under the new cloud computing program, Lenovo will build 50 cloud computing centers across China; train over 1,000 cloud computing infrastructure experts; establish an open cloud ecosystem; recruit 100 channel partners which focus on cloud computing solutions; and support the transformation of existing channels.

 

For its underlying hardware support, Lenovo currently has ThinkServer products, Lenovo-EMC enterprise storage, private cloud all-in-one machine ThinkCloud AIO, and the to-be-launched new product System X. On the application level, Lenovo's enterprise cloud can provide storage, push, distribution and video services to small- and medium-sized enterprises. In addition, the newly launched ThinkCloud will be able to provide private and mixed cloud platform solutions to hyper-scale data centers.For the next step, Lenovo will implement in-depth cooperation with partners like Microsoft, Intel, Citrix, and Aliyun. In the future, Lenovo will fully participate in the consulting, planning, deployment, and operation and maintenance of cloud platforms of all sizes.

From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 09/24/2014

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China to Float 30 Bln Yuan E-Saving Bonds

 

China's Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced Sunday that it would issue two more batches of electronic savings bonds totaling 30 billion yuan (about 4.92 billion U.S. dollars) in October this year.One batch worth 18 billion yuan has a term of three years, with a fixed annual interest rate of 5 percent. The other batch of five-year bonds is worth 12 billion yuan at a fixed annual interest rate of 5.41 percent, said a statement on the ministry's website.The two bonds will be issued from Oct. 10 to Oct. 19, with interest to be calculated from Oct. 10 and paid annually, said the statement.These bonds are only open to individual investors, the MOF said.Electronic savings bonds are seen as more convenient than other types of bonds as interest can be paid through direct deposit into investors' accounts.This is the ninth and the tenth batches of such bonds launched by the ministry this year. 

From http://www.news.cn/ 09/28/2014

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Alibaba Moves to Tap Mobile Security Sector

 

China's e-commerce superstar Alibaba Group has waded into the mobile security sector, unveiling a security application and a mobile security platform Wednesday.The app, Ali Money Shield, serves to protect the safety of online transactions for mobile shoppers by safeguarding accounts and text messages, and filtering out fishing websites. The security platform, Ali Ju'anquan, aims to track unwanted codes and scan vulnerability for app developers.The move marks Alibaba's latest attempt to further tap the mobile Internet market.On Wednesday, the Internet giant joined hands with Meizu, a homegrown smartphone brand, to build a "new mobile Internet industry chain," with Meizu's latest smartphone model MX4 adopting Alibaba's operating system YunOS.At a developer's forum last week, the company announced that it has partnered with U.S.-based search engine Quixey to power app searches for the YunOS system.Alibaba's initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange last month raised 21.8 billion dollars, making the largest ever IPO in U.S. history.

From http://www.news.cn/ 10/22/2014

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Renren Kills Non-core Chinese Internet Businesses

 

Chen Yizhou, chief executive officer of Renren, says the company is planning to sell some non-core businesses to improve their profitability and they are also considering investment and expansion opportunities in America and Hong Kong.Chen revealed during an interview with local Chinese media that under the current model it is hard for the company to make any profit. They will therefore implement a complete transformation and change their business model.Renren was once known as the Facebook of China. Founded in 2005 in its present incarnation, the Chinese company has already been listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company took a typical Chinese Internet company path of developing diversified operations, covering online games, online video, e-commerce, group buying, and social networking.Though the company claims to have 214 million monthly active users by June 30, 2014, they never achieved stable profit.

 

In the second quarter of 2014, Renren realized net profit of USD31.3 million. However, its operating revenue was only USD25 million and its earnings of USD86 million were from short-term investments. The company suffered operating losses of USD30.4 million during the reporting period.The third quarter is even worse. Renren predicted that its operating revenue will decrease to between USD19 million and USD21 million. Chen attributed the situation to the severe competition from Tencent and other Chinese Internet companies.Chen refused to disclose which business the company plans to dump. Prior to this, Renren sold its e-commerce business to Baidu in August 2013. With exception of its social networking core business, Renren holds an open attitude towards cooperation with large technology companies.

From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 10/31/2014

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BTCChina Forges Bitcoin Deal with Chinese E-commerce Sites

 

Chinese Bitcoin exchange website BTCChina has reached a strategic deal with e-commerce providers, including online game service provider Shenzhoufu.com; Internet P2F financial management website Aicaike.com; and maternal and child product retail website Dandanchina.com.According to the agreements, BTCChina will provide Bitcoin payment services to those e-commerce enterprises, which expand payment channels for Internet users, help e-commerce enterprises attract more users, and improve their competitiveness.Bobby Lee, chief executive officer of BTCChina, said that they are honored to cooperate with those well-known e-commerce providers to jointly expand the payment sector. Payment channels are crucial for e-commerce companies and as a supplement of traditional currencies, Bitcoin has attracted wide attention on the Internet. The introduction of Bitcoin is expected to attract new user groups for those e-commerce websites.In addition, BTCChina's services can also support cross-border payments, which will help Chinese e-commerce websites to attract overseas customers and vendors and expand overseas markets.By June 2014, there were 63,000 physical stores and websites that accepted Bitcoin payment, including well-known brands like Dell and Neweggs. The world's leading Internet payment company Paypal also announced on September 23, 2014, that the company has accepted Bitcoin payments and users can purchase digital content such as games, music, videos and news with Bitcoin.

From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 11/07/2014

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Websites Pledges to Tighten Comments Management

 

Twenty-nine major Chinese websites have promised to better manage the comments of their users as authorities call for a clean Internet.Representatives from the 29 web portals, including Tencent.com, Sohu.com, 163.com and the official website of Xinhua News Agency, signed the letter of commitment at a meeting organized by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) on Thursday.These websites promised to ensure that "their users register, post and write comments with their real identity," according to the commitment letter.They also "promise to and sincerely ask all users to consciously abide by the 'seven bottom lines' -- law and rules, socialist systems, national interests, citizen's legitimate rights, social public order, morality and authenticity of information -- when posting.

 

"The letter asks them to remind web users not to release 18 categories of information that "are against basic principles established by the Constitution," such as information jeopardizing national security, leaking national secrets or instigating ethnic hatred or discrimination.Web users will be warned, suspended from releasing content, and may have their posts deleted and accounts shut down if they violate regulations. They may also face judicial investigation if their release of information is deemed criminal."The management of posts and comments in line with the law concerns the guidance of online public opinion," said deputy CAC director Ren Xianliang, adding that it is key to "administering the Internet according to law."Websites are responsible for users' posts and comments, said Ren, adding many foreign websites have formulated detailed rules for online release and made the rules and other management measures conspicuous to users.

From http://www.news.cn/ 11/07/2014

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China's Alipay Will Provide Internet Payment Services to Gilt

 

The international shopping website Gilt announced that the company formally introduced Alipay as a new payment channel.This makes Gilt the latest overseas shopping website partner of Alipay following recent additions iHerb, My Bag, and Rakuten.Founded in 2007 and headquartered in the U.S., Gilt provides instant insider access to top designer labels. Its products cover apparel, jewelry, home supplies and travel products and its services have been expanded from America to over 100 countries and regions around the world. Gilt currently provides Chinese-language customer services and by cooperating with Alipay the company hopes to further penetrate the Chinese market.According to Marshall Porter, Gilt.com senior vice president and Gilt international business general manager, with the cooperation of the two parties, Gilt users will be able to complete payment via their Alipay accounts.At present, China's Alipay provides cross-border payment services to 2,000 international vendors in over 40 countries and regions across the world, supporting settlement of 14 different currencies. When Alipay users purchase products from overseas websites, Alipay's system will automatically exchange the product prices into Renminbi and users can directly pay with their own currency.Li Jingming, general manager and chief architect of Alipay America, said that by 2020, China's e-commerce market scale will reach USD650 billion.

From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 11/10/2014

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Alibaba's 11.11 Shopping Festival Sets High E-Commerce Benchmarks

 

China's biggest e-commerce company claims more than USD1 billion worth of goods were sold over its sites within the first 20 minutes of this year's 11.11 Shopping Festival.Alibaba says it hit USD1 billion in gross merchandise volume at 12:17 A.M. this morning. As impressive was news that nearly half of all transactions took place via smartphones and other mobile devices.

Alibaba Group is rolling out the sale worldwide this year. Globally, the company says the strongest overseas traffic was coming from Hong Kong, the U.S. and Taiwan.Last year's 24-hour sale saw USD5.8 billion worth of goods transacted over Alibaba Group's Tmall.com and Taobao Marketplace platforms, making it the biggest shopping day in the world, topping the sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.Previous 11.11 Shopping Festivals have been limited mostly to the mainland. But for the first time this year, AliExpress, Alibaba Group's English-language consumer shopping platform will be participating, offering 50% off on one million products to customers overseas.

From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 11/11/2014

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Jumei.com Forms E-commerce Partnership with Beijing Daily Group

 

Chinese cosmetics B2C e-commerce website Jumei.com has formed a strategic partnership with Beijing Daily Group for logistics, distribution, e-commerce, and big data analysis.Financial terms of the deal were not announced.A representative from Beijing Daily Group said that by integrating duplicated third-party logistics resources, Jumei.com realizes a self-built distribution system with light assets, which is the first of its kind for its type of business. Jumei.com will make Beijing its pilot city for its innovative distribution system and its preparation in cities like Shanghai, Tianjin, Xi'an and Chengdu are almost complete. Soon the company will be able to serve its customers in those cities.In the future, Jumei.com may open its distribution system to more partners.

 

There are normally two models in e-commerce distribution for Chinese firms: third-party and self-built. Third-party distribution is completed via express delivery companies; while self-built distribution is established and operated by the e-commerce providers themselves and the goods are delivered by the employees of the e-commerce companies.However, Jumei.com developed a new self-built distribution model. Under this model, Jumei.com provides a stable amount of orders and its third-party delivery partners serve the company with self-built standards by using Jumei.com's self-developed distribution system and POS terminals. In addition, those delivery companies will share related logistics resources, including transportation lines, site stores, and delivery staff, with Jumei.com.

From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 11/17/2014

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Apple Pay Signs App Store Deal with China UnionPay

 

Chinese iPhone and iPad users now have a new method to pay for App Store products.Apple announced that the App Store has added China UnionPay as a payment option for Chinese customers. China UnionPay is the most popular payment card in China and will provide App Store customers with a simple and more convenient way to purchase their favorite apps. Customers can easily link their Apple ID with a UnionPay debit or credit card for one-tap purchases.As a bankcard network, China UnionPay operates China's national inter-bank clearing and settlement system, develops the worldwide UnionPay Card acceptance network, promotes the issuance and usage of the UnionPay Card as well as other innovative payment solutions, so as to provide quality, efficient and safe payment services to cardholders.To date, the total number of UnionPay Cards issued both at home and abroad has exceeded 4.5 billion. The UnionPay network has been extended to all cities and rural areas in China. In addition, China UnionPay has enabled UnionPay Card acceptance in over 140 countries and regions through extensive cooperation with more than 400 institutions around the world.Financial terms of the deal were not announced.

From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 11/18/2014

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Premier Li Pledges Government Support for E-Commerce

 

China will do its utmost to support e-commerce development and establish rules for online businesses to operate in a clear and fair manner, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday."The rapid development of China's e-commerce has greatly boosted consumption, beyond our expectations," he said at an Internet-themed meeting with global corporate leaders in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.The Internet has given the economy greater impetus for its development, Li said, noting that thousands of business startups, and job opportunities, have been driven by e-commerce.China met this year's employment target in the third quarter, and an important reason for this achievement is that many small- and micro-sized businesses have been created and are flourishing due to the government's administrative reforms, he said.These enterprises, in turn, have helped to boost online sales and facilitate logistics, a key sector of the market economy, he said.Li pledged that the government will support e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce, as well as cloud computing despite possible concerns of more traditional industries, in order to boost jobs and increase incomes.The Premier also said China will contribute to establishing rules for online businesses to operate in a safe and transparent environment.The government will maintain Internet security and safeguard the legitimate interests of online companies, and crack down on illegal acts such as violations of intellectual property rights and privacy, Li said.

From http://www.news.cn/ 11/21/2014

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JAPAN: Online Banking Fraud Targeting Firms Surges

 

A total of 198 million was stolen from corporate Internet banking accounts in Japan in 46 cases in April-June, industry data showed Friday. The figures surpassed the full-year record highs of 35 cases and 183 million marked in fiscal 2013, which ended last March, according to the Japanese Bankers Association. The bankers association surveyed a total of 192 banks. Japan Post Bank was surveyed for the first time since such statistics began in fiscal 2005. Online banking fraud surged in January-March, when a total of 141 million was stolen from companies in 22 cases. In the wake of the sharp increase in online banking fraud, the association last month drew up guidelines under which banks compensate companies that have money stolen from an online account despite taking sufficient security steps including having the latest antivirus software. Mizuho Bank, a unit of Mizuho Financial Group Inc., earlier this month announced plans to make such a corporate client eligible for compensation of up to 50 million per year in principle.

From http://the-japan-news.com 08/24/2014

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Convenience, Points Fuel Spread of E-Money

 

Electronic money is being used more and more often since the consumption tax hike in April, as consumers seek to reduce the amount of small coins in their wallets and take advantage of point services. Companies operating e-money services are competing to widen the range of stores where their cards can be used. Credit card use is also on the rise, indicating a shift in Japanese consumers’ longstanding preference for cash payments. Nanaco, an e-money system operated by Seven & i Holdings Co., was used about 347 million times from April to June this year, an enormous 48.9 percent increase from the same period in 2013. Nanaco users put money into prepaid cards in advance, and receive one point for every ¥100 they spend at Seven-Eleven and other stores under the holding firm’s umbrella. One point is worth ¥1, and the points can be applied to later purchases. “People appreciate not having to deal with small change,” a Seven & i Holding spokesperson said. The Aeon group saw the number of times its WAON e-money system was used rise 26 percent in the April-June quarter, and the nine cards issued by public transportation service companies, such as East Japan Railway Co.’s Suica card, saw a total increase of about 16 percent.

 

The traffic companies’ cards can be used at many different railway companies and other businesses nationwide. According to the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, the amount of money spent through credit cards in the April-June quarter increased 8.5 percent. According to forecasts by Nomura Research Institute, the amount spent through e-money services in fiscal 2018 will be ¥7.1 trillion, more than double that in fiscal 2013. Credit card use will rise 22.5 percent to ¥53.2 trillion, the institute predicted. Institute analyst Etona Ueda said, “[E-money and credit card] use will also increase in nonurban regions, where only a small number of people use them now.” As of June, the Aeon group had increased the number of locations where WAON can be used to about 187,000, or about 22,000 more than a year before. This included gyudon beef bowl restaurants and large electronics retailers, as well as about 2,500 cabs belonging to taxi companies in the Tokyo metropolitan area that introduced the system in July.

 

The Aeon group receives commissions from businesses where WAON is used. More users of its e-money system could eventually mean more customers for the Aeon group overall. About ¥447 billion was spent in the April-June quarter through WAON. A spokesperson for the Aeon group said, “We’re aiming to raise the amount to ¥2 trillion for this entire fiscal year, and to ¥3 trillion in fiscal 2016.” Seven & i Holdings is speeding up expansion of the range of places, including dry cleaners, where its e-money system can be used outside its group companies. There are also a growing number of newcomers to the e-money market. KDDI Corp. launched its au Wallet e-money system in May, and had about 3 million user applications as of the end of June. UNY Group Holdings Co., a major retailing company that owns the Circle K Sunkus convenience store chain, has also launched an e-money system, which a group spokesperson said was “essential to attract customers because the demand [for such a system] from our customers is so strong.”

 

Japan has been regarded as a society where cash is preferred over other methods of payment. According to market research company Euromonitor, cash payments account for about 70 percent of all settlements in Japan. This compares to about 15 percent in South Korea and about 25 percent in the United States and Britain. After a four-year hiatus, the Finance Ministry resumed production of ¥1 coins in tandem with the consumption tax hike, as it predicted that demand for the coins to make exact change would increase. By the end of this fiscal year, the ministry plans to have produced 160 million ¥1 coins. However, the Bank of Japan’s statistics showed that as of the end of July, the number of ¥1 coins in circulation was about 38.7 billion. This was less than the about 38.9 billion at the end of March, before the consumption tax hike. Economists attribute this partly to the popularity of e-money services.

From http://the-japan-news.com 09/12/2014

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Online Growth Prospects Help Japan's Recruit Shine in Market Debut

 

 Staffing firm Recruit Holdings Co Ltd surged in its market debut in Tokyo on Thursday, with investors leaping at a rare opportunity to grab part of a big Japanese company with strong online growth prospects. The 7 percent climb in its share price came amid a decline for the overall market and snapped a string of weak high-profile listings in Tokyo this year. It values the company at around $18 billion (11.25 billion pounds) - on par with Sony Corp and more than Switzerland's Adecco (ADEN.VX), the world's biggest staffing firm by sales. Particularly appealing for investors is Recruit's wide range of businesses including magazines and its aggressive expansion both overseas and into web-based products like real estate listings and second-hand car sales. "It has been able to meld its traditional publishing business with its web-based products well and that implies high prospects for growth," said Masayuki Doshida, a senior market analyst at Rakuten Securities. Doshida cited travel magazine Jalan as one such example. It now has its own website offering customers the ability to book travel tickets, hotels and rent cars across Japan. A tightening labour market as Japan's population rapidly ages and a shift by companies towards using more temporary workers is also expected to work in Recruit's favour.

 

Its shares closed at 3,330 yen, compared with an IPO price of 3,100 yen. Its IPO, the second-largest in Japan this year, raised roughly $2 billion, with about half of those funds going to the company for further acquisitions and half to existing shareholders. With ambitions to become the world's biggest staffing firm by 2020, Recruit has in recent years snapped up rivals such as U.S. staffing service CSI, Advantage Resourcing and Staffmark Holdings as well as Indeed.com. It has over 100 human resources affiliates, roughly evenly split between Japan and overseas. But the global staffing market is highly fragmented and in terms of just staffing-related revenue, Recruit ranked no. 5 in the world in 2012 with a 1.5 percent market share. That compares to 6.5 percent for Adecco, according to Staffing Industry Analysts.

 

The bigger market cap for Recruit may lie in its higher profit margins. Its margin for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation in the last financial year was 15 percent, compared to around 5 percent for Adecco. Founded in 1960 by Hiromasa Ezoe, a Tokyo University student, Recruit grew rapidly but stumbled in the late 1980s, when it became the centre of a shares-for-favours corruption scandal that brought down the Japanese government. Recruit made 1.2 trillion yen (7.07 billion pounds) in operating revenue in the past financial year, an increase of 13.6 percent, helped by its Indeed.com unit and a favourable exchange rate. But net income declined 9 percent as operating expenses increased. Weak listings on the Tokyo bourse this year included a $3 billion offering by smartphone screen maker Japan Display that suffered as investors fretted about falling product prices and its ability to compete in Asia. A $700 million IPO by restaurant chain Skylark Co (3197.T) this month also received a lukewarm welcome as its longer-term growth prospects are less than clear and the listing was seen primarily as an opportunity for owner Bain Capital to cash out.

From http://finance.yahoo.com 10/16/2014

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Japan's Softbank to Pump About $10bn into Indian E-Commerce

 

Japan's SoftBank, owner of a third of NYSE-listed Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has said it proposes to invest about $10bn in India's fast-growing e-commerce sector after agreeing to buy a stake in Indian online retailer, and eBay investee, Snapdeal. SofBank boss Masayoshi Son revealed a ten-year investment plan for India starting with the purchase of a $627m389m, 494m) stake in online marketplace Snapdeal. While India is home to the world's third largest internet user base, e-commerce is underdeveloped in the country. As such, online retailers are now poised to ride the expected boom. The move into India will help the cash-rich Japanese telecom and media firm offset sluggish growth back home. However, it did say SoftBank "will become the largest investor in Snapdeal", which boasts nearly 25 million registered users and over 50,000 merchants. A Reuters report, meanwhile, said SoftBank will own about 30% of New Delhi-based Snapdeal through the deal, which valued the latter at about $2bn. Pursued by the news agency, Snapdeal refused to comment on the terms of the deal.

 

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, SoftBank said it will lead a $210m investment round with existing investors in India's ANI Technologies, which owns a mobile application for taxi bookings that competes with Uber. ANI is behind taxi aggregator Ola Cabs. "I have a strong willingness to invest more like $10bn in the next 10 years. "I strongly believe that Snapdeal has the potential to be like the Alibaba of India," Son told CNBC after his firm revealed plans to buy into Snapdeal. Kunal Bahl, who co-founded Snapdeal with Rohit Bansal, said: "Our entire team at Snapdeal is thrilled and honoured to have SoftBank as a strategic partner. "With the support of Son-san and [SoftBank Vice Chairman Nikesh Arora] we are confident we will further strengthen our promise to consumers and create life changing experiences for 1 million small businesses in India." Snapdeal has raised about $1bn so far this year. Earlier in the month, SoftBank agreed to lead a $100m investment in Indonesian e-commerce giant PT Tokopedia. Earlier, the Japanese firm reportedly picked up a minority stake in Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment for $250m. Thomas Tull's Legendary is behind movie hits The Dark Knight and the Hangover series. In February, eBay led a $133.7m fund infusion into Jasper Infotech, which runs Snapdeal.com. eBay first led a $50m funding round in Snapdeal in April 2013.

From https://sg.news.yahoo.com 10/28/2014

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SOUTH KOREA: President, Alibaba CEO Discuss Korea-China E-trade

President Park Geun-hye discussed with Alibaba Group founder and CEO Jack Ma how to cooperate in the cultural sphere and how to develop e-trade between Korea and China, in Seoul on August 18. President Park said the Korea-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum was meaningful. The forum took place last month and was attended by President Park and her Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. Park appreciated the fact that the forum created a consensus between the two countries as both Seoul and Beijing agreed to extend bilateral cooperation, which initially just focused on manufacturing, to include the service sector and the cultural sphere, too. In regard to the Korea-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, the Alibaba founder said that he totally agrees with President Park. Ma said the goal of his Korea visit this time is to carry out market revitalization measures in a concrete way, according to the agreement reached between the two leaders. President Park asked the Alibaba Group CEO to cooperate on supporting Korean small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as they penetrate the online shopping sector in China. She also asked Ma to help with deregulation in the cultural content industry in China, including broadcasting and films. She proposed that he help products registered at Kmall24 to be automatically registered at Tmall, one of the Alibaba Group's storefronts. Kmall24 is an Internet shopping mall for SMEs run by the Korea International Trade Association. In response to the request, the Alibaba CEO agreed to cooperate on and to look into the issue. President Park and Jack Ma further discussed cooperation on e-trade between Korea and China. Ma said that the establishment of a logistics system, including distribution and warehouse services, is important for bilateral e-trade cooperation. President Park agreed with him, and expressed her will to provide support in that regard.

From http://www.korea.net 08/19/2014

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Trade Minister Urges More Investment in IT Products

 

South Korea's trade minister urged the manufacturers of semiconductors and display panels on Friday to invest more and develop new advanced products in a bid to enhance their global competitiveness. In a special meeting with senior officials from the country's electronics companies, Minister Yoon Sang-jick noted the semiconductor and display panel industries have been able to maintain global competitiveness of their products through what he called aggressive investment, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr 08/22/2014

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Gov't Further Eases Online Shopping Procedures for Foreigners

 

South Korea will further ease procedures for online shopping for overseas consumers by giving more options for identification, the technology ministry said Wednesday. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said it will have online malls adopt identification methods other than the social security numbers used by South Koreans. Options can include i-PIN or text messages to make transactions easier for foreign users who, not having a social security number, are sometimes prevented from becoming members of online shopping websites, it said.

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