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Summer 2015 Issue 50

 

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 GLOBE: An Open Internet Is Critical for UN Sustainable Development Goals

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif APEC Ministers Unveil Internet Action Plan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How Technology Helped Asia Pacific Against Natural Disasters in 2014

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif FINLAND: 100th Open Government Partnership Action Plan Published

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Estonia: A Model for e-Government

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Ranking No. 1 in Global Mobile App Usage - Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: Every Community to Have High-Speed Internet by End of 2016, Govt Says

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BANGLADESH: Internet on Brink of Collapse - Experts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: To Have 550 Million Internet Users by 2018 - Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Setting Central Standards for All Digital Services

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Spain Launches New EUR 153 Mln Smart City Initiative

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif FINLAND: 100th Open Government Partnership Action Plan Published

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif LATIN AMERICA: Brazil - New Telecom Consumer Regulations Go into Effect

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: U.S. - What Twitter's New Data Strategy Means for Social Media Monitoring

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GLOBE: Republicans' 'Internet Freedom Act' Does Away with Net Neutrality

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Information Economy Report 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Cisco’s First Transparency Report on Law Enforcement Requests for Customer Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The Politics of a Trusted Internet

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The Net Vitality Index and the Wide Open Internet

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif APEC Ministers Unveil Plan to Spur Internet-Driven Growth

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif APEC Ministers Unveil Internet Action Plan

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Issuing New 4G Licenses

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Mulling New Policies for Internet Finance

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Ministry Plans to Boost Internet Speed, Reduce Cost

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: ‘Big Data’ Bill Would Protect Individual Identities When Info Is Sold

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: SKT Aims to Lead Next-Generation Internet Standard

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Mobile Carriers Roll Out Data-Oriented Rate Plan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korea Urged to Focus on ICT Infra Projects

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDONESIA: KOMINFO to Develop Smart City Standards This Year

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif MYANMAR: Information Ministry Withdraws PSM Bill from Parliament

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif MALAYSIAN: Online Child Protection Plan Ready for Action, Says Minister

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PHILIPPINES: Senate to Pass New ICT Department Bill by June

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: Every Community to Have High-Speed Internet by End of 2016, Govt Says

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Digital Economy Plan to Take Shape When Related Bill Passes

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: MIC Announces Regulations for ICT Competition Next November

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Government Approves Plan to Adopt 4G

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BANGLADESH: Govt Borrows BDT 13.33bn Issuing T-bills

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Aadhar Linked Digital Locker

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 'Black Money Can Be Smart Strategy for Inefficient Economy'

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Consumer Outreach Programme by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) at Delhi

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Hundred Smart Cities to Be Shortlisted by April 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt to Rename e-Visa Scheme to ‘Visa Online’

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Hannover Messe 2015 - DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant Outlines Top Priorities for Smart Cities in India

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PM Narendra Modi Cabinet Nod for Smart City Project

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Plan to Become IT Developed Country

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Ali Abbasov About Baku 2015: We Have Mobilized Our Efforts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Legislative Initiatives Drafted for IT-Park Development

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Joining Up State and Federal Open Government Initiatives

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Data Retention Now the Law of the Land

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australia Sets Central Standards for All Digital Services

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet Society Continues Pressure on Government over Internet Policy

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AFRICA: Malawi - Govt to Overhaul E-Government Department

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: E-Governance Is a Good Tool for Implementing the Association Agreement Between the Eastern Partners and EU

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Bulgaria a New State Agency to Be in Charge with the E-Government

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Croatian Regulator Introduces New Data Collection System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Estonia: A Model for e-Government

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Russia’s Tightening Web Governance

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

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif LATIN AMERICA: Caribbean “Significant” to Global Internet Governance, ICANN Says

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Brazil Government Partners Facebook on Digital Inclusion

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: The Future of Internet Governance - Should the U.S. Relinquish Its Authority over ICANN?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: U.K. - Digital Transformation Ends in Breaches for 40% of Public Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GLOBE: An Interesting eGovernment Accelerator Case Study

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Democracy Tools That Inform the General Election Debate

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Expert Panel Discusses Issue of New Principles for Internet Governance

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Egovernment Initiatives to Drive IT Services Spend in Gulf Countries: Study

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How to Prepare Information Governance for the Internet of Things

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif "Countries Can Outgrow Their Size with E-Government" Says Nortal's Business Development Director for CEE Mr Margus Magi

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet Governance: What If the Sky Really Is Falling?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Is the UN Finally Moving Beyond Internet Governance to Focus on What Really Matters?

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Multitiered Intl Network Needed to Extinguish Violent Extremism

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Info on Uninhabited Islands Goes Online

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Science Ministry to Reorganize to Bolster ICT Convergence

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korea, Peru to Cooperate on Defense Industry, E-Government

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif MALAYSIA: Sabah Leads in Online Public Services

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Immigration Department Cuts Queues by Half with Online System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Malaysia Selects 31 Civil Servants to Advise on Open Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Malaysia Opens Digital Government Lab for Big Data Analytics

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: Tax Incentives on the Cards to Spark Internet Data Centres

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: Ministry Sets Up Database to Monitor FDI Project Progress

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif National Assembly Opens Portal for Citizens

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Task Force to Submit Preliminary eGovernance Report in a Month

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Approach and Key Components of e-Kranti : National e-Governance Plan 2.0

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Twitter Samvad Launched, Making Digital India a Dialogue

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif India: Government Approves National E-Governance Plan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Review e-Gov Components to Resolve Industry Issues: Nasscom to Govt

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Punjab Chief Secy Reviews Ongoing e-Governance Projects

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt to Share Software Code of eGovernance Apps

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt Depts Must Modernise Systems Using ICT: President

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet for All; Govt Favours m-Governance

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KAZAKHSTAN: National Commission for Modernization Created

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UZBEKISTAN: Deputies of Minister for Development of IT and Communications Appointed

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Data Retention Report Calls for Clarity

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australia’s Whole-of-Government Web Platform Available to All Agencies

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australia to Set Method for Valuing Open Datasets

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Ideas We Love: Government as an API

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

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Consolidating Online Public Consultations Across Government

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Google Pledges 150m and 'More Collaboration' for Publishers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif European Online Advertising Grows 11.6% to 30.7bn

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GERMANY: Under 50% of Firms Have Digital Emergency Management

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Seven Out of Ten German ITC Companies Use Cloud Computing

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif FRANCE: Some 72% of Online Vendors Have Mobile Website

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Portugal Ends 2014 with 2.83 Mln Fixed Internet Accesses

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Russia’s Internet Censor Reminds Citizens That Some Memes Are Illegal

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Swiss Online, Mail Order Market Grows to CHF 6.7 Billion

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UK Govt to Plough 600m into Freeing Up Spectrum

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 54% of UK Firms Keep Sensitive Data in the Cloud

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif LATIN AMERICA: Brazil Has 450,000 E-commerce Portals

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Brazil Internet Companies Earn BRL 25.1 bln in 2014

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: U.S. - Social Media Ad Spending to Hit $24 Billion This Year

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S. Internet Ad Revenues Reach Record-Breaking $49.5 Billion in 2014

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GLOBE: Public-Sector Digitization - The Trillion-Dollar Challenge

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GLOBE: OECD Head Challenges 'Extremely Aggressive' Tax Planning by Multinational Technology Companies

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ICT Companies and Internet Freedom

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet Companies Shouldn’t Try Censorship

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: E-Commerce Purchase Regulations Modified

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China to Strictly Regulate Online Commerce

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Approves Pilot Cross-Border E-Commerce Zone

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Linekong Invests CNY23 Million in Chinese E-ticket Provider

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Chinese Spend Big on Cross-Border Internet Shopping

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China to Boost E-Commerce

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet Boosts Packaging Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Chinese E-commerce Customer Complaints Up 174.4% in Q1 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JD.com Formally Launches Cross-border E-commerce Platform

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Nets Wanted Economic Fugitive

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Looks to E-Commerce for Growth Impetus

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Firms Join Chinese E-Commerce Carnival

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Letv Launches New E-commerce Website Domain

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Korea's Mobile Internet Market Expected to Reach $40 Bil. in 2017

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Retailers Work to Boost Online Supermarkets

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Japanese E-commerce Firm Makes Chinese Rebate Investment

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Mobile Banking Usage Soars 45.5 Pct in 2014

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Telecom Regulation Deals Blow to Smartphone Producers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif One-Stop Service, from Imagination to New Business

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SK Planet Rolls Out New Online Payment Tool

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Financial Regulator to Allow Mobile-Only Credit Cards

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SK Planet Enters Malaysian E-Commerce Market

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SK Telecom Vows to Offer Differentiated 5G Services

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea's Q1 Online Shopping Sales Jump 18 Pct

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korea Slips in E-Commerce Index

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea to Use Big Data for Business Opportunities

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea's IT Exports to China Slow Sharply in 2014

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Antitrust Regulator Increases Vigilance on IT Industry

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif MALAYSIA: Competition Among Telcos to Remain Intense

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Shared E-Commerce and HR Platforms for SMEs to Pool Resources

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Changi to Open Online Shopping to Arriving Passengers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: Five Simple Steps Outlined for SMEs to Do Business Online at Meet on Digital Economy

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

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-Commerce Sector to Expand in 2015: Experts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Banks to Offer Online Tax Payment Service

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Most VN Firms Plan to Use Virtual Technology

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Businesses Asked to Encourage ICT Use

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Mobile Devices Drive E-Commerce

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Firms Should Invest in E-Commerce

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Smartphone Retailers Race for Market Share

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New E-Commerce Website Launched

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Firms Told to Develop Websites for Mobiles

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BANGLADESH: BB Governor for Boosting e-Commerce

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Shopping Worth Tk7,184cr Each Year .

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Foreign Investors Pour $11 Bn in Capital Markets

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt Pitches for CSCs to Expand E-commerce in Rural India

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CII inks Pacts with Hitachi & Siemens for Smart City Project

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Fashion Retail in India May Touch $35 Bn by 2020

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Link Postal Account with Aadhar to Fecilitate DBT Role Out Revenue from E-Commerce Up 36 Percent

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Ravi Shankar Prasad Inaugurates E-Commerce Centre at Safdarjang

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Seeing 1.5 Times Increase in E-Trade

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KPMG Discusses IT Application in Banking Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KAZAKHSTAN: Major Communications Operator to Be Privatized

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif TURKMENISTAN: New Telephone Company Created

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: 22% of All IT Spending Outside Business IT

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Government Says New Technology Stymies Australian Tax System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian Stats Agency Spending US$170m on New ICT

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Spark Digital Details IoT Blueprint for Businesses

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Government Looks at Online Shopping Tax

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Computer Services Key as NZ Businesses Cash in on Extra R&D Spend

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NZ Broadband Speeds Surge as Govt Looks Towards Digital Economy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Software King as $25.5 Billion NZ ICT Industry Rings Cha-Ching

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Tech and Staff Training "Vital" for NZ Businesses

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif What Does NZ ICT Industry Spend Its Money on?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Cloud IT Infrastructure Tops $32 Billion as Market Momentum Gathers Pace

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Off Premise and Away as NZ Businesses Commit to the Cloud

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AFRICA: Liberia - Internet Freedom Not License for Profanity, Chaos

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: 31 Cities Agree to Use EU-Funded Open Innovation Platform for Better Smart Cities' Services

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EU, US Issue Joint Statement on Information Society

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ESTONIA: Work in Web Portal Attracts Talents from Around the World

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Latvia Urges Closer Cooperation to Protect Freedom of Expression Online

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 32% of Dutch Use Smart TV to Access Internet - Telecompaper

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif LATIN AMERICA: Brazilian Women Still Make More Mobile Purchases Than Men

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GLOBE: The Role of the Internet in Building Just and Open Societies

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet Rights Are Human Rights

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif At the Frontlines of Internet Freedom

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Digitally Connected: Global Perspectives on Youth and Digital Media

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EU, US Issue Joint Statement on Information Society

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif State of the News Media 2015 — A New Ranking of Digital Sites

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Freedom Online Coalition Considers Best Practices for Promoting Freedom Online

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How Social Media Can Help Keep Democracy Alive

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Public Tip-Offs Lead Online Crackdown

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet to Cover All Chinese Middle, Primary Schools

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China's 4G Users Continue to Surge

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China to Develop Broadband Network Nationwide

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Xi Stresses Information Technology for Education Innovations

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Toyota to Enhance Customer Service with Dealer IT System Overhau

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Smartphones to Help Tourists Shop

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Utilities Powering Up Online Bill Services

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Removal of Internet Search Results Must Be Balanced with Right to Know

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif IT Breathes New Life into Farming

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Use of Digital Textbooks May Erode Culture of Reading Printed Works

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Technology Upends Higher Education Paradigm

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korean Gas Stations to Get World’s First IT Fuel Security Module

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Gangwon-Do: 'Korea's Center for Big Data, Creative Economy's Repository'

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Indonesians Buy with a Little Help from the Net

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Twitter for Government: Indonesians Get Social Media for Public Services

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Child Prostitution Rampant in Indonesia, Says NGO

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Jakarta Gets App to Crowdsource Flood Reports

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif MALAYSIA: MDeC Launches Online Data Science Course for Civil Servants

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PHILIPPINES: Over 900 Cities to Get Free Wi-Fi

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Skillsfuture Courses to Include Aerospace, IT, Languages, Culinary Skills

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Smart Elderly Monitoring System Tested at HDB Flats

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Big Data Could Power On-Demand Public Transport: ID

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Singapore Develops National Database of Hospital ICUs for Better Patient Care

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Exclusive Interview: Singapore’s Smart Nation Minister

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THA Overwhelming Information Spread on Social Media a Problem for Many Groups

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ILAND: Auction - and 4G - Coming to Town, but When?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: Certificates of Origin Go Electronic

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PM Dung Opens E-Portal for Social Insurance

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BANGLADESH: 62 Percent BD Internet Users Look for Jobs

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet Can Lift Up 10m Bangladeshis .

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Digital Tech Can Add $101 Billion to India GDP

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Radio Is an Instrument of Future: Arun Jaitley

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Wi-Fi Facility at Seven Railway Stations

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif “Smart City Requires 24X7 Congestion Mapping & Effective Signalling System”

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Delhi Govt Sets Up Task Force to Implement Free WiFi

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Railways to Be Linked to e-Pantry

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-money Likely to Be Available Across 70% Post Offices by Dec

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif India Announces E-Tourist Visa for 31 More Countries

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif e-Auctioning of Coal Blocks

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEPAL: Quake - Leveraging ICTs for Disaster Management

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Operator Ends Wireless Internet Service

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijani AtaBank Implements 3D Secure Service

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Contest for Book Readers Held by Nar Ends

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azercell Highlights Women’s Role in ICT

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan to Cheapen Mobile Communications

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Iran, Turkey to Boost Cooperation on E-Tourism

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif TURKMENISTAN: To Construct Fiber-Optic Communication Line Towards Azerbaijan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UZBEKISTAN: To Create Electronic Registry for Pension Fund Contributions

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif How Technology Helped Asia Pacific Against Natural Disasters in 2014

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Regional 'Learning' Platform

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Telco Complaints Drop to Eight Year Low

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian Govt Eyes Emergency Mobile Broadband Network

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australia Overhauling Welfare Payments System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australia Builds New Emergency Prediction Software

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Campaign ‘Wellington Works’ Looks to Attract Aussie ICT Talent

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: U.K. - Less Than One Third of Consumers Feel Responsible for Online Privacy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: U.S. - IBM Fights Cybercrime with Its Own Social Media Platform

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GLOBE: The Real Cyber War. The Political Economy of Internet Freedom

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Black Holes Do Not Gobble Up Information: Study

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Information Can Be Recovered from Black Holes, Study Suggests

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Global Commission on Internet Governance Calls for New Global Social Compact to Protect Digital Privacy and Security

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Can the Internet Be Saved Without Harming Democracy?

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

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Google’s Vint Cerf Warns Against Fragmentation of Internet

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Vowing Tough Measures on Cyber Crimes

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Clears Up Dormant Gov Websites

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Social Security Info Leak May Affect Millions

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Denies Social Security Data Spill

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China to Clean Up Cyberspace for Minors

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Chinese More Satisfied with IP Protection

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Nation's Cyberspace 'Vulnerability' Exposed by Attack

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Campaign Focuses on Improving Internet Security

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Cleaning Up Cyberspace Ahead of Children's Day

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Over 1,000 University Websites Have Security Loopholes

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Firms Offer High-Tech Security for 2020

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif IT Firms Toughen Up Cybersecurity Efforts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Record Number of Reports of Illegal Internet Content Logged

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: New Team to Combat Cyberattacks

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Slander Can Be Detected Early on

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea Aims to Bolster ICT Security Business

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH KOREA: Boosting Cyber Operations Capabilities

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Cyber Security Agency Goes Live

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: Da Nang to Strengthen IT Security

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Young Lawmakers Examine Cyber Crime, Water Security

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Vietnamese Lawmakers Discuss Bill on Information Security

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Cybersecurity Business Disruption Attacks, Rise 40 Percent by 2018

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Develop Innovative Security Solutions: Modi Urges IT industry

 

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

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Quality of Service of Mobile Operators to Be Thoroughly Checked

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan, US to Continue Co-op in Cyber Security Sphere – Ambassador

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijan's Development Increases Need to Prevent Cybercrimes – OSCE

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Cyber Attacks Against Azerbaijani and Turkish Websites Expected

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Gov’t to Provide Information Security During Baku 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azerbaijani News Sites Being Attacked

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: E-Safety Commission to Keep Children Safe Online Appointed

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Website-Blocking Laws to Cost ISPs AU$130,000 per Year

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian Cyber Security Centre a ‘Fundamental Shift’

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AFRICA: Rwanda First Globally in Government ICT Promotion

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Britain Will Reach Max Internet Capacity in 2023, Tech Experts Say

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif LATIN AMERICA: Brazil ICT to Represent 10.7 Percent of GDP by 2022

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Bolivia Ends 2014 with 4.98 mln Broadband Connections

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Cuban Mobile Lines Hit 3 Mln - Etecsa

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Mexico Reaches 22.8 Mln Mobile Broadband Connections

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: US Transfer of Internet Control Stalled

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GLOBE: New Horizons Inaugurates N50m ICT Centre

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The Alliance for Affordable Internet’s 2014 Affordability Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Facebook Wants to Bring Free Web Access to 100 Countries by End of Year

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Stay Competitive with These 6 Sources of Up-to-Date Information

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif An Open Internet Is Critical for UN Sustainable Development Goals

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: To Improve Internet Infrastructure

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China to Bolster 3D Printing Industry

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China to Improve Internet Speed, Cut Fees

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Vows Faster Broadband and Lower Internet Prices

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: To Invest W5.6tr in Tech Sectors by 2020

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korea to Inject W9tr into ICT by 2020

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Gov't to Foster Private Sector Satellite Development

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea's Technology Level Estimated at 78.4% of US

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea Ranks No. 1 in Global Mobile App Usage: Report

 

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

 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: Govt Offers to Mediate Disputes over 4G Auction

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BANGLADESH: Internet on Brink of Collapse - Experts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Innovations Can Help the World - President

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif India Ranks 5th on Global e-Waste Monitor 2014 List!

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif  ‘Opportunity Chhattisgarh 2015′ to Boost IT-BPM Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif India to Have 550 Million Internet Users by 2018: Report

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Internet Speed to Be Increased

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

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ICT Sector of Azerbaijan Receives $2B for Development

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Nar Mobile Launches High Speed Internet

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

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Mobile Sector Development Discussed

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

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

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif IRAN: Software Exports Decrease by 100%

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KAZAKHSTAN: To Develop Industrial Automation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif TURKMENISTAN: UN to Introduce Innovative Technologies to Industry

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Research: 30 Percent of Organizations Collecting Big Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Lagging Well Behind Asia in Development, Reform of Startup Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif MyGov-Style Digital Mailbox for Business Coming in 2016

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Leading the Charge as Region Shifts Towards Internet of Things Solutions

 

 

 

 

 

TOP

 

 

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GLOBE: An Open Internet Is Critical for UN Sustainable Development Goals

 

In 2015, a significant focus of the United Nations will center on the future of global development, including negotiating a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at guiding policy in achieving dignity, well-being, and equality for all the world's people — especially the poor and underserved.The currently proposed SDGs consist of an ambitious set of 17 goals and 169 specific targets. These will serve as a basis for negotiations leading to a United Nations Summit in September 2015, where the final goals and targets are expected to be adopted. In addition, the UN General Assembly this year will also review the implementation of World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) outcomes, where it is expected that a positive relationship will be found between WSIS and the SDGs. The 2015 Internet Governance Forum also embraces this relationship through its main theme this year "Evolution of Internet Governance: Empowering Sustainable Development."

 

Over the past 15 years, information and communication technologies (ICTs), including the Internet, have been identified as key enablers of development — an important platform for integrating and accelerating outcomes across all three pillars of sustainable development — economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.Indeed, stories and examples abound of how the open Internet and ICTs foster positive results in education, healthcare, agriculture, employment, gender equality, and many other areas. In fact, many of the projects supported by the Internet Society's Community Grants Programme provide key evidence for how the power of the open Internet can create innovation, change, and local solutions with global impact.With respect to the draft SDGs, however, direct reference to the catalytic power of ICTs for development are cited as specific targets in only 4 of the 17 goals.

 

Last week, therefore, the Internet Society participated with the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GESI), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and the Permanent Mission of Rwanda at a special event at UN Headquarters to draw attention to the critical role ICTs play as a means of implementation of the SDGs.In our remarks, we as the Internet Society underscored that the open Internet is and will continue to be an essential tool in facilitating the implementation of all SDG goals, as well as a key means to leverage the ingenuity, collaboration and partnerships needed to make them a reality.We also urged delegates to acknowledge this critical role within the SDG framework, to place emphasis on the deployment of Internet infrastructure and achieving universal access, and to support the creation of enabling policy environments that support and expand the multi-stakeholder, open Internet. We further joined our colleagues at the event in welcoming the joint GeSI/ITU Call to Action on ICTs as a Means of Implementation for the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.Above all, the open Internet gives people around the world the opportunity to make their lives better. The Internet is for Everyone — and we look forward to working with the United Nations and our many members, Chapters, and partners around the world in making that a reality.By Karen Rose, Senior Director, Office of Strategy and Research, Internet Society

From http://www.circleid.com/ 05/03/2015

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APEC Ministers Unveil Internet Action Plan

 

ICT Ministers from the 21 APEC members have unveiled a five-year action plan to maximize the potential of the internet to drive growth in Asia-Pacific. The plan was endorsed at the conclusion of a two-day meeting of Ministers in Kuala Lumpur and outlines implementation measures in five priority areas: ICT innovation, secure and trusted ICT environment, regional economic integration, digital economy and the internet economy, and cooperation. To support the implementation process, Ministers directed telecommunications and IT officials to deepen policy cooperation within a new ad hoc APEC Steering Group on the Internet Economy. “We can’t predict what is going to happen next on the innovation front,” explained Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Multimedia and Chair of the APEC Telecommunications and Information Ministerial Meeting. “The plan we are taking forward will guide industry policies in the Asia-Pacific in a way that unlocks growth and improves people’s lives yet is sufficiently flexible to navigate inevitable shifts in the technological landscape.” Dr. Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, said the ministers are going further to build more ICT infrastructure and get faster broadband within Asia-Pacific economies. “Ultimately, it comes down to facilitating access, promoting adoption, improving security and fostering value creation through ICT,” he said, adding that an important part of the equation is figuring out standards and regulation that governments can buy into and ensuring that they fit together across the region to create a more growth-enabling environment over the long-term.

From http://www.telecomasia.net/ 04/08/2015

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How Technology Helped Asia Pacific Against Natural Disasters in 2014

 

Countries in Asia Pacific face damages worth US$59.6 billion caused by natural disasters last year, according to a new United Nations report. What role did technology play in help governments prepare and assessing the damages after? One of the lessons learnt from last year is the use of innovative technologies for assessing damages after disasters, said the ‘Disaster in Asia and the Pacific: 2014 Year in Review’ report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Andhra Pradesh state in India used geographic information systems, global positioning systems and remote sensing technologies to create an interactive map of the damage done by Cyclone Hudhud in October. It also created an Android app to source photos of damaged properties uploaded by citizens. China used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones to capture images of damage caused by landslides. “The UAV operate at a very low height and, consequently, allow for better precision and geometric resolution. UAV have the capability of reaching areas that are not otherwise accessible from the ground and are also difficult or dangerous to fly over with manned aircrafts,” the UN said.

 

Preparing in advance

Ultimately, governments also have to be prepared before a disaster to be able to save lives and reduce damage to properties. End-to-end early warning systems in the Philippines and Andhra Pradesh reduced death tolls, the report said. For both Cyclone Hudhud and Typhoon Hagupit, the number of fatalities was “relatively low” for disasters of their strength. “Through the integration of technological innovations in earth observation satellites, weather radar, storm surge and cyclone prediction modelling, it has been possible to significantly enhance the accuracy of cyclone path tracking, landfall predictions and intensity estimation,” it said. The fewer deaths in Andhra Pradesh and the Philippines were not led by technology alone, but also by “the capacity to engage and mobilise vulnerable communities”. In the case of India, for instance, district administration officials were seen in coastal villages knocking on doors and evacuating people to cyclone shelters a day before Hudhud made landfall. The local government arranged the evacuation of half a million people in total.

 

Despite these successes, Cyclone Hudhud caused damages worth US$11 billion to infrastructure in India due to poor urban and environmental planning. While technology helped cut down the potential losses caused by disasters in 2014, “more efforts are required for putting in place an integrated approach”, including technology, community engagement, infrastructure planning and environmental protection to save more lives, the UN report said.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 05/03/2015

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FINLAND: 100th Open Government Partnership Action Plan Published

 

Finland has today published the 100th Open Government Partnership action plan since the initiative launched in 2011. These plans have contained over 2000 specific open government reform commitments, representing a remarkable effort from the 65 governments participating in OGP and the hundreds of civil society organizations that helped influence the policy agenda in their countries.The National Action Plan is at the core of any country’s participation in OGP. It is a technocratic term for a political document that commits the government to a series of reforms that should address some of the biggest challenges the country is facing. These reforms should reflect the priorities of reformers in government and civil society, and should have a clear openness dimension. Analysis of OGP to date shows that countries have prioritized public participation, open data, fiscal transparency, public service delivery and access to information. Countries are required to publish a new action plan every two years and are independently assessed on the implementation of their commitments.

 

The Finnish action plan - their second since joining in 2013 - is a good example of how a government has used the OGP platform to focus on national priorities. The overall theme is improving youth participation and making progress on digital government. Under that heading they have included commitments to make public services more customer friendly, to improve engagement of children and youth in state government, to open up government data to businesses and civil society, and to consider creating a lobbying register. If implemented successfully the Finnish government believe these reforms will help win back citizen trust and increase participation. The plan calls for “enhancing open government [to] be part of all public governance development”.OGP can be a powerful tool to increase the speed and breadth of reform in the 65 countries that are currently participating. But this can only happen if the reformers in government and civil society seize the opportunity of the National Action Plan. Later this year more than 20 OGP countries are due to publish their own new plans. The degree of participation between now and then will decide how ambitious and potentially transformative these plans are.

From http://www.opengovpartnership.org/ 05/07/2015

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Estonia: A Model for e-Government

 

Over the next decade, the population of Estonia is expected to increase more than 600%, from 1.3 million to 10 million.No, a flood of immigrants is not likely to invade the tiny Baltic republic. This year, Estonia becomes the first country in the world to open its borders to e-residents—people who sign up for digital identification cards and digital signatures for access to a wide array of national electronic services and databases. The idea is to provide a gateway by which people outside of Estonia can make investments in Estonia, establish businesses there and, eventually, use the country as a bridge to commerce elsewhere in the European Union.The bold plan is a logical step forward in an unprecedented roll-out of e-government services that began in 2000, when Estonia introduced a public system for electronic tax filing. In 2002, Estonia introduced a universal electronic identification card with digital signatures, which every citizen gets at the age of 15. The ID cards and signatures have become the keys to nearly universal access to government information and services as well as private-sector services in health care, banking and education, and law. In the years since, the Estonian government and industry have put more and more functions online, all connected by a nationwide data backbone called X-Road.

 

Digital signatures in Estonia are so widely used and trusted that they are now preferred to signatures on paper, says Siret Schutting, managing director of e-Estonia Showroom. She estimates digital signatures save the country 2% of GDP, or $500 million a year. "We can use it everywhere," she says. "It's legally the same as a handwritten signature."The Estonian e-tax system, along with X-Road's access to multiple government and private sector databases, has made tax filing unimaginably simple, at least by U.S. standards. "No one even considers paper as a possibility anymore," says SiimTuisik, an Estonian citizen lobbyist for open data and digital rights. "If you are a private citizen, you make five or six clicks. All the data is already there; everything is prefilled, so unless something is wrong, you don't need to add anything."Other countries, especially in Europe, are eyeing Estonia's successes with envy. "Estonia is way ahead of other countries, really a model," says Clare Sullivan, a cyber-lawyer and professor at the University of South Australia School of Law. "They are where we are all going to be in five to 10 years." Estonia has the most advanced e-society in the world, with the government offering some 600 e-services to citizens and 2,400 to businesses, she says.

 

Why Estonia?

Sullivan says Estonia's progress is due in part to a strong commitment to Information Technology (IT) on the part of the prime minister and other senior government officials, stemming from the country's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. "It was very poor, and struggling to establish its own identity and own economy," she says. "They had few resources otherwise, so they decided to go with IT.""Information technology allows us to achieve beyond our natural means as a small government and country," said Prime Minister TaaviRõivas in an interview. "That is why we have implemented a trusted national identity scheme, universal data exchange layer X-Road, various digital services and initiatives in all walks of life." He said he is deeply involved in the roll-out of Estonia's digital services as chairman of the E-Estonia Council, which "steers the making and execution of national digital agenda in the country."

 

Cultural and environmental factors have also driven Estonia's remarkable progress into digital services. The public puts a great deal of faith in the integrity of the systems and databases linked by X-Road. "The idea of people not trusting government is, if I may say so, a very American thing," Sullivan says. "In Europe, distrust is centered more on business than on government, and in Estonia, it's become part of the culture. They have been doing this since the early 2000s, and they are hooked on the convenience of it."Estonia is smaller than West Virginia, and the third-poorest of the 28 countries in the EU. Not surprisingly, a number of high-tech start-ups in the country have focused on cross-border flows. For example, Skype for voice and video communications, and TransferWise for moving money, have their origins in Estonia."Nordic countries strongly believe in the inclusion of different social groups, and the digital solutions help do that," Schutting says. "Access here is not a privilege, it's a right." Indeed, she says, even the poorest citizens have free Internet access at libraries, banks, post offices, and other places. A project begun in 2009, called EstWin, aims to bring 100 Mbit/s Internet access to every citizen of Estonia by the end of this year. By 2018, the speed for many users is due to be boosted to 2.5 Gbit/s.

 

Elsewhere in the World

Estonia may be a world leader, but it is hardly alone in its moves to public e-services. Last year, Estonia joined with the United Kingdom, South Korea, Israel, and New Zealand to establish an initiative called D5. At the first annual D5 Summit in London last December, the five countries drafted a charter pledging to work together and share ideas to develop and integrate electronic public services.D5 emerges from the wreckage left by the U.K.'s failed rollout of a national identity card system several years ago. The huge, and hugely expensive, card project, along with a proposed National Identity Register, were scrapped in 2010 in the face of strong opposition from the public and from some quarters in government over concerns about an erosion of civil liberties and privacy. Estonia was made a charter member of the D5 by other members looking for guidance on these kinds of efforts, according to citizen activist Tuisik. "We get about 400 official visits each year that concentrate on digital matters," he says.

From http://cacm.acm.org/ 05/25/2015

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SOUTH KOREA: Ranking No. 1 in Global Mobile App Usage - Report

 

South Korea has trumped other major countries in terms of mobile application usage, with smartphone owners in the country spending most of their time on social messengers, a report showed Thursday. The index gauging the mobile data usage by South Korean smartphone users reached 125 in the first quarter, outpacing the United States' 100 and the 90 held by Japan, according to the latest report by online-based global mobile app tracker App Annie. Britain and Germany trailed with 80 and 70, respectively, the report said. South Korean smartphone users spent more than half of their time on their mobile devices using communication- and social-related apps. The most widely used mobile app was KakaoTalk, the instant messenger platform run by Daum Kakao Corp. Users showed the highest data consumption when they used YouTube and other video streaming apps. On Google Inc.'s Android-based smartphones, YouTube and Naver, the biggest Internet portal in the country, were runners-up after KakaoTalk in terms of usage, while Naver and Facebook were the top apps for iPhone users. The LINE messenger, operated by Naver's Japanese subsidiary Line Corp., was the most popular app among iPhone users in Japan, the report added.

From http://www.koreaherald.com 05/14/2015

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THAILAND: Every Community to Have High-Speed Internet by End of 2016, Govt Says

 

THE GOVERNMENT announced yesterday that it would ensure that every community and every village has access to high-speed Internet by the end of next year, and every household in the country by 2017. Moreover, the government plans to facilitate a privately operated National Data Centre that will support government agencies, state enterprises and the private sector, with an investment cost of up to Bt40 billion. It will also set up 11 new G-Point kiosks, which will provide government smart services at Central Department Stores. It set up the first one at CentralWorld in Bangkok last month. Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula said the government had established a committee tasked with ensuring that fibre-optic technology would soon deliver high-speed Internet nationwide so individuals could access knowledge and businesses could improve their competitiveness. As the first step, the government will survey network infrastructures and fibre-optic-network providers to ensure this goal is feasible.  Under its policy on a National Data Centre, the government plans for the private sector to provide this service to state and private enterprise so that all sectors can reduce operating costs through sharing their data-centre facilities.

 

Pridiyathorn said there were currently 112 data centres held by government agencies and state enterprises. The aim is to consolidate data-centre service by getting state agencies to rent it from the private sector.  Over the next three months, the government will survey overall demand for data centres before the private sector invests around Bt30 billion to Bt40 billion to double the nationwide capacity of such services. As a result, users will able to save costs while creating a digital-economy ecosystem. "The government will encourage its agencies to use data centres provided by the private sector. It will also provide incentives to international private companies that invest in data-centre services," he said, adding that the availability of such facilities should encourage the use of cloud services.  He also said that by the end of the year, people would be able to use their Thai identity cards to access about 100 government smart services such as tax collection and business and household registration. This would reduce the use of paper among government offices, while also improving the accessibility of government data. Information and a Communications Technology Minister Pornchai Arujiprapa said: "The digital economy will help leverage information-technology usage, improving the quality of life for Thais and making the country more competitive."

From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ 03/24/2015

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BANGLADESH: Internet on Brink of Collapse - Experts

 

The internet is heading towards a 'capacity crunch' and could reach its limit in just eight years, say scientists.The cables and fibre optics that relay information to our laptops, smartphones and tablets will have reached their limit within eight years, and fibre optics can take no more data from a single optical fibre, scientists warned.

From http://newsfrombangladesh.net/ 05/05/2015

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INDIA: To Have 550 Million Internet Users by 2018 - Report

 

Internet users in India are likely to reach up to 550 million in 2018, a report said. The growth will primarily be led by expanding reach, more affordable access, and improved awareness.“The number of internet users is expected to at least double from 190 million in 2014 to 400 million in 2018. Our most aggressive forecast predicts as many as 550 million users in 2018,” Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said in a report. The report said that internet-connected urban population will increase from 130 million to 300 million. Moreover,  the user base in rural areas could easily expand by up to 40 per cent per year, from 60 million in 2014 to 280 million in 2018.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 04/23/2015

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AUSTRALIA: Setting Central Standards for All Digital Services

 

Australia’s new e-government unit, the Digital Transformation Office, has set out criteria that digital services right across government must meet before they are launched. The criteria, which were adapted from the UK Government’s Digital by Default standards, will apply to all new services and existing ones with more than 50,000 transactions per year. The DTO’s first requirement is that agencies research and understand user needs when they are designing services. They must “identify the people who will use the service, understand what they do, how they do it, when they do it and why”, says the Digital Service Standard released this week. Services should have a common look, feel and tone that fits the users’ needs. The standard is in alpha phase and will be continuously improved as agencies provide feedback on it.

 

Services must be built in an “agile, iterative” way with continuous improvements through user research and testing, according to the standard. Even before it is launched, it should be tested on common browsers and devices using dummy accounts and a representative sample of users. Another top demand is that agencies pull together a “sustainable multi-disciplinary team” with diverse skills to design, build, operate and iterate the services. The team must be able to work with new technologies and know when to stop spending on old systems. “It may sometimes be necessary and most cost-effective to write-off previous financial investments,” the service standards say. The team must use data to measure the performance of services and report it publicly. Agencies need to provide “ongoing assurance, supported by analytics, that the service is simple and intuitive enough that users succeed [the] first time unaided”, it says.

 

The source code should be publicly available for others to reuse wherever appropriate, and agencies should use APIs to make its content and services reusable by other agencies. Agencies will have to “integrate” new digital services with existing telephone and counter services. They should assist those who cannot use online services, but do away with non-digital channels where appropriate. Agencies have to take the right security, privacy and legal measures to protect the personal data and information the service will be providing, using or storing. From the middle of 2015 agencies will have to ensure that services and information they are building or redesigning comply with these standards, said David Hazlehurst (pictured), who is acting chief executive of the DTO.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 04/09/2015

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EUROPE: Spain Launches New EUR 153 Mln Smart City Initiative

 

Spain's industry ministry has announced the launch of a new plan to invest a total of EUR 153 million in a series of smart city initiatives. The National Smart Cities Plan will be co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the private sector and will be coordinated by the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and the Information Society via a newly-created Smart Cities Advisory Board made up of the Secretary of State, internet and ICT development agency Red.es, the state bodies Segittur and Idea, EOI business school, local authorities and industry representatives. The government has already announced that it will be investing EUR 13.1 million in 13 smart city projects benefiting 23 cities in Andalucia, three in Castilla-La Mancha and one in Extremadura. The projects make intensive use of ICT and cover areas such as sustainable mobility and security, open government, energy efficiency and tourism.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 03/27/2015

 

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FINLAND: 100th Open Government Partnership Action Plan Published

 

Finland has today published the 100th Open Government Partnership action plan since the initiative launched in 2011. These plans have contained over 2000 specific open government reform commitments, representing a remarkable effort from the 65 governments participating in OGP and the hundreds of civil society organizations that helped influence the policy agenda in their countries.The National Action Plan is at the core of any country’s participation in OGP. It is a technocratic term for a political document that commits the government to a series of reforms that should address some of the biggest challenges the country is facing. These reforms should reflect the priorities of reformers in government and civil society, and should have a clear openness dimension. Analysis of OGP to date shows that countries have prioritized public participation, open data, fiscal transparency, public service delivery and access to information. Countries are required to publish a new action plan every two years and are independently assessed on the implementation of their commitments.

 

The Finnish action plan - their second since joining in 2013 - is a good example of how a government has used the OGP platform to focus on national priorities. The overall theme is improving youth participation and making progress on digital government. Under that heading they have included commitments to make public services more customer friendly, to improve engagement of children and youth in state government, to open up government data to businesses and civil society, and to consider creating a lobbying register. If implemented successfully the Finnish government believe these reforms will help win back citizen trust and increase participation. The plan calls for “enhancing open government [to] be part of all public governance development”.OGP can be a powerful tool to increase the speed and breadth of reform in the 65 countries that are currently participating. But this can only happen if the reformers in government and civil society seize the opportunity of the National Action Plan. Later this year more than 20 OGP countries are due to publish their own new plans. The degree of participation between now and then will decide how ambitious and potentially transformative these plans are.

From http://www.opengovpartnership.org/ 05/07/2015

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LATIN AMERICA: Brazil - New Telecom Consumer Regulations Go into Effect

 

New telecom consumer rights regulations entered into force in Brazil on 10 March, reports Teletime. The new rules will include comparison mechanisms for service plans and promotional offers by providers, and the space reserved for all subscribers, where it will be possible with the use of a password, to access documents related to the contracted service. Customers will be able to cancel contracts without talking to clerks and registering complaints. Another rule that also come into effect is the presentation of a clear and objective billing invoice, so that the consumer can understand what is being charged. The regulations are valid for all telecommunications operators with over 50,000 customers.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 03/09/2015

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NORTH AMERICA: U.S. - What Twitter's New Data Strategy Means for Social Media Monitoring

 

Twitter used to be pretty free with its data. An ecosystem developed back when Twitter couldn't even stay up for a few days in a row, when there were continual fail-whales and nowhere to tweet that Twitter was down. They offered a free test API with ~1-5% of tweets, there was another one with 10-20% and then the full firehose i.e. all the tweets, all the time. Some companies negotiated deals for the full firehose, Radian6 (later swallowed up by Salesforce) and Converseon both said they had the full firehose. There were others. But then Twitter took a business model decision so that they had 3 big distributors and basically you had to buy from GNIP, Datasift and NTT. Then companies could get miniature firehoses meaning if you wanted to monitor the term "Coca-Cola" you got all of the tweets of that term and not the whole swathe of tweets you didn't need. Many social media monitoring companies could guarantee all the tweets without the firehose. Eventually GNIP offered back in time data also (Do you want all the data for Coca-Cola going back two years? Fine).

 

This meant that all manner of technology companies monitoring and engaging in social media had a clear business path to get their data. GNIP, Datasift and NTT also proposed other segmenting information but a lot of companies other than them did analysis of the tweets without their help. But now Twitter will reduce that 3 down to 1, they bought GNIP a while back and don't want or need the extra competition. The only problem is that the pressure to innovate will go down and they have a complete monopoly on tweets (well they would do, they are Twitter.) This may effectively increase the price and slow down new features. However to optimise their revenue they will need offer a suite of prices covering many different requirements. So, your social media monitoring company will be able to get tweets as before (Brandwatch, Linkfluence, Crimson Hexagon etc.), it will just be directly from Twitter. But knowing Twitter it will probably take a few years for this to be fully and finally rolled out...

From https://www.linkedin.com/ 04/15/2015

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GLOBE: Republicans' 'Internet Freedom Act' Does Away with Net Neutrality

 

Republican Marsha Blackburn filed legislation that she calls the "Internet Freedom Act" in an attempt to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, which were voted on by the FCC last week. These rules essentially give the FCC power to regulate the Internet, in a way that would prevent Internet service providers such as Comcast from speeding up or slowing down certain websites. FCC's rules "shall have no force or effect, and the Commission may not reissue such rule in substantially the same form, or issue a new rule that is substantially the same as such rule, unless the reissued or new rule is specifically authorized by a law enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act," says the Internet Freedom Act. As it is often the case with these Republican politicians, Blackburn has a lot of reason to side with Internet service providers. In the last election cycle, Blackburn received $25,000 from an AT&T political action committee, $20,000 from a Comcast PAC, $20,000 from a cable industry association PAC and $15,000 from a Verizon PAC. It is not known whether Blackburn is acting at the suggestion of Internet service providers, but if not, as mentioned, she certainly has reason to fight for these companies, whether it benefits the general public or not.

 

The FCC voted on its new rules to much fanfare last week, but there is a long road ahead before the rules can be put into effect and before the FCC can actually start regulating the Internet in a more serious way. A number of Internet service providers have already expressed that they will be taking legal action against the FCC, with Blackburn's new bill being likely the first of many challenges to the Commission. What is surprising, however, is the fact that Blackburn's bill will not even enforce a weaker, less intense version of the FCC's proposals. This is in line with her past proposals, such as in 2011 when there was another vote by the FCC to regulate the Internet under Title II. Many Republicans have expressed interest in regulating the Internet to a much lesser extent, if only for the fact that Democrats in Congress will not likely approve a bill completely against Internet regulation. "Republicans are going to keep moving forward with regular order on their legislation and inviting Democrats to make their amendments," said Berin Szoka, president of TechFreedom, in an interview. "That's Track 1, and it's not going to be rushed."

From http://www.techtimes.com/ 03/08/2015

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Information Economy Report 2015

 

Information Economy Report examines electronic commerce, and shows in detail how information and communications technologies can be harnessed to support economic growth and sustainable development. The Information Economy Report 2015 highlights how some of the greatest dynamism in electronic commerce can be found in developing countries, but that potential is far from fully realised. The report examines opportunities and challenges faced by enterprises in developing countries that wish to access and use e-commerce. It highlights that latest market trends, benchmarks country performances with the UNCTAD E-commerce index, reviews examples of e-commerce in rural areas and low-income countries, addresses relevant legal issues and provides policy recommendations.

From http://unctad.org/en/ 04/09/2015

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Cisco’s First Transparency Report on Law Enforcement Requests for Customer Data

 

As Cisco’s products and services evolve to new models, we find ourselves coming in contact with our customer’s data more regularly. We approach this role as stewards of this data with our customers interest foremost in our mind. One area of widespread interest as it relates to this data is how we interact with Global Law Enforcement regarding this data. To that end, today Cisco is launching its first global Transparency Report on Law Enforcement Requests for Customer Data. In this report, Cisco details our principles regarding how we will treat law enforcement requests for customer data if, and when we receive such requests. We also provide specifics regarding how many requests we have received from global law enforcement agencies for our customer’s data.Cisco is committed to publishing data regarding requests or demands for customer data that we receive from law enforcement and national security agencies around the world. We will publish this data twice yearly (covering a reporting period of either January-June or July-December). Like other technology companies, we will publish this data six months after the end of a given reporting period in compliance with restrictions on the timing of such reports.  Please see Cisco’s principles for handling government requests for customer data as well as the reporting data in the Cisco Transparency Report.

From https://blogs.cisco.com/ 04/22/2015

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The Politics of a Trusted Internet

 

In the lead up to the general election on 7 May, political parties have had plenty to say about technology and the internet. It's not in itself a hot-button issue like the NHS, immigration or education. But most polls place the UK economy high up on the list of election issues, and the digital dimension is at the heart of the economy.In their election manifestos, all of the parties, with the exception of UKIP, call for further investment in broadband infrastructure so that all parts of the country can benefit from high quality internet access. We have consensus among the major parties around using digital technology to improve government services and cut delivery costs. The need to up-skill the UK education system and workforce is also recognised - all the main parties highlight the importance of improving our STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) teaching.Across the political spectrum, there is common ground on the benefits of the internet. The digital economy is growing at a rate of 10% year, compared to 2.6% for the economy as a whole in 2014. But with growing importance, there is growing concern - and this is where the manifestos get interesting.

 

The parties differ in what they highlight about two key internet debates. The first is between privacy and security. This has sparked heated discussion since the Snowden revelations in June 2013. As the European Data Protection Supervisor has recently stated, privacy and security don't need to be mutually exclusive. But the emphasis can differ. The Conservatives stress security: "Our new communications data legislation will strengthen our ability to disrupt terrorist plots, criminal networks and organised child grooming gangs, even as technology develops." Labour also want to strengthen the powers of the security services, but balance this with "safeguards that protect peoples' privacy." The Liberal Democrats, who in government opposed the introduction of the "Snoopers Charter", focus on data protection and privacy in relation to both state surveillance and data collected by internet companies. Their manifesto includes a pledge to introduce a "Digital Bill of Rights" with measures to limit state surveillance powers and enhance data protection rules.

 

The second debate is relates to openness and control. The open, accessible publication of content underwrites the growth and popularity of the internet. Yet there is also a strong case for having filters on content that is inappropriate, vicious, or criminal. One does not need to come at the cost of the other, and no mainstream party suggests this. But there's significant variation in their focus.The Conservative manifesto emphasises measures to protect children online, which has been a major strand of their approach to the internet while in government. While they have steered away from regulating directly, internet service providers and multinational internet companies have come under significant political pressure from Downing Street on issues like the introduction of parental control filters and the removal of illegal content from search results.While the Liberal Democrats also supported these initiatives as part of the coalition government, their manifesto emphasises the need to keep the internet an open environment. They state they will support "a free and open Internet around the world, championing the free flow of information". Perhaps most people now see this as a given, but as the leader of a company at the heart of the UK internet infrastructure and actively involved in global internet governance, I think it's a key issue - especially when that system of governance may change in the next year.

 

An open, accessible internet is fundamental in creating the innovation that has so quickly transformed many aspects of our lives - and, as most agree, largely for the better. But issues like children accessing inappropriate content, Twitter trolls making violent threats toward women, or online scams stealing money from vulnerable people need to be taken seriously. They are not only harmful in themselves: they also undermine people's trust in their ability to interact online safely, which is crucial to a successful internet.Political consensus on the positive issues is welcome. The varying areas of focus around the trickier ones mean it will be interesting to see how different priorities are balanced, particularly as the polls are pointing toward a hung parliament. But it's important that those in power take care to ensure a sensible balance. For the internet to thrive, it needs to be both open and trusted.

From http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ 05/09/2015

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The Net Vitality Index and the Wide Open Internet

 

Since 2010, I have been developing the first-ever quantitative and qualitative composite analysis of the global broadband Internet ecosystem, which compares countries from around the world. The broadband Internet ecosystem includes applications, content, devices, and networks. These essential elements drive each other in a virtuous cycle that is highly interdependent. If broadband networks are fast, reliable, and widely available, companies produce more powerful and more capable devices to connect to them. These new applications draw interest among various end users, bring new users online, and increase use among those who already subscribe to broadband services. The continuing growth in the broadband Internet ecosystem reinforces the cycle; for example, encouraging service providers to boost the speed, functionality, and reach of the networks can also spur innovation in applications, content, and devices. Consequently, any consideration of how to best shape the future of broadband Internet should account for the entire ecosystem, rather than individual elements.

 

Introducing the Net Vitality Index

Through timely and reliable data, we now are able to gauge broadly how well particular countries, including the United States, are performing in a global competitive environment. My Net Vitality Index, released last week by The Media Institute’s Global Internet Freedom Program will policymakers develop policies based on a more complex view of the broadband Internet ecosystem. It also underscores a potential serious disconnect between a desire to accelerate the Internet’s usefulness to a range of users, and responses such as the FCC’s recent Open Internet Order that look to traditional regulatory tools as enablers. The Net Vitality Index is a composite of 52 separate broadband Internet ecosystem indices developed independently to evaluate individual countries on an “apples-to-apples” basis. The development of this Index helps identify the top-tier global broadband Internet leaders – an elite grouping of five countries that distinguish themselves as pacesetters for future benchmarking and best practices analyses. The top-tier in now particular order are the United States, South Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, and France.

 

Good policies from leading countries

Each country has unique distinguishing characteristics that have supported its broadband Internet leadership success, including geography, demographics, regulatory philosophy, and cultural values. While highlighting these distinctive elements in individual country profiles, it is clear that all of the top-tier global broadband leaders also have a common powerful driving force at play – innovation. When innovation is coupled with sustained investment, competition can thrive and the desired goal of promoting continuous Net Vitality can be achieved. Policy approaches that reflect this formulation seem to be particularly appropriate to promoting real Net Vitality. The top-tier global broadband Internet leaders recognize that government has a critical role to play in shaping the goals of Net Vitality through forward-looking policymaking. Top-tier global broadband Internet leaders have taken varied regulatory approaches for one element of the Internet ecosystem – broadband networks – but they have benefited the most when government is a catalyst and challenger. Governments of the five leading Net Vitality Index countries were able to capitalize on their own competitive advantages by encouraging companies to set aspirational goals, increase the pace of innovation, make big investments into new technologies, and engage in healthy competition.

 

The Open Internet as a goal is worthwhile, but also too narrow as a foundation for Net Vitality. Rather, the Wide Open Internet is what the United States and other countries around the world should be trying to achieve. The Wide Open Internet encompasses the broader goal of an efficient ubiquitous broadband Internet ecosystem with virtually unlimited content and applications available without government restrictions. Users should be able to use the Internet at home, at work, and on the run through a range of devices accessing affordable high-speed wireline and wireless broadband networks. With a sustained focus on the broadband Internet ecosystem, the idea of Net Vitality can be realized through a future-oriented policy process that capitalizes on the blazing speed of Internet time that has propelled us so far, so fast, and so impactfully to date.

From http://www.brookings.edu/ 05/10/2015

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APEC Ministers Unveil Plan to Spur Internet-Driven Growth

 

Telecommunications and Information Ministers from the 21 APEC members have unveiled a new five-year strategic action plan to maximize the potential of the internet to drive next generation growth in Asia-Pacific economies and ensure the benefits are widely felt by people in the region. The plan will steer industry policy in APEC, the world’s largest producing and consuming region of information and communications technology, through 2020. It was endorsed at the conclusion of a two-day meeting of Ministers in Kuala Lumpur and includes an annex that outlines implementation measures in five priority areas:

Develop and Support ICT Innovation

Promote a Secure and Trusted ICT Environment

Promote Regional Economic Integration

Enhance the Digital Economy and the Internet Economy

Strengthen Cooperation

 

Regional officials under the APEC Telecommunications and Information Working Group will convene in Boracay, The Philippines on 11-16 May to begin implementing the plan—a component of a key two-week APEC meeting cluster there that will culminate with the 2015 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting on 23-24 May. To support the implementation process, Ministers directed telecommunications and information officials to deepen policy cooperation within a new ad hoc APEC Steering Group on the Internet Economy. The details will be fleshed out in Boracay by APEC Senior Officials who are establishing the group. Ministers also called for a mid-term review of the APEC Telecommunications and Information Strategic Action Plan 2016-2020 to gauge progress and make potential adjustments based on new industry developments.

 

“We can’t predict what is going to happen next on the innovation front,” explained Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Multimedia and Chair of the APEC Telecommunications and Information Ministerial Meeting. “The plan we are taking forward will guide industry policies in the Asia-Pacific in a way that unlocks growth and improves people’s lives yet is sufficiently flexible to navigate inevitable shifts in the technological landscape.” Telecommunications and information executives, researchers and industry groups helped to cast light on barriers to ICT development and offered recommendations for strengthening the plan’s commercial bandwidth.

 

“Ministers are going further to build more ICT infrastructure and get faster broadband within Asia-Pacific economies but there is recognition that industry policy can’t stop there,” noted Dr Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat. “Harnessing the power of networks and new technologies to boost small business participation in regional trade, women’s entrepreneurship and social welfare is critical. Ultimately, it comes down to facilitating access, promoting adoption, improving security and fostering value creation through ICT.” “Some big things are on the table right now in APEC like interoperability measures to secure cross-border data transfers and moving towards common policies on roaming rates to lower user costs,” Dr Bollard concluded. “An important part of the equation is figuring out standards and regulation that governments can buy into and ensuring that they fit together across the region to create a more growth-enabling environment over the long-term.”

From http://www.apec.org/ 04/01/2015

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APEC Ministers Unveil Internet Action Plan

 

ICT Ministers from the 21 APEC members have unveiled a five-year action plan to maximize the potential of the internet to drive growth in Asia-Pacific. The plan was endorsed at the conclusion of a two-day meeting of Ministers in Kuala Lumpur and outlines implementation measures in five priority areas: ICT innovation, secure and trusted ICT environment, regional economic integration, digital economy and the internet economy, and cooperation. To support the implementation process, Ministers directed telecommunications and IT officials to deepen policy cooperation within a new ad hoc APEC Steering Group on the Internet Economy. “We can’t predict what is going to happen next on the innovation front,” explained Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Multimedia and Chair of the APEC Telecommunications and Information Ministerial Meeting. “The plan we are taking forward will guide industry policies in the Asia-Pacific in a way that unlocks growth and improves people’s lives yet is sufficiently flexible to navigate inevitable shifts in the technological landscape.” Dr. Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, said the ministers are going further to build more ICT infrastructure and get faster broadband within Asia-Pacific economies. “Ultimately, it comes down to facilitating access, promoting adoption, improving security and fostering value creation through ICT,” he said, adding that an important part of the equation is figuring out standards and regulation that governments can buy into and ensuring that they fit together across the region to create a more growth-enabling environment over the long-term.

From http://www.telecomasia.net/ 04/08/2015

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CHINA: Issuing New 4G Licenses

 

China's telecom authority on Friday granted 4G licenses to two operators.China Telecom and China Unicom were permitted to offer services based on LTE FDD technology after large-scale testing since last June, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).LTE FDD was the first external 4G technology introduced to China. The MIIT issued 4G licenses to China's three telecom giants at the end of 2013 allowing them to use the homegrown TD-LTE standard.Both standards are well recognized globally. LTE FDD is popular in Europe and has been in commercial use for years, while the TD-LTE has been used in China for over a year.There are 17 commercial mobile networks around the world combining the two standards, according to MIIT statistics."The approval of FDD will allow two standards to compete in the market. More mature technology and better services can be expected," said telecom analyst, Zeng Tao.China Mobile, the country's largest telecom provider in terms of user numbers, currently leads 4G business with 90 million 4G subscribers last year and 240 million cell phones sold.China Mobile's dominance will be challenged as LTE FDD is expected to help China Telecom and China Unicom attract more users.China Unicom's shares in Shanghai exchange rose 5.6 percent and shares of Hong Kong-listed China Telecom advanced by 0.4 percent. China Mobile dipped 1.5 percent in Hong Kong.The new licenses will intensify competition between the operators and bring lower service fees, accelerating the development of mobile networks, said Peng Daqi of Chongqing University of Post and Telecommunications.The ministry has forecast 200 million new 4G users in 2015 as more than 600,000 base stations will be built.

From http://www.news.cn/ 02/27/2015

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China Mulling New Policies for Internet Finance

 

China is mulling new policies for Internet finance, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said Thursday.The policies aim at supporting the development of Internet finance and putting in place appropriate regulations, in accordance with the current regulation framework, Zhou said at a press conference on the sidelines of China's annual parliamentary session.Drafting of the policies began last year, and many rounds of consultation have been conducted between regulators and relevant industries, Zhou said.The term "Internet finance" covers a range of financial activities, such as online payment, crowd-funding and online sales of financial products, Zhou said.

From http://www.news.cn/ 03/13/2015

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Ministry Plans to Boost Internet Speed, Reduce Cost

 

New 4G network base stations covering the whole country, 100 megabyte fiber-optic connectivity and 30Mbps average broadband speed are some of the plans announced to boost Internet speed and cut costs by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Friday, said CCTV.According to the ministry, new 4G network base stations will be built to cover the entire nation by the end of 2017, households in prefecture-level cities will have the ability to accesses 100 megabyte fiber-optic connectivity, the average broadband speed will reach 30Mbps in municipalities and provincial capitals and 20Mbps in other cities around the Chinese mainland.Moreover, the average cost of broadband and mobile phones' high-speed data will be significantly reduced, it said.The MIIT asked the three domestic carries, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, to provide the cost-cutting plans on Thursday and the details are expected to be released today, said Beijng News, citing people from one of the carries familiar with the matter.According to an earlier report by Xinhua News Agency, the MIIT issued a guideline to extend broadband usage in China last Friday.Over 600,000 new 4G network base stations will be built to cover more townships and villages.

 

More than 40 million households will have access to fiber-optic broadband, and over 200 million mobile phone users will become 4G network users by the end of this year, according to the guideline.About 60 million more people signed up to 4G accounts in the first quarter, meaning that 162 million people in China are 4G customers, according to government statistics.According to China Daily, Wednesday's executive meeting of the State Council, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, asked companies to roll over the value of unused data in fixed price plans to the next period or allow customers to transfer unused data to others.Li said optical fiber and fourth-generation telecom networks should be laid more quickly, and it set a goal of achieving investment worth more than 1 trillion yuan ($160 billion) in the Internet this year.An open market, fair competition and more financial support will help to upgrade broadband services in rural areas. The meeting decided to narrow the digital gap between urban and rural areas by increasing financial support for the improvement of facilities in the countryside. In addition, 14,000 more villages will be connected to the Internet.

From http://www.news.cn/ 05/15/2015

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JAPAN: ‘Big Data’ Bill Would Protect Individual Identities When Info Is Sold

 

The government approved during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday a bill to revise the Personal Information Protection Law, which sets guidelines for the use of so-called big data, electronic data including cell phone location information and information related to Internet searches. The bill will allow companies in possession of big data to provide personal information to a third party without the consent of individuals as long as the companies delete or process parts of the information so that individuals cannot be identified. The bill also includes a provision to strengthen measures to protect personal information since many personal information leakage cases have been revealed. The bill obliges firms and other organizations, when they are to provide processed information to a third party, to disclose in advance on their websites the decision to provide such information. The scope of information that needs to be processed for protection when provided to a third party will be decided by the personal information protection committee, which will be established as the Cabinet Office’s third-party external panel. The new committee will be authorized to supervise companies on personal information protection and conduct on-site inspections. To strengthen measures to protect personal information, the government will criminalize unauthorized provision of databases.

From http://the-japan-news.com 03/10/2015

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SOUTH KOREA: SKT Aims to Lead Next-Generation Internet Standard

 

South Korea’s top mobile carrier SK Telecom said Wednesday that it has introduced its technological expertise for the next-generation Internet standard ― Internet Protocol version 6, or IPv6 ― in Hanoi, Vietnam. Participating in the Vietnam IPv6 Day 2015 held in the Vietnamese city on Wednesday (local time), officials from the Korean mobile network operator gave presentations on the first commercialization of IPv6 services in Korea. The SKT officials also talked about technologies and technical know-how related to IPv6 and ran a question-and-answer session with participants, mostly from local telecom firms and equipment manufacturers. The forum was organized by the Vietnamese government to accelerate the adoption of the next Internet standard. IPv6 has been developed to resolve the limitations of IPv4, the current Internet protocol standard that is designed to allocate addresses for 4.3 billion devices, by providing 2 to the power of 128 addresses for devices on networks. SKT joined hands with Samsung Electronics and state telecommunications agencies to launch the Long-Term Evolution services based on IPv6 last September. 

With a greater number of devices expected to be connected down the road, the deployment of IPv6, which provides an almost unlimited number of addresses, is considered highly necessary across the world. The Korean telecom firm has been making efforts to create an IPv6 ecosystem by working with global telecom companies and government agencies. It took part in the IPv6 World Congress, a global forum to promote the next-gen Internet address system held in Paris in March, to introduce IPv6-support devices and commercialized LTE services in Seoul. “SKT will make contributions to create a global ecosystem of IPv6 by sharing technological capabilities and know-how learned from the IPv6 commercialization in Seoul,” said Park Jin-hyo, the head of the firm’s network technology R&D center, in a press release. The Seoul-headquartered telco firm, meanwhile, posted 4.2 trillion won in revenue, up 0.9 percent on-year, and 402 billion won in operating profit in the January-March period. The number of its LTE service subscribers stood at 17.5 million, accounting for 61 percent of its entire mobile subscription base, in March, the company said.

From http://www.koreaherald.com 05/06/2015

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Mobile Carriers Roll Out Data-Oriented Rate Plan

 

South Korean mobile carriers are adopting a new rate plan that charges users based only on their data downloads while providing calls and text messages for free, industry sources said Monday, a shift in strategy as mobile consumer trends call for more data-focused services. KT Corp., the second-largest player, has taken the first step to introduce such a rate plan to consumers, which went on sale starting last week.

From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr 05/11/2015

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Korea Urged to Focus on ICT Infra Projects

 

South Korea’s participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will be beneficial if the country focuses on infrastructure-building projects in information and communications technology and other key areas, experts said. A recent report, titled “The Meaning of AIIB and Opportunity for ICT,” published by the KT Center of Business and Economic Studies, said that in order to Korea to benefit from the AIIB, it should focus on investing in ICT. “Investing in ICT in Asia could also pave the way for Korean corporations to enter overseas markets,” Cho In-ho, a DIGIECO researcher and coauthor of the report, said. The report added that global demand for ICT infrastructure during the current decade was estimated at $8.22 trillion. “Because there is a huge demand for infrastructure in Asia, we have to see how much share we can take and how many derivative markets we can create from the ICT industry,” Cho said. “With the U.S. and Japan ― both countries with strong ICT industries ― currently not part of the AIIB, it was a good chance for the IT-powered South Korea to establish a foothold in business deals first.” More specifically, he said Korea had an advantage in broadband and LTE data, as well as having a thriving applications and mobile solution market.

With the rise of ICT in developing countries, there may be demands for other industries that improve residents’ quality of life. “In that case, the medical businesses could become important as well as smart traffic and electronic traffic industries.” Other industries have also been forecast to benefit from the AIIB. Ankit Panda, a foreign affairs analyst and editor at the Diplomat, said that Korean contractors in energy, transportation, construction, and related industries could stand to win valuable contracts with the backing of the AIIB, noting that shares of Korean iron and steel campanies rose after Seoul announced its participation in March. Charles K. Armstrong, professor of Korean Studies at Columbia University, also stated that he saw the AIIB as an important regional element to the world financial system. “There is a shortage of investment capital in Asia, and the work of the AIIB should complement ― rather than simply compete with ― the activities of the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and other international investing institutions,” he told The Korea Herald in an email interview.

From http://www.koreaherald.com 05/15/2015

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INDONESIA: KOMINFO to Develop Smart City Standards This Year

 

Indonesia will set standards for smart cities in the country by the end of the year, said Minister for ICT, Rudiantara. He urges local governments to be more competitive in the race to improve municipal services with technology. The city with the best implementation will be selected as a benchmark to determine the standards before the end of the year, he said. Yogyakarta, Banyuwangi and Bandung have already implemented the smart city projects, Rudiantara said. Jakarta plans to spend US$2.5 million this year on smart cities projects. It is already using social media feeds to monitor public safety. The latest Indonesian cities to begin work on smart cities projects are Lombok and Kutai Kartanegara. Lombok is in talks with the ICT Ministry to develop an online tax payment system and build a communications network, Rudiantara said. Kutai Kartanegara is drawing inspiration from Fujisawa city in Japan with goals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and water consumption.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 03/03/2015

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MYANMAR: Information Ministry Withdraws PSM Bill from Parliament

 

Citing the need for further review, the Information Ministry has withdrawn the Public Service Media (PSM) bill with no date scheduled for an amended version to be introduced in Parliament. The PSM bill was pulled Wednesday in Nay Pyi Taw while it was under discussion in Parliament's Lower House after it had been approved by the Upper House. "We find it necessary to review the provisions of the bill in terms of public suggestions, the upcoming television and broadcasting law, and the changing media environment," Union Information Minister Ye Htut said. "This is why we have withdrawn this bill, so we can make it more perfect." Among issues that need to be discussed further are technological changes and compatibility with the Television and Broadcasting Bill, he said. "The two laws cannot be much different," the minister told reporters. The Upper House approved a draft Television and Broadcasting Bill last October. The bill would allow TV broadcasters to operate legally in the country and sets limits on foreign ownership. It would also establish a national TV broadcaster and a council to regulate it. The PBS bill would govern the new national TV broadcaster. Ye Htut explained that as part of Myanmar's democratic transition, plans were undertaken to transform state-run media into public service media. A government delegation embarked on a four-country information-gathering tour of Europe in June 2012, he said. Also, an international public service media conference was held in Yangon, and the Information Ministry then referred the issues to Lower House and Upper House committees, he said. With approval from government, the ministry in cooperation with UNESCO drafted the Public Service Media bill and submitted it to Parliament, Ye Htut explained, adding that public input was also sought.

From http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/ 03/19/2015

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MALAYSIAN: Online Child Protection Plan Ready for Action, Says Minister

 

Malaysia has prepared a strategy for protecting children online and it is now ready to be implemented, Dato’ Sri Rohani Abdul Karim, Minister of Women, Family and Community Development announced this week. The new Plan of Action on Child Online Protection includes steps to advocate for and spread awareness of child protection, prevent online child abuse, intervene in identified cases, and provide support to victims and their families. 10 ministries and agencies, including Rohani’s, will be working together to implement the plan - the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government; Ministry of Home Affairs; Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission; Malaysian Royal Police; Attorney-General’s Chamber; Department of Social Welfare; and National Population and Family Development Board. While the country has laws on cyber security, there has been no focus on child protection issues like online bullying and child pornography, she said.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 03/27/2015

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PHILIPPINES: Senate to Pass New ICT Department Bill by June

 

The Philippines plans to create a new Department of ICT to deliver online services to citizens. A bill to create the new department will be passed by June, a Senator said. The bill will lead to a restructuring of the Department of Transportation and Communication, into two separate departments responsible for transportation and ICT. E-government initiatives are currently implemented by the ICT Office in the Department of Science and Technology. The structure of the new ICT Department will be lean, said Senator Ralph Recto. “It will not create a huge bureaucracy, or burn a deep hole in the taxpayers’ pocket. It will be revenue-neutral, and will maintain, if not lessen, the present operating cost of the agencies which will be folded into it,” he said. “For example, we’re trying to limit the [number of] undersecretaries and assistant secretaries. In the creation of the regional offices, we won’t be making it mandatory. Why have a large physical office when one of its mandates is to promote e-governance?,” he added. The government spends PHP2.5 trillion (US$56.7 billion) annually on ICT, and the ICT Department will need to get the most value from this money and steer clear of corruption, said Recto. “We are now living in the electronic republic, where views of the sovereign are advocated online, and services must be rendered to them on the same platform,” he said.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 03/02/2015

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THAILAND: Every Community to Have High-Speed Internet by End of 2016, Govt Says

 

THE GOVERNMENT announced yesterday that it would ensure that every community and every village has access to high-speed Internet by the end of next year, and every household in the country by 2017. Moreover, the government plans to facilitate a privately operated National Data Centre that will support government agencies, state enterprises and the private sector, with an investment cost of up to Bt40 billion. It will also set up 11 new G-Point kiosks, which will provide government smart services at Central Department Stores. It set up the first one at CentralWorld in Bangkok last month. Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula said the government had established a committee tasked with ensuring that fibre-optic technology would soon deliver high-speed Internet nationwide so individuals could access knowledge and businesses could improve their competitiveness. As the first step, the government will survey network infrastructures and fibre-optic-network providers to ensure this goal is feasible.  Under its policy on a National Data Centre, the government plans for the private sector to provide this service to state and private enterprise so that all sectors can reduce operating costs through sharing their data-centre facilities.

 

Pridiyathorn said there were currently 112 data centres held by government agencies and state enterprises. The aim is to consolidate data-centre service by getting state agencies to rent it from the private sector.  Over the next three months, the government will survey overall demand for data centres before the private sector invests around Bt30 billion to Bt40 billion to double the nationwide capacity of such services. As a result, users will able to save costs while creating a digital-economy ecosystem. "The government will encourage its agencies to use data centres provided by the private sector. It will also provide incentives to international private companies that invest in data-centre services," he said, adding that the availability of such facilities should encourage the use of cloud services.  He also said that by the end of the year, people would be able to use their Thai identity cards to access about 100 government smart services such as tax collection and business and household registration. This would reduce the use of paper among government offices, while also improving the accessibility of government data. Information and a Communications Technology Minister Pornchai Arujiprapa said: "The digital economy will help leverage information-technology usage, improving the quality of life for Thais and making the country more competitive."

From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ 03/24/2015

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Digital Economy Plan to Take Shape When Related Bill Passes

 

THAILAND'S digital economy will soon start taking shape, as the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society begins functioning after the bill is passed next month. The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology Reform Bill will set up the Digital Economy Ministry to oversee planning, promotion and development of the digital economy.  The new ministry will have five offices, including four from the ICT Ministry - the ministry's office, permanent secretary's office, Meteorology Office and National Statistical Office. The new office is the Digital Economy Office. The bill will abolish the ICT Ministry and transfer its tasks and restructured organisation to the new ministry. Surangkana Wayuparb, chief executive officer of the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) and head of the digital-law development team, said the bill passed its first reading and the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) would finish considering it by June. He spoke on Saturday at the weekly open forum of the ICT Law Centre, a member of the ETDA, on the impact of the Personal Information Protection Bill.

 

The draft of the ICT Ministry Reform Bill was approved by the Cabinet in December and sent to the Council of State for checking, before it was tabled with the NLA late last month.  The bill also transfers the National Disaster Warning Centre to the Prime Minister's Office and the Technology Crime Suppression Division to the National Cyber Security Agency, which will be set up by the National Cyber Security Bill. Two related draft bills - the Digital Economy Bill and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunica-tions Commission Bill - have been reviewed by the Council of State and will go to the Cabinet and then to the NLA. The Digital Economy Bill is the consolidation of the Digital Economy Committee Establishment Bill, Digital Economy Fund Bill and Digital Economy Development and Promotion Bill. The Council of State has nearly finished its review of three draft bills - the Electronic Transactions Bill, Electronic Transactions Development Agency Establishment Bill and Personal Data Protection Bill. The last draft bills - the Computer Crime Bill and National Cyber Security Bill - are still being assessed by the Council of State.

 

NDEC to be set up

The Digital Economy Bill, which has been reviewed by the Council of State but not yet submitted to the Cabinet, will set up the National Digital Economy Committee (NDEC). The chairman of NDEC will be the prime minister and the vice chairman will be the finance minister.  Serving as ex-officio members of the NDEC will be the ministers of Defence, Agriculture, Commerce, Digital Economy, Education, Industry, Public Health and Science, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board, governor of the Bank of Thailand and secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). About five to eight members will be experts appointed by the Cabinet. The ad hoc National Economy Committee at its second meeting yesterday gave the nod to engage a third party to design the implementation of the national broadband infrastructure, which will turn into the master plan for the national broadband network. Then it will hire the third party to appraise the value of the broadband networks of telecom firms, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) and other providers, which will transfer their networks in return for a share in the national broadband network holding company and then continue to invest.

 

Pridiyathorn Devakula, a deputy prime minister, said the committee also agreed to allow the ICT Ministry to use its Bt1.71 billion budget to link 5,000 schools nationwide to an optic-fibre network.  This will support the Education Ministry's online learning project, which will give students in 15,000 schools nationwide the opportunity to learn the core subjects of Thai, English, science and math via the Internet from 80 selected expert teachers.  "Now, 10,000 schools have already been hooked up to the broadband network, while 5,000 schools will be connected by September," he said. The committee is also surveying the 300 existing government organisations on their data usage and requirements to determine what capacity the national data centre should have.  "Now, we got feedback from 90 organisations, which together have 143 data centres. If we can consolidate these data centres with the utilisation, we will be able to save on investment, management and maintenance.  Now there are six to seven large firms proposing to invest in it. After we get all the feedback, then we'll design the data centre we need and then hold auctions to get investment and operation sunder our regulation," he said. For the 4G auction, the 900 megahertz and 1800MHz bands would be offered according to the NBTC's timeframe. It could be this year.  The 2600MHz auction would follow after it gets the frequency back from MCOT and the Public Relations Department.

From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ 05/12/2015

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VIETNAM: MIC Announces Regulations for ICT Competition Next November

 

The Ministry of Information and Communications announced the rules and guidelines for the ASEAN ICT Awards 2015 on Thursday. The ASEAN ICT Awards' ceremony will be held in Da Nang in November as part of the Meeting of the ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers (TELMIN). Viet Nam is hosting the event for the first time. The awards will officially be launched in the ASEAN region on April 15. Enterprises are required to submit their products in their respective countries before July 15. Each member country will be allowed to nominate a maximum of three products in each of six categories: public sector, private sector, corporate social responsibility, digital content, start-ups, and research and development.

From http://vietnamnews.vn/ 04/11/2015

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Government Approves Plan to Adopt 4G

 

The Government has approved a telecom development master plan that says preparations to introduce 4G technology will begin this year, but critics say it should be reconsidered since the existing 3G capacity has yet to be fully utilised and 4G devices could be too expensive in a poor country. Four years ago the Ministry of Information and Communications licensed five operators — FPT Telecom, VNPT, Viettel, CMC, and VTC — to pilot 4G services. The country's major telecom service providers are ready to launch 4G services. The three biggies, Viettel, MobiFone, and Vinaphone, have successfully tested their 4G services in some big cities and can scale up in a jiffy. But though they have been investing in large 4G networks since late last year, they continue to have misgivings. "Mobile phone service providers are still investing in digital content for 3G," Do Vu Anh, head of the Viet Nam Post and Telecommunication Corporation's telecommunications department, told Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper, indicating they are still focused largely on 3G services.

 

Viettel successfully pilot 4G technology in Laos and Cambodia through its Unitel and MetFone networks, but is undecided about whether to scale up. A Viettel executive said, "Vietnamese people's incomes are not enough for them to buy equipment that support 4G." Besides, investment in 3G was massive but its capacity had not been fully exploited yet, he said. "Most customers now opt for the cheapest 3G packages, and if 4G technology is developed, the situation will be like building more highways when there are few vehicles." The service providers could upgrade to 3.5G or 3.9G and still meet the demands of mobile data services rather than moving up straight to 4G, he said. Do Vu Anh said, "Viet Nam's 3G services are probably the cheapest in the world, but there are only 30 million subscribers or 30 per cent of the total number of mobile phone subscribers. "The potential of 3G in Viet Nam is [still] huge."

 

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Le Nam Thang said the ministry would begin to issue licences for 4G networks next year. "At first, 4G will be launched in big cities like Ha Noi, HCM City, and Da Nang where people have big demand and are able to pay." Thieu Phuong Nam, general director of Qualcomm Viet Nam, agreed it was a good time to issue licences because 4G-related equipment would become cheaper and cheaper. "2017-2018 will be the time to launch 4G because at that time the number of 3G subscribers will be 50-60 per cent, a good level for shifting to 4G. "Government has made good long-term and master plans for bandwidth usage." There are around 500 million 4G subscribers around the world. The technology is developing rapidly and most 4G subscribers can use both 3G and 4G services. 4G services are much cheaper than 3G and 2G. The switch from 2G to 3G involved moving up from basic mobile phone services like calling and messaging to broadband with digital content.

From http://vietnamnews.vn/ 05/11/2015

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BANGLADESH: Govt Borrows BDT 13.33bn Issuing T-bills

 

The Government borrowed BDT 13.33 billion from the market issuing its treasury bills (T-bills) on Sunday to finance budget deficit. Total 26 bids of BDT 12.5040 billion for 91-Day treasury bills (T-bills) and 25 bids of BDT 12.6984 billion for 364-Day T-bills were offered. Of those, nine bids of BDT 8.0 billion for 91-Day T-bills and 15 bids of BDT 5.33 billion for 364-Day T-bills were accepted. The range of the implicit yield of the accepted bid was 7.35-7.50 per cent and 8.00-8.46 per cent per respectively, according to the auction result.

From http://www.businessnews-bd.com/ 03/22/2015

 

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INDIA: Aadhar Linked Digital Locker

 

Digital Locker is one of the key initiatives under the Digital India Programme. A beta version of the same has been released on 10.02.2015 by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Government of India. Digital Locker is aimed at minimising the usage of physical documents and enable sharing of e-documents across agencies. The sharing of the e-documents will be done through registered repositories thereby ensuring the authenticity of the documents online. Residents can also upload their own electronic documents and digitally sign them using the e-sign facility. These digitally signed documents can be shared with Government organisations or other entities. This information was given by the Minister of Communication and Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad in Lok Sabha today.

From http://pib.nic.in/ 03/04/2015

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'Black Money Can Be Smart Strategy for Inefficient Economy'

 

NEW DELHI: If use of local currency or other forms of money has proven effective in countering debt money, black money can prove to be smart strategy especially for an inefficient economy, says a new book. "In the Indian context, one of the high-ranking black-market operating countries, it is a combination of curse and boon. It is a curse because if black-market economy were to merge with the mainstream economy, India will probably be one of the top economies in the world right at this moment," writes Samar Vijay in "A Tryst with Money: An Account of our Journey with Money to an Unknown Destination". Besides, tax collection will jump overnight and our government will not be running a fiscal deficit budget, he says. The book says though black money is viewed as cheaper money, it is not a true assertion. Whenever a system tilts to one side, new forces will prop up to offer counter balance. "Black money is the fallout of mainstream money. These are notorious brats who deliberately evaded tax. If it were possible to impose tax on black money, it would be treated equivalent to its 'white' counterpart.

From http://www.siliconindia.com/ 03/08/2015

 

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Consumer Outreach Programme by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) at Delhi

 

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India will be holding consumer outreach programme at Auditorium, National Institute of Health & Family Welfare, Baba Gangnath Marg, Munirka, IN New Delhi tomorrow (27.3.2015). TRAI has been undertaking various activities to outreach the telecom consumers to educate them and take feedback from them. The aim of the Authority is to create awareness among telecom consumers and other stakeholders about the various initiates taken by TRAI in recent times to protect the interest of telecom consumers. The programme will serve as an important interface between Telecom Service Providers, Consumer Advocacy Groups and telecom consumers. The Consumer Outreach Programme will be attended by the representatives of State Governments, all the Telecom Service Providers like Aircel, Airtel, BSNL, Idea, Reliance Communications, Vodafone etc., the Consumer Advocacy Groups and consumers.

From http://pib.nic.in/ 03/26/2015

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Hundred Smart Cities to Be Shortlisted by April 2015

 

The CII National Conference & Annual Session 2015 focusing on “Building India: A Shared Responsibility” witnessed initiatives for setting up 100 Smart Cities by 2022 across India and faster implementation within the desired timeline. New Delhi: At the CII National Conference & Annual Session 2015 focusing on “Building India: A Shared Responsibility”, M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister for Urban Development stated the government has introduced a City-challenge system for selecting smart cities on the basis of urban amenities, demographic profile, financial situation especially the portion spent on municipal salaries with an aim to strengthen and revitalise Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), which is likely to go to Cabinet next month and will be rolled somewhere around the end of April 2015. The minister addressing the session on “Urbanization & Smart Cities: Realizing the Investment Potential”“Urbanization & Smart Cities: Realizing the Investment Potential”further added that out of the total amount of 14th Finance Commission, some grant would also be apportioned to ULBs in order to improve and enhance their financial condition.

 

The government’s main concern is to reinforce and install transparency and accountability in the system so as to attract private sector investment and strengthen People Public Private Partnership (PPPP) besides strengthening urban rejuvenation and urban governance. The government is also trying to improve the streamlining and fast-tracking approval mechanism. In consideration to the environmental problems ascending at present, Mr Naidu emphasized that ‘Smart Water & Sanitation’ and ‘Energy conservation’ will be the prime proponents of Indian cities. Financial resources and smart leadership is crucial to this mission and also the inclusiveness of other stakeholders besides the government is also imperative. Citing the case of Gujarat Industrial & Financial Technology City (GIFT),Mr Ravi Parthasarathy, Chairman, CII National Mission on Smart Cities (NMSC) and Chairman, IL&FS Ltd focused on the applicability & adaptability of contexts that would make Indian cities smart. In a country like India, he stressed on three features as identified by National Mission on Smart Cities are necessary for the success of the agenda which are Employment, Productivity of citizens, and Efficient use of public space. MoUs with consortiums led by Siemens, Hitachiand very soon with Cisco will strengthen the CII National Mission on Smart Cities which aims to come out with 3-4 prototypes template for best practices in urban local bodies to take this agenda ahead.

 

Technology as stated by Ameer Azeemi, Managing Director, Cisco Systems Inc, holds the ultimate key in connecting citizens to government services and improving the quality of life which is the ultimate goal of smart cities. Visionary leadership, global open standards, smart regulation, People Public Private Partnership (PPPP) and an entirely new ecosystem are the key factors to achieve overall value addition in a city and would require brownfield development of urban infrastructure. Azeemi also called upon the private sector to create unique business models in Indian scenario for smart cities.

From http://southasia.oneworld.net/ 04/07/2015

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Govt to Rename e-Visa Scheme to ‘Visa Online’

 

The Tourism Ministry has decided to rename its e-Visa Scheme to ‘Visa Online’. The ministry has approached the Union Home Ministry for the purpose, according to reports. The e-Visa facility, which was promoted as ‘Visa on Arrival’, is available to visitors from about 44 countries. Applicants from the eligible countries can apply online minimum four days in advance of the date of arrival. However, some international visitors misunderstood the scheme and assumed that they will receive their visas on landing.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 04/09/2015

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Hannover Messe 2015 - DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant Outlines Top Priorities for Smart Cities in India

 

Several MoUs signed by Indian industry with Germany businesses and associations

Urbanisation is now a global megatrend and by 2050, around 64% of the developing world and 86% of the developed world is expected to be urbanised. Rapid urbanisation is putting a strain on the infrastructure, environment and social fabric of cities. The new Indian government has taken cognisance of this accelerating expansion. Investments required to stabilise, augment as well as build a robust urban infrastructure are at the forefront of the government’s current agenda. This was echoed in the inaugural address at a seminar on "Smart Cities - The Urban Challenge" by Mr. Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India, where he said, "One of the key challenges for India to grow at 9 to 10 per cent per annum is the challenge of urbanization. He further remarked that according to a recent study, India will have 700 million people getting in the process of urbanization by 2050 and therefore the challenge for India is to create two and a half Americas by 2050 and do it in a far more innovative and sustainable manner.”

 

During the seminar today on the day two of partner country – India at Hannover Messe 2015, FICCI signed an MoU with Hannover Milano Fairs India (HMFI) to organize a platform to discuss and showcase new solutions and innovations in urban development in 2015-16, partnership and opportunities in this sector. The panel discussion on Smart City & The Urban Challenge was illuminated by presentation and insights shared by Sushil Sethi, MD, SPML Infra Limited, Indresh Batra, VC & MD, Jindal ITF Ltd, Sangeeta Prasad, CEO – Integrated Cities & Industrial Clusters, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd, Willfired Wienholt, Global Head – Citu Account Management, Siemens Plc, Adrian Harris, Director General, Orgalime, Frank Stuhrenberg, CEO, Phoenix Contact. The afternoon saw another session on the topic 'Financing of Urban Infrastructure' where the following leaders from the corporate shared their views – Shailesh Pathak, Executive Director, Bhartiya Group, Kamal Maheshwari, President (Business Development & Strategy), Essel Infra & Utilities, roland Siller, Member of Management Committee, KfW and Global Head, Siemens One.

 

Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and Vice Chancellor, Germany visited the pavilion of the official partner country - India at the Hannover Messe 2015 where Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce & Industry, Government of India and Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government explained the Make in India vision. He took keen interest in the installations showcased by India to explain key facets of Make in India that make India the destination for investment and manufacturing. Six more MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) were signed by Indian public sector companies at Hannover Messe 2015 to enhance cooperation with global firms, during a special event organized by Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC) at the India Pavilion. The MoUs, signed by companies under Department of Heavy Industries, consisted of tie-ups between Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) India and Russian Joint Stock Company, INTMA for upcoming projects in Russia and Kazakhstan, Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Ltd. (REIL) and Milkotronics Ltd., Bulgaria for manufacturing milk analyzers in India, Instrumentations Ltd and KE Kauer Engineering, Germany for production of control valves, and three MoUs by Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) with Num Controls, Switzerland for manufacturing of CNC controls, systems and drives; FT Machine Tools, Germany for collaborating on flow forming machines and Enit GmbH, Germany for total engineering solutions.

From http://pib.nic.in/ 04/15/2015

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PM Narendra Modi Cabinet Nod for Smart City Project

 

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi led Union Cabinet gave its nod to NDA government’s flagship 100 smart cities project and the new urban renewal mission with a total outlay of about Rs one lakh crore. A meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Smart Cities Mission for development of 100 smart cities and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) of 500 cities with outlays of Rs 48,000 crore and Rs 50,000 crore respectively, according to a statement issued by the Urban Development Ministry. Smart City is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project aimed at recasting the urban landscape of the country by making cities more livable and inclusive besides driving the economic growth. Each selected city under the ambitious scheme would get central assistance of Rs 100 crore per year for five years.

 

AMRUT is the new avatar of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and has been named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The Cabinet also approved central funding under AMRUT to the projects sanctioned under JNNURM and not completed. JNNURM projects sanctioned during 2005-2012 and which have achieved physical progress of 50 per cent availing 50 per cent of central assistance released and those sanctioned during 2012-2014 will be supported till March 2017. Accordingly, 102 and 296 projects respectively will get central support for balance funding to complete these projects.

From http://www.siliconindia.com/ 04/30/2015

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AZERBAIJAN: Plan to Become IT Developed Country

 

In our century of advanced technology, development of high technology has become a number one priority around the world and natural resources-rich Azerbaijan is no exception. The country’s oil and gas revenues have been utilized to develop and promote high tech development for years, in order to diversify the economy and reveal talents. Innovative projects are clear indicators of the country's development. Soon Azerbaijan will be able to join the ranks of countries with advanced IT-industry. Azerbaijan is now investing in hardware and software production as well as IT-services. At the hardware level, the country has Kur plant for computer equipment production, which will soon produce computer equipment for Acer Inc., Taiwan’s multinational hardware and electronics corporation. The software sector includes start-ups, which are being financed by the State Fund for Information Technologies Development. The Fund has allocated 4.6 million manats for financing IT-projects in Azerbaijan in 2014. IT-industry also provides for the strengthening of local companies' export potential. Today, Azerbaijan's export potential in high-tech is very small about approximately $52 million. Cooperation in between local companies and international vendors is today a top priority since it may lead to the expansion of Azerbaijani companies toward foreign markets. The basis for IT business development in Azerbaijan will become the High Tech Park, which filial will cover the country. The park is expected to be created in two years, during this time, the filial will work in the fourth largest city Mingachevir and third largest city Ganja. High technology is developing at Mingachevir’s Kur plant for production of computer equipment.

From http://www.azernews.az/ 03/03/2015

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Ali Abbasov About Baku 2015: We Have Mobilized Our Efforts

 

Cyber threats are inevitable. Our country will soon host a global sporting event. One of the most priority issues in organization of the first European Games is the complete provision of information security. We have mobilized all efforts in this direction. According to Oxu.Az, the statement came from Minister of Communication and High Technologies Ali Abbasov, speaking at the second republican scientific and practical conference on multi-disciplinary problems of information security”. “Cyber threats are inevitable in period of the intensive use of internet. 2000 computers are virus-infected every week and the number of cyber attacks in the world is growing 30% every year”, Ali Abbasov said. The minister noted that being one of the active participants of global internet space, Azerbaijan has intensified preventive measures in this direction.

From http://news.az/ 05/14/2015

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Legislative Initiatives Drafted for IT-Park Development

 

The High Technology Park under the Communications and High Technologies Ministry has developed 12 legislative initiatives on the future activities of the organization. This was announced by Executive Director of the Park, Seymur Agayev. He said the initiatives have been prepared based on detailed analysis and study of similar experiences of other countries. "At the initial stage, we have identified three of these initiatives, which we believe can be applied to the activities of the High Technology Park. The first two are directly related to production of intellectual industry products, stimulate development of the sector and attract foreign experts in the industry," Agayev said. The company head noted that the third model is more complex, and that it can be effective in several areas of both production and intellectual business - which is also important in terms of attracting foreign capitals to Azerbaijan. As for the work on the construction of the Park, he said, preparation is underway. The general plan of the High Technologies Park and its construction can begin after the approval, he said.

 

At this stage, construction of the auxiliary economic structure, which will also be used as a showroom for the presentation of the High Tech Park projects to potential investors, was launched. Earlier, the Communications and High Technologies Ministry defined priority areas for the development of IT Technological Parks across the country. The High Tech Park is under construction in a 50 hectares land area in the Pirallahi district of Baku. The new facility will be an area equipped with all 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 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 the economy and competitiveness. The beginning of the Park's activities will ensure the creation of modern complexes for research, and the development of new information technologies. The Park will also play an important role in the sustainable development of Azerbaijan's economy and competitiveness.

From http://www.azernews.az/ 05/20/2015

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AUSTRALIA: Joining Up State and Federal Open Government Initiatives

 

The Australian federal government is joining up with state governments to ensure that public datasets are available on the national portal. This month, it announced that South Australian open data will be available on the national portal, while the state portal will also provide access to national datasets. “Users of data.sa.gov.au and data.gov.au will be able to find data resources from either portal using a single search. Now, users of the portals will have over 5,700 datasets and their fingertips,” blogged Allan Barger of the data.gov.au team. He added that “this functionality is being made available to all government data portals in Australia”. Local datasets will display first on the local portal, while national datasets will be given more prominence on the data.gov.au site to help match users’ priorities. Australia has also made its national identity assurance scheme, MyGov, available to local governments, and has opened up access to its single GovCMS project.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 03/18/2015

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Data Retention Now the Law of the Land

 

Australian now has one of the most draconian mass surveillance regimes in the Western world. Yesterday the Senate passed the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014. It means that from 2017 telcos and ISPs will have to store the as yet undetermined metadata of their customers; communications for two years at an as yet undertermiend cost to Australian consumers. The Australia Labor Party (once known as the Opposition) combined with the Coalition and the sole remaining Palmer United Party Senator to approve the Bill, which  passed the House of Representatives last week. Amendments from the Greens and independent Senators seeling more stringent safeguards were rejected, with just 16 votes against the Bill – the ten Greens Senators, Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm, Motoring Enthusiast Senator Ricky Muir, and independents Jacqui Lambie, Glenn Lazarus, John Madigan and Nick Xenophon. Family First Senator Bob Day was absent. Attorney-General George Brandis said the laws were “measured and proportionate.” He praised the Labor Party for supporting the legislation. “In dealing with national security issues, we do have to bring the public with us, we do have to get the balance right between protection and liberty.”

 

He congratulated the Senate for its “very civil and intelligent debate," he said: “Nobody could say this has been a rushed process. This legislation does contain protections that weren’t there before. It does preserve a capability for police and national security and commercial regulatory agencies which was on the verge of being lost. It does contain safeguards that weren’t there before. “By passing this Bill, the Parliament has ensured that our security and law enforcement agencies will continue to have access to the information they need to do their jobs. No responsible government can sit by while those who protect us lose access to vital information, particularly in the current high threat environment. “At the same time, the Bill contains safeguards to protect our cherished rights and liberties, including through the establishment of additional oversight mechanisms covering the security and law enforcement agencies. Metadata is the basic building block in nearly every counter-terrorism, counter-espionage and organised crime investigation. It is also essential for child abuse and child pornography offences that are frequently carried out online. A victim’s right to justice, and agencies’ ability to solve crimes, shouldn’t depend on which service provider is used by the victims and perpetrators. The Bill ensures that telecommunications providers will be required to retain a defined set of data for a period of two years. This will substantially improve the availability of data should it be necessary for a particular investigation. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) examined the Bill at length and concluded that the Bill is /a necessary, effective and proportionate response to the serious threat to national security and public safety caused by the inconsistent and degrading availability of telecommunications data’.

 

“We also recognise that the right to privacy and the principle of freedom of the press are fundamental to our democracy. For these reasons, the Bill contains new and strengthened safeguards. These include the provision of new oversight powers to the Commonwealth Ombudsman, a reduction in the number of agencies accessing metadata from over 80 to 21, and specific protections for journalists and their sources.” Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said the Government had passed a law which “entrenches a form of passive surveillance over 23 million Australians. The majority of the Australian people are not satisfied with the Government’s lunge for power. Surveillance in a democracy should be targeted, proportionate and levelled at serious criminals, organised crime and national security threats; this bill entrenches the opposite." Labor senator Jacinta Collins denied the ALP party had caved in on the laws. "Mandatory data retention is not mass surveillance,” she said. Libertarian Senator Leyonhjelm had campaigned unsuccessfully to extend protections to the lawyer-client relationship. He condemned the bill and criticised the Senate’s failure to support the Green and independent amendments. High profile independent Senator Xenophon said the data retention laws would, “like a python, further put the squeeze on investigative journalism and whistle blowers in this country.”

From http://www.itwire.com 03/27/2015

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Australia Sets Central Standards for All Digital Services

 

Australia’s new e-government unit, the Digital Transformation Office, has set out criteria that digital services right across government must meet before they are launched. The criteria, which were adapted from the UK Government’s Digital by Default standards, will apply to all new services and existing ones with more than 50,000 transactions per year. The DTO’s first requirement is that agencies research and understand user needs when they are designing services. They must “identify the people who will use the service, understand what they do, how they do it, when they do it and why”, says the Digital Service Standard released this week. Services should have a common look, feel and tone that fits the users’ needs. The standard is in alpha phase and will be continuously improved as agencies provide feedback on it.

 

Services must be built in an “agile, iterative” way with continuous improvements through user research and testing, according to the standard. Even before it is launched, it should be tested on common browsers and devices using dummy accounts and a representative sample of users. Another top demand is that agencies pull together a “sustainable multi-disciplinary team” with diverse skills to design, build, operate and iterate the services. The team must be able to work with new technologies and know when to stop spending on old systems. “It may sometimes be necessary and most cost-effective to write-off previous financial investments,” the service standards say. The team must use data to measure the performance of services and report it publicly. Agencies need to provide “ongoing assurance, supported by analytics, that the service is simple and intuitive enough that users succeed [the] first time unaided”, it says.

 

The source code should be publicly available for others to reuse wherever appropriate, and agencies should use APIs to make its content and services reusable by other agencies. Agencies will have to “integrate” new digital services with existing telephone and counter services. They should assist those who cannot use online services, but do away with non-digital channels where appropriate. Agencies have to take the right security, privacy and legal measures to protect the personal data and information the service will be providing, using or storing. From the middle of 2015 agencies will have to ensure that services and information they are building or redesigning comply with these standards, said David Hazlehurst (pictured), who is acting chief executive of the DTO.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 04/09/2015

 

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Internet Society Continues Pressure on Government over Internet Policy

 

There’s been a call for greater scrutiny and public debate, and a stop to government ad hoc decision-making on Internet policy and its potential for adverse effects on broadband users. While cloaking his concerns about the continuing development of the Internet in Australia in a drive for new members, Internet Society of Australia CEO Laurie Patton says to fully leverage the benefits of the Internet we need a “state-of-the-art broadband service underpinned by progressive regulatory policies from our governments”. Patton’s comments come at the same time as AT&T has decided to switch to FTTP deployment due to its ‘FTTN-based broadband services that in most areas are capacity limited today to 45 Mbps (and nowhere exceed 75 Mbps)’ simply being far too slow compared to 1Gbps FTTP competitors - see our separate story: “AT&T’s switch to ‘extraordinarily costly’ FTTP - OZ NBN implications?” Patton is concerned about what he says is ad-hoc decision making by government adversely affecting Internet users and the ability of Australia to get the best of a “state of the art” broadband service.

 

“The Internet is the engine driving our digitally enabled economy. It is critical to creating 21st Century employment opportunities, developing new businesses, linking regional and remote communities and creating innovative avenues for delivering health and educational services,” Patton says. Echoing his recent criticisms of Internet policy and broadband development, Patton says that while Australia has the capacity to be a leading player in the development of the Industrial Internet (aka the Internet of Things), the country needs a national strategy for this to occur. According to Patton, a broader debate is needed about how we “maintain trust” in the Internet and how we ensure that we all benefit from the opportunities that lie ahead. “This requires ongoing oversight over how the Internet is governed and the laws our parliament makes”. As he did recently, Patton again looks at the government’s proposed Data Retention Bill and his critical, questioning whether the Bill received sufficient public scrutiny. “Our parliament recently passed the Data Retention Bill with the support of both major parties. The Bill has significant implications for privacy protections and ultimately for the trust that people hold in the Internet. There are arguments for and against data retention. But did the Bill received sufficient public scrutiny?” he asks. Patton also weighs in again on the government’s proposed Copyright legislation – the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 – and is critical of the government’s processes for dealing with issues of copyright.

 

“Our copyright laws are well and truly dated and due for a comprehensive review. The last thing we need, however, is ad hoc changes dealing with specific issues that have the potential to create adverse unintended consequences,” Patton says. And, he calls on the public to join the Internet Society to help promote the debate he says needs to be had about the Internet, its future development and the way the government is going about addressing the issues. “Our members hold a range of views about the way in which Australia can best benefit from the Internet, however we all believe in the fundamentally positive role that the Internet is playing and the need for an open, accessible and trustworthy Internet.” Concluding his plea for new members, Paton says the Internet Society is well placed to offer independent technical advice to the Government and “to help influence the MP's that vote on legislation that affects the Internet”. “However, we need more members to help us with policy development and to provide the financial resources required to fulfil our mission statement.”

From http://www.itwire.com 04/26/2015

 

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AFRICA: Malawi - Govt to Overhaul E-Government Department

 

Malawi's electronic government (E-Government) department is currently reforming its operations to enhance government's electronic interaction with its citizens and tourists' ease of entry into the country.This came to light Thursday during a familiarization tour to e-government premises by Minister of information, Tourism and Culture, KondwaniNankhumwa, under whose ministry the department now falls.Briefing the minister, e-government's Deputy Director, Victor Mallewa, disclosed that amongst the reforms, the department is collaborating with the department of immigration to electronic visa (e-visa) to cut costs of foreigners wishing to visit Malawi and enhance the one-stop shop campaign."We have completed all the necessary arrangements and we currently awaiting the immigration department to test and give approval," explained Mallewa further adding that with the e-visa, tourists will be able to make all travel transactions with the Malawi's Immigration Department via the internet.It was also disclosed amongst the reforms, whose deadline is this year's December that all government ministries will need to have a website, whose server will be with the e-government department, where the country's citizens will be able to follow the on-goings of the ministries through the internet.

 

It was, however, pointed out that the department's major challenge was that most government ministries and departments subscribe to alternative internet providers other than the official government one thereby spending more funds that could have been saved.According to the deputy director, "Government spends K340 million to private internet subscribers when half that money could be used to perfect our GWAN internet provision."Responding to the briefing, the information minister told the e-government team that a meeting would have to be arranged with the department's managerial team where means of easy enhancement of the reforms and some solutions to the challenges would be discussed.He also promised to ensure that the electronic transactions (e-transactions) bill is tabled in the next sitting of Parliament that is scheduled for May 5 this year.

From http://allafrica.com/ 04/27/2015

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EUROPE: E-Governance Is a Good Tool for Implementing the Association Agreement Between the Eastern Partners and EU

 

At the opening of an e-government themed seminar in Tallinn today, Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus spoke to experts from Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova about the value of developing e-government and the use of IT solutions in state reform. The seminar, aimed at the Eastern Partnership countries, is being organized by the Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership in cooperation with the e-Governance Academy and the European Commission. According to Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, e-governance can provide the Eastern Partners with valuable solutions for challenges in public administration when reforming the country. “E-governance helps to make the political system more transparent and also improves the quality and efficiency of public services,” Pentus-Rosimannus said. “The prerequisite of a strong and well-functioning e-government is political commitment and desire,” the Foreign Minister said, expressing hope that today's e-governance seminar will help in finding the right direction to achieve solutions. “E-governance is also a useful tool for implementing the Association Agreement between the Eastern partners and EU,” she added.

 

On the subject of Estonia’s experience, Foreign Minister Pentus-Rosimannus said that the use of e-solutions has been an important innovation for the country from the standpoint of competitiveness and economic wellbeing. She stressed that when developing e-government, it is very important to pay attention to issues related to cyber security and electronic identity. “Trust in e-solutions begins when a secure solution is guaranteed,” the Foreign Minister added. The Foreign Minister confirmed that Estonia will continue to support the Eastern Partners in the field of e-governance by sharing its experiences. “We are initiating several projects in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, where we are offering our expertise and introducing our experience in building up e-government,” the Foreign Minister said. The opening of the seminar was attended by Georgia’s Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani, Belarus’s Information Technologies and Communications Minister Dmitry Shedko, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Minister of Communications and High Technologies Elmir Velizadeh and Moldova’s Deputy Minister of Information Technology and Communications Vitalie Tarlev. The seminar is an event preceding the government conference in Tallinn on May 12-13.

From http://vm.ee/ 05/12/2015

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Bulgaria a New State Agency to Be in Charge with the E-Government

 

The idea for the establishment of Electronic Government State Agency was discussed at a sitting of the Administrative Reform Council today. Deputy Prime Minister Rumyana Bachvarova noted that the goal is to achieve more operativity and stability as well as to speed up introduction of the e-government by creating a structure-engine of the processes. It was proposed the establishment of the agency to be realised by restructuring the bodies responsible for the electronic government. The new agency will be responsible for the strategic planning and budgetary programming of horizontal policies for e-government, as well as to maintain technical infrastructure, information centres and communication network of the state administration. The council took a decision to create intergovernmental group that to consider in shortest time the idea and to summarise opportunities for the establishment of such state agency. It is expected the economy effects and benefits from the realisation of the measures with highest priority in the field of e-government to amount at BGN 1 billion, the press centre of the government announced.

From http://www.focus-fen.net/ 05/23/2015

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Croatian Regulator Introduces New Data Collection System

 

The Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (Hakom) introduced a new market analysis system called Hakom Sat, aimed at improving regulation and the modernisation of the entire system for gathering and monitoring indicators on the electronic communications market. The advanced IT system contains functionalities contributing to simplification and speeding up these business processes.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 03/27/2015

 

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Estonia: A Model for e-Government

 

Over the next decade, the population of Estonia is expected to increase more than 600%, from 1.3 million to 10 million.No, a flood of immigrants is not likely to invade the tiny Baltic republic. This year, Estonia becomes the first country in the world to open its borders to e-residents—people who sign up for digital identification cards and digital signatures for access to a wide array of national electronic services and databases. The idea is to provide a gateway by which people outside of Estonia can make investments in Estonia, establish businesses there and, eventually, use the country as a bridge to commerce elsewhere in the European Union.The bold plan is a logical step forward in an unprecedented roll-out of e-government services that began in 2000, when Estonia introduced a public system for electronic tax filing. In 2002, Estonia introduced a universal electronic identification card with digital signatures, which every citizen gets at the age of 15. The ID cards and signatures have become the keys to nearly universal access to government information and services as well as private-sector services in health care, banking and education, and law. In the years since, the Estonian government and industry have put more and more functions online, all connected by a nationwide data backbone called X-Road.

 

Digital signatures in Estonia are so widely used and trusted that they are now preferred to signatures on paper, says Siret Schutting, managing director of e-Estonia Showroom. She estimates digital signatures save the country 2% of GDP, or $500 million a year. "We can use it everywhere," she says. "It's legally the same as a handwritten signature."The Estonian e-tax system, along with X-Road's access to multiple government and private sector databases, has made tax filing unimaginably simple, at least by U.S. standards. "No one even considers paper as a possibility anymore," says SiimTuisik, an Estonian citizen lobbyist for open data and digital rights. "If you are a private citizen, you make five or six clicks. All the data is already there; everything is prefilled, so unless something is wrong, you don't need to add anything."Other countries, especially in Europe, are eyeing Estonia's successes with envy. "Estonia is way ahead of other countries, really a model," says Clare Sullivan, a cyber-lawyer and professor at the University of South Australia School of Law. "They are where we are all going to be in five to 10 years." Estonia has the most advanced e-society in the world, with the government offering some 600 e-services to citizens and 2,400 to businesses, she says.

 

Why Estonia?

Sullivan says Estonia's progress is due in part to a strong commitment to Information Technology (IT) on the part of the prime minister and other senior government officials, stemming from the country's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. "It was very poor, and struggling to establish its own identity and own economy," she says. "They had few resources otherwise, so they decided to go with IT.""Information technology allows us to achieve beyond our natural means as a small government and country," said Prime Minister TaaviRõivas in an interview. "That is why we have implemented a trusted national identity scheme, universal data exchange layer X-Road, various digital services and initiatives in all walks of life." He said he is deeply involved in the roll-out of Estonia's digital services as chairman of the E-Estonia Council, which "steers the making and execution of national digital agenda in the country."

 

Cultural and environmental factors have also driven Estonia's remarkable progress into digital services. The public puts a great deal of faith in the integrity of the systems and databases linked by X-Road. "The idea of people not trusting government is, if I may say so, a very American thing," Sullivan says. "In Europe, distrust is centered more on business than on government, and in Estonia, it's become part of the culture. They have been doing this since the early 2000s, and they are hooked on the convenience of it."Estonia is smaller than West Virginia, and the third-poorest of the 28 countries in the EU. Not surprisingly, a number of high-tech start-ups in the country have focused on cross-border flows. For example, Skype for voice and video communications, and TransferWise for moving money, have their origins in Estonia."Nordic countries strongly believe in the inclusion of different social groups, and the digital solutions help do that," Schutting says. "Access here is not a privilege, it's a right." Indeed, she says, even the poorest citizens have free Internet access at libraries, banks, post offices, and other places. A project begun in 2009, called EstWin, aims to bring 100 Mbit/s Internet access to every citizen of Estonia by the end of this year. By 2018, the speed for many users is due to be boosted to 2.5 Gbit/s.

 

Elsewhere in the World

Estonia may be a world leader, but it is hardly alone in its moves to public e-services. Last year, Estonia joined with the United Kingdom, South Korea, Israel, and New Zealand to establish an initiative called D5. At the first annual D5 Summit in London last December, the five countries drafted a charter pledging to work together and share ideas to develop and integrate electronic public services.D5 emerges from the wreckage left by the U.K.'s failed rollout of a national identity card system several years ago. The huge, and hugely expensive, card project, along with a proposed National Identity Register, were scrapped in 2010 in the face of strong opposition from the public and from some quarters in government over concerns about an erosion of civil liberties and privacy. Estonia was made a charter member of the D5 by other members looking for guidance on these kinds of efforts, according to citizen activist Tuisik. "We get about 400 official visits each year that concentrate on digital matters," he says.

From http://cacm.acm.org/ 05/25/2015

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Russia’s Tightening Web Governance

 

Russia’s problem with internet freedom is an ongoing source of strife for both native and foreign technology companies — particularly those in communications tech. Legislation largely seen as thinly-veiled censorship has caused conflict between Moscow and various businesses, notably social networks and blogging sites. This week, the Kremlin issued a brazen decree, sending letters to Google, Twitter, and Facebook warning all three Silicon Valley giants that if they do not comply with web governance laws, they risk having their services blocked altogether in the country. The law dictates that companies must deliver data on Russian bloggers whose sites receive more than 3,000 visitors per day, as well as complying with Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor’s requests to take down websites that call for “unsanctioned protests and unrest,”according to the group. Last year, legislation passed giving Russian prosecutors the right to block websites that propagate information about protests without judicial process.

 

There are multiple unknowns here, starting with how the three tech companies will respond to the Kremlin — if they will at all. If the companies do not comply with the requests, will the government actually apply said sanctions? Blocking Facebook would be going the way of China, and while that seems like a drastic move, Russia made a recent deal that demonstrates its leanings towards that ally when it comes to web governance. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that text of an agreement posted on the Russian government’s website explained a Sino-Russian contract that stipulates that both countries agree to not conduct cyber-attacks against each other, and that they will jointly counteract technology that may “destabilize the internal political and socio-economic atmosphere,” ”disturb public order” or “interfere with the internal affairs of the state.”

 

Foreign firms aren’t the only ones getting grief from the Kremlin. Vkontakte — Russia’s version of Facebook — was seized from its founder Pavel Durov, who now lives in exile in New York. Earlier this week, Mashable profiled Durov, who has resisted government orders since denying a request from Russian security services to block political opposition groups from using his network to organize anti-government protests in Moscow back in 2011. In 2014, he was forced to relinquish control of the company. While Russia has never had a balmy relationship with the internet — particularly when U.S.-based tech firms are involved — its approach to censorship and internet governance has only worsened over the last couple of years, especially in the wake of the revelations regarding the U.S. National Security Agency revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. (Snowden still resides in Moscow incidentally — the irony of the world’s most famous whistleblower on web-based privacy and government control living in asylum in Russia is impossible to ignore.) The Kremlin’s latest aggressive moves look like the proverbial tightening of the noose around the neck of the “free and open” internet, with no end in sight for the government’s conflicts with companies both at home and abroad.

From http://blogs.blouinnews.com/ 05/23/2015

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U.K.: Digital Democracy

 

Here in Britain we can now tweet our MPs, connect to campaigners on other continents and sign e-petitions that, if popular enough, will be debated in parliament. All this, and yet the purest form of democratic participation – voting in an election – remains strictly offline. When people cast their vote on 7th May, it’ll either be in person at a polling station or in advance using a postal vote.Turnout in the first three general elections of the 21st Century was lower than it had been for decades. The 2010 general election attracted two thirds (65.1%) of adults to the polls, while turnout in the most recent European election attracted almost half that number (34.2%).While those figures may sound low at the overall level, turnout was significantly lower among young people. Consistently across elections, 18- to 24-year-olds have by far been the least likely to cast a vote. In the 2010 general election, for instance, just over half (51.8%) of 18- to 24-year-olds voted, compared with three-quarters (74.7%) of over 65s. While the Scottish Independence referendum managed, temporarily, to reignite young people’s political passions, few expect to see a similar display this May.With such low turnout figures, particularly among young people, serious questions need to be asked about the barriers to voting. One of the most pressing questions to explore is whether or not e-voting would encourage higher turnout at elections. Our research over the past year indicates that the British public is hungry for e-voting.

 

E-voting research

Our research has uncovered strong support for the proposal. Almost two-thirds (64%) of British adults are in favour of voting online in future elections. Positive sentiment is at its highest among 35- to 44-year-olds, who we know to be less apathetic than 18- to 24-year-olds but more tech savvy than some of the older groups. Furthermore, there is a lack of resistance to the idea, with under a fifth (18%) of adults voicing opposition to e-voting.What is perhaps more revealing is that half (50%) of British adults say they would actually rather vote online than at the polling station. Again, 35- to 44-year-olds are the most enthusiastic about the prospect, but, at the same time, more than half of 18- to 24-year-olds say they would prefer to vote online. Unsurprisingly, given findings elsewhere, a hefty proportion of older people would rather stick to voting at a polling station or by post.Theoretical support for online voting is all very well and good, but would it actually change behaviour at future elections? Following the European and local elections in May 2014, ICM asked non-voters whether they would have been more likely to vote if they’d been able to do so online. More than half (54%) told us that they would have been, compared with 41% who said it would have made no difference. Crucially, the option of voting online would apparently create the greatest behaviour change among 16- to 34-year-olds, of whom two thirds (67%) said they would have been more likely to vote if they could have done so online.Of course, being “more likely” to vote doesn’t guarantee that introducing online voting would nudge an apathetic hard-core into democratic engagement, but it certainly indicates a step in the right direction.

 

Barriers to delivery

While appetite for voting online exists, there are substantial barriers to actually delivering e-voting. Let’s not forget how much we’ve heard recently about the threat of cyber-terrorism, computer hacking, and major leaks of personal information online. Moreover, there have been numerous accusations of electoral fraud relating to postal voting in recent years. Having said that, when we asked British adults whether they would resist online voting as a result of security and privacy concerns, only one in three (32%) thought they would.Highly secure and sophisticated technology would be required to ensure that each online vote would be confidential, and that the final count would reflect the true number of votes cast. Moreover, the government would need to create a watertight system to validate the identity of each individual voter.  All things considered, creating a secure digital platform for voting will be no mean feat.

 

E-voting has already been trialled, with varying levels of success, in several different countries. The most well-established system is in Estonia, but even there the majority of voters still opt to go to the polling station over logging on. Most recently, the Norwegian government abandoned their own e-voting trials amid concerns over security. While various trials have taken place since 2003 in the UK, online voting has, as of yet, not been rolled out.Despite these difficulties, the head of the Electoral Commission, Jenny Watson, last year declared that e-voting “is not an issue that can stay on the slow-track any longer”. This sentiment is matched by a strong sense of expectation from the public. Most people (57%) are surprised that you can’t already vote online.Indeed, in a world where we can use the internet to renew a passport, pay our taxes and register for benefits, there’s a sense of inevitability about one day being able to vote online. Whether or not e-voting truly will improve participation remains to be seen, but with engagement so low, particularly among younger voters, bringing the mechanics of voting into the 21st Century is a measure that this democracy cannot ignore.

From http://www.i-policy.org/ 04/16/2015

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LATIN AMERICA: Caribbean “Significant” to Global Internet Governance, ICANN Says

 

A top executive of the non-profit that oversees all the Internet addresses has described the Caribbean as “significant” to the governance of the global Internet. Rodrigo de la Parra, vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), said the sub-region’s geopolitics give it “strategic” importance and the potential to punch above its weight on the global stage. “If you look at the Caribbean in terms of population, it’s not that representative, but if you look in terms of the nations, it’s huge. It’s perhaps even larger in number than the rest of the Latin American region,” de la Parra told the Guardian. The demographic diversity of the small-island states’ relatively small populations makes them “unique” and more representative than their larger, more homogeneous Central and South American neighbours, he said.

 

De la Parra was speaking in an interview during an annual gathering of the Internet community organised by the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC) in Lima, Peru. The weeklong event was “an opportunity for stakeholders from the Caribbean served by LACNIC to update themselves with regard to current issues” affecting the region, said ICANN Stakeholder Engagement Manager for the Caribbean, Albert Daniels. Hundreds of delegates gathered from May 18 to 22 for talks on Internet governance and other issues affecting the evolution of the regional Internet. Not only is the Caribbean quite significant, de la Parra said, but its significance is growing. The region’s resident expertise and capacity have been increasing substantially, in large part through the efforts of active agencies on the ground, such as the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). “In terms of Internet governance, the Caribbean is an example to the world,” de la Parra said, adding that the work of the CTU has set the region apart.

 

“The Caribbean Telecommunications Union has been the leader in the world in the discussion of Internet governance. Even at the global level, there have been fewer Internet Governance Forums than in the Caribbean, and the CTU is leading these efforts.” In addition to its Caribbean Internet Governance Forum, the CTU pioneered the Caribbean ICT Roadshow, which has become a global model for building basic digital awareness and enhancing advanced technical capacity in rural or remote areas. To ensure the continued expansion and security of the Internet in the region, de la Parra said, bodies like ICANN must continue to work alongside the CTU, the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), the Internet Society (ISOC) and other key regional Internet organisations, such as the two regional Internet registries with responsibility for the Caribbean—LACNIC and the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN).

 

The two Caribbean RIRs collaborate on a range of initiatives to improve the regional Internet. In July, they are to host a meeting of Caribbean ministers with responsibility for Internet and telecommunications in Miami, as part of an annual industry conference held by the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organisations (CANTO), a regional association of service providers. The main goal of the meeting is to encourage high-level decision-makers to deploy the latest version of Internet Protocol, called IPv6. Caribbean Internet service providers have been relatively slow to adopt the new technology. Studies on Internet traffic show a global average IPv6 adoption rate of around five per cent, while the region lags at less than one per cent. The current Internet Protocol, called IPv4, does not have the amount of address space necessary to deal with the rapidly increasing number of connected devices that send and receive information online. ARIN’s stock of available IPv4 addresses is expected to run out soon.

 

“We’re sponsoring a ministerial breakfast to do outreach on IPv6 targeted at the top-level—the ministers, the CEOs—about why it’s important to transition to IPv6,” said Leslie Nobile, Senior Director of Global Registry Knowledge at ARIN, told the Guardian. The two RIRs work together in the region on an informal basis, driven by a recognition of the benefit of their collaboration to the communities that they serve, Oscar Robles, LACNIC Executive Director, told the Guardian. “We met in some of the regional forums, and we realised that we were doing similar things, so we said, ‘Let’s coordinate,’ We said, ‘Let’s work together, rather than compete,’” Robles said.

From http://curacaochronicle.com/ 05/23/2015

 

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Brazil Government Partners Facebook on Digital Inclusion

 

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has announced a partnership by the federal government with Facebook to broaden digital inclusion and network access in the country, reports Reuters. Rousseff met Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in Panama City, where she is taking part in the Summit of the Americas, and said the goal of the partnership is to ensure access to a variety of internet-based services in remote areas of the country. She added that the two partners will develop common studies, to design a joint project with the goal of digital inclusion, adding that this will allow increased access to education, health, culture and technology. According to the Brazilian Presidency, a project that Facebook has developed in the deprived region of Heliopolis, in Sao Paulo, will be used as a starting point.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 04/13/2015

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NORTH AMERICA: The Future of Internet Governance - Should the U.S. Relinquish Its Authority over ICANN?

 

Currently, the U.S. government retains limited authority over the Internet’s domain name system, primarily through the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions contract between the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). By virtue of the IANA functions contract, the NTIA exerts a legacy authority and stewardship over ICANN, and arguably has more influence over ICANN and the domain name system (DNS) than other national governments. On March 14, 2014, NTIA announced the intention to transition its stewardship role and procedural authority over key Internet domain name functions to the global Internet multistakeholder community. To accomplish this transition, NTIA has asked ICANN to convene interested global Internet stakeholders to develop a transition proposal. NTIA has stated that it will not accept any transition proposal that would replace the NTIA role with a government-led or an intergovernmental organization solution.

 

Currently, Internet stakeholders are engaged in a series of working groups to develop a transition proposal. Their goal is to submit a final proposal to NTIA by summer 2015. NTIA must approve the proposal in order for it to relinquish its authority over the IANA functions contract. While the IANA functions contract expires on September 30, 2015, NTIA has the flexibility to extend the contract for any period through September 2019. Concerns have risen in Congress over the proposed transition. Critics worry that relinquishing U.S. authority over Internet domain names may offer opportunities for either hostile foreign governments or intergovernmental organizations, such as the United Nations, to gain undue influence over the Internet. On the other hand, supporters argue that this transition completes the necessary evolution of Internet domain name governance towards the private sector, and will ultimately support and strengthen the multistakeholder model of Internet governance.

From http://www.i-policy.org/ 05/15/2015

 

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"Countries Can Outgrow Their Size with E-Government" Says Nortal's Business Development Director for CEE Mr Margus Magi

 

May 6th 2015, Muscat: Delegates to the recent Comex 2015 were treated to two very informative presentations courtesy of Nortal, the leading Open Source software provider for mission critical solutions in the fields of Government, Healthcare, Industry and TIME (Telecom, Internet, Media and Entertainment. With an active office branch in Muscat, Nortal had a strong presence at the conference and exhibition which saw many industry experts, solution providers and end users convene to explore the theme 'Disruptive technologies for fast tracking National Growth'. Two of Nortal's leading thought leaders, Mr. Margus Magi, CEE Business Development Director and Mr. Taavi Einaste, Director of Business Area e-Health, presented at the conference. Mr. Margus Magi, captivated the audience with a paper entitled 'Pushing the Borders' as part of the Big Data, Cloud and ICT Infrastructure for Public Sector Session. He explained to delegates 'In Estonia, we have seen how seamless e-government could work and how it will be in an era of Big Data and Cloud computing. Scenarios for e-government processes must be re-wised so that real benefits of technology could be utilized. Keeping in mind that interoperability of systems is the key to success. We are facing new concepts like Data Embassy and e-Residency which will change the borders between physical and virtual worlds. Governments can now grow bigger than the actual country is. This will change the concept of public services in broader scale. We are creating and implementing some very exciting IT projects across the Sultanate where we can clearly see the possible merits of Big Data and Cloud technology upcoming.'

 

Mr. Taavi Einaste, Director of Business Area eHealth, Nortal, spoke passionately on 'Modern e-health solutions in an era of FHIR'. He said 'Healthcare has lagged behind in adopting modern IT solutions, compared with other industries. It is an industry which has enormous potential benefits for society. Given the aging populations in most countries, the lack of specialists and the monetary limitations, if IT can be honed to come to its aid then we must embrace it. One of the key drivers for IT adoption is the ability to share information between different IT systems, organizations and medical specialists. With Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), an exciting platform has been created for successful health data exchange. ' Nortal has assisted numerous countries in the field of e-government including Qatar, Oman, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Nigeria, Botswana and Moldova in providing better services to their citizens and businesses. Nortal began its operations in the Gulf in 2008 and established a local subsidiary in 2011. Today it considers Oman a home market with a strong onsite presence there.

From https://www.zawya.com/ 05/09/2015

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EUROPE: U.K. - Digital Transformation Ends in Breaches for 40% of Public Sector

 

Nearly half (40%) of UK public sector organizations have suffered a data breach as they struggle to keep up with the pace of digital transformation demanded by Westminster, according to Iron Mountain. A report commissioned by the records management firm claims to have uncovered a “landscape of confusion and potential risk, where records and information management is being placed under considerable strain thanks to the internal and external pressures of change.” Worryingly, nearly one third (30%) of respondents said they have had to reduce the number of information management roles, while 91% said information handling expertise had been lost as a result. Employees tasked with such roles today are over-stretched (81%), lack the relevant skills (60%), or are required to take on roles beyond their grade (59%), the report claimed. With this backdrop it’s perhaps not surprising that 40% of respondents claimed to have experienced a breach, while 61% said they have lost important documents. Other notable failings highlighted by the report include a “disconnected approach to information across teams” (71%); staff who fail to stick to guidelines (57%); and an acknowledgement that public sector organizations’ approach to records management is ineffective (23%).

 

However, despite these challenges, three-quarters of senior public sector officials interviewed for the report claimed that their approach to records management is fit for purpose. Public sector bodies are regularly fined by privacy watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for data handling errors. Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust has been the biggest offender to date – having been fined a whopping 325,000. Freedom of Information requests to the ICO from encryption firm Egress comparing April-June 2013 with the same period last year found that simple human errors accounted for 93% of breaches, rather than technical issues. Human error topped the list, alongside poor processes and inadequate systems. Separate research from consultancy IT Governance last year found that the average cost of a data breach as a result of action by the privacy watchdog was over 35,000. It revealed that the ICO doled out 2.17m in fines from January 2013 to October 2014, with 94% of notices issued as a result of poor information security.

From http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/ 03/13/2015

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GLOBE: An Interesting eGovernment Accelerator Case Study

 

We often think of government agencies as being the opposite of agile. Whereas private-sector agencies seem able to turn on a dime and create innovative solutions, the public sector seems to be constrained by process, compliance and hyper-conservatism. Just imagine if a government department had designed Uber – it would have cost billions of dollars to create, been delivered late, would need paperwork signed in triplicate to sign up to and would have failed to garner many customers. A good example – the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department is spending $1.5 billion on a multi-year IT upgrade that many respected IT commentators doubt will deliver benefits. This soon after another agency botched a system designed to manage the salary payments for all teachers in New Zealand – two great examples of government IT.

 

So given this lack of agility and seeming inability to innovate, it is interesting to read about a new accelerator that is aimed at resolving these issues and bringing some private-sector thinking to the public sector. The R9 Accelerator is a 12-week program that aims to bring together teams of entrepreneurs, developers, private sector specialists and ‘ intrapreneurs’ from within government to work on projects that solve major pain points for New Zealand businesses and reduce their costs of interacting with government. That sounds like a lofty goal, but how will the teams be tasked, and what will ensure that these projects don’t get bloated and slow? According to the organizing group, the task for each team is to develop impactful solutions for the individual pain points and then to create, validate and test “Minimum Viable Products” (MVPs) for each project. The ultimate goal is then to present government decision makers with fundable projects that can be implemented quickly and that will significantly improve business-to-government interactions.

 

The projects that have been set as problem areas by the organizing committee look like a list of issues or opportunities related to government interactions worldwide. Some of the more interesting projects are:

Making compliance easier between the Inland Revenue Service and other business-related agencies

Making market profile information accessible thus creating a single source of government data that cold be useful to businesses

Better procurement systems to open up government procurement to small vendors

Cross-agency managed services for routine transactions to avoid a business having to interact with multiple agencies. The idea being that service providers can do much of the heavy lifting around government interactions

Annual company return automation would mean businesses could click a button on their accounting software and have their annual return filed

Online visa information to enable real-time checking for visa applications

Payments system to allow a single gateway for business to government payments to exist

API marketplace to enable businesses to find and consume APIs that allow them to integrate external system with governmental ones

 

The teams within the accelerator will consist of 3-4 members and must include private sector input, the other members will be from the various government agencies. In terms of the way the accelerator works, the program, which will last 12 weeks, sees each private-sector individual being paid $6000 for their input. The private sector individual is there to guide the team through mentor feedback and market validation stages of the project. Overall the program is a good one however some commentators have expressed concern at both the low level of compensation and also the fact that no-guarantee of compensation or equity at the end of the program exists. This is in contrast with other programs which tend to take a small equity stake in the company in return for enrollment in the program and some cash. Ownership, however, remains largely with the founders. It strikes me that seasoned private sector people will be reluctant to spend 12 weeks on a program that has no guarantee of either continuance or their ongoing ownership at the end of it. Per the program outline:

 

Any continued compensation or equity in the continued development and implementation of resultant solutions is to be determined after the Demo Day presentation. When fundable projects have been selected as a result of the Program, it is envisaged that the roll out of those projects will continue seamlessly, whilst working with potentially other private sector partners, depending on the nature of the solution. At the same time a requirement for applying to the program is that the individuals will be available to continue work on the project after the end of the program – I’d suggest that this is putting all of the risk on the entrepreneur, and giving the government agency all of the power in the relationship. That’s a power imbalance that has long been discussed as a problem in private-sector accelerators and it would have been good to have the issue more resolved for this program. That said, R9 looks like a good initial foray – it will be interesting to watch the groups as they come through and (hopefully) start t develop some tools which will deliver ongoing utility.

From http://www.forbes.com/ 03/12/2015

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Online Democracy Tools That Inform the General Election Debate

 

Last week I drew your attention to YourNextMP, a crowdsourced website run by Democracy Club. But they are not the only non-profit organisation providing useful open data information to support democracy, either by data scraping government sites or through crowdsourcing. MySociety started it all many years ago, with the now redundant FaxYourMP. This was eventually replaced by WriteToThem, where visitors could find out the names of their elected representatives (including councillors) and send them a message without having to search other sites for their contact details.  FixMyStreet is another simple but powerful site which allows people to report problems to their local council. theyworkforyouBut the best known MySociety project is TheyWorkForYou, which is still the yardstick by which many of us judge civic websites. It takes data from Hansard and other parliamentary/ assembly resources and repackages it to make it immediately accessible to any of us.  Enter your postcode to discover your MP’s voting record, recent speeches, attendances on committees, register of interests. It also covers members of the House of Lords, and the Queen. I’m sorry to hear that the founder of MySociety, Tom Steinberg, is stepping down, but the vision he had will continue. I have been aware of his work from the beginning, back in 20013, when I was working on the National Project for Local e-Democracy.

 

I have some residual guilt that we were never able to fund any of his early projects, much as he would have liked it, basically because the funding from the National Project had to be channeled through local authorities and I believed then that his work needed to be kept at arms-length from government. Maybe I was wrong, because later he went on to develop the e-petition site for Number 10 – this has now morphed into HM Government’s e-petitions. All of this is a bit of a preamble to an announcement from a new kid on the block. RateYourMP was launched last week just in time for the general election. It offers the same spare postcode-driven design favoured by MySociety, but offers a wealth of numerical data about your MP since 2010. It presents information about pay and expenses, plus voting records. But I have some concerns about the way in which it ranks MPs on their so-called efficiency, measured by cost per vote. Not only does this imply that the only way to assess an MP’s performance is to count the number of times s/he votes, but it also does not make allowances for ministerial responsibilities, or indeed for illness or maternity/paternity leave. RateYourMP has also been launched in beta mode and is still not ready. It will only accept postcodes, and not the name of the MP or the constituency, and some of the tabs still display ‘coming soon’. It has some way to go before it is as useful as TheyWorkForYou.

From http://www.libdemvoice.org/ 03/16/2015

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Expert Panel Discusses Issue of New Principles for Internet Governance

 

Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web more than a quarter of a century ago, last year asked what kind of Internet we want. "I want one which is not fragmented into lots of pieces as some countries have been suggesting they should do in reaction to the recent surveillance," he said during a TED Talk. "I want a Web which has got, for example, is a really good basis for democracy. I want a Web where I can use healthcare with privacy and where a lot of health clinical data is available to scientists to do research. I want a Web where the other 60 percent get on board as fast as possible. I want a Web which is such a powerful basis for innovation that when something nasty happens, some disaster strikes that we can respond by building stuff to respond to it very quickly."

 

As governments use the Web for surveillance among other stresses to keep it an open and independent medium, he suggested that people create a Bill of Rights or Magna Carta that enshrines the principles of the Web or Internet. Recently, a panel of Internet experts hosted by the New America Foundation took up the question and was asked about the Internet's future. Stefaan Verhulst, co-founder and chief research and development officer at New York University's The Governance Lab, a research center, said that the debate is going on all around the world. European countries are telling their citizens not to use Facebook because of National Security Agency surveillance while the Supreme Court of India is mulling the constitutionality of blocking online content. And in France the debate is over whether barring terrorists from the Internet is scarier than allowing them to use it, said Verhulst, who moderated the March 26 panel discussion.

 

Constance Bommelaer, senior director for global policy partnerships at the non-profit Internet Society, which provides Internet-related standards, education and policy information, said her group just conducted a survey on Internet governance. While respondents were concerned about cybersecurity, their "primary appetite" was to get more information and better understand Internet governance and institutional dynamics. It's debatable whether new principles are needed and it may be that existing principles need to be better applied than creating new ones, she said. George Sadowsky, who's on the board of the the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, agreed. He said governance of the Internet is about its technical nature, meaning keeping the infrastructure working and keeping the information flowing. However, governance on the Internet is really about problems that existed previously and migrated to the Internet. For example, the panel took up the issue of "multistakeholderism," which is a model where numerous participants will participate in a dialogue and reach a consensus to common issues. It can certainly lead to greater inclusion, offer checks and balances and improve transparency, among other elements. But it may not be the model for fields like cybersecurity, which should have a leading role, some experts said. Dr. Jovan Kurbalija, who's director of DiploFoundation, said there needs to be care that new problems aren't created by finding new solutions.

From http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/ 04/08/2015

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Egovernment Initiatives to Drive IT Services Spend in Gulf Countries: Study

 

The combined IT services market of Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 12.5 per cent over the coming years to a total of USD 1.82 billion by 2018, according to a forecast released by a global advisory services firm. The International Data Corporation (IDC) expects this growth to be driven by government-led infrastructure projects, eGovernment initiatives, transformations in the transportation, banking and financial services sectors as governments in the region pursue diversification strategies into non-oil sectors. “The willingness of CIOs to procure outsourcing services is increasing across the OGCC (Other Gulf Cooperation Council) countries,” Eric Samuel, a senior analyst for IT services at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, said yesterday. “Some organisations are already reaping the benefits associated with ICT technologies, such as improved operational efficiency, reduced capital expenditure, and enhanced ICT management. And as the outsourcing services offered by ICT services providers mature over the coming years, we expect the adoption of such services to increase notably,” he said. IDC’s latest data shows that the OGCC IT services market reached a total value of USD 1.13 billion in 2014, up 11.7 per cent on 2013. Qatar presented the strongest growth in the region, with IT services spending fuelled by large-scale, infrastructure-driven, and government-led projects in the transportation, healthcare, and education sectors. Qatar will continue to have the fastest growing IT services market of all the OGCC countries and IT services spending in the country will surpass Kuwait’s total by the end of this year. Qatar is also expected to lead IT services spending in the region through 2018, the date forecasts.

From http://computer.financialexpress.com/ 04/14/2015

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How to Prepare Information Governance for the Internet of Things

 

Adoption of social and collaborative platforms means that organisations have to incorporate social media posts, texts, instant messages, tweets and online file sharing into the formal processes that manage information throughout its lifecycle from creation to destruction.Organisations must consider security, compliance and employee behaviour, but many are discovering that existing rules are difficult to apply to information types that are unstructured, vast in volume and difficult to categorise.Many organisations don’t know who owns or who should own the content created through these communications channels. A recent survey of information professionals, by Iron Mountain and AIIM, revealed that a third of businesses have yet to allocate content responsibility for instant messaging (39%), mobile (32%), social media (28%) and cloud-sharing (33%).But close to one in ten respondents said their organisations fail to regulate even well-established information types such as email, customer data and public online content.

 

And unfortunately, it’s about to become more complicated – welcome the Internet of Things (IoT).  Connected device-to-device communication is already used in businesses across manufacturing, automotive, agriculture, energy and healthcare, as well as being driven into consumer sectors with the likes of connected devices in the home and fitness-related applications.Estimates of the global number of connected devices by 2020 vary widely, ranging from 20 billion to 50 billion and more. In 2015, the number of connected devices and systems in use is expected to reach 4.9 billion.This just goes to demonstrate how important it is for businesses to work on their information governance strategies now to accommodate these emerging information types, before the data volumes generated by connected devices to overwhelm.

 

Another major challenge will be the regulatory and compliance implications of data that will be moving between devices, placing new demands on data protection, security and recovery policies.Legal frameworks generally lag behind technological capability, and the complexities of the data landscape generated by connected devices and systems will pose interesting legal and regulatory challenges. For example, a connected device in a domestic fridge could be designed to monitor energy use or shopping needs, but could simultaneously be generating personal information about such things as an individual’s health, lifestyle and changing family structure. This kind of information would need to be regulated and protected.The third challenge will be the storage and retention of the information. It will be impossible (and not the right thing) to store and keep absolutely everything.

 

Information governance frameworks are already struggling under the weight of emerging digital channels, and could buckle under IoT unless organisations get better at classifying their data and knowing what to retain and store and what to delete.This is not always going to be easy. The challenge of determining what information constitutes a record or has potential business value, and applying an appropriate retention rule is no mean feat and may well seem overwhelming for the many businesses already overloaded with growing volumes of information in multiple formats. Yet failure to take on the challenge will to expose many to unacceptable levels of risk.

 

Information professionals often err on the side of caution when it comes to the data they retain. Businesses are reluctant to destroy data that could at some future point deliver value, and they don’t want to have deleted data which may suddenly required for e-discovery purposes. This results in hesitancy with a keep-it-all-in-case culture.Judgement calls about record disposition will have to be made but these difficult decisions will be helped considerably by having strong information governance in place; pre-defining and automating categorisation to limit storage and vulnerability, and defining and enforcing clear responsibilities amongst your team.It’s a daunting prospect, no doubt – but the time to start putting all this in place is now.

From http://www.information-age.com/ 04/18/2015

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Internet Governance: What If the Sky Really Is Falling?

 

There is nothing, I have observed, that makes readers’ eyes glaze over quite like a discussion of “Internet governance.”  It is entirely understandable; there has been a fair bit of hand-waving and even hand-wringing, about Internet governance over the past couple of decades – I have been among the guilty on this – and nothing much ever actually happens; governance talk turns out to be just that – talk – while the Internet seems to purr along quite well from one day to the next, with no more “governance” than it seemed to have ten or twenty years ago, thank you very much. But something truly ominous is brewing on the Internet governance front, something with the potential to affect every one of the billions of people who now use the Internet on a daily basis, and not for the better.  It is, unfortunately, buried pretty deep in some dense technical, and the legal, weeds, but here is the story in a nutshell. [For those looking for more detail on what is happening in this so-called “IANA Transition,” Danielle Kehl and I have recently published a paper for the Open Technology Institute, available here, in which we flesh out the somewhat complicated background for this story.]

 

The US government is contemplating relinquishing the last remaining vestige of its control over a vital piece of the Internet’s core technical infrastructure – the domain name system (DNS) — and, with it, the last vestige of its ability to exercise oversight over how that system evolves and is used in the future. It is, for any number of reasons (which Danielle and I try to summarize) a very good idea; the US government’s special position in the management of key Internet resources – oops, I almost said “Internet governance”! – no longer makes any sense, and there are many reasons to support a transition placing the control over these resources into the hands of the global Internet community. But this transition could also go very badly.  How?  The power that comes from control over the DNS is substantial, and, like all power, it is subject to abuse.  In the case of the DNS, abuse means leveraging control over the DNS into control over the content of Internet communications. What does that look like?  Well, it looks like something I warned might be coming a few months ago (see here):  using control over the DNS databases to hear, and to enforce via the DNS entries, claims about the distribution of unlawful content – content that infringes (or is alleged to infringe) copyright, say, or that violates consumer protection laws, or gambling laws, or anti-pornography laws . . .

 

Whoever controls the DNS – whether it’s the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) or anyone else – will, as we put it in the paper, “inevitably be subject to intense pressure, from many directions, public and private,” to leverage its control over Internet technical infrastructure at one level of the protocol stack – the DNS – to enforce rules about message content at a higher level of the stack.  It is a dreadful idea, for many reasons, not least of which is that an institution built for the purpose of managing the technical coordination tasks necessary for the continued smooth functioning of the DNS is unlikely – to put it mildly – to be well-designed for the purpose of making global copyright (or consumer protection, or fraud, or pornography, or trademark) policy. So that means – or it should mean – that before we complete this transition to a global non-governmental institution for all DNS management functions, we need to be re-assured that safeguards are firmly in place to insure that something like this doesn’t happen, that whoever is in charge of DNS policy-making sticks to its knitting.

 

Most unfortunately, the tea leaves seem to be pointing in precisely the opposite direction.  The latest development:  today the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee (Sens. Grassley and Leahy) have endorsed just this kind of role for ICANN: we have heard from a number of stakeholders that domain name registrars are not meeting their contractual obligations with ICANN, and that ICANN itself routinely has failed to prioritize and enforce its agreements. Registrars and registries, like every legitimate business that operates in the Internet ecosystem, have a constructive role to play in curbing online infringement and counterfeiting. We urge you to facilitate conversations among rightsholders, registrars, registries, and ICANN to identify mutually agreeable best practices in this important space. It sounds innocuous enough – ‘conversations’ about “mutually agreeable best practices” – but it is very bad news.  It is starting to look, to me, like a deal is being cooked up: one condition of handing over control of the DNS to ICANN will be its promise to set up a process to deal with copyright infringement claims through the DNS.  Far from providing safeguards against this kind of mission creep, the US government may be conjuring it into existence.  We will all regret that if it comes to pass. David G. Post is a Sr. Fellow at the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute. He taught intellectual property/Internet law at Georgetown and Temple Universities, and is the author of In Search of Jefferson's Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace. Views expressed are his own and should not be attributed to his affiliated institutions.

From http://www.washingtonpost.com/ 05/09/2015

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Is the UN Finally Moving Beyond Internet Governance to Focus on What Really Matters?

 

Nick Ashton-Hart is the Executive Director of the Internet & Digital Ecosystem Alliance (IDEA). He has been the senior permanent representative of the Internet sector to the UN and its agencies and member-states in Geneva for more than eight years. Find him on twitter @nashtonhart. Unless you are obliged to follow the intergovernmental calendar of meetings in Geneva, you are probably not aware that a UN body called the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) met last week. The CSTD meets annually to monitor the implementation of targets set in 2003 and 2005 by the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS). Last week’s meeting was particularly important because it partly defined what the UN General Assembly will consider when heads of state meet in December 2015 to review the last ten years of the WSIS process and decide the next steps. In its beginnings, the WSIS process was aimed at identifying ways to use technology to improve people’s lives. It was widely believed at the time that debates about Internet Governance would consume only a small fraction of WSIS-related follow-up activity. Sadly it has turned out to be the other way around, with development-related discussions sidelined—and at times even taken hostage—by a zero-sum debate underlying two very different views of state sovereignty and the role of the state in regulating the online environment.

 

That tension was clearly on display last week where the first half of the CSTD meeting was spent on sometimes dry, and at other times simply spectacular, presentations and discussions of the myriad ways science and technology improves, indeed transforms, lives worldwide. The last half was spent negotiating the text of a resolution to be forwarded to the more senior bodies of the UN in New York. Last week’s disagreements focused on how to define the debate in the December 2015 review. The WSIS review process is complicated by the fact that this year is also a review of the Millennium Development Goals (“MDGs”), a much higher-profile process that has defined and prioritized the international development objectives for UN and the international organizations that channel tens of billions each year in development aid. This review will rewrite the MDGs into the Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”); the SDGs in turn will directly impact decisions on hundreds of billions of dollars of development assistance during the next decade. By contrast, the WSIS review does not have an obvious price tag or significant effect on funding for international development, and this naturally makes it less of a political priority in New York. According to the World Bank, spending on telecommunications that involved the private sector in 2014 alone exceeded US$248 billion. But because WSIS and the MDGs were not linked ten years ago, spending on narrowing the digital divide is not connected to more mainstream development activities. In other words, when mainstream development processes related to the MDGs result in a village getting its first school, there’s no thought given to ensure it gets Internet access, usable tech hardware and services for students and teachers, and training for the teacher to make the most of it all.

 

Nevertheless, there is hope. Countries across the ideological divide on the role of the state in regulating online activity are increasingly committed to linking the post-2015 WSIS process to the implementation of the broader SDGs, thereby sending a political signal that ICT-related development efforts should be fully connected to more bricks-and-mortar development. If that link is made, the entire multilateral development system has a chance to make a quantum leap forward in leveraging technology to improve outcomes because their political masters will have told them to. There’s also hope in the fact that every year more countries at the CSTD grow tired of wrangling over Internet governance, with fewer willing to prioritize the politics of governance of the net over development-focused substance for its users. At the informal negotiations last week, only three countries were really pushing for recognition that states should take all the important decisions related to the Internet—with a couple of dozen on the other side. Even two years ago, the numbers were much more balanced. Even so, the CSTD concluded by adopting a text that was almost entirely a copy of the previous year’s resolution with only minor housekeeping edits. A copy and paste approach may sound like failure but it is much better than a complete breakdown—something that was a real risk during the informal negotiations. That would have sent a very troubling signal irrespective of what view you take of the disputes involved. Nobody should think that the remainder of the WSIS review process will be easy or necessarily end well. Much of the remaining work is explicitly intergovernmental rather than multistakeholder and a few UN agencies are jockeying for administrative control of WSIS-related activities post-2015. There’s still a lot of time for things to go pear shaped before December. Expect the unexpected.

From http://blogs.cfr.org/ 05/16/2015

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JAPAN: Multitiered Intl Network Needed to Extinguish Violent Extremism

 

The international community must quickly build an effective, multitiered network to contain terrorism and its wellspring — extremism. A ministerial meeting of the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism sponsored by the United States issued a joint statement that participating countries would intensify efforts to counter publicity strategies practiced by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other radical groups. ISIL is said to have succeeded in recruiting more than 20,000 foreign combatants from over 100 countries with its artful Internet tactics. However, many former ISIL soldiers who returned to their home countries reportedly have been disillusioned by ISIL’s unprovoked atrocities and the hard lives they experienced as its members. Governments of the countries participating in the summit must amplify such voices as they jointly conduct strategic public relations campaigns to accurately point out that ISIL’s publicity is full of lies.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama said at the summit that the “clash of civilizations” theory advocated by terrorist groups should be denied. The theory holds that the West, which historically had sent the Crusades to their region and placed it under colonial rule, is at war with the Middle East. Obama also urged Islamic religious leaders to raise their voices in criticizing ISIL.The international community also must fight together with moderate Islamic leaders to isolate the extremist organizations from the rest of the world. ISIL’s increasing influence would be stopped if ideologies that justify violence were rooted out among Muslims. The countries participating in the summit also agreed with the need to intensify efforts by families and religious leaders to prevent young people from becoming radicalized and to stop the spread of extremism among inmates in prison. They also confirmed that Interpol would set up a database on the identities and movements of dangerous persons to restrict their international travel. Such information should be shared multilaterally as soon as possible. Japan, too, must make more proactive efforts against terrorism than before.

 

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasuhide Nakayama said at the summit that Japan plans to offer Middle Eastern and African countries $15.5 million (¥1.8 billion) in aid to help them improve antiterrorist capabilities by enhancing their border controls. Japan needs to play its role actively, facing the reality that its own nationals could be targeted by terrorists. It must help improve conditions such as poverty, corruption and human-rights oppression that create extremism. The government should further expand its humanitarian assistance to Middle Eastern countries in the fields of medical service, food and education to contribute to regional stability. As defensive measures against terrorism, the Foreign Ministry will introduce a safety confirmation system for Japanese expatriates with mobile phones and help enhance the security of Japanese schools abroad. To get more information on terrorists from the military forces of other countries, it is also important to increase the number of defense attaches at Japanese embassies overseas and nurture experts on the Arab world.

From http://the-japan-news.com 02/21/2015

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SOUTH KOREA: Info on Uninhabited Islands Goes Online

 

There are over 3,000 islands along the Korean coast, as three sides of the country are surrounded by the sea. Most of them are uninhabited islands. The government currently oversees 2,693 of these desolate islets. Beginning in May, information about 2,421 of these unmanned islands will become available through the Web portal Naver (www.naver.com) in May. On February 24, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries announced that information about these deserted islands will now be open to the public. For many years, uninhabited islands and rocks didn't grab much attention among the public, as they were located far from the mainland and people had little social or economic interaction with them. In light of this, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries began to investigate these islands in 2007 and by 2012 had established an integrated, comprehensive information system about them all. This general information will be unveiled to the public. It will include the island's name and size and the distance between the mainland and the island in question. There are also data related to everything about the islands' ecology, including the environment, geology, geography and land and maritime plants & animals. The remaining 270 uninhabited islands whose information is not being revealed at this time will be added to the list and will be available online in the latter half of the year. 

From http://www.korea.net 02/26/2015

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Science Ministry to Reorganize to Bolster ICT Convergence

 

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said Tuesday it would carry out an organizational reshuffle to better support technological convergence and advancement. “The reorganization is aimed at speeding up the ongoing reform work at the right time,” said Chang Seok-young, the ministry’s policy planning director. “With the administration entering its third year, we will ramp up efforts to achieve the results of the creative economy initiative earlier.” The reshuffle, aimed at supporting convergence across industries, research and development and industrial adoption of new technology, is scheduled to take effect from March 16.  The current ICT and Broadcasting Policy Office will be streamlined to focus only on ICT, which includes a policy for technological convergence, changes in related industries and responses to cyberattacks. A new division will be established under the office to nurture new growth industries, particularly those related to the Internet of Things and financial technology.

The revamped ICT division will help Korean companies, including small- and medium-sized firms, to better respond to the ever-evolving global business environment. Another new division, tentatively named “ICT Global Partner Team,” is planned to support the overseas expansion of local ICT firms, especially smaller start-ups whose resources are limited. Chang, the ministry director, also hinted that the government was working on a new cybersecurity policy office amid growing concerns about the extended use of the Internet and the rapidly emerging digital economy. When it comes to its science technology policy, the ministry plans to pour more resources into basic science to secure fundamental technologies related to future industries. As part of the plans, the current space and nuclear policy bureau will be elevated to a separate policy office to bolster related R&D activities. The role of the research community support division will be strengthened to prompt the commercialization of R&D results and support their funding.

From http://www.koreaherald.com 03/10/2015

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Korea, Peru to Cooperate on Defense Industry, E-Government

 

President Park Geun-hye and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala held a bilateral summit on April 20 and discussed issues of common interest between the two Pacific trade partners. The two leaders exchanged opinions on how to expand cooperation on the economy and trade as well as on regional and international affairs during the summit, held at the presidential palace in Lima, the Peruvian capital.  After the summit, the two presidents watched over the signing of memoranda of understanding (MOUs) on cooperation on the health and medical sectors, the electricity generation industry, science and technology, innovation and the creative industries, customs procedures and online government services. The summit not only focused on reinforcing cooperation on trade and investment, but also on diversifying the bilateral partnership so as to include the defense industry, online government services, security, the health and medical sectors, infrastructure and other high value-added industries. 

"Both of us agree on the need to raise the rate of utilization of bilateral free trade agreements and to expand online-based trade to overcome geographical barriers between our two nations," said President Park during a joint press conference after the summit. "President Humala and I intend to go beyond existing bilateral exchange, centered on traditional trade, and to expand our cooperation in various areas so as to achieve the mutual prosperity that is in line with our comprehensive strategic partnership." The two leaders had an in-depth discussion on the FA-50, Korea's multipurpose advanced trainer jet. Peru intends to select and purchase light combat aircraft in the latter half of this year. The two countries have strengthened their cooperation on the high-tech aerospace industry, as since 2013 they have been pursuing the joint production of the KT-1P, a trainer jet. The first jointly-produced trainer jet will be launched during President Park's visit. If the export of the FA-50 trainer jets is realized, a Korean military authority said, the package is expected to include 24 aircraft, a pilot training program and additional munitions, in total worth some USD 2 billion. 

"We agreed to continue necessary cooperation in various areas, including the multipurpose advanced trainer jet pursed by Peru, as part of our efforts to expand mutually beneficial cooperation on advanced aerospace technology," said the president. President Park also expressed her willingness to share Korea's knowledge and experience in order to endure the success of the Peruvian government's "Plan Peru 2021: A Strategic Plan for National Development." "Peru has been making great efforts to achieve its Plan Peru 2021, and we will actively support the plan by expanding mutual cooperation," said the president. Speaking of North Korea related issue, President Park said, "We will cooperate on leading the North to give up its nuclear armaments and to experience honest change. We have reaffirmed our willingness to expand cooperation with the Pacific Alliance and to collaborate with Peru in its efforts to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) by 2021." During the summit, President Humala spoke of his experience as a defense attaché at the Peruvian embassy in Korea in 2004. "I watched how hard Koreans work, how much they long for development and how they proceeded with their work," said President Humala. "If we Peruvians work hard with the goal of national development, we will be able to achieve what Korea has accomplished." 

From http://www.korea.net 04/21/2015

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MALAYSIA: Sabah Leads in Online Public Services

 

Sabah state in Malaysia has the most number of online public services in the country, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin has claimed. 91.39 per cent of the state’s services are now online, surpassing the 90 per cent target set for the country this year. But officers should not rest on their laurels, Minister Yahya urged, telling them to make sure that the applications are used to their fullest. Department heads and CIOs need to continue coming up with new applications and train all civil servants to use ICT, he added. One challenge for the government is that its network does not have enough bandwidth to keep up with the online traffic, slowing down officers’ productivity, he said.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 03/20/2015

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Immigration Department Cuts Queues by Half with Online System

 

An online system for Malaysian work visas has cut queues by 50 per cent, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has claimed. The system by e-government services company MyEG was implemented for foreigners to renew temporary employment passes online. Companies can submit the application for renewal and make the payment online through this system. The permit will be delivered to the employer within two days, according to the MyEG web site, when it will also verify the employee’s identity with a fingerprint and collect documents to prove company registration and employment status.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 03/27/2015

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Malaysia Selects 31 Civil Servants to Advise on Open Data

 

Malaysia has announced two moves to boost its use of open data: the selection of 31 civil servants to advise ministries and agencies to implement open data projects, and a partnership with UK non-profit Open Data Institute. The “national open data champions” will identify high impact government projects and data required to develop solutions, and ensure the quality of data so it can be shared and used, the Malaysian Development Corporation and Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit announced. The group has members from six ministries and six agencies, including the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, Ministry of Finance, Department of Statistics and Land Public Transport Commission. The launch of the champions is “a show of Malaysia’s commitment towards open government data that not only benefits the economy, but will improve efficiency and boost productivity of the public sector”, said Dr Ali Bin Hamzah, Chief Secretary to the Government, at the announcement last week. Here’s the full list of ministries and agencies represented by the 31 open data champions:

 

Ÿ            Ministry of Communications & Multimedia

Ÿ            Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment

Ÿ            Ministry of Education Ministry of Finance

Ÿ            Ministry of Human Resources

Ÿ            Ministry of Transport

Ÿ            Department of Statistics Malaysia

Ÿ            Land Public Transport Commission

Ÿ            Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit

Ÿ            Department of Islamic Development Malaysia

Ÿ            Malaysian Centre for Geospatial Data Infrastructure

Ÿ            National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia

 

Malaysia also announced a partnership with Open Data Institute (ODI) - a UK-based non-profit that helps businesses use open data. ODI will help the government develop its open data strategy, said Richard Stirling, International Director, ODI. “Local entrepreneurs and businesses can use these data to derive trends and insights that can help them inform innovative business solutions and models - the primary goal of the national Big Data Analytics (BDA) initiative that MDeC is driving,” said Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of MDeC.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/06/2015

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Malaysia Opens Digital Government Lab for Big Data Analytics

 

Malaysia today officially launched a government lab to analyse data from across agencies and to test new ways of using the data to improve public services. The Digital Government Lab will “facilitate various ministries and agencies to have a greater level of analytics of the collected data, in strict adherence to the government’s data security, integrity and sovereignty guidelines”, said Datuk Abdul Wahab Abdullah, Chief Executive of MIMOS, the country’s national ICT research agency. The lab was set up in January by MIMOS, Modernisation and Management Planning Unit and Multimedia Development Corporation, as part of a wider national Big Data Analytics Innovation Network. It is already testing ideas to analyse the public mood on a newly introduced tax and on flooding. With the Ministry of Finance, “we are extracting some data related to the newly implemented GST [Goods and Services Tax] by the Malaysian government, and we are looking at the sentiments of the public, extracting data from social network and blogs, so that this information will provide a better reading of the sentiments”, a MIMOS spokesperson told FutureGov. Another project with the Department of Irrigation and Drainage is “looking at data from sensors and also feedback from the public on social media on flood issues, and others related to irrigation”, he said. Other agencies testing their ideas at the lab are the Department of Islamic Development and National Hydraulic Research Institute. The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin, said that his ministry will work with the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia to ensure that the lab maintains data security and sovereignty. The lab will eventually be opened up for use by the private sector, the MIMOS spokesperson said.

From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 04/23/2015

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THAILAND: Tax Incentives on the Cards to Spark Internet Data Centres

 

The government will offer tax incentives to encourage local and foreign partners to set up at least 40 Internet data centres this year. The move is part of the government's digital economy policy, Djitt Laowattana, an adviser to the state-appointed panel drafting the policy for the government, said yesterday. The establishment of at least 40 data centres here is expected to require an investment of Bt30 billion. The government will launch promotional packages via the Board of Investment to woo foreign companies into forming data centre joint ventures with local partners. The foreign partners can enjoy tax privileges on the condition that they agree to transfer technology to the local partners. The move is also in line with the new BOI strategy to funnel investment to innovations and ICT in Thailand. The ad hoc digital economy committee, chaired by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha will hold its first meeting next week to outline the national digital economy plan. Djitt said the data warehouse business is one of the key engines of growth for the new digital economy era. The data storage centres will serve the high demand for new services, including cloud computing, from companies and government agencies. "Every industry is moving to use IT services, which will drive our country's business value," he said. TOT and CAT Telecom will shift their existing data centres to primarily serving the Finance and Defence ministries.

Thailand: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ 03/04/2015

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VIETNAM: Ministry Sets Up Database to Monitor FDI Project Progress

 

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) will launch a national system for foreign investment on March 1. The new system will allow foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises to give information about their projects online, before they submit documents to apply for an investment certificate. They will also be asked to use the system to send online reports to the government management agencies. FDI management agencies in cities and provinces are required to update data on registrations, grant, adjustment and withdrawal of investment certificates or of permits and legal documents. The system will provide a database of all FDI projects being carried out in the country. People can search for information on an online portal of the MPI's Foreign Investment Agency (FIA). The ministry said that it will be mandatory for government management agencies and FDI enterprises in the country to use the system. It also petitioned People's Committees in cities and provinces that they should ask FDI project management agencies to guide their officers and FDI companies in using the national system. The system has been built and managed by the planning and investment ministry, following the Prime Minister's directive on Decision No 48 that was issued on March 31, 2009. Its objectives are to standardise and computerise a national database on FDI enterprises and their projects, as well as Viet Nam's investment projects abroad, and update information on FDI-related activities in the country.

From http://vietnamnews.vn/ 02/28/2015

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National Assembly Opens Portal for Citizens

 

The National Assembly (NA) officially opened its information portal at quochoi.vn today. The portal includes a television channel that allows viewers to watch the NA's on-going meetings and discussions regarding the country's important laws and policies. Citizens are encouraged to access the portal's database for information on Viet Nam laws and regulations or send inquiries to the NA and its deputies. The portal would serve as a channel to disseminate information on the NA's activities, Viet Nam's laws and policies, as well as act as a communication bridge with various Vietnamese communities, both inside and outside the country.

From http://vietnamnews.vn 04/06/2015

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INDIA: Task Force to Submit Preliminary eGovernance Report in a Month

 

The task force constituted for eGovernance initiatives in the shipping and road transport sectors will give initial report within a month, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said. The task force, which includes former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai would be headed by the Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping minister himself. Other members of the task force include former IT secretary for Andhra Pradesh Sanjay Jaju, partner at Ekam Consulting Abhijit Purushottam Desai, Disha Consultants director Prashant Pole and Girish Srivastava, a policy and strategy consultant. “To strengthen eGovernance for good governance,we are looking for e-solutions, e-recommendations and we have assigned the job to Mohandas Pai,” Gadkari said. The task force will work on various strategies and help to integrate latest technology with the road transport, highways and shipping sectors.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 03/19/2015

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Approach and Key Components of e-Kranti : National e-Governance Plan 2.0

 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for the Approach and Key Components of e-Kranti : National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) 2.0. This is a follow up to the key decisions taken in the first meeting of the Apex Committee on the Digital India programme held in November 2014. This programme has been envisaged by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).

The objectives of 'e-Kranti' are as follows:

i.       To redefine NeGP with transformational and outcome oriented e-Governance initiatives.

ii.      To enhance the portfolio of citizen centric services.

iii.     To ensure optimum usage of core Information & Communication Technology (ICT).

iv.      To promote rapid replication and integration of eGov applications.

v.       To leverage emerging technologies.

vi.      To make use of more agile implementation models.

 

The key principles of e-Kranti are as follows:

i.       Transformation and not Translation.

ii.      Integrated Services and not Individual Services.

iii.     Government Process Reengineering (GPR) to be mandatory in every MMP.

iv.      ICT Infrastructure on Demand.

v.       Cloud by Default.

vi.      Mobile First.

vii.     Fast Tracking Approvals.

viii.    Mandating Standards and Protocols.

ix.      Language Localization.

x.       National GIS (Geo-Spatial Information System).

xi.      Security and Electronic Data Preservation.

 

e-Kranti is an important pillar of the Digital India programme. The Vision of e-Kranti is "Transforming e-Governance for Transforming Governance". The Mission of e-Kranti is to ensure a Government wide transformation by delivering all Government services electronically to citizens through integrated and interoperable systems via multiple modes, while ensuring efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs. The approach and methodology of e-Kranti are fully aligned with the Digital India programme. The programme management structure approved for Digital India programme would be used for monitoring the implementation of e-Kranti and also for providing a forum to ascertain views of all stakeholders, overseeing implementation, resolving inter-Ministerial issues and ensuring speedy sanction of projects. Key components of the management structure would consist of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for according approval to projects according to the financial provisions, a Monitoring Committee on Digital India headed by the Prime Minister, Digital India Advisory Group chaired by the Minister of Communications and IT, an Apex Committee chaired by the Cabinet Secretary and the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) / Committee on Non Plan Expenditure (CNE). The Apex Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary would undertake addition / deletion of Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) which are considered to be appropriate and resolve inter-Ministerial issues.

 

Central Ministries/ Departments and State Governments concerned would have the overall responsibility for implementation of the MMPs. Considering the need for overall aggregation and integration at the national level, it is felt appropriate to implement e-Kranti as a programme, with well defined roles and responsibilities of each agency involved. The thrust areas of the e-Kranti - electronic delivery of services under the Digital India programme are:-  Technology for Education (e-Education), Health (e-Healthcare), Farmers, Financial Inclusion, Planning, Justice, Security, Planning and Cyber Security. e-Governance - Reforming Government through Technology, a pivotal pillar of the Digital India programme, would also be implemented under e-Kranti by undertaking and strengthening Government Process Re-engineering, electronic databases, complete workflow automation and IT based Public Grievance Redressal in all Government Departments.

From http://pib.nic.in/ 03/25/2015

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Twitter Samvad Launched, Making Digital India a Dialogue

 

NEW DELHI: Social media platform Twitter on Tuesday launched Twitter Samvad in collaboration with the Indian government so as to allow people to receive tweets as SMSes from government offices, including the Prime Minister's Office. The service was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his meeting here with Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo, who told media persons after the meeting that "based on Indian technological innovation, Twitter Samvad is dedicated and specially built for the largest democracy of the world". "As part of the Prime Minister's Digital India initiative, this tweet-powered service enables citizens to be the first to know about the government's actions by receiving political content in real-time on their mobile devices anywhere in the country." The event comes on the day the Supreme Court upheld the social media users' freedom of expression as guaranteed by the constitution, by striking down section 66 A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

From http://www.siliconindia.com/ 03/25/2015

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India: Government Approves National E-Governance Plan

 

The government on Wednesday approved the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) or e-Kranti, which aims to enhance the portfolio of citizen-centric services and optimum usage of core information and communication technology. The decision on the programme, which has been envisaged by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), was taken by the union cabinet which met here under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The vision of e-Kranti is "transforming e-governance for transforming governance". The mission of e-Kranti is to ensure a government-wide transformation by delivering all government services electronically to citizens through integrated and inter-operable systems via multiple modes, while ensuring efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs, the cabinet said in a statement.

 

The approach and methodology of e-Kranti are fully aligned with the 'Digital India' programme. The programme management structure approved for the 'Digital India' programme would be used for monitoring implementation of e-Kranti and also for providing a forum to ascertain views of all stakeholders, overseeing implementation, resolving inter-ministerial issues and ensuring speedy sanction of projects. Key components of the management structure would consist of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for according approval to projects according to the financial provisions, a monitoring committee on Digital India headed by prime minister, Digital India advisory group chaired by the minister of communications and IT, an apex committee chaired by the cabinet secretary and the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC).

From http://www.i-policy.org/ 03/31/2015

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Review e-Gov Components to Resolve Industry Issues: Nasscom to Govt

 

National Association of Software Services Companies (Nasscom ) facilitated an interaction between the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) and the Industry on various challenges being faced by the sector, while participating in various e-Governance projects. The meeting chaired by RS Sharma, Secretary DeitY, was attended by senior government officials from DeitY, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance and the Department of Commerce. Nasscom  had earlier approached the Ministry, highlighting the issues. Also, it recommended some short and medium term enablers in order to bring about a win-win partnership between the industry and government. Industry’s participation in various e-Governance projects has seen a steady decline with several large projects resulting in a NO-BID Situation. R Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM said, “As the government is focusing on ICT, the industry is keen to work with the government on strategic e-governance initiatives like Digital India. We believe that addressing the short term challenges would give a boost to the Government–IT Industry partnership.

 

“Also, government should address various challenges in e-Governance procurement at earliest. The project tendering process needs to be flexible with enough room for product companies to participate in the e-Governance initiatives,” Nasscom said. Nasscom urged the government to review the components in e-Governance and Digital India which could be left completely to the private sector. The new technologies like social media, cloud, open data initiatives and open APIs, etc have opened up vast opportunities to do things differently. Some of the issues raised by Nasscom One of the top concerns of the industry is outstanding payments, where, the situation has taken a turn for the worse in the last 18 months. Issues pertaining to various clauses in RFPs and Contracts are raised, particularly, relating to unlimited liabilities, dispute resolution and arbitration, lack of counter guarantees, payments etc. Non-adoption of standardised RFP and contracting terms by various State governments in particular.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 04/06/2015

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Punjab Chief Secy Reviews Ongoing e-Governance Projects

Punjab Government Chief Secretary held a video conferencing session with all the Deputy Commissioners to review status of various e-governance projects in the state. Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal issued directions to complete all the pending projects in time-bound manner. The various projects discussed during the video conferencing included State Data Center (SDC), e-District roll out project, State Service Delivery Gateway (SSDG), e-Office, sewa kendras, etc.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 04/07/2015

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Govt to Share Software Code of eGovernance Apps

 

All the central ministries and departments will have to put the source code of software and applications, primarily related to eGovernance, developed by them in public domain. “The Government of India aims to make public the source code of various software applications/ components/products as it may consider suitable and whose Intellectual Property Rights are held by various Government entities,” a new IT policy on application development said. ‘The Policy On Collaborative Application Development by Opening the Source Code of Government Applications’ is applicable on union ministries and departments under them.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 04/13/2015

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Govt Depts Must Modernise Systems Using ICT: President

 

Good Public Financial Management System (PFMS) is the key to good governance, as organised accounting services help in building and maintaining a strong and robust system of financial management, President of India Pranab Mukherjee has said. The President was addressing the probationers of Indian Defence Accounts Service, Indian Civil Accounts Service, Indian Railway Accounts Service and Indian P&T Finance & Accounts Service as they called on him at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday, according to a government press release. “In almost all countries of the world today, there is a move towards developing ‘Integrated Financial Management Information Systems’ (IFMIS) and towards setting up Standards in Accounting, Auditing and Budgeting. The Government of India is also moving towards such a system. In India today, this is a necessity in view of the increasing quantum of public expenditures which require a sound system of tracking, monitoring and reporting to be in place. In developing such a system, we need to learn from best global practices and build upon them,” President Mukherjee said.

 

He went on that there are rising expectations amongst the public for greater efficiencies in service delivery accompanied by transparency and accountability in government processes. “In order to address these concerns, it is imperative for the Government Departments to modernise systems by making best use of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and to make such systems citizen-centric, secure, efficient, economical and transparent. The Tax Information Network, OLTAS and the National Pension System are all extremely fine examples of pan-India systems, which have simplified life for the ordinary citizen and have introduced greater efficiency and transparency in key areas of Government’s functioning.” The President also emphasised that this trend shall only intensify in the future, so he urged all officers to take part in the development of such pan-India systems, as and when they have the opportunity to do so. He further said that he has been informed that the National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM), apart from a multitude of on-campus activities, also organises attachments for probationers with various offices and organisations of relevance where they are exposed to practical aspects of governance. He expressed happiness that probationers are also taken to the USA for exposure to financial management practices at the federal and the provincial government levels. He urged the probationers to assimilate the learnings that they gather from such important exposures and apply them appropriately in the Indian context.

 

The President said that keeping pace with the fast-changing world of ICT also requires constant up-gradation of systems and processes. “We need to examine how best we may use technology to make our payment and accounting systems seamless, as also progressively use IT tools in auditing to not only unearth frauds but also to evaluate and monitor the processes and outcomes of various government schemes. The challenges are many and the opportunities are vast and immense. But I am sure that all of them will rise to the occasion and live up to the expectations of their countrymen,” he added. President Mukherjee said that the Government of India decided to establish NIFM in 1993 to train the newly recruited officers of the Finance and Accounts Services. The idea behind setting up NIFM was not only to train probationers in subjects related to financial management but also to inculcate a sense of camaraderie and esprit d’ corps amongst service officers. “The opportunity of staying and learning together with officers from the different accounting services shall prove to be extremely beneficial to them in the years to come.”

From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 04/21/2015

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Internet for All; Govt Favours m-Governance

 

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in the Lok Sabha that the Modi Government is committed to equal access to Internet for all. “As far as the issue of net neutrality is concerned, we will strive to ensure a non-discriminatory availability of Internet for the people of India,” Prasad said. He also emphasised on mobile governance. “The PM’s directive is that we don’t just want e-governance, we want mobile governance.” The minister said that he has been instructed by the PM to make non-discriminatory internet available to all Indians. ““The Prime Minister is pushing for ‘Digital India’. Our aim is that the country’s 125 crore people should have internet,” he said.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 04/22/2015

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KAZAKHSTAN: National Commission for Modernization Created

 

A national commission for modernization has been established by a presidential decree in Kazakhstan, the press service of the president said April 30.  The commission was established for the implementation of institutional reforms and further modernization of Kazakh society and the state.  Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov became the head of commission. Head of the Kazakh presidential administration Nurlan Nigmatulin was appointed deputy chairman.  The commission also included Deputy Chairman of the Senate Askar Beisembayev, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Talgat Donakov, Minister of National Economy Erbolat Dosayev, deputy head of the presidential administration Baglan Mailybaev, Deputy Chairman of the Majilis (lower chamber of parliament), Dariga Nazarbayeva, Assistant to the president Erbol Orynbaev and President of Nazarbayev University Shigeo Katsu.  The national commission must submit a draft regulation on the national commission, the draft work plan of the national commission and the proposal for the composition of the working groups on the implementation of institutional reforms to the president within two weeks.  The decree comes into force from the date of signing.

From http://en.trend.az/ 04/30/2015

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UZBEKISTAN: Deputies of Minister for Development of IT and Communications Appointed

 

Uzbek President Islam Karimov has signed a decree to appoint the deputies of the minister for development of information technologies (IT) and communications. Alisher Faizullaev, who previously served as the deputy head of the State Committee of Communication, Informatization and Telecommunication Technologies, was appointed the deputy minister, according to the decree, the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications told Trend. Other members of the previous management of the committee, Miradil Sangilov and South Korean citizen Kim Nam-sok have also been appointed the deputy ministers. Kim Nam-sok’s position is ‘deputy minister – ICT consultant’. Moreover, Umidjon Alamov, Ibrohim Juraev were also appointed deputies of the minister for IT and communications of Uzbekistan. The number of deputies of the minister (including the first deputy minister) has been reduced from six to five. The Ministry for Development of IT and Communications itself was created in accordance with the decree of Uzbek president in early February 2015 on the basis of the State Committee of Communication, Informatization and Telecommunication Technologies. That time, the president also appointed Khurshid Mirzahidov as the minister. Ensuring the implementation of a unified state policy in the field of information technologies and communications, creating the "e-government" are among the main tasks and directions of the new ministry’s activity. Working out and implementing the comprehensive programs for the implementation and development of the national information and communication system are also among these tasks. The ministry will also execute the functions of government regulation, licensing and control of the activities in telecommunications area and in the use of the radio spectrum.

From http://en.trend.az/ 03/05/2015

 

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AUSTRALIA: Data Retention Report Calls for Clarity

 

The parliamentary committee examining the Government’s planned data retention legislation has submitted its report. It wants things spelt out better. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has made 39 recommendations to the Government on its proposed data retention legislation. Most have to do with greater definition and clarification.

 

Key recommendations include:

# That the definition of the dataset (metadata to be collected) be included in the legislation, and not by regulation.

# That criminal law-enforcement agencies, which are agencies that can obtain a stored communications warrant, be specifically listed in the Act, and that Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) be included.

# That it be made clear that service providers are not required to collect and retain customer passwords, PINs or other like information.

# That the scheme provides sufficient support for smaller service providers, who may not have sufficient capital budgets or operating cash flow to implement data retention, and privacy and security controls.

# That civil litigants be prohibited from being able to access telecommunications data that is held by a service provider solely for the purpose of complying with the mandatory data retention regime.

# That individuals have the right to access their personal telecommunications data retained by a service provider under the data retention regime.

 

Industry group Communications Alliance.CEO John Stanton says the recommendations, if accepted, generate a net improvement in the planned regime. He said he especially welcomed the recommended prohibition on the use of telecommunications metadata in civil law disputes. “But we are disappointed that the committee has not taken up our recommendation to reduce the period for which non-telephony data must be retained. A two year retention period for these data adds to the increased costs that consumers will face and puts Australia out of line with the rest of the world.” He said industry would wait to see the Government’s reaction to the recommendations before focusing on technical and operational tasks. “Recommendations such as that data should be encrypted by service providers or that providers report data breaches will require careful examination, if accepted, to ensure that they can be implemented without undue disruption and cost-effectively. We await keenly the advice from Government on the substantial financial contribution it has promised to make to the capital costs of setting up a retention regime.” The Internet Society of Australia has called for further consideration of the implications of the proposed data retention legislation that it has labelled as “deeply flawed”.

 

CEO Laurie Patton, said that while his board and members understood concerns about terrorism many in the community would be disturbed if the Parliament’s response damaged the Internet’s enduring open and accessible nature – the key feature that has made it such an important communications tool in the 21st century. “There is still time for more work to be done and, of course, the Bill could be amended when it is debated in the Senate,” Patton said. “The Internet is the essential engine in a modern digital economy. If we over-react to current circumstances we put at risk Australia’s long term economic future”. The Internet Society recently appeared before the PJCIS, pointing to a range of technical flaws in the bill. At the request of the committee the Society subsequently provided a confidential technical report and offered to provide access to its expert members in order that the Government and the Opposition both clearly understand the implications of laws that affect the operations of the Internet. “The Internet Society is part of a global network of experts who have built and run the Internet from its inception. Who better to work with the Government to ensure that this legislation is effective in fighting terrorism while minimising the potential for collateral damage to innocent people? We want to ensure that informed policy decisions are made on the basis of evidence and we have the ability to provide the technical expertise required for this to occur,” Patton said.

From http://www.itwire.com 03/02/2015

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Australia’s Whole-of-Government Web Platform Available to All Agencies

 

Australia has made a web site hosting platform, govCMS, available to all agencies, John Sheridan, Government Chief Technology Officer announced. “The release of the govCMS website today marks the availability of govCMS to all government entities to create and manage cost effective websites, based on best practice, that are compliant with Australian Government standards,” Sheridan wrote in a blog post. GovCMS is Australia’s whole-of-government cloud-based content management system and web site hosting service. Agencies can create and manage unclassified web sites on the platform. The service includes support, monitoring and security patching of web sites as well. It is built on open source platform Drupal. Department of Finance has released yearly price plans for migrating web sites to the CMS. The most basic plan includes up to 15,000 page views per month and costs AU$10,500 (US$8097) per year. On the other end, the large plan allows up to 2 million views per month for AU$140,000 (US$108,003). Agencies can request for quotes for packages larger than this.

 

Agencies have already begun migrating to the platform. The Finance Department’s australia.gov.au and financia.gov.au were the first to move to the platform. Others including Department of Communications, Department of Social Services, and Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority have began using it through an early adopter programme, Sheridan said. Migrating to GovCMS is optional for agencies, but Sheridan believes that the benefits of cost savings and efficiency are clear. For instance, the use of a shared CMS will allow agencies to save development costs by sharing code, modules and applications. The use of a common and scalable cloud-based system will deliver savings for web hosting. “By developing our departmental website in govCMS we are gaining the benefits of a cloud hosting solution and we will be able to share new modules designed to enhance policy consultation and engagement, with other members of the govCMS community”, Sheridan quoted Drew Clarke, Secretary of Department of Communications, as saying.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 03/09/2015

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Australia to Set Method for Valuing Open Datasets

 

The Australian Government will launch a “comprehensive” survey to assess which datasets are most valuable to businesses and researchers, Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Communications Minister has announced this week. In partnership with New York University’s GovLab, the federal government will look at organisations that use public datasets “to generate new business, develop new products and services or create social value,” he said. Called Open Data 500, the initiative will then find a method for assessing the economic and social value of open government datasets, and in particular identify the types of data most valuable to businesses, Turnbull added. The minister also noted the value of spatially-referenced data, saying that it’s “akin to the coming of the first ancient maps in the new insights and direction it can offer in a globalised world”. Turnbull said that spatial data and analysis “will be used to deliver better targeted services to users” and that the new Digital Transformation Office will lead this agenda.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 03/11/2015

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Ideas We Love: Government as an API

 

Government should make all of its content and services digitally reusable by other organisations, Pia Waugh, the Director of 2.0 in the Australian Government, has said. Speaking at the Navigating the Internet of Things conference, Waugh – who was giving a personal opinion – said “imagine if all government information and services were usefully discoverable”. She called for government to “make content, services, APIs, data – the stuff that government produces either directly or indirectly – available to collate in a way that is user-centric”. Businesses should then “provide value on top of what we do”, Waugh added. For example, “when someone is about to have a baby, they Google for it first, they don’t think to come to the government in the first instance so we need to make it easier for government to go to them.” Other, more prominent web sites, should be encouraged to publish government content: “why wouldn’t baby.com be able to present the information from government as well?”

 

All government content should therefore be open and shareable, along with other services too, she said. “When you’re a citizen, you don’t care which jurisdiction it is, you don’t care which agency it is, in some cases you don’t care who you’re talking to – you just want to get what you need”. Waugh highlighted some cases where government is already experimenting with APIs – which allow other sites and services to use government websites – mentioning the Australian Taxation Office’s ABN [Australian Business Number] lookup. This system allows businesses to use the ATO’s database of business names to ensure that they are selecting the correct one.

From http://www.futuregov.asia 04/06/2015

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Government Pursues Digital Transformation

 

Over a quarter of a billion dollars has been allocated over the next four years by the government to push forward with the initial stage of a ‘Digital Transformation Agenda’. The $254.7 million package includes $95.4 million for the new Digital Transformation Office (DTO). The DTO will be an executive agency that sits within the Department of Communications. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced in January the creation of the DTO. The funding includes $120 million worth of savings over five years that will be directed from other areas: “This measure includes financial contributions from agencies within portfolios that are involved in the digital delivery of services, and transfers of functions from the Department of Finance and the Department of Communications to the Digital Transformation Office,” budget documents state. The initial government announcement of the DTO said it would operate more like a startup than a traditional agency and be made up of a “small team of developers, designers, researchers and content specialists working across government to develop and coordinate the delivery of digital services.”

 

“The DTO will redesign services to be digital by default,” a statement issued tonight by the communications minister said. “However, the government recognises there are some people who will need assistance to transition to digital and we will support them to continue to receive the services they need. “Protecting personal information will remain a high priority and security and privacy mechanisms will be put in place to build public confidence in digital services.” The funding to establish the DTO includes work on the development of a mandatory digital service standard to make digital services consistent and easy to use. Earlier this year the nascent DTO unveiled a draft version of the standard. Projects that are part of the Digital Transformation Agenda include $106.8 million to streamline the administration of government grants through a common ICT platform and single portal to search and apply for grants and $33.3 million for the development of a trusted digital identity framework, which the government had previously earmarked as a major project for the DTO. In addition the budget earmarks $11.5 million improving the ‘tell us once’ capabilities for government services. There is also $7.1 million for developing a “whole-of-government digital mailbox solution to enable individuals and businesses to receive and transact with digital messages and documents from government in a seamless, secure environment.” The government has previously indicated that the DTO would work on opportunities for the state and territory governments to use the federal ‘myGov’ service launched in 2013.

From http://www.computerworld.com.au 05/12/2015

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NEW ZEALAND: Consolidating Online Public Consultations Across Government

 

New Zealand has brought together public consultations from across central and local government on a single page on Govt.NZ. Citizens can now find consultations more easily by visiting a single web site, and sort them by categories they are interested in. “We’ve grouped consultations by topics that mean something to people, by agency and by status to make it easier to find what’s happening based on your needs,” wrote Victoria Wray of the Department of Internal Affairs in the Govt.NZ blog. 45 open consultations listed on the page. These include a draft climate change strategy for Wellington, 10-year plans for district councils, and a discussion on the best ways to manage the risks of drunk driving. Citizens will still have to click through to the concerned agency’s parent page to read details about the consultation and give their feedback.

 

“You’ll be able to keep updated by subscribing to what interests you via RSS feed and we’re working on being able to do this by email too,” Wray wrote. For now the team is adding the consultation records manually, but plans to automate it in the future with feeds or an API. The single consultation page has “been brewing for a while”, said Wray. “People have also regularly asked for it from us, and we recognise it as being essential to open government and the basis for making good policy.”

From http://www.futuregov.asia 03/18/2015

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EUROPE: Google Pledges 150m and 'More Collaboration' for Publishers

 

Google has pledged to invest 150 million into innovation around digital journalism over the next three years, and to develop new products in collaboration with publishers aimed specifically at increasing revenue, traffic and audience engagement.The internet giant will also "significantly increase" its investment in training and research through its News Lab team to offer dedicated training resources to European newsrooms for the first time.The training programmes will be created with a number of journalism organisations, including the European Journalism Centre, the Global Editors Network and the International News Media Association.Outlining plans for the Digital News Initiative at the FT Media Conference in London today, Carlo D'AsaroBiondo, Google's president of strategic partnerships, Europe, said the initiative follows "deep concern" among European publishers about their ongoing ability to fund journalism.He said the message from several major European publishers had been loud and clear: "more collaboration"."Over the years we have worked on a range of news-related initiatives, but we tended to work in isolation, and the feedback has been that Google can be complicated to work with, and at times unpredictable," he said.

 

"We intend to change that - indeed it is my job to change that."He said Google will also invest in research into the fast changing media landscape, partnering with the Reuters Institute in Oxford to create the "deepest and most comprehensive picture" of how the consumption of news is evolving in Europe.For 2016 the Reuters Institute Digital News Report will be expanded to cover 20 European countries - an essential guide to the changing news landscape.A grants programme for academic institutions wishing to carry out research into the growing field of computational journalism is to be established and the Google Journalism Fellowships programme will be extended to Europe, aimed at students interested in using technology to tell stories in new and dynamic ways.Biondo said: "In the feedback we hear from publishers and editors, it is clear that there is a great desire to experiment more freely, but risk-taking comes at a cost. The purpose of this is to make grants available to projects which demonstrate new thinking in digital journalism.

 

"No-one knows where the next great idea will come from - but we want to stimulate and nurture ideas that come from those who are closest to the action, from those who know best how journalism is changing. Anyone working on innovation in online news in Europe will be able to apply, including national and regional publishers, new players and pure players."Launch partners of the Digital News Initiative are: The Guardian and The Financial Times, Die Zeit and FAZ from Germany, Les Echos from France, La Stampa from Italy, El Pais from Spain and NRC Media from the Netherlands.However, Bionda stressed "this is not intended to be an exclusive club," with the opportunity for any European publisher, big or small, traditional or newcomer, who wishes to take part in any of the elements of the initiative welcomed.He added: "Everyone recognises the opportunities the internet offers for the creation and dissemination of journalism. But the ‘new opportunities for growth’ remain elusive. When I talk to publishers in Europe I hear deep concern about their ongoing ability to fund great journalism.

 

He said it was a situation that is being "felt particularly" on the continent, suggesting the British and the Americans benefit from having the English language enabling them to build huge global audiences – "the New York Times, the Daily Mail and the Guardian have all proved this".Google’s strategic leader went on to stress how the company’s relationship with news and the news industry has "often been misunderstood" over the years "and - dare I say it - sometimes misreported".  Highlighting how the company has been able to help publishers, he noted that more than 10 billion visits are directed to publishers via search and news globally each month.In addition, through advertising platforms, such as AdSense, Google shared $10 billion with publishers around the world in 2014.He added: "We recognise that technology companies and news organisations are part of the same information ecosystem. We want to play our part in the common fight to find more sustainable models for news."I firmly believe that Google has always wanted to be a friend and partner to the news industry, but I also accept we’ve made some mistakes along the way. We are a teenage "tech" company after all."

From http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/ 04/29/2015

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European Online Advertising Grows 11.6% to 30.7bn

 

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) Europe AdEx Benchmark research has revealed that the European online advertising market has grown by 11.6% to reach 30.7bn. The research, presented at the IAB’s annual Interact conference in Berlin, revealed a fifth consecutive year of double digit growth. All 27 markets that participated in the study recorded positive growth, while 20 markets saw double digit growth. The top three markets in terms of growth were Slovenia (43.1% growth); Ireland (33.3% growth) and Belarus (32.8% growth). The study split the online ad market into three segments: display; search; and classifieds and directories. Display advertising outperformed the other categories with a growth rate of 15.2%, while search showed growth of 10.8% and classifieds and directories grew by 5.8%. “Our study shows that even the most mature online advertising markets in Europe sustain double digit growth, clearly indicating the economic vibrancy of the sector,” said Daniel Knapp, director of advertising research at IHS Technology, and author of the study. “This growth is primarily enabled by the proliferation of intelligent data infrastructures. Data is the growth engine behind advertising that serves as a connective tissue between consumers, media and brands.”

From http://www.i-policy.org/ 05/22/2015

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GERMANY: Under 50% of Firms Have Digital Emergency Management

 

Only 49 percent of all companies in Germany have emergency management for digital industrial espionage, sabotage or data theft, according to a survey conducted by IT association Bitkom among 1,074 companies. The survey showed that larger companies are only marginally better equipped than smaller ones. Some 62 percent of companies with 500 or more employees have emergency management, among medium-sized companies with between 100 and 499 employees, it is 54 percent, and 46 percent among companies with 10 to 99 employees. Emergency management includes written processes and emergency measures for situations in which sensitive data might be tapped, important websites are inaccessible or production is affected by digital attacks.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 04/10/2015

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Seven Out of Ten German ITC Companies Use Cloud Computing

 

Seven out of 10 (71%) of ITC companies currently use cloud services, according to the 'Cloud Monitor 2015' report produced by Bitkom on behalf of KPMG. The percentage was 64 in 2014. The average usage rate in the German industry is 44 percent. Use increased by more than 10 percentage points to 66 percent in the car manufacturing sector, and to 65 percent in the logistics industry. Banks follow with 65 percent and insurances at 64 percent, ahead of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry with 62 percent. Cloud computing allows companies to be more flexible as their IT systems adapt to shifting market conditions faster. Users can also access various applications via mobile data networks from almost anywhere.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 05/05/2015

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FRANCE: Some 72% of Online Vendors Have Mobile Website

 

Some 72 percent of French online vendors have a mobile website, according to a survey of over 3,000 e-commerce companies in December 2014 by Oxatis. The French e-commerce market grew by 11.5 percent last year, compared to 1.1 percent growth for traditional commerce. Online vendors are increasingly using all sales channels, online marketplaces, price comparison sites, social networks. The survey found that Amazon overtook eBay as the most popular e-marketplace. Google Shopping and LeGuide are the dominant comparison sites. Some 81 percent of respondents use social networks for business purposes, 75 percent on Facebook, 28 percent on Google+ and 27 percent on Twitter. Only 39 percent of e-commerce businesses use pay products from Google, such as Google AdWords and Google Shopping, most use other tools such as natural referencing, massive use of shopping engines or marketplace integration, and e-mail marketing. The study also found that 52 percent of businesses with e-commerce sites export, compared to 8 percent of all SMEs.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 04/06/2015

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Portugal Ends 2014 with 2.83 Mln Fixed Internet Accesses

 

Portugal ended the fourth quarter with 2.83 million fixed internet accesses, an increase of 3 percent from the previous quarter and of 10.4 percent compared to the year before  which recorded the highest growth since third quarter of 2005. The 2.83 million figure corresponded to a 27.1 percent fixed internet penetration rate, while the mobile internet penetration rate reached 46.1 percent, according to data published by the National Communications Authority (Anacom). Penetration of fixed broadband internet services amounted to 59.5 percent. The main access technology remains ADSL, with 38.5 percent of the total, followed by cable modem (35.6%) and FTTH/FTTB (22%). The strongest growth came from fibre optics (+36% in 2014 and +8% in Q4), reaching 622,000 customers. In absolute terms, the growth of FTTH/FTTB accesses in Q4, up by 45.000, was the highest of all times. The second highest contribution to the growth came from LTE access at a fixed location, up 26.1 percent from the previous quarter.

 

The quota of fixed accesses of the PT Group, Nos group and Cabovisao stood at 48.5, 35 and 5.3 percent, respectively, down by 2 percentage points, 1.2 percentage points and 0.8 percentage points, respectively, last year. Vodafone was the only service provider to increase its share, which reached 10.6 percent in December (+4.1 percentage points more than in the same period last year). The Altice Group had 5.5 percent of the accesses, registering a fall of 0.8 percentage points in 2014. In terms of mobile broadband, the number of effective users of the service was 4.8 million (+6.8% on Q3 and +23.3 y/y). Smartphone users in the quarter represented 52.4 percent of all mobile users (+9.6% y/y). In terms of mobile broadband customers, Portugal Telecom's Meo had a 47.4 percent share, followed by Vodafone (26.5%) and Nos (25.9%). Nos Group increased its share by four percentage points, Meo by two points, while Vodafone dropped by 6.1 percentage points. Revenues from the fixed internet service stand-alone and as part of packaged offers totaled EUR 1.19 billion in 2014, up 14.5 percent year-on-year. Mobile internet revenues reached EUR 303.4 million, down 12.4 percent.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 03/09/2015

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Russia’s Internet Censor Reminds Citizens That Some Memes Are Illegal

 

This week Russia’s media regulator and telecom oversight agency, known as Roskomnadzor, reminded Russian citizens that it’s illegal to post memes of real people that depict them in any way that does not reflect their “personality,” the Washington Post reported. The announcement, made on Russian social media site VKontakte, clarified an existing law governing how a person’s image may be distributed.Activists say law is part of "Russia's relentless crackdown on free expression.""These ways of using [celebrities’ images] violate the laws governing personal data and harm the honor, dignity and business of public figures,” Roskomnadzor wrote, according to a translation from the Post. Parody accounts and parody websites impersonating a person are also illegal.Roskomnadzor has only been an entity in Russian public policy for three years and it has already defined itself as a repressive and controlling speech censor. In 2012, it was ordered to create a blacklist of websites detrimental to Russian interests and ended up blocking over 180 sites. In mid-2014, Russia passed a law that said bloggers with 3,000 daily readers or more must register with Roskomnadzor. The same law also required that social media data be stored within Russia’s boundaries so the government can access it at any time.

 

This recent clarification on meme law was ordered by a Moscow judge, who presided over a case involving Russian singer ValeriSyutkin. Syutkin sued a Russian culture site for disseminating some off-color jokes using his image, and the judge ruled in his favor, but asked that Roskomnadzor post an update to its laws governing personal data.A person who believes that their image is being used inappropriately can report the offenders to Roskomnadzor or sue them. "Web sites are essentially given the choice of blocking the offending content in Russia, or seeing their whole sites get blocked across the country,” the Post writes.The Post added that celebrities will likely have to report the memes themselves, which could mean that some could still be used if they’re not reported. One hopes that Vladimir Putin is too busy to scour the Internet seeking to destroy for the many excellent memes using his visage. (But of course he probably delegates that job to someone else.)Naturally, after hearing of this news, we turned to the Internet to find the best Putin memes the free world can offer:

From http://arstechnica.com/ 04/15/2015

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Swiss Online, Mail Order Market Grows to CHF 6.7 Billion

 

The Swiss online and mail order market has grown by 7.2 percent year-on-year to CHF 6.7 billion in 2014, according to a study by Gfk partnering with the Swiss mail order association VSV and the Swiss Post. Online is the largest portion with CHF 5.9 billion in revenues growing 10.9 percent year-on-year. The study found that 84 percent of the Swiss consumers prefer to pay by invoice and the home electronics were responsible for the most revenues with CHF 1.46 billion followed by clothing and shoes with CHYF 1.34 billion. Other findings include that CHF 4.95 billion in revenues came from transactions between consumers and companies within Switzerland, CHF 850 million came from auction sites within Switzerland and CHF 900 million came from transaction between Swiss consumers and foreign companies/or on foreign auction sites. The study also found that 15 percent of the online orders are made with mobile devices.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 03/13/2015

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UK Govt to Plough 600m into Freeing Up Spectrum

 

Chancellor of the Exchequer targets 100 Mbps broadband to 'nearly all' premises. The U.K. government on Wednesday earmarked 600 million for clearing spectrum bands and reusing them for mobile broadband. The announcement was made by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, as part of his pre-election budget statement. As well as improving terrestrial networks, he also pledged to test "the latest" satellite technology in a bid to provide coverage to remote areas. The government will also invest in WiFi for public libraries and the Internet of Things (IoT). "This is the next stage of the information revolution," said Osborne of IoT, "connecting up everything from urban transport to medical devices, to household appliances." Furthermore, the government will set itself a new target of providing every home with at least 100 Mbps broadband, should the Conservative party be re-elected in May. "The use of satellite technology, to reach the remotest areas, alongside moves to free up more spectrum for mobile are evidence of a holistic approach.

 

In addition, the explicit commitment to the Internet of Things ensures that infrastructure improvements translate into tangible benefits for consumers and businesses in the long-term," noted EY's lead telecoms analyst Adrian Baschnonga. Others were less impressed though. "We welcome also the government’s ambition for ultrafast broadband," said Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre, which is in the process of deploying fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks in major U.K. cities. "However, the target of at least 100 megabits per second is too low. As the British economy becomes more digitally based, it is vital that even faster Gigabit speeds are achieved." He said the U.K.'s infrastructure is underperforming. "Investment in fibre infrastructure is critical for sustainable economic growth," Mesch said. "Therefore, it is vital the government does all it can to encourage a competitive environment for fibre investment."

From http://www.totaltele.com/ 03/18/2015

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54% of UK Firms Keep Sensitive Data in the Cloud

 

When it comes to UK cloud use, a full 54% of businesses keep sensitive data there—but considering that 80% of them use cloud in general, it’s clear that security remains a genuine concern and a major stumbling block for many. Since cloud computing has the potential to give businesses additional speed, agility and flexibility, the majority of enterprises are already using cloud environments. In fact, IDC predicts that, by next year, there will be an 11% shift of IT budget away from traditional in-house IT delivery toward various versions of new cloud delivery models. But, according to Vormetric’s Cloud and Big Data edition of our 2015 Insider Threat report, in the U.K., cloud environments (39%) are now considered to present more of a risk to enterprise organizations than databases (38%) and file servers (33%). Equally, it shows how the incorporation cloud computing technology use has entered mainstream business practices. The firm added that the high-profile server level breaches that took place throughout 2013 and 2014—affecting the likes of Yahoo!, Ubisoft, eBay and Paddy Power—have served to trigger a change in this area of data security.

 

A report issued by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) dovetails with the finding—it confirmed that the adoption of cloud computing in the public sector alone across the European Union is being considerably held back by worries over how sensitive data can be secured. “There is little doubt that fear and a hyper-awareness of recent high-profile data breaches are slowing implementation and adoption of these platforms,” said Darren Harmer, a consultant with Vormetric, in a blog. He added, “This reticence is echoed in the private sector where even the likes of Volkswagen have openly acknowledged that they will not use the cloud due to these same unresolved issues around data privacy and the associated regulatory headaches they bring.” That said, a promising statistic from the report is that more than half of the respondents worldwide would be more willing to use cloud services if the provider offers data encryption with key access control. “The time has come to act and to see data security as a business enabler,” said Harmer. “Fortunately it seems this message is starting to hit home…Looking to data-centric security solutions that offer policy-based separation of duties is crucial. Not only do they prevent cloud administrators, root users and other network system admins from abusing their privileged status or falling victim to APT attacks and other sophisticated malware, they also provide visibility into what is happening to sensitive information as it moves throughout the network, and across the various working or storage environments.”

From http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/ 04/08/2015

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LATIN AMERICA: Brazil Has 450,000 E-commerce Portals

 

The survey 'E-Commerce Profile in Brazil',commissioned by PayPal from Big Data, reveals that Brazil has 450,000 e-commerce portals, reports Telesintese. This was the total number of sites that responded to clicks on 01 March, the date of the last automated monitoring conducted by the research firm. The overwhelming majority of these e-commerce sites -- 81 percent -- is based on a focused commerce model that provides up to ten consumer products. According to Mario Mello, the general director of PayPal of Latin America, e-commerce in Brazil should move BRL 81.3 billion this year and BRL 92.9 billion in 2016, representing an annual growth of around 14 percent.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 03/27/2015

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Brazil Internet Companies Earn BRL 25.1 bln in 2014

 

Brazilian communications companies (including multimedia, network access and VoIP providers) achieved BRL 25.1 billion in revenues in 2014, up 24.3 percent, according to a survey commissioned by the Brazilian Internet Association (Abranet). Of the total, multimedia companies accounted for BRL 17.2 billion (+29.3%), access providers grew 16.4 percent, ending 2014 with BRL 7.8 billion, and VoIP providers were stable with BRL 200 million in turnover. The number of companies grew by 9.2 percent, to a total of 11,900. Together, these three communications services accounted for 17.3 percent of the total turnover of technology companies. Overall, this sector achieved a turnover of BRL 144.7 billion in 2014, up 12.5 percent.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 05/18/2015

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NORTH AMERICA: U.S. - Social Media Ad Spending to Hit $24 Billion This Year

 

Global ad spending on social media will rise more than 33% this year to $23.68 billion, according to a new report from research firm eMarketer.The bulk of those dollars will flow to Facebook, which will continue to reign supreme in the social-media marketplace, eMarketer predicts.Facebook alone will make $15.5 billion in ad revenue this year, about two-thirds of all global ad spending on social networks, according to eMarketer. Twitter’s ad sales will rise to $2.09 billion, accounting for 8.8% of the market.EMarketer projects that U.S. and Canadian advertisers will lead the pack this year in terms of regional spending, plunking down more than $10 billion on paid ads across social media services.Indeed, North American advertisers will spend more than $50 per social network user this year, and that will increase to $61.35 in 2016, eMarketer estimates.By 2017, social media ad spending will hit $35.98 billion worldwide, accounting for about 16% of the total digital ad market, according to the report.The U.S. and China will lead in terms of social media ad spending “for the foreseeable future,” amassing more than half the global market between the two of them, according to eMarketer.

From http://blogs.wsj.com/ 04/16/2015

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U.S. Internet Ad Revenues Reach Record-Breaking $49.5 Billion in 2014

 

— Digital advertising revenues in the U.S. rose to an all-time high of $49.5 billion in 2014, according to the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report for the full-year, released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and prepared by PwC US. This figure represents a 16 percent increase over 2013’s record-setting total of $42.8 billion – and marks the fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth for the industry. The report additionally shows that 2014’s fourth quarter numbers reached $14.2 billion, a 17 percent uptick from $12.1 billion in the final quarter of 2014.

 

Other highlights include:

Mobile advertising in the United States brought in $12.5 billion during FY 2014, a 76 percent boost from the prior year total of $7.1 billion. As a result, it is the second largest format, accounting for 25 percent of FY 2014 revenues, a rise over 2013, when it accounted for 17 percent of that year’s total.Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, totaled $3.3 billion in full year 2014, a 17 percent increase over revenues of $2.8 billion in 2013.Social media advertising saw stellar returns, bringing in $7 billion in 2014, up by 57 percent over 2013’s total of $4.5 billion.Search revenues totaled $19 billion in 2014, up 3 percent from 2013, when search totaled $18.4 billion.Display-related advertising revenues in 2014 totaled $13.5 billion or 27 percent of the year’s revenues, an uptick of 5 percent over $12.8 billion in 2013.Retail advertisers continue to represent the largest category of internet ad spending, responsible for 21 percent in 2014, followed by financial services and closely trailed by automotive which account for 13 and 12 percent of the year’s revenues respectively, and identical to their percentages in full year 2013.

 

“Marketers clearly recognize that consumers are leading mobile-first lives and are investing their ad dollars accordingly,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “The news of digital video’s double-digit growth is also no surprise. Brands and agencies are clamoring to get into the upcoming Digital Content NewFronts, where they will experience the latest in storytelling in sight, sound and motion.”“High double-digit growth in mobile advertising is a reflection of the continued shift in consumer behavior away from desktop and towards mobile devices,” said David Silverman, Partner, PwC US. “A prominent rise in social, a significant mobile activity, is driving growth in advertising revenue as consumers spend more time connected.”“Interactive marketing has generated remarkable revenue growth, a testament to its power to reach today’s consumers with innovative formats at critical junctures in the path to purchase,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB.

 

Here are the results from the full year in comparison with last year’s numbers:

 

Full Year
2013

Full Year
2014

 

%

$

%

$

Revenue (Ad Formats)

 

 

 

 

Search

43%

$18,365

38%

$18,955

Classifieds and Directories

6%

$2,597

5%

$2,690

Lead Generation

4%

$1,749

4%

$1,866

E-mail*

0%

$165

 

n/a*

 

 

 

 

 

Mobile

17%

$7,084

25%

$12,453

 

 

 

 

 

Display-related

 

 

 

 

- Digital Video Commercials

7%

$2,784

7%

$3,254

- Ad banners / display ads

19%

$7,943

16%

$8,049

- Sponsorships

2%

$766

2%

$774

- Rich media

3%

$1,328

3%

$1,410

Total display-related

30%

$12,821

27%

$13,487

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue (Pricing Models)

 

 

 

 

Impression-based

33%

$14,297

33%

$16,506

Performance-based

65%

$27,788

66%

$32,434

Hybrid

2%

$696

1%

 

*This survey no longer captures Email as an advertising format (effective 2014).

 

IAB sponsors the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, which is conducted independently by the New Media Group of PwC. The results are considered the most accurate measurement of interactive advertising revenues because the data is compiled directly from information supplied by companies selling advertisements on the internet.The survey includes data concerning online advertising revenues from Web sites, commercial online services, free email providers, and all other companies selling online advertising. The full report is issued twice yearly for full and half-year data, and top-line quarterly estimates are issued for the first and third quarters. PwC does not audit the information and provides no opinion or other form of assurance with respect to the information.A copy of the full report is available at: www.iab.net/AdRevenueReport.

From http://www.i-policy.org/ 04/22/2015

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GLOBE: Public-Sector Digitization - The Trillion-Dollar Challenge

 

Citizens and businesses now expect government information to be readily available online, easy to find and understand, and at low or no cost. Governments have many reasons to meet these expectations by investing in a comprehensive public-sector digital transformation. Our analysis suggests that capturing the full potential of govern­ment digitization could free up to $1 trillion annually in economic value worldwide, through improved cost and operational performance. Shared services, greater collaboration and inte­gra­tion, improved fraud management, and productivity enhancements enable system-wide efficiencies. At a time of increasing budgetary pressures, governments at national, regional, and local levels cannot afford to miss out on those savings.Indeed, governments around the world are doing their best to meet citizen demand and capture benefits. More than 130 countries have online services. For example, Estonia’s 1.3 million residents can use electronic identification cards to vote, pay taxes, and access more than 160 services online, from unemployment benefits to property registration. Turkey’s Social Aid Infor­ma­tion System has consolidated multiple government data sources into one system to provide citizens with better access and faster decisions on its various aid programs.

 

The United Kingdom’s gov.uk site serves as a one-stop information hub for all government departments. Such online services also provide greater access for rural populations, improve quality of life for those with physical infirmities, and offer options for those whose work and lifestyle demands don’t conform to typical daytime office hours.However, despite all the progress made, most governments are far from capturing the full benefits of digitization. To do so, they need to take their digital transformations deeper, beyond the provision of online services through e-government portals, into the broader business of government itself. That means looking for opportunities to improve productivity, collabo­ration, scale, process efficiency, and innovation.

 

The public-sector challenge

Digital transformations require changes, to both processes and IT systems, that are more challenging to implement in the public sector than in the private sector. A joint study by McKinsey and Oxford University found that public-sector IT projects requiring business change were six times more likely to experience cost overruns and 20 percent more likely to run over schedule than such projects in the private sector.1The public sector must cope with additional management issues, including multiple agencies, a range of organizational mandates and constit­uencies, longer appropriations timelines, and the challenge of maintaining strategic continuity even as political administrations change.Therefore, it is important that private-sector companies supporting public IT transformations understand that the public sector operates in a different context. For example, it can be challeng­ing to set a specific target, build consensus, align on a leadership structure, secure funding, and meet implementation timelines.

 

Similarly, when systems and data are owned by different departments and functions, on a range of platforms and with differing taxonomies and access requirements, it can be difficult to invest at scale and generate sufficient economies. Silos, fragmentation, and the absence of a central owner for nationwide IT infrastructure and common components can make it hard to connect the internal “plumbing” to create a seamless experience for the end user, be it a government worker, a business user, an average citizen, or another intergovernmental office. It doesn’t make the task easier when the complexity of large-scale digital projects requires specialized skills and expertise that come at a high price and are often in short supply. In consequence, many e-government efforts fall short of their promise.

 

Achieving comprehensive public digitization

While digital transformation in the public sector is particularly challenging, a number of successful government initiatives show that by translating private-sector best practices into the public context it is possible to achieve broader and deeper public-sector digitization. Each of the six most important levers is best described by success stories.1. Win government-wide and agency-deep commitment to specific digital targets. The launch of gov.uk in 2012 marked the creation of one of the most accessible digital-government services in the world. Its success in providing citizens, businesses, and government users with accurate, streamlined, and comprehensive services is the result of strong central leadership and implementation provided by the UK’s Government Digital Service. This unit of the government’s Cabinet Office was charged with overseeing the country’s digital strategy and implementing the transformation of its service provisioning to what it described as “digital by default.”2 By including seasoned digital leaders from different public departments, the Government Digital Service gained the needed experience and expertise, as well as the buy-in of those departments. A clear mandate helped steer the implementation and build awareness.The unit worked to sustain momentum for the sometimes-challenging change efforts by being as transparent as possible. It published its strategy, scheduled targets for each department, and reported performance against those targets frequently. According to government estimates, gov.uk saved £42 million in government spending within a year of its launch. In October 2013, it had, for the first time, two million visits in one day.3

 

2. Establish government-wide coordination of IT investments. To better coordinate large-scale IT projects across the government and generate cost efficiencies, Denmark established IT Projektraad, a digitization council reporting to the Ministry of Finance, to function as its central IT steering group. The agency’s goal is to ensure that the benefits and gains targeted in a project’s business case are realized. This has allowed it to apply a test-and-learn approach, using pilot projects to ensure investments are effective and then bringing lessons learned to other agencies. To that end, the digitization agency requires government institutions to adhere to specific methodologies and guidelines when planning their IT investments. It also develops and shares best practices, conducts risk evaluations for projects over a certain cost threshold, participates in project reviews, and helps oversee the government’s IT project pipeline. Such central oversight has helped the Danish government reduce unnecessary investments, enforce common standards, and build greater project synergies.

 

3. Redesign processes with the end user in mind. In 2011, the Netherlands released i-NUP, its government-wide implementation agenda for e-government services, to prioritize citizen- or user-centered design by boosting convenience and trimming red tape. One of the implementation rules, for instance, states, “We do not pose superfluous questions. Data included in one of the basic registrations will not be asked for again.”4 Under the plan, municipalities would serve as “citizens’ desks” and be the first line of contact to field or refer questions, supported by a website, customer-contact center, and central phone number. As of 2014, most municipalities are connected to a single access number.The plan called for a similar overhaul of the country’s government-to-business services. To make that happen, the Dutch launched a comprehensive digital-infrastructure project led by the national digital-governance agency, Logius. The project steering group included central and local governments and public IT agencies. Together, using world-class stan­dards, they defined the technical specifications for the 13 central databases involved and their interconnections. They also created a government-wide dashboard to highlight project status and risks and used conferences and social media to disseminate and refine key lessons with public-sector IT managers around the country. As a result of these initiatives, physical visits to municipalities and government offices have decreased significantly. For example, the number of visits to Rotterdam municipality offices decreased by around 50 percent from 2010 to 2013.

 

4. Hire and nurture the right talent. Digital transformations call for specialized skills that are in high demand and therefore increasingly hard to come by. Government organizations often struggle to compete for such talent, since the private sector frequently can offer higher wages, a more entrepreneurial culture, and more clearly defined career paths. However, a few governments have found ways to attract or nurture IT talent for their digital projects. In South Korea, for instance, a significant portion of government IT infrastructure is centralized in a few data centers providing numerous e-government services to citizens. The size and breadth of these centers make it possible to offer IT staff engaging career paths with the chance, for example, to improve a variety of online services while tackling the challenges of managing a large-scale data center. In the United Kingdom, the government actively seeks to attract talented individuals from the private sector by offering fast-track career opportunities for high performers. For example, the government CIO and the head of digital services spent most of their careers in the private sector. In addition, high-performing graduates are offered fast promotion opportunities in various government-service areas, including IT.

 

5. Use big data and analytics to improve decision making. The US government has been one of the most active in leveraging data to support government decision making. In 2009, it gave open data a legal and privacy framework that led to the creation of data.gov, a repository of government tools, resources, and information on anything from energy and science to global development and health. In all, more than 85,000 data sets are available to help businesses and private citizens conduct research, develop web and mobile apps, and create design visualizations. To populate data troves, government departments were required to identify and share their most valuable data. Competitions, such as Apps for America and Apps for Democracy, have been organized to attract talented developers to build applications that use government data.

 

6. Protect critical infrastructure and confidential data. Data security has become a top national-security issue. In 2013, the World Economic Forum identified cyberattacks and critical-systems failure as two of the most dangerous global risks. Beyond financial losses, cyberattacks may pose serious reputation risks for companies and governments.Governments can protect critical infrastructure and confidential data through several initiatives. For example, most major developed economies have created a national cybersecurity strategy in the past five years. They are also developing information-sharing mechanisms to detect and respond to cyberthreats more quickly. One example is the UK Fusion Cell, which brings experts from government and the private sector together in an information-sharing and threat-analysis hub.Regardless of where a public-sector organization is in its digitization journey, these six lessons can help as it starts, scales, or evaluates its program. The stakes are high. When digital public-sector transformations succeed, citizens and businesses will benefit from better access, and governments can operate more nimbly and achieve substantial savings.

From http://www.mckinsey.com/ 05/03/2015

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GLOBE: OECD Head Challenges 'Extremely Aggressive' Tax Planning by Multinational Technology Companies

 

New rules requiring multinational companies to report on profits earned and taxes paid on a country-by-country basis will be a "game changer" in the international fight against corporate tax avoidance, according to one of people developing those rules. Corporate tax Tax Tax Disputes and Investigations TMT Advanced Manufacturing & Technology UK Europe Asia Pacific Middle East Africa. In an interview with the BBC, Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the Centre for Tax Policy at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), criticised technology companies in particular for their use of "extremely aggressive" tax planning arrangements to move profits away from the jurisdictions where they sold goods or created revenue to those with lower corporate tax rates. Saint-Amans said that governments had "let the rules shift away from what should have been achieved" as businesses had become more international, and that companies had been "pushing the boundaries of what was legal". He said that there should be international agreement on the new rules before the next G20 summit of global leaders in November, which would ensure that they were in place "well before" 2020. "We didn't update the rules," he said in the interview. "We unfortunately needed a crisis to have this wake-up call to say we need to change because it is outdated. Now, governments have decided to move. It shows that when you have political support you can achieve technical changes."

 

"We have moved from a world where we were so good at eliminating double taxation with tax treaties and transfer pricing rules that we have facilitated double non-taxation. You have rules, they are bilateral, but businesses are global. And of course they can play on the differences between the sovereignties ... So what we need to do is fix the rules and develop better cooperation," he said. The final rules would need to be "balanced" in order to avoid "multiple taxation … because they will harm cross-border investment", he said. The OECD is currently working on a single set of international tax rules to prevent multinational companies from artificially shifting profits to low-tax jurisdictions. Its 15-point 'action plan' on how to tackle these base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) mechanisms, published in July 2013, included plans to neutralise so-called hybrid mismatch arrangements, prevent the abuse of tax treaties and ensure that transfer pricing rules did not allow companies to avoid being taxed in the jurisdictions where they make their profits. Tax expert Heather Self of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said that Saint-Amans' comments indicated that the OECD was in the process of drafting its next major report, which is due to be published by October 2015. The OECD's final recommendations are due before the end of the year, she added.

 

"We are entering an interesting phase of the BEPS project - the nearer it gets to completion, the more there will be political signalling from a number of parties," she said. "It is clear that pressure is building on US tech companies in particular to pay more tax – the EU group of Experts on the Digital Economy highlighted that many of them pay very low rates of tax on sales outside the US. However, even if there is agreement that these companies should pay more tax, there is likely to be a fight over who gets to tax them: if BEPS succeeds in imposing additional tax in countries such as the UK, surely the US will respond by changing its own tax system to keep the tax receipts itself," she said. Ahead of the OECD's final report, there has already been some fragmentation in different countries' approaches to the taxation of multinational companies. The UK, for example, introduced a diverted profits tax (DPT) last month, charged when a foreign company "exploits the permanent establishment rules" or where a company with a UK taxable presence creates a tax advantage by using arrangements that "lack economic substance". This week, the Australian government announced that it would introduce a package of anti-avoidance measures, but that it did not intend to replicate the UK's new rules. Saint-Amans told the BBC that the UK's approach would have to be "coordinated" with the OECD's final proposals.

From http://www.out-law.com/ 05/14/2015

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ICT Companies and Internet Freedom

 

How should ICT companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter conduct themselves when operating in states that crack down on media freedom? Should they comply with sometimes repressive and arbitrary laws to maintain market share, or should they stand up for a free internet? According to the 2014 Freedom on the Net Report published by Freedom House, there has been a global decline in internet freedom over the last few years – a trend worsened by an increase in tougher laws against free speech online. Cyberspace is often the realm where political opposition groups reside and it is also where governments have least control. In recent years, government requests for content removal have been on the rise. More and more governments are demanding from these companies the identities and activities of political opposition figures during critical moments like elections, where incumbents are wary of online dissent. As a result, there has been a growing number of cases of persecution of online political dissidents in places like Bangladesh, Thailand, and Turkey. We do not know the extent to which ICT companies comply with government requests for information – particularly in developing states where freedom of press remains elusive.

 

Google has taken the lead in becoming more accountable to its users about the nature and frequency of government requests for content removal. The Google Transparency Report, which began in 2009, provides an annual review that tracks which governments are requesting what content be removed. A growing number of other ICT players such as Wordpress, reddit, Facebook and Twitter are beginning to release more information about their own compliance with these government requests. Such self-reporting, while commendable, is not verifiable. Meanwhile, Ranking Digital Rights released a pilot study this year that argued none of the companies under study were particularly exemplary in their respect for user rights and privacy. We, the net users, must demand more transparency from ICT corporations. We cannot safeguard our rights to freedom of expression online if we do not know how much they have already been forsaken.

From http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/ 05/18/2015

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Internet Companies Shouldn’t Try Censorship

 

PayPal blocked an account set up by Russian activists seeking to collect funds for the publication of a report on Russia’s involvement in eastern Ukraine. The US online payment company explained that it didn’t “provide the option of using its system to receive donations to political parties or causes in Russia”. It’s just the latest example of an Internet firm cast in a role for which it is ill-equipped. Companies such as Google, Twitter, Facebook and even PayPal are ruling on matters of free speech. The decisions are made by business executives, who are essentially performing the function of editors in traditional media. But their organizations aren’t professional media: They are conduits for other people’s content, products and money, and their ability to make value judgments should be as limited as a water company’s power to shut off service on a whim. The Internet companies’ internal policies are often tested by the way they are used outside the US. When Facebook recently collected questions for a regular Q&A session with founder Mark Zuckerberg, a question from an Israel-based Ukrainian collected 45,000 likes—the most ever for such a query, according to Zuckerberg himself. The user asked why many popular Ukrainian bloggers’ posts criticizing Russia and Russians had been taken down: Were Facebook posts from the former Soviet Union moderated in Russia? Zuckerberg explained that the posts contravened Facebook’s policy on hate speech and that the company didn’t have a Russian office. “We try to have folks who speak that language review it,” he said. “We have a European headquarters in Dublin where we have folks who speak a lot of different languages from around the world and who look and different content and that’s what we did here.”

 

There’s no reason, however, for Ukrainians to trust Facebook employees to make the right judgments: What if the Russian speakers at the Facebook office are all fans of President Vladimir Putin? And why is Zuckerberg himself qualified to judge posts in Russian and Ukrainian—or does he trust Facebook’s terrible automated translation? Facebook account holders are the commodity the company sells to advertisers. In exchange, people expect to be able to post what they think. If they hate somebody else’s posts and comments, they can block that person. That Facebook also takes on the function of judge and jury opens it to abuse of its policies by, say, the Kremlin’s paid trolls, who are known to file takedown requests that often succeed. Twitter, too, has taken flak for selective censorship after it started actively removing content posted by Islamic State sympathizers last year. The problem is that sometimes laws require firms to take on the role of judges. Google’s year-long European ordeal with the right to be forgotten is a case in point. Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel, was quoted in The Wall Street Journal saying the company was required “to play a role that we never asked to play—and don’t want to play.”

 

Requests for the removal of sensitive information are first put to “a large team of lawyers, paralegals and engineers who decide the easy cases,” The Journal reported. Then the hard ones go to a panel of Google managers, who hold discussions and sometimes even vote. These not-so-randomly-selected citizens decide, for example, whether to remove from Google’s index sites that report an old sex-crime conviction. Such decisions can affect people’s lives in numerous ways, and they are made outside of any established legal procedure by people who have no meaningful mandate to make them. These judgments are more dangerous, and more final, than editorial ones. Information thrown out by the editor of one news organization can find a home and an audience at another. But the big social networks and search engines are near-monopolies precisely because they are Noah’s Arks that let everyone in. If you’re removed from them, you don’t exist. Now money transfer companies appear to be getting into the editorial decision business, too. PayPal judges an account political and fears it will complicate its relationship with the Russian government. Courts of law exist to handle harassment, defamation, illegal money transfers and every known kind of abuse. Those who have a problem with any activity for which Internet companies are conduits should sue those who carry out that activity. It’s not as easy as hitting a button, but then it shouldn’t be when blocking unwanted content may solve the problem just as easily. People who apply to Google to have links removed ought to deal directly with the offending sites, through the courts if necessary. So should those who complained about the anti-Russian posts of Facebook. And whoever complained about the PayPal account should simply slink away, because it’s hard to imagine a court that wouldn’t throw out such a complaint. Internet companies are, essentially, utilities. It would make sense to regulate them so they are neither forced nor tempted to referee disputes.

From http://www.livemint.com/ 05/18/2015

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CHINA: E-Commerce Purchase Regulations Modified

 

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce released an enhanced consumer protection regulation on Tuesday governing e-commerce purchases.Under the new regulation, customers can return the opened goods they bought online within seven days and get full refunds, without providing any reason for the return.The rule is slated to come into effect on March 15. Online retailers who refuse or delay to process the returns could be imposed fines as high as 500,000 yuan ($79,650), according to the administration.The current law, which was put into effect on March 15 last year, requires that goods bought online be returned within seven days without excuses, but does not give details on whether the opened items can be returned.Despite the regulation, most online retailers have set up their own return schemes for consumers unhappy with their products, stating that returned items should have their packaging intact and remain in the original condition.Since last year, the China Consumers' Association, a consumer protection authority, has received an increasing number of online purchase complaints from buyers, mostly related to the difficulties in returning goods, the association said.

 

"The new regulation will benefit consumers. Some consumers have become wary of e-commerce retailers after they discovered counterfeit products online. The government should regulate online business behavior and protect consumer rights," said Wang Xiaoxing, an analyst with Internet consultancy Analysys International."Returning the items is a reasonable demand. Online retailers have to obey the related regulations. The return policies on e-commerce websites would be invalid if the disclaimers don't conform to the law," he said.Wang said consumers might return the items after opening them if the real conditions are not identical to the online descriptions. Merchants can't promote products falsely, and the new law helps improve the standards of displaying and describing items online.Many e-commerce websites have varied standards of return policies. Most online merchants, such as online organic shop tootoo.cn, require that the returned items should have undamaged packaging and be in the same condition as when they were sold.

 

Amazon.com Inc said that goods can be returned within seven days or 30 days in most cases, depending on the category of items, and the goods should stay in the original condition.China's largest online shopping portal JD.com Inc said the new regulation will further guarantee consumers' rights, and JD will strictly comply with the law. Currently, home appliances qualify for a 30-day return policy and a 180-day return policy for items with quality issues, JD said.Some online retailers on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's Taobao platform said they are worried that the online business will become more difficult after the new regulation."Unused items with intact packaging can be returned within seven days, and consumers should take care of the returning shipping fees," said an online merchant who sells brand name cosmetics on Taobao."If consumers are able to return opened items just because they don't like them, merchants won't be able to afford the costs," the seller said.

From http://www.news.cn/ 03/04/2015

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China to Strictly Regulate Online Commerce

 

China's market regulator said Monday the government will strictly regulate online commerce, amid a heated public dispute over China's largest online shopping platform Taobao.com which was found to match-make transactions of a great number of shoddy commodities.E-commerce platforms have to take "key responsibilities" for promoting "credibility and integrity," Zhang Mao, minister of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), said at a press conference on the sidelines of China's annual parliamentary session.Underlining that the Internet is not a "lawless heaven," Zhang said government regulators would take more measures on protecting the legitimate rights of online shoppers, including proposing new legislative bills and building up online database for stricter supervision over e-commerce.Results of a SAIC sample test released on Jan. 23 showed that only 37.25 percent of surveyed commodities sold on Taobao.com were authentic, lower than a 58.7-percent average of major online shopping platforms.

 

The U.S.-listed online business giant Alibaba, which runs Taobao, butted heads with the SAIC over product quality after the release of the findings. Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma met with Minister Zhang on Jan. 30, drawing a line under the quarrel by mutual concession."The reason why there are so many market violations is that the cost of breaking rules is too low," Zhang said when taking a question on the Taobao dispute, adding that the market will fundamentally improve if companies find such costs unaffordable.China's online sales volume surged 50 percent year on year to reach 2.79 trillion yuan (about 450 billion U.S. dollars) in 2014, accounting for about 10 percent of the country's total retail sales.Zhang admitted that the SAIC should take a new approach to regulate booming sectors such as online commerce.The SAIC will communicate with e-commerce and ICT firms in a better way, Zhang said. "Listen to them, provide guidance for them and demand their self-discipline."

 

He also said companies and the regulators should cooperate more, adding that the SAIC and some e-commerce firms have agreed that the market must be regulated so that online shopping could continue developing.Alibaba has been involved in a series of frictions with domestic and overseas regulators for quite a period of time. In a latest episode, Taiwan's investment regulator accused the company's local branch of being improperly registered and threatened to oust it from the island.The Alibaba Group would provide Taiwan authorities with the information they have demanded, Ma responded on Tuesday.According to its financial report, Alibaba registered a 40-percent growth in its fourth-quarter revenue to reach 26 billion yuan. Sales on its Tmall and Taobao reached 787 billion yuan in the same period.But shares of Alibaba on the latest trading day fell about 30 percent from its highest after being listed.

From http://www.news.cn/ 03/09/2015

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China Approves Pilot Cross-Border E-Commerce Zone

 

The State Council has approved the setup of the China (Hangzhou) cross-border e-commerce pilot zone in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province.The application was put forward by the Zhejiang provincial government and the Ministry of Commerce, according to a statement on the Chinese government's website on Thursday.The zone will take the lead in setting standards on cross-border e-commerce transactions, payment, logistics, customs clearance, tax refund and exchange settlement, said the statement.It will work to settle deep problems in cross-border e-commerce, build complete industrial chains and provide experience that can be used by the sector across the country, according to the statement.China's cross-border e-commerce has been developing rapidly to become a key channel for innovation. Boosting cross-border e-commerce will help create jobs, expand the market and bring new energy to the Chinese economy, according to the statement.Hangzhou is home to China's leading e-commerce company Alibaba.

From http://www.news.cn/ 03/12/2015

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