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Summer 2016 Issue 54

 

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

 


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

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GLOBAL: Around the World in 20 News Stories

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Make Internet More Accessible, Affordable and Open to Accelerate Development, says New World Bank Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Internet and E-commerce Help Reduce Poverty - Experts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Users Not Proactive Enough About Cybersecurity - Survey

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Virtual Private Cloud Market to Hit $45bn by 2022

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Open Data - Government Releases Address Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Cyber Security - What Keeps Kiwi SMEs Awake at Night?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.K.: Lost Web Connection Most Frustrating Home Situation - Survey

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CANADA: Companies Not Adapting Tech Fast Enough for Customers - Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: The 12 Countries That Have Plugged the Most Stuff into the Internet of Things

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AFRICA: Dominican Republic Drafts New Broadband Strategy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Most CIOs Fear Fines Under New Euro Data Protection Laws

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EU May Use Competition Law to Spur Cross-border Selling

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

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New European Law May Force Companies to Hire Data Privacy Expert

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif US, Israel and UK Strengthen Cyber Cooperation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Swiss Govt Adopts Digital Switzerland Strategy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UN Privacy Chief Criticises UK Surveillance Bill

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif LATIN AMERICA: Argentina to Draft New Communications Law

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Colombia Publishes Digital Security Policy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Colombia Presents Plan to ITU on Electronic Waste

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Canada - 8 Guidelines to Advance Women in Tech on International Women’s Day

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Microsoft Canada and ICTC Release National Digital Talent Strategy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: Here's the Government's New Policy for Optimizing Data Centers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Watchdogs Prep for Review of Agenciess’ IT Security Policies

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Presidential Report Puts Cities at the Center of US Innovation Policy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif White House Offers Details on $3.1B IT Modernization Plan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 4 Steps to Consider When Creatibg a Cloud Strategy in 2016

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Why Law Enforcement Agencies Need to Share Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Around the World in 20 News Stories

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet Politics: Developed vs Developing

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Commission Publishes Results of Two Public Consultations Under Digital Single Market Strategy

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Setting New Online Import Tax Rules

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Gov't Reassures Foreign Companies on New Internet Rules

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Rule of Law Crucial in Cyberspace: People's Daily

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Completes Drafting E-commerce Law

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Policy for Cross-border E-commerce May Be Delayed

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Rolls Out Three-year Program for AI Growth

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Govt Starts Work on Plan for ‘100 Mil.’

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt to Disclose Info on How Pension Assets Are Invested

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Government Council OK’s ‘Dynamic Engagement’ Draft Plan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Gov't to Hold Off on Plan for 4th Mobile Carrier

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Int'l Standards for Health Care-Related IoT Devices to Be Unveiled

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korea, ASEAN Discuss Cooperation on Information, Media

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Daegu Rises as Nation's 'Smartest City'

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korea Creates New 'Control Tower' on Sci-Tech Policy

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDONESIA: Government Releases New Norms for OTT Mobile Service Providers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Outlines "Design 2025" Towards Innovation-Driven Economy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: Cyber Strategies for Defence Draft Approved

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Act Reduces Thai Regulator’s Autonomy; DTAC Abstains from 900mhz Re-Auction

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt Urged to Promote at Least Three $1-Billion Tech Start-Ups in Five Years

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: Gov't Calls on IT Leaders to Further Develop Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif President Backs Hi-Tech Plans to Offset Drought

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NA Discuss Access to Information, Development Plans

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BANGLADESH: Excise Department, NBP, Punjab IT Board Sign Pact

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: UP Govt to Formulate Separate Cybercrime Law

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PM Modi Orders Speedy Execution of Digital India Schemes

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PAKISTAN: Project to Support Female IT Graduates Launched

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Gov’t Drafts Strategic Plan to Boost ICT Sector

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: New Digital Rights Org Sets Sights on Data Retention Rollback

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Government Releases Disability Communications Consultation Paper

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian Federal Budget 2016: NBN Still Needs to Raise Money

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Telcos Back Govt Plans to Reduce UFB Delays and Frustrations

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PAPUA NEW GUINEA: UN ICT Experts Here to Provide Technical, Strategic Advice - Ganasi

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AFRICA: Egyptian Govt Names Hosni Head of IT Development Agency

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Ukraine - E-government Taking Off, Bringing Light to Nation’s Dark, Corrupt Places

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: U.S. - 5 Steps to Better State IT Procurement

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 6 Ideas to Help Government Realize Open Data's Transformative Power

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The 12 Countries That Have Plugged the Most Stuff into the Internet of Things

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Obama’s Cyber Commission Looks to Next Administration and Beyond

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Durable Cost Savings in Government IT

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Modern Cloud for a Modern Government

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Issues Concerning Internet in Premier’s Work Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Chinese Police Launch Mobile App to Find Missing Children

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif S. Korea, Indonesia Strengthen Cooperation on E-Government

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif President to Form Science, Technology Council

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korea, Serbia Collaborate on E-Government

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korea, Nigeria Join Hands on E-Government

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korea to Expand E-Gov't Services by 2020

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: ICT Manpower to Be Key Focus in Ministry's Budget: Yaacob

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Government to Call for S$2.8b of ICT Tenders in FY2016

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: Ministry, Parties Launch Scheme to Incubate Digital Start-ups

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: HCM City Collects New Poverty Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Deputy Minister Urges Wider Use of IT in Business, State Offices

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Hotline Opens to Prevent Corruption in Land Use Certificate Issuance

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BANGLADESH: IT Ministry-- National Assembly Panel Approves Rs 2.56 Billion Outlay Under PSDP

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Govt Takes MyGov Closer to People Through Facebook

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt to Digitise Post Offices, Allocates Rs.4,909cr

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Kerala Revenue Dept to Go E-way by Mar End

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Kerala Revenue Dept to Go Paperless by March-end

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Bihar Police to Use Smartphones, Social Network for Communication  

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Taking eGovernance to Level Next

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ‘Faceless, Paperless, Cashless’ Recruitment Process for Govt Jobs!

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif DIPP Launches Dedicated Portal, Mobile App for Startups

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt’s ‘Mother App’ to Bring 200+ Services on One Platform

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Communications Ministry Studies Opportunities of Alternative Internet Channels

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif IRAN: ICT Ministry Faced Pressure to Block Social Apps During Elections

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KAZAKHSTAN: Government to Found Ministry of ICT

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UZBEKISTAN: Prosecutor General's Office Introduces New Version of Its Website

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Center "Electronic government" Launches Two Channels in Telegram

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Uzbek Ministry Hosts Meeting with Telecommunication Standardization Bureau

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif STC Launches Portal of Electronic Tax Services

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Open Data - Government Releases Address Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GovCMS Adoption Doubles Expectations in First Year

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif IP Systems Needs Reform, No More Geoblocking of Internet: Productivity Commission

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Governments Are Realising the Potential of Big Data

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Commission Releases Report on Unfair Contract Terms in the Telco Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt Reveals Further Reforms to Speed Up Apartment UFB Connections

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: EC Releases Text of Data Protection Deal with US

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Commonwealth Telecoms Organisation Clears 4-year Plan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif German Digital Display Ad Market Grows 6.3% in 2015 - BVDW

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif French Digital Advertising Spend Jumps 5.9% in 2015 - Study

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Ireland Broadband Connections Increase 4% in 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Italy to Allocate EUR 65 mln to Smart City Projects

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Dutch ICT Sector Invests over EUR 4.3 Billion in 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Russia to Invest Spectrum Proceeds in Software Companies

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Russia Digital Divide Project Adds Almost 1,200 Hotspots

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Russian IT Market Contracts 40% in 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Russian Telecom Services Market Hits RUB 1.71 tr in 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EU Ready to Block UK Mobile Merger

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif LATIN AMERICA: Chile Ends 2015 with 13.1 mln Broadband Subscribers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Canada - Companies Not Adapting Tech Fast Enough for Customers - Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: White House Pushes Congress to Pass $3.1B IT Modernization Fund

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif FCC Approves Low-Income Internet Subsidy to Bridge Digital Divide

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Amazon Web Services Launches 2016 City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Global 5G Service Revenue to Reach $247bn in 2025

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Mobile Games Market Forecast to Grow 21% This Year

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif APEC Video Contest: SMEs Using Mobile Internet to Grow

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: E-commerce Growth Rapid

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Great Potential in China's Robot Market: National Lawmaker

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-commerce Tax No Trouble for Tourists: Ministry

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Global Industry Body Says China at the Forefront of 5G Tech

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Lenovo Spinoffs Business Dedicated to Online Authentication

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Lenovo Commits US$500 Mln to Investment Fund

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Internet and E-commerce Help Reduce Poverty in China: Experts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Chinese Online Consumption Soars over Past Five Years: Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: LG Uplus Combines IoT with Security Service

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KT Aims for Home IoT Leadership

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Banking Transactions at Record High in 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Markets Move to Service Sales

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korea Exports Patent Information System to UAE

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Foreigners Made More Online Purchases in 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Government to Invest W100b to Develop Supercomputers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korea's ICT Exports Drop for 7th Consecutive Month in March

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Digital Payment Drives Out ATMs

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif KT Brings LTE Service to the Office for First Time

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif LG to Lead Global Alliance for Car Infotainment System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Tech Giants Lock Horns over Korean Cloud Market

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Gov't to Launch Program to Support SaaS Firms

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDONESIA: Says It Will Examine Some Internet-Based Companies’ Tax Reports

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif President Joko Widodo Launches Online Marketplace for Farmers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: New Google Country Head to Bring Million SMEs Online

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Drive Targets Pirated Software

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-Commerce Set for Fast Growth

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Telecom Sector Leads with Bt974m Ad Spending Last Year

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Telecom Licence Fees, Tax Hikes Fund Stimulus

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Thailand to Re-Auction 4G Spectrum Licence in Mid-May 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Banks, Govt Push New National E-Payment System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Agency Focused on Helping More SMEs Get into Online Trading

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif On-Line Boom for FMCGs Seen

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: E-Commerce Key in Export Markets

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-Wallet Firm Wins US$28 Million Investment from Foreign Investors

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif E-Commerce Sales Surge 37% to $4 Billion in 2015

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Local E-Marketplace Ranks High in Sales

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Transport Trade Site Flops

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: PDS Transactions in AP to Go Cashless from April 1

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt Gives Go-ahead to ‘Startup Corridor’ for Young Entrepreneurs

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt Clears Rs.6,155cr Proposals for Electronics Manufacturing

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Delhi Police Launches Online Facility for Commercial Licences

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NHAI Starts FASTag for Cashless Payment at 275 Toll Plazas

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Digital India Initiative a $1-tln Business Opportunity

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Seeking to Export IT Solutions to African Market

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Azercell Telecom’s Bookmate Project Arouses Great Interest Among Subscribers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SMEs to Push Entrepreneurial to New Phase

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Expressbank Applies Brand-New Security System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UZBEKISTAN: "Uzbektelecom" Cuts Tariffs for Internet Services Providers Up to $115.26

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UZMOBILE Plans to Launch More Than 30 New Products

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Huawei Is Making a Significant Contribution to the Development of ICT in Uzbekistan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Huawei Jointly with TUIT Launches HAINA Project

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Government to End ‘Double Taxation’ of Bitcoin

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ACCC Reports Growing Data Consumption and Stable Prices in the Telecoms Sector

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Telco Services Panel Tenders Being Accepted by Government

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: How Is the Digital World Impacting Kiwi Businesses?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NZ Digitalisation Takes Shape as Govt Transactions Shift Online

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Enterprise Open to Analytics Investment as Data Economy Intensifies

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt Pays $200,000 for App - Download Here to Be Ripped Off…

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif R&D Spend Tops $1.4 Billion with Half of Kiwi Businesses Embracing Innovation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif As NZ IT Spend Tops $11.5 Billion, Where’s the Money Going?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Digital Economy Deepens as Govt UFB Rollout Passes 1.2 Million Mark

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AFRICA: Kenya Launches Digischool Programme

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Egypt Will Complete 2 New Tech Parks by Year End

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Proposing New Quota System to Ease Refugee Influx

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GERMANY: Mobile Comms Drive E-mail Growth - Study

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Spanish Complaints Rise in Fixed Broadband, Fall in Mobile

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Over 4 mln Italians Have 10 Mbps Fixed Broadband - Agcom

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.K.: Young Brits Losing Sleep over Social Networking - Study

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Lost Web Connection Most Frustrating Home Situation - Survey

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Over 90% of UK Homes Have Access to 24 Mbps Broadband

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif LATIN AMERICA: Brazil to Bring High Speed Internet to Fernando de Noronha

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Cuba to Add 500,000 New Mobile Lines in 2016

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Canada - Why There Should Be More Focus on Healthcare IT

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif You’re Not Alone in Your IT Transformation Journey, EMC Report Shows

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: Getting the Right People in the Right Job for IT Modernization

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif White House: If Unchecked, Big Data Could Lead to Discrimination

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Cities Must Be Connected Before They Can Become Smart – WBA

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif RSA 2016: 4 Data Issues Faced by States, Localities in the Digital Age

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 3G's Days Are Numbered Once IoT Takes Off

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Internet Businessman Proposes Support for Driverless Cars

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Surging 4G Users Boost Revenue of China Mobile

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Number of Chinese Websites Exceeds 4.2 Mln

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif O2O App Helps Upgrade Recycling in China

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Virtual Reality Gets Real in China

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Cisco, China's Inspur Form Internet Tech JV

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China Cracks Down on Hospital Scalpers, Online Cappers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Robots to Sit China's National Math Exam in 2017

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif South China Intercity Subway Gets Fast Wi-Fi Connection

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New App to Guide Visually Disabled

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Upgrade to Boost Robot Demand

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Robots Serve Elderly in E China Nursing Home

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Smartphone Users Should Be Given Better Service, Rather Than Free Devices

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Enhance Productivity by Boosting Data Ties Between Govt, Industry, Academia

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Tech Plan Envisions 3-D Maps for Driverless Cars

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Digital Textbooks Should Be Used Only as Supplements to Printed Volumes

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Tech World Eyes Digital Life Beyond the Smartphone

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Civic Think Tank on AI to Open This Year

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Learn IP Asset Management Online

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Korean Firms Far Behind Global Peers in 'Big Data' Use

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDONESIA: Smart City Drive to Tackle Socioeconomic Woes

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Telekom Malaysia Boosts Fibre Broadband Speed to 100Mbps

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: To Double Free Wifi Hotspots by 2018

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Smart Devices Trial Extended to 3,200 Households in Yuhua

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif THAILAND: Post Offers Web Access to People with Disabilities

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Police Using Secret Methods: Netizens

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Banks Move Forward on Cashless Payment System

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Cable Operators Seek to Expand into Broadband Internet Services

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

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: World Bank Reports on Digital Growth

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Việt Nam Shares Experience in TV Digitalisation

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VINASA Urged to Further Develop IT

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Setting Up E-Platform to Provide Best Prices to Farmers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif GOI Digitalises Post Offices Across India

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Using Technology Will Improve Court Judgements

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif When in Delhi, Get a Amart Card to Use High-tech Toilets

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Operations at 1,928 FCI Depots to Go Online by July 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Digital India: Nation Among Top Countries in Digital Diplomacy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PM Modi Launches eNAM to Take Tech Benefits to Farmers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif BSNL to Provide High-speed Internet in 1 lakh Village Panchayats

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Online Grievance Redressal System for Railway Employees Soon

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif In Noida, Homebuyers Can Check Project Status Online Now

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Just Tweet to Lodge Your Complaint Against Indian Railways Services

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif An App That Takes Cops Closer to Criminals, Tracks Autos

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New Intel India Initiative to Infuse Technology in Education

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif India Post Goes High-Tech, Geo-Tags Post Offices on Bhuvan

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Free Mobile Internet Access to Whatsapp and Up to 3 Times More Data with Bakcell’s New Klass Tariffs

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Nar's LTE Network Shows Highest Indices

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Failures in Communication Lines Slows Internet Connection in Country

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Switching to E-Customs Declaration to Save Time

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UZBEKISTAN: Train Tickets Can Now Be Purchased via Mobile Phone

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Uzbekistan Cuts Internet Tariffs for ISPs

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif "Uzbektelecom" Cuts Internet Rates for Providers

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: eHealth Record Changes Raise Ire of Privacy Advocates

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NBN: Return to Fibre-to-the-Home Rollout Seems Increasingly Unlikely

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Five Ways to Determine Who Should Lead Your IoT Initiatives

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Is Internet of Things Adoption Driving Platform-as-a-Service Usage?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt Invests $8.5 Million as 350 Kiwi Schools Access Wireless Tech

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Sustainability Key as Kiwi Telco Sector Launches Mobile Recycling Initiative

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt Invests $2m to Connect Young Kiwis with Science

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: German Cyber Security Challenge Starts

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SPAIN: Over 87% of Downloaded Cultural Content Illegal

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UK Gov. Must Address Automotive Cybersecurity, Says Intel

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Nine in Ten UK Consumers Worried About Smart Home Privacy

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 1 in 10 Britons Engage in 'Honest Hacking'

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UK Govt Increases Online Copyright Violation Penalties

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UKRAINE: Lessons from the Electric Grid Hack

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Canada - 28 Per Cent of Canadian Firms Hit by Cybercrime in the Last 24 Months - Survey

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Federal Privacy Commissioner Will Watch Threat Information Sharing, Says Official

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Examining the Low Cost of Cybercrime

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Ottawa Should Create Cyber Threat Advisory Committee, Says Security Lawyer

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: Survey - Most IT Execs Say Their Companies Can Only Handle ‘Simple’ Cyberincidents

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif US Federal Agencies Hit With 10% Jump in Cyber 'Incidents'

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Innovation Is a National Security Imperative

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Capacity Building 'Critical' for Cybersecurity, Says State Official

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Protecting the Front Line in Government Cyber Attacks

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif What to Remember When Thinking About Cyberthreats

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Cyberhacks Are Becoming an All Too Common Occurrence

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif IoT 'Could Become a Big Mess' Without Security, Warns AT&T

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Police Tracing Suppliers, Buyers in Illegal Vaccine Network

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif China's First National NPO in Cyber Security Founded

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Xi Stresses Cybersecurity, Positive Internet Environment

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Even China's Tech Billionaires Not Safe from Phone Scams

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif JAPAN: Cybersecurity Cooperation with Estonia to Beef Up

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Japanese Users Not Proactive Enough About Cybersecurity: Survey

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: NIS to Hold Emergency Cyber Security Meeting

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Intelligence Agency Warns of N.K. Hacking

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif South Korean Financial Firms on Alert for N.K. Cyberattacks

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Military Holds Hacking Defense Contests for N. Korea Cyber Threat

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Samsung SDS, Edgeverve Team Up for Safer Online Banking

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CAMBODIA: PM Says His Personal Website Hacked

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif PHILIPPINES: Cybercrime on Rise—PNP

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SINGAPORE: Hoping to Strengthen Tech, Cybersecurity Cooperation with Israel

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Financial Institutions Need 'Strong IT Controls' Following SWIFT Attacks

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif VIETNAM: MOIT Issues Warning on Virtual Currencies

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Data Security Council Holds Global Meet on Cloud Data Governance

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Quick Heal, CERT-In Join Hands for Better Computer Security 

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govts Now in Crosshairs of Cyber Attackers

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif WhatsApp’s Encryption Ensures Data Privacy, Safer Than Emails

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Spending on IoT Security to Reach $348 Mn in 2016

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Young Adults More Prone to Mobile Hacking, Says Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt Launches Web Portal ‘NOAPS’ to Safeguard Monuments

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif India Monitoring Social Networks to Combat ISIS Threat

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Hack4farming Explores Digital Solutions to India's Agricultural Issues

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Cyber Attacks on Rise, Warns Microsoft

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Every Third Computer Faces Virus Risk via Internet in Azerbaijan

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SWIFT Network Says Aware of Multiple Cyber Fraud Incidents

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif UZBEKISTAN: "Best Soft Challenge 2016" Contest Launches

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Will the Government’s Cyber Security Growth Centre Succeed?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Australian Federal Police Fall Short on Cyber Security

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Cyber Security - What Keeps Kiwi SMEs Awake at Night?

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Govt Pledges $22.2m to Boost NZ Cyber Security Defences

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Government’s Cyber Security Strategy – Free Security Check-Ups for ANZ Business

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AFRICA: Nigeria Launches Freedom of Information Web Platform

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif EUROPE: Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden Top European Digital Index

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Spain to Host 4th International Open Data Conference

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Portuguese Telecom Sector Lost EUR 1.5 Billion in Five Years

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Swiss ICT Growth Limited to 0.7% in 2016 - MSM Research

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.K. a Model on Cloud Adoption

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif LATIN AMERICA: Argentina to Have 42 Million Mobile Users by 2020

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Dominican Republic Aims for 70% Internet Users by 2020

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NORTH AMERICA: Canada - Tech Industry Cheers as 2016 Federal Budget Includes Support for STEM Training, Digital Infrastructure

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif U.S.: IT Transitions Meet Challenges

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Workforce Disrupted - Major Changes Ahead for Public-Sector IT Workforces

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif The Internet Isn't Making Us Smarter

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Roots of IT Reform Starting to Take Hold

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif G7 Ministers to Push for Internet Freedom, Reduce Digital Divide

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif This Summer, Congress Must Make Sure the Internet Stays Free

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Make Internet More Accessible, Affordable and Open to Accelerate Development, says New World Bank Report

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif 3 Tech Trends in Asia-Pacific That Hint at Canada’s Future: IDC

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif CHINA: Internet Innovation Set to Drive Growth

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif New-generation Big Data Products Launched

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Huawei, StarHub Demonstrate World's Fastest Indoor 4G Coverage

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Nation Aims to Boost Robot Output

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif Chinese Mobile Internet Population Hits 780 Mln

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif SOUTH KOREA: Having Highest Smartphone Ownership Rate

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif ICT Ministry to Transform Jeju into Animation Hub of Asia

 

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDONESIA: Data Centre Space Has Great Growth Potential

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif INDIA: Virtual Private Cloud Market to Hit $45bn by 2022

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AZERBAIJAN: Number of Internet Users Records Rise

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif AUSTRALIA: Fibre Connections Double in a Year

http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif NEW ZEALAND: Who Is Its Leading Mobile Brand?

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http://www.unpan.org/information/RCOCI%20GovernanceWatch/images/new/dot.gif2016 New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards - and the Finalists Are…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GLOBAL: Around the World in 20 News Stories

 

Regulators hit the headlines in Latin America, its all-go in India, U.S. operators focus on content, and the rumour mill turns in Europe.The newswires have been relatively quiet in Total Telecom's part of the world this week, doubtless due in part to the post-Mobile World Congress recovery period. But further afield there was action aplenty in the telecoms space, so join us for a whistlestop tour of this week's global news highlights.

 

Latin America

We begin in Latin America, where Telecom Italia finally appears to have gained approval for the sale of its controlling stake in Telecom Argentina; new regulator ENACOM also gave the go-ahead to Grupo Clarin's acquisition of Nextel Argentina from NII Holdings. Other highlights saw Mexico's IFT ratify its recently-announced AWS spectrum auction results and explain the difference in price paid by participants America Movil and AT&T.

- Regulator OKs Telecom Italia's Argentina sale

- Mexico confirms AWS spectrum auction results

- Telefonica gets World Bank loan to pay for spectrum in Ecuador

 

Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific region was busy as always, with India dominating the headlines due to the ongoing battle between mobile operators and the regulator over the controversial dropped calls compensation scheme. Meanwhile, the Indian press reported changes to the planned merger between Rcom and Aircel; Pakistan's PTCL and Ufone welcomed new CEOs; Tele2 and Altel completed their merger deal in Kazakhstan, having won over regulators; and Thailand's True Corp secured a 2 billion credit line to pay for its 4G licence.Further afield, Australia's NBN responded to media accusations that it is falling behind its targets with regard to network build-out.

- India supreme court to make call drop decision next week

- RCom, Aircel to create 50:50 JV

- Telco leadership changes in Pakistan

- Mobile operators merge in Kazakhstan

- True gets 2bn bank backing for 4G licence

- NBN denies claims it is falling behind targets

 

Middle East and Africa

The big news in the MEA region was the failure of Vodacom's bid to acquire South African fixed-line operator Neotel, despite having recently reworked the deal. Vodacon blamed "regulatory complexities". There were also results announcements from major players Ooredoo and MTN.

- Vodacom, Neotel deal collapses

- Currency issues hit Ooredoo's full-year financials

- MTN full-year profit tumbles

 

North America

It has mostly been about content in North America, with AT&T's announcement that it will make DirecTV available over the Internet later this year and Verizon's partnership with publishing giant Hearst to create a video content production and distribution JV. Rival T-Mobile US also made the news, with media reports claiming that parent Deutsche Telekom will likely hold off on trying to sell the business for a few months at least. North of the border, Shaw Communications gained a presence in the Canadian mobile market when it closed its C$1.6 billion acquisition of Wind Mobile.

- AT&T's DirecTV goes OTT

- Verizon, Hearst form video JV

- Deutsche Telekom to hang on to T-Mobile US...for now

- Shaw closes C$1.6bn Wind buy

 

Europe

Rumour and speculation abound in Europe. This week, "sources" have informed us that Vivendi is looking to change Telecom Italia's strategic direction and possibly install a chief executive of its own choosing; the Italian incumbent is set to get an offer for towers business INWIT that values it at around 3 billion; and CK Hutchison, along with other interested parties, will next week attend a closed-door meeting organised by the European Commission to discuss its planned takeover of O2 in the U.K.Meanwhile, the European Commission published a summary of responses to two recently-concluded telco consultations, one outcome being that many end-users do not feel their connectivity needs are being met.

- Telecom Italia CEO's job under threat...from Vivendi

- Frontrunners seen upping offer for Italy's INWIT

- UK telcos meet with EU to discuss O2/3UK merger

- EU consumers' broadband needs 'not fulfilled'

(Click here for details http://www.totaltele.com/view.aspx?ID=493047)

From http://www.totaltele.com/ 03/04/2016

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Make Internet More Accessible, Affordable and Open to Accelerate Development, says New World Bank Report

 

At least 8 in 10 individuals in India own a mobile phone and digital technologies are spreading rapidly. With nearly a billion people still not connected to the internet, the opportunities for increasing access to digital technology for creating higher growth, more jobs, and better public services are significant for India, says a new World Bank report.According to the World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends, launched in India today, the aggregate impact of digital technologies has fallen short and is unevenly distributed. Therefore, greater efforts must be made by countries across the world to connect more people to the internet to create an environment that unleashes the benefits of digital technologies for everyone.The report recognizes India’s early success in digital technology when it became a global powerhouse for information services. India is currently the largest exporter of ICT services and skilled manpower in the developing world. The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry today employs more than 3.1 million workers, 30 percent of them are women. In rural India, a three-year awareness program on opportunities in the BPO industry increased women’s enrollment in relevant training programs, as well as school enrollment among young girls, by 3–5 percentage points.

 

Biometric registration, authentication, and payments in India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the world’s largest workfare program, reduced the time for paying beneficiaries by 29 percent and leakages by 35 percent, a recent survey report estimates. All this has the potential to significantly raise the efficiency of government service delivery.Apart from increasing access, the report calls upon countries including India to seize these gains by strengthening the analog foundations of their digital economy. “The digital revolution is transforming the world, aiding information flow and creating huge opportunities for growth and poverty reduction. India’s Aadhaar program is today a model for many countries and recent initiatives like Digital India has the potential to generate greater digital dividends among all sections of its society,” said OnnoRuhl, World Bank Country Director in India. “However, to reap the full benefits will require affordable and wider access to the internet and skills that enable all workers to leverage the digital economy.”

 

Even while having the largest number of offline population in the world, India has the third highest number of internet users by absolute number, only behind China and the United States. Moreover, adoption of digital technologies shows great variation within the country: very high for government and relatively low for businesses, especially among small and medium enterprises. The WDR metrics of connectivity and complements shows at the end of 2014, India had more than 200 million internet users, compared to 665 million in China. Fewer than two out of every five Indian businesses had an online presence compared to almost two-thirds of firms in China. Total spectrum allocated to mobile communications in India is 288 MHz as opposed to 630 MHz in China. The cost of residential broadband service in India is 6-10 times more expensive than in China. 

 

Making the internet accessible, open and safe for all Indians must be a priority and is vital to close the digital divides, the WDR says. A supportive policy environment involving smart spectrum management, strong competition policy in the telecom and internet market, public-private partnerships, and smart regulations can go a long way in expanding connectivity and bridging digital divides in India, the report adds.But greater digital adoption will not be enough. To get the most out of the digital technologies, India also needs to strengthen the `analog foundations’ of its digital economy – by strengthening regulations that ensure competition among businesses, by adapting worker’s skills to the demands of the new economy, and by ensuring that government institutions are accountable.

 

“There is little doubt about the transformative potential of digital technologies. However, they are not a shortcut to development, though they can be an accelerator when used in the right way. Countries still have to build the basic foundations of economic development, but now they can use the internet to achieve them much faster – namely a favorable business climate, strong human capital and good governance,” said Deepak Mishra, and Uwe Deichmann, Co-directors of the report.Countries that are investing in both digital technology and its analog complements will reap significant dividends, while others are likely to fall behind. Technology without a strong foundation risks creating divergent economic fortunes, higher inequality and an intrusive state, the report concludes.

From http://www.worldbank.org/ 05/10/2016

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CHINA: Internet and E-commerce Help Reduce Poverty - Experts

 

Government officials, business leaders and experts have gathered at the 2016 China Poverty Reduction International Forum in Beijing to share their views and experience in poverty alleviation. Many believe the expansion of Internet access and the booming e-commerce could help achieve China's target to lift 55 million of its rural population out of poverty by 2020. Bert Hofman, the World Bank's country director for China, Mongolia and South Korea says technological progress is a great propellant in poverty reduction. He calls on the private sector, including small businesses, to join hands with policy-makers in bridging the income gap. "I hope that the private sector initiative will help to spread the Internet and spread knowledge around the world. It's clear that government, the private sector and the international community have a lot to do to meet the challenge of Internet access to meet the challenge of spreading information around the world. And to bridge the digital divide as our most recent development report characterizes it, but progress is much possible. More efforts could be directed to the ICT policies to reform telecom industry universal service for broadband rollout and broader partnerships of public and private sectors." During the forum, the Global Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Growth Portal was officially launched. It will now offer information on the latest research in poverty reduction and inclusive growth. Hong Tianyun is Deputy Director of the Poverty Alleviation Office of China's State Council, the cabinet.

 

He hopes such platforms like the portal could facilitate communications between various countries to share their policies and best practices on poverty reduction. "I hope through our website, we can share experience in poverty alleviation all over the country. Also we can share and learn from the effective methods and successful experiments from other countries. I just came back from Anhui province visiting and doing research in some poor villages. During my trip, some villages adopted the conditional cash transfer programs used by some South American countries, which have proven to be successful in local infrastructure construction and economic development." China's latest five-year national development plan has incorporated the goal of ending the struggles of 55 million people living in poverty by 2020. While China has been able to lift 700 million people out of poverty in the past three decades, it is now faced with tougher challenges in the last mile, a most critical moment in its fight against poverty. Some worry that as China's economic growth slows, young rural residents who migrate to the cities for work will see fewer opportunities. Irene Bain, Social Sector Specialist with the Asian Development Bank, believes to cultivate small businesses in the country-side via e-commerce could create job opportunities for labour that returns from urban to rural areas. "So models like Alibaba and some out the logistics models that shrink the last mile and bring villagers and urban areas closer. Because when we are closer we know more about each other. It's easier to care about each other so for rural urban integration to really work it needs those closer linkages where urban areas support rural areas not just benefit from them. "

 

China's e-commerce giant Alibaba declared its ambition to enter the rural market in 2014. The company plans to invest 10 billion yuan, or 1.5 billion US dollars, to build service centers in small counties and villages to support the program. It hopes to solve the problems in goods delivery and boost sales of agriculture products by improving infrastructure in rural areas. According to the latest survey from Ali-research, there are now 780 so-called "Taobao villages"-rural communities transformed into online business clusters by e-commerce , with each having an annual e-commerce transactions worth in excess of 10 million yuan, or 1.5 million US dollars. Zhang Ruidong, senior expert at the research institute of Alibaba group, explains how the Internet is transforming the rural economy and helping reduce poverty. "We focus on helping villagers develop the skills to earn money on their own. First we provide related services support to help more consumer goods reach the countryside while helping farmers to deliver their products to the cities. We also provide health and medical services to the villagers by making video diagnosis, which connect villagers with doctors from first-rate hospitals in big cities. We offer training courses for our partners in the countryside to master related business knowledge." Many say while the effectiveness of these innovative ideas remains to be seen, they do help and make a difference in changing the lives of millions who are struggling below the poverty line. Apart from the economy, experts also stressed the importance of improving the healthcare system and education in rural areas, as they can prevent those who recently left poverty from slipping back.

From http://www.chinagate.cn/ 05/10/2016

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JAPAN: Users Not Proactive Enough About Cybersecurity - Survey

 

ESET, a global pioneer in proactive protection for more than two decades, on Wednesday released the ESET Japan Cyber-Savviness Report 2016 showing that while users in Japan are knowledgeable about cybersecurity and take few risks online, they still have some way to go in ensuring that they are adequately protected when they access the Internet. Interestingly, the findings show that while more than 70% of the respondents did not receive any formal education about cybersecurity, at least 4 out of 5 respondents were able to correctly answer basic cybersecurity questions. This level of knowledge, the highest of any Asia-Pacific market, was consistent between the different age groups surveyed. The survey polled 1,033 respondents in Japan to gain insights into attitudes, knowledge and user behavior there when it comes to cybersecurity. Compared with the results of the ESET Asia Cyber-Savviness Report 2015 and the ESET Vietnam Cyber-Savviness Report 2015 (covering seven other Asia-Pacific markets), Japan had the highest cyber-savviness score ahead of Malaysia, Singapore, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Vietnam, in that order. Cyber-savviness is based on factors such as users’ knowledge or ability to understand activities that are likely to make them vulnerable online, risky behaviors while surfing the web, and the proactive steps they can take to protect themselves online.

 

However, the Japan survey results point to a significant gap between user awareness and implementation of security measures. For example, while as many as 96% of respondents were aware of the security threat posed by using the same password for different accounts, only 1 in 5 people actually set separate passwords for their individual online accounts. “In Asia-Pacific, Japan has always taken the lead in technology adoption and innovation. The country relies on data, online communications and information technology to drive innovation and efficiency, resulting in increased exposure to cybersecurity risks,” said Parvinder Walia, Sales and Marketing Director, ESET Asia-Pacific. “The ESET Japan Cyber-Savviness Report 2016 highlights that even with all the technological advancements in Japan, there are still holes within the country’s cybersecurity fabric that need to be filled. To help users in Japan feel confident as they make use of various technologies, there is an urgent need to ensure that users take concrete preventive steps while continuing to strengthen cybersecurity awareness across the country.”

 

Survey results also showed that overall, users in Japan do not engage in risky cyber behavior. Most respondents (86%) know to immediately disconnect a breached device from the Internet and 71% do not open or download attachments from unknown senders. However, more than half of the people surveyed said they are worried about potential cybersecurity threats. Anxiety about cybersecurity increases with age, and corresponds with the perception that online scams and hackings of social media accounts are “very common”, despite the fact that only eight percent of respondents have ever experienced a cyber-attack. Walia added: “All it takes to fend off cyber criminals is the consistent use of simple preventive measures. It’s a shame that so many people are not actively using their knowledge of cybersecurity when little things like maintaining proper passwords could help alleviate their anxieties and enable them to use the Internet safely and with confidence.”

From http://www.japantoday.com 05/12/2016

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INDIA: Virtual Private Cloud Market to Hit $45bn by 2022

SMEs will dominate the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) market in the coming years and this virtual private cloud market is estimated to reach USD45.69 billion by 2022, according to a recent study.Globally, BFSI and Telecom are the industry verticals which are spending a lot on secure and cost-friendly cloud solutions, says Infoholic Research LLP, a global ICT market research and consulting organisation, in a study titled “Virtual Private Cloud: Trends & Forecasts, 2016-2022.”“It is predicted that by 2022, Public and eCommerce sectors will be spending a lot on cloud-based solutions. The growing dependence of these sectors on Internet-based applications is one of the reasons for cloud dependency,” said Tariq Shaik from Research Operations of Infoholic Research.With growth predicted at a CAGR of 26.35 per cent during the period 2016-2022, the virtual private cloud market has huge opportunity in industry verticals such as BFSI, transportation, telecom and hospitality. Further, it will see significant growth in the coming years due to the growing need for cost-friendly disaster recovery solutions. “The growing number of SMBs and their dependence on cloud are driving the growth of the VPC market in the emerging regions. The major contributors of the market will be countries such as India, China and South Africa,” said Komal Sharma, Research Analyst at Infoholic Research.According to Infoholic Research, the Asia-Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ) region is one of the fastest growing VPC markets due to increased ICT infrastructure spending from SMEs, SMBs and the government.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com 03/10/2016

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AUSTRALIA: Open Data - Government Releases Address Data

 

The federal government has made the Geocoded National Address File (G-NAF) and Administrative Boundaries datasets freely available through its open data repository, data.gov.au. “With the release of the G-NAF, Australia becomes one of only a few countries in the world to make national geocoded address data openly available,” assistant minister for cities and digital transformation, Angus Taylor, said in a statement. G-NAF includes 13 million physical address records, while the Administrative Boundaries dataset includes Australian Bureau of Statistics boundaries, electoral boundaries, state and territory boundaries, local government areas, suburbs/localities, wards and town points. The G-NAF custodian is PSMA, a corporation jointly owned by the federal and state and territory governments. The datasets are released under variations of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (users must abide by the Australian Privacy Principles and there is a restriction on using G-NAF to send mail).

 

“The previous licensing arrangements for accessing the G-NAF were highly restrictive, preventing optimal collaboration and data sharing between existing users,” a December Data.gov.au blog entry noted. “This resulted in underutilisation of the data.” G-NAF is one of the most requested ubiquitous, high-value datasets, the blog entry said. The government last year it would open up G-NAF as part of its innovation agenda. Data held by the federal government was deemed a “strategic national resource” under a policy statement authorised by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as part of the agenda. The policy committed the government to expanding public access to the data it creates. Last year the government created a new Public Data Branch within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC). The Bureau of Communications Research has concluded that open data could be worth up to $25 billion per year for Australia (the equivalent of 1.5 per cent of the nation’s GDP).

From http://www.computerworld.com.au 02/26/2016

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NEW ZEALAND: Cyber Security - What Keeps Kiwi SMEs Awake at Night?

 

Heightened interest in cyber security issues has driven a large increase in the number of small and medium businesses who are becoming more cyber aware. The latest MYOB Business Monitor survey highlights that 70 percent of New Zealand SMEs now register concerns with one or more cyber security risk areas, an increase of 10 percent in just six months, with awareness up across all categories. “This is a hugely significant result and highlights the increasing appreciation amongst small business owners of the importance of good cyber security processes and working with trusted partners to make sure their data is secure,” says James Scollay, General Manager, MYOB New Zealand. “The increasingly high profile of cyber security has likely served to increase general awareness of the damage that breaches can inflict on a business’s operations and reputation. The good news is that local SMEs are becoming savvier about their own security and not letting the fear of cyber-crime from stopping them realising the benefits of doing business online. It’s positive that SME operators are increasingly taking their data and security so seriously."

 

A report by professional services firm PwC states that 59 percent of businesses that use cloud services report that doing so has improved their information security program. Scollay says there are a number of other easy but critical actions small business owners can take to protect themselves online. “Make sure you have up-to-date, high quality security software and apply all security patches and updates from the provider," he explains. "Don’t use simple or obvious passwords, use ones with a mix of letters and numbers - use different passwords for your email, banking and system access, and be on the lookout for fake emails that look like they come from trusted sources trying to get you to click on links or download attachments. To reduce their exposure to cyber security risk, SME operators can move more of their operations to the cloud where the scale of the security offering is usually fair greater than what they can manage on their own." The survey of more than 1,000 SME operators conducted for MYOB by Colmar Brunton reveals that the risk of hackers gaining access to data is the leading online security issue, with 56 percent of SMEs highlighting concerns in this area, up from 42 percent in September. Losing access to data was also high on the awareness list, concerning 50 percent of SMEs surveyed – up from 37 percent in September.

 

According to findings, almost a fifth of business owners were concerned that the Government might be spying on their data. When broken out into sectors, the finance and insurance industry are the most concerned about hacking, with 76 percent highlighting this as their key concern – double that of September. As Scollay explains, the primary sector also register high awareness with 61 percent of SMEs in the sector worried about losing access to their data and 28 percent concerned about data surveillance by local governments, up from nine percent in September.

 

Online presence growing

The MYOB Digital Nation survey also highlighted that 51 percent of businesses now have an online presence and as a result, were experiencing a range of benefits. Over half (58 percent) had experienced an increase in customer inquiries while 53 percent said customers were finding it easier to do business with them. Furthermore, almost a third (31 percent) had seen revenue increase as a result of being online. However, while an online profile is beneficial, cost and connectivity issues are making it hard for SMEs to reap all the potential opportunities of the digital economy. Over a third (38 percent) of businesses surveyed said they were dissatisfied with the cost of their current data plan, while 19 percent said government regulation was also an issue. Scollay says access to "cost-effective, reliable internet infrastructure is an absolute must for businesses", particularly when it comes to keeping pace with ever-changing technology. “New Zealand’s SMEs need to feel confident in taking their business online and not feel they are hindered by factors such as cost and data connectivity," he adds.

 

“Internet technology is making a fundamental difference to many businesses in every part of the country. To make the most of the opportunities available, we have to ensure there are as few barriers as possible to them establishing an online presence."

 

Satisfaction with access and connectivity static

Satisfaction with internet access (speed and reliability) has remained static in the latest MYOB Business Monitor, sitting at 40 percent in March 2016 and September 2015. In addition, levels of dissatisfaction however have increased slightly, up from 34 percent to 36 percent. On the whole, businesses in the construction and trade sector were the most satisfied with their internet access (55 percent), while dissatisfaction is highest in the primary sector (44 percent). Christchurch business owners remain the most dissatisfied with their internet access, on 44 percent, followed by operators in Taranaki (43 percent) and Otago and Southland (39 percent). Scollay says 48 percent of SME operators in Wellington and 40 percent in Auckland are happy with their internet access. While the roll out of high-speed broadband is proceeding across the country, Scollay believes it is clear some areas are still waiting to see the benefits of faster, more reliable connections. “Access to the internet has been essential for some time now and it is a resource every sector in every area of New Zealand can, and should be able to, tap into," he adds.

 

UFB uptake still limited amongst SMEs

While 63 percent of SME operators believe an Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) connection would positively benefit their business – up from 60 percent in September – just 24 percent of local businesses report that they are utilising fibre services. The most connected city is now Wellington (28 percent), followed by Auckland (26 percent) - Christchurch has significantly increased its connectivity, up to 24 percent from 18 percent in September. In the regions, Marlborough (36 percent) has the largest number of businesses using a UFB service, while the Otago/Southland region has shown the most growth since the last MYOB Business Monitor. The region, which includes Chorus’ Dunedin Gigatown, increased from just 12 percent in September to 33 percent in the current survey. Business operators in the manufacturing and wholesale (73 percent) business, professional and property (67 percent), and finance and insurance (61 percent) sectors believed UFB would have the most positive impact.

 

Pace of technology pleasing

While 60 percent of businesses said they were happy with the pace technology was moving, 17 percent believed it was too fast - 19 percent said it was moving too slowly and needed further investment. Outside the major cities, in areas such as the Bay of Plenty and Taranaki, many SMEs said they struggled with the pace of technology, whereas SMEs in larger areas were more likely to feel comfortable with how fast technology was changing. Amongst the sectors, the manufacturing and wholesale sector is clear in their need for more investment, with 28 percent of the sector believing technology is changing too slowly in New Zealand. Scollay says it is apparent that businesses need to feel comfortable with technology, and have the means to upskill when necessary. “It is more than clear that businesses that are online and are staying abreast of technology are doing better across the board,” he says.

 

“And in order to ensure that New Zealand SMEs stay up to date and in turn, drive the country’s economy, it is important we focus on the roll out of UFB – particularly into the regions – so that everyone has the same opportunities, wherever they may be located. By making it easy as possible for businesses in every sector to adopt the newest technologies, New Zealand’s economy will become even more diverse, competitive and internationally recognised.”

From http://www.computerworld.co.nz 04/28/2016

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U.K.: Lost Web Connection Most Frustrating Home Situation - Survey

 

Over 70 percent of Brits would consider an area’s broadband service before buying a home and two-thirds of new home owners would not buy a property if the broadband service was too poor in the area, according to a survey by Vodafone UK. One in five would rather go without gas or electricity than broadband and nearly a quarter of Britons rank loss of broadband as the most frustrating home situation, above their car not starting. Vodafone said its Boost and Beam features can help customers focus their signal in certain parts of the house or garden for a specific amount of time, such as the time needed to download a film. The poll also found that a quarter of Brits under 25 said that ensuring they have fast running, smooth broadband was more important than organising council tax or parking permits.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 04/09/2016

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CANADA: Companies Not Adapting Tech Fast Enough for Customers - Report

 

With consumers embracing new points of contact such as social media and smartphone apps, and cloud and mobile technologies allowing for a seamless omni-channel experience, the call centres of the past must give way to the “contact centres” of today – yet companies aren’t keeping up, according to a new report released today by Johannesburg, South Africa-based global IT services provider Dimension Data Holdings plc. Instead, the company’s 19th annual global contact centre benchmarking report found that while the businesses surveyed paid more than adequate enough attention to their telephone and e-mail capabilities, with 89.4 per cent of global participants measuring the quality of their phone interactions, they severely lagged behind in every other channel, such as social media and web chat. Moreover, few respondents involved their contact centres in planning new channels, assuming they took a multi-channel approach to customer service to begin with – only 36.4 per cent could track customers across multiple channels, 79.4 per cent admitted to having no “big picture” view of cross-channel interaction, and 30.4 per cent couldn’t track the customer journey at all.

 

“While new technology may be digital and automated… it still needs people — that all-important ‘human touch’ — to design, program, review, and amend,” the report said. “This is the failure point for solution approvals, process reviews, and performance management.” The solution, Dimension emphasized in its summary of the report, is twofold: when applying new technology to their customer service efforts, companies must focus on the customer experience (abbreviated in the report as CX), which frequently crosses channels whether they like it or not (below), and solicit more input from their contact centres along the way. “Management disciplines perfected on (the) phone now need to be applied to digital,” the report said, noting that CX can be used both as a key measure of effectiveness and a way for businesses to differentiate their services from the competition. To conduct the survey, Dimension collected data from 1320 organizations across 14 industries in 81 countries, including Canada. In fairness to us, the survey’s Canadian respondents came off as acutely aware of their own shortcomings, with 2 in 5 saying their digital tech was not meeting current business needs, 81 per cent recognizing CX as the most important strategic performance measure, and 68.8 per cent planning to incorporate cloud technology into their contact centres. That written, 75 per cent had no “big picture” view of cross-channel interaction.

From http://www.itworldcanada.com/ 04/07/2016

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U.S.: The 12 Countries That Have Plugged the Most Stuff into the Internet of Things

 

The Internet is infiltrating all of our devices, from thermostats to stoves. Yet, the technology seems to be more popular in other countries than in the U.S. The Koreans, Danish and Swiss have more things tethered to the internet, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and search engine Shodan. The Internet of Things as an industry is still nascent, but that hasn’t stopped many tech companies from developing IoT devices, software and systems. In January 2014, Google acquired Nest, a smart thermostat and fire detector manufacturer, for $3.2 billion. Amazon released a voice-controlled speaker, the Amazon Echo, in November 2014, and the device has steadily grown in popularity. Apple released a revamped Apple TV over the summer to digitize the living room, with Siri integration and a sleek remote. Still, IoT technology hasn’t gone mainstream. Changing behavior is difficult, and many technical issues like security need to be solved. But the OECD says that IoT devices can help governments make their operations more efficient, and transform transportation monitoring, eHealth and energy.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 03/29/2016

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AFRICA: Dominican Republic Drafts New Broadband Strategy

 

Danilo Media, the President of the Dominican Republic and candidate for re-election for the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), has launched the "Digital Republic" programme for 2016-2020, with the goal of converting the country into the Caribbean's centre for new technologies, reports El Nacional. The first measure will be to distribute free computers to 950,000 students and teachers of the public education system from 2017. The plan is also to accelerate internet access in the country from the current 23.6 percent of the population to 70 percent over the next four years, while at the same time reducing the cost of the broadband service by 30 percent. The proposal calls for the provision of free Wi-Fi at public locations, including 5,600 schools, as well as in hospitals, parks and the metro system in Santo Domingo. There will also be significant investments in a national fibre optic network that will connect all provincial capitals, resulting in a significant price drop for consumers. The Dominican Republic currently has 541.76 km of fibre optic cables. Work is underway for 254.8 km more, while another 499.11 km are in the bidding process.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 04/09/2016

 

 

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EUROPE: Most CIOs Fear Fines Under New Euro Data Protection Laws

 

Nearly 90% of CIOs are concerned that their current security policies and procedures are putting them at risk of serious fines under new European data protection laws, according to a new study from Egress Software Technologies. The encryption services provider claimed that 87% of the IT leaders it spoke to from companies with more than 1,000 employees were worried their firm was at risk of fines of up to 4% of annual turnover, according to strict new penalties levied by the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In addition, over three-quarters (77%) of respondents said they were frustrated that staff failed to use technology like encryption made available to them to ensure they work more securely. Egress CEO, Tony Pepper, claimed users often find ways to bypass security measures and “take the risk” if they think these tools will slow down business processes.

 

“Another problem is that IT is often as resistant as users. As the research shows, ease of deployment is a big driver for selecting what technology gets prioritized and dealing with users is often a bit of a headache,” he told Infosecurity. “This is creating a real barrier to deployment. When asked to describe discussions they had had around deploying encryption-based secure communication solutions – such as email encryption – almost half of the respondents said they thought users would find it too complicated and it’d create a help desk nightmare.” The study also appeared to reveal that the series of high profile attacks publicized in the media over the past year are having an effect on security policy. Some 49% of respondents said they prioritize external threats, while just 20% focus mainly on accidental breaches from within – despite the latter accounting for the vast majority of incidents.

 

Pepper argued that IT leaders must make security “invisible to the user” so that it’s seamlessly integrated into the everyday tools they’re used to using – but added that “technology is really just half the battle.” “If you want people to adopt security you need to make them understand why – the education piece is vital. This could be someone sending an email, but equally it could be making them understand why they should not click on a phishing email,” he argued. “This also includes having clear policies and procedures around data, so that everyone knows exactly what level of information assurance should be applied in each situation. There should be no ambiguity.”

From http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/ 03/10/2016

 

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EU May Use Competition Law to Spur Cross-border Selling

 

Some EU-based online retailers are contractually prevented by suppliers from selling to customers in other member states, according to a survey ordered by the European Commission. It warned that such agreements may be in breach of EU antitrust rules concerning the Single Market. The Commission ordered the report in September 2015 amid concern that growth in cross-border online trade is lagging behind the surge in internet sales seen within many member states. The study forms part of a broader exploration of issues affecting the EU Digital SIngle Market strategy, unveiled in May 2015. Based on responses from over 1,400 online sellers, 68 percent of digital content providers use some form of geo-blocking to filter out unwanted foreign customers, compared to 38 percent of those selling consumer goods. Geo-blocking mainly consisted of refusals to deliver to foreign addresses or accept foreign payment cards, with IP address filtering used in only a minority of cases.

 

Most refusals to sell in other EU states reflect a unilateral business decision by the retailer and are not affected by competition law. However, 12 percent of retailers surveyed said contractual restrictions prevented them from selling cross-border for at least one product category in their catalogue. In the digital sector alone, 59 percent of responding content providers said they are contractually required by suppliers to geo-block. "Where geo-blocking occurs due to agreements, we need to take a close look whether there is anti-competitive behaviour, which can be addressed by EU competition tools," the report cited Margrethe Vestager the EU Commissioner responsible for competition as saying. The Commission plans to propose a legislative package in May to boost e-commerce across the EU but the preliminary report on the e-commerce sector will not be put to public consultation until mid-2016, with the final report scheduled for the first quarter of 2017. A public consultation published in January found that consumers overwhelmingly backed the Commissions proposals to limit geo-blocking of digital content.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 03/18/2016

 

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EU Parliament Approves Data Protection Legislation

 

The European Parliament has approved new data protection legislation in the EU, bringing to an end four years of negotiations on reforming the data protection directive dating from 1995. The General Data Protection Regulation introduces, among other things, a 'right to be forgotten', where personal data no longer in use or relevant must be deleted, as well as the right to transfer personal data to a new service provider. Organisations will need to obtain a 'clear and affirmative consent' from individuals before processing their personal data, explain in clear language their privacy policies and inform people when their data has been hacked. National data protection regulators will also have more powers of enforcement, including the ability to issue fines of up to 4 percent of a company's global annual turnover. The legislation passed by parliament also includes a Data Protection Directive governing the handling and transfer of personal data by law enforcement authorities, including across EU borders. EU states will have two years to transpose the new rules into their national laws, with certain opt-outs in the UK, Ireland and Denmark.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 04/14/2016

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New European Law May Force Companies to Hire Data Privacy Expert

 

If you want a job in Europe, brush up on data privacy. New EU laws on data protection will force companies across the continent to hire more privacy experts during the next two years as they work to comply with law. As many as 28,000 new jobs will be created, according to new research by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, a trade organization. Tech, health care, drug and financial services companies that process large amounts of data will become particular hotbeds for hiring. “Every organization trying to use data” will need to hire privacy professionals, says J. Trevor Hughes, chief executive of the IAPP. The trade group now has only 3,000 members in the EU. Companies have two years to comply with the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulations. The IAPP study arrived at a conservative estimate, Hughes says, and the actual number of new data-protection officers required could be far higher, he said. The GDPR replace local data protection laws. The rules are stricter and apply to all companies, regardless of size, who process data at a “large scale.” What constitutes “large scale” is open to interpretation, Hughes says. The law firm Olswang has noted that “life for international companies will not get easier” with the GDPR’s passage.

 

Handling data pays.(International Association of Privacy Professionals. 2015 Privacy Professionals Salary Survey)

Companies will be allowed to outsource data-protection work, so many consultancies and law firms have been building their privacy and data protection practices. “They’ve seen this coming for a year,” Hughes says. The role of data protection officer has become increasingly lucrative. The median salary for a data protection officer has grown by about 50 percent between 2003 to 2015 to $152,000 a year, an IAAP survey shows. Tech companies have hired most of the data protection officers and many won’t have to hire more, Hughes said. Privacy and data protection are at the heart of tensions between global tech companies and European law. Companies shipping data between the EU and the United States are currently in a legal limbo, after the longstanding Safe Harbor data-protection framework was stuck down last year by Europe’s highest court. It ruled that the U.S. didn’t provide EU citizens’ personal data with sufficient protection from government surveillance. A replacement, called the EU-US Privacy Shield, is being rushed through legislation, but there’s no guarantee it’ll be approved by member states, or that it won’t be challenged in court by privacy advocates on the continent.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 04/20/2016

 

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US, Israel and UK Strengthen Cyber Cooperation

 

The US Department of Defense and Israeli Ministry of Defense have entered an agreement to increase cyber-defense cooperation between the nations. According to Army Technology, representatives discussed a number of ways to further strengthen cooperation on a range of issues, and the deal will see the USA deploy the US National Guard's cyber squadrons against ISIS. The decision follows a meeting between US Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Israeli Minister of Defense, Moshe Ya'alon, where Carter reaffirmed the unshakeable US commitment to Israel's security and the importance of the US-Israeli defense relationship. Tim Erlin, director of security and risk at Tripwire, told Infosecurity that information sharing is a key component to successful cyber-defense, whether between corporations or nations. “The addition of cyber-attacks to theater of war is a growing trend,” he said. “We shouldn’t be surprised that existing international defense cooperation might be extended to this new battlefront.”

 

Paul Fletcher, cybersecurity evangelist at Alert Logic, said: “It’s possible that there has already been some collaboration between these two military cyber-teams in the past, and this announcement is a way to formalize the relationship and establish specific protocols for communication and information sharing." “This cooperative partnership shows a maturation of the strategy for the US DoD to partner with foreign governments and acknowledgement of their technical contribution. This is especially interesting to me, a veteran, because several years ago the US DoD wouldn’t consider purchasing from any technology vendors from any foreign country (this policy may have changed by now). To the point that when Check Point Firewall-1 was the leading firewall technology, but the USA military couldn’t use the product because Check Point was based in Israel. Clearly, this public statement shows the DoD’s willingness to move their cybersecurity capabilities forward and working together for the greater good.

 

“Yes, this joint capability will certainly help fight cyber-terrorism threats. It will help just from the perspective of adding more highly skilled cybersecurity professionals in the fight against cyber-terrorists. Only time will tell if this strategy will be more effective than trying to install backdoors in technology.” The news follows an announcement in February that the UK and Israel planned to extend their cooperation in defending national infrastructure installations from cyber-attacks. According to the Jewish News, the two nations are extending collaboration by strengthening the relationship between their Cyber Emergency Response Teams, and by launching a new academic engagement in the emerging field of cyber-physical security. Leo Taddeo, chief security officer at Cryptzone, said: “Information and intelligence-sharing are critical to success in cyber-warfare. No single country can collect and process all of the data necessary to maintain strategic and tactical superiority.”

From http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/ 03/18/2016

 

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Swiss Govt Adopts Digital Switzerland Strategy

 

Switzerland's Federal Council has adopted the 'Digital Switzerland' strategy with immediate effect, to consistently exploit the opportunities of digitisation in all areas of life. The government will talk with representatives from the economy, science, research and civil society to continuously develop this strategy. This is an umbrella strategy intended to co-ordinate the numerous activities and existing expert groups already in place. The Federal Council is defining various priority areas for implementation, e.g. the digital economy, data and digital content, as well as Switzerland's exchanges with other countries, with particular focus on the digital domestic market of the EU.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 04/21/2016

 

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UN Privacy Chief Criticises UK Surveillance Bill

 

The UN's Special Rapporteur on privacy matters to the Human Rights Council has heavily criticised the UK government's proposed Investigatory Powers Bill. His report calls for "disproportionate, privacy-intrusive measures such as bulk surveillance and bulk hacking as contemplated in the Investigatory Powers Bill [to] be outlawed rather than legitimised." Joseph Cannataci noted that some points of the bill run counter to UN counter-terrorism recommendations as well as recent landmark privacy rulings by the EU Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights, not to mention basic principles of privacy. He encouraged MPs to continue their criticism of the bill and propose more revisions, noting as well the importance of getting the law right given the influence of UK legislation on other countries in the Commonwealth.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 03/10/2016

 

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LATIN AMERICA: Argentina to Draft New Communications Law

 

Argentina's government has set up a special commission to draft a new communications law to replace the Broadcast Media and Telecommunications laws introduced by former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. The commission will be headed by Silvana Myriam Giudici, a member of Argentinian president Mauricio Macri's Pro party and a director of the country’s new telecommunications regulator Enacom. The commission will consult “consumers, unions, chambers, journalists, academics and specialists with a view to drawing up a modern regulatory framework to evaluate new information technologies, the internet, telecommunications networks and broadcast media,” said the communications ministry in a statement.The emergency decrees passed by president Macri in December amended the previous Broadcast Media Law, which dates back to 2009 and included provisions that prevented cable TV companies from surpassing 35 percent of the market share.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 03/11/2016

 

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Colombia Publishes Digital Security Policy

 

Colombia's Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies has published the Public Policy for Digital Security that seeks to manage the digital security risks facing the country. The drafting of the document included input from representatives of government, the private sector, civil society, the IT industry and academia. It must be approved now by the National Council for Economic and Social Policy (CONPES), which approves all policies, plans and projects of the government.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 03/24/2016

 

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Colombia Presents Plan to ITU on Electronic Waste

 

Colombia's Ministry for Information and Communications Technology, through the Computers for Schools programme, has presented a global working plan to the ITU on the management of technology waste.The document contains a proposal for the elimination or proper reuse of waste generated by telecommunications and ICT equipment. The plan proposes the adoption of minimum standards that should be met by electronic waste management companies and alternatives for the reuse of hazardous materials present in these wastes. The document also contemplates the social and economic aspects such as job creation and training, the problems caused by counterfeit electrical and electronic equipment, and business opportunities from waste management.Colombia is considered one of the leading countries in the region in handling electronic waste.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 04/30/2016

 

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NORTH AMERICA: Canada - 8 Guidelines to Advance Women in Tech on International Women’s Day

 

Just in time for International Women’s Day, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)’s Luskin Center for Innovation has released “Rethinking Public, Private and Nonprofit Strategies to Advance Women in Technology,” a 60-page report that articulates just how far the tech industry still needs to go to address its gap in gender diversity – and how it can get there.The report, which was co-sponsored by Cisco and Google, and co-authored by Luskin researchers Rebecca Sadwick, Sophie Mako Tanaka, Rhianon Anderson, Adina Farrukh, and Kiana Taheri, starts by providing a detailed analysis of how women and minorities continue to be underrepresented at every stage of the U.S. tech industry, from education to the boardroom.“Ironically, while the tech industry epitomizes innovation and progress, it has some of the most asymmetrical representations of women and minorities of any industry in the United States,” the report says. “Despite recent efforts to address the diversity gap by corporations, high-profile non-governmental organizations, and the public sector, women’s representation in technical and executive leadership roles has not improved since 1991.”

 

The report then goes on to outline how companies can address the problem, using a set of guidelines established during a conference held on April 30 last year, in which the Luskin Center gathered some 250 influential leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors to discuss the tech industry’s gender gap and what can be done about it.“As economists and researchers can attest, gender disparity in one of the most profitable and rapidly-growing fields is not simply a ‘women’s issue.'” the report says. “There is a significant body of evidence showing that more diverse companies are more profitable.”We spoke with some leaders in the Canadian technology industry for their reaction to the report. Here are the eight guidelines the report recommends that companies follow, along with some tips offered by Canadian executives and organization leaders.

 

Guideline 1: Use data to assess diversity

“Once a company begins collecting data, transparency and public accountability can further its efforts to augment diversity,” the researchers write, citing eBay and Google as positive role models, as both companies release their diversity data both internally and publicly to illustrate their commitment to transparency, and thus, increasing diversity.

 

Guideline 2: Provide female entrepreneurs with access to funding models that reduce bias

Female-run startups receive just three per cent of all venture capital (VC) funding, the researchers found, noting that studies on unconscious bias indicate that women who present content that is identical to their male counterparts at traditional VC pitches are often viewed as less competent and less innovative.Though venture capital firms with at least one female partner are three times more likely to invest in companies with a female CEO, more than 77 per cent of American VC firms have never had a single female partner, the researchers found; moreover, the number of female partners in venture capital firms has declined in the past decade, from 10 per cent in 1999 to six per cent in 2015.“Because women are disadvantaged by traditional funding models, providing alternative access to capital can promote their opportunity in tech entrepreneurship,” the researchers wrote. “Blind applications and those that specifically target women for investment or mentorship can counter the disadvantages women traditionally face within the startup-funding pipeline.”

 

Guideline 3: Focus on the hiring process to reduce subconscious biases

Studies show that women are often disadvantaged at every stage of the hiring process, from resume to interview, the researchers said, thanks to a mix of conscious and unconscious biases about their abilities.At Microsoft Canada, removing unconscious bias is a key goal for the company’s hiring managers, president and CEO Janet Kennedy told ITBusiness.ca.“We have set targets for ourselves, both from a hiring and career development perspective, to ensure we are driving diversity at all levels of leadership,” she said. “I am proud that 50 per cent of my leadership team in Canada are women; however, I know that there is much more that needs to be done to drive diversity right across the organization.”The UCLA study suggested that companies can avoid the unconscious bias trap by restructuring the hiring process in a clear, transparent way: for example, by deliberately structuring candidate interviews and evaluation criteria, or by making resumes anonymous, or by asking applicants to submit mock assignments.

 

Guideline 4: Standardize performance reviews

Simply put: the impact of subconscious biases can be mitigated by establishing clear criteria about whether specific job expectations were met, the researchers wrote.“When performance review criteria are not standardized to evaluate specific job functions, women are more likely than men to be assessed based on their personalities rather than actual job performance,” they note.

 

Guideline 5: Increase quality mentorship

This is an area which Jeff Gilchrist, Canadian lead for international tech firm Avanade Inc., knows very well: His company, which organizes an annual Women’s Day event of its own, has partnered with the non-profit Aspire Foundation as part of its corporate citizenship program to provide mentorship to more than 500 women.It has and continues to pay off, he added, with several women hired into executive positions over the last 6 months.“The reality is… the more diversity you accept into your organization, the stronger your organization is going to be,” Gilchrist told ITBusiness.ca. “Diversity drives better solutions, better results, better culture.”Gilchrist himself has been mentoring a female employee since last September, meeting with her on a monthly basis to discuss how future projects can provide the necessary experience for her to eventually receive a promotion, while offering advice on subjects such as communication with executives.“She’s expressed that her goal is to be promoted, so we then talk about… the opportunity [she has] to achieve A, B, and C this year. However we both know that in order for that to happen, [she’s] going to have to juggle a couple of things for that to occur,” he said.

 

Guideline 6: Expand public-private partnerships

This is another key goal for Microsoft, Kennedy said, with the company using such in-house programs as YouthSpark and its CodeGeneration movement to encourage young people, girls in particular, to embrace coding and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields from an early age.“Female representation in the tech sector is low and, from a geographical perspective… lower in Canada than in the U.S.,” she said. “I think we need to do a much better job – on both sides of the border – in encouraging more girls and young women to pursue careers in the STEM fields.”Of course, for the many grassroots organizations dedicated to advancing the role of women in tech such as TechGirls Canada, none of the issues covered by the UCLA study or addressed by companies such as Microsoft or Avenade are anything new, Saira Muzaffar, TechGirls’ head of strategy and outreach, told ITBusiness.ca.“We find it very frustrating to see the hard work of grassroots groups used to validate surface-level involvement from the private sector whenever tech powerhouses cut a small cheque for a pilot program and provide no meaningful contribution to long-term sustainability,” she said.

 

Even when gains are highlighted, Muzaffar said, they only capture the tip of the iceberg, failing to mention the struggles faced by the majority of women in entry-level and mid-managerial positions in the tech industry, which can range from disparaging comments to being shut out of meetings to full-on harassment.“Comparing the percentage growth of women in CEO positions has limited applicability in actually understanding the reasons behind and the importance of changing public policy, labour and employment laws and business and corporate culture in the tech sector at large,” she said.“We can improve the gains significantly by mandating pay equity issues, hiring practices that support underrepresented populations, and by having corporations that target women and marginalized people as customers actually putting their company’s money towards supporting these demographics with training, equal compensation, and leadership positions,” she added.

 

Guideline 7: Build upon mandate-driven public policies

In the UCLA report, the researchers note that public policies can have a significant impact on equitable workplace policies, but they require cooperation from the private sector to be effective. When British Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to promote name-blind job applications, for example, he relied on partnerships with both the civil sector and private companies that voluntarily agreed to implement them.

 

Guideline 8: Commit to diversity at all levels of leadership

As Avanade’s Gilchrist illustrates, diversity starts at the top: When evaluating candidates for promotion, he said, the company’s hiring managers don’t stop after considering their most qualified employees, but evaluate a second list of female and minority employees who didn’t make the cut, discussing how they can provide the right opportunities so that these talented employees will be up for consideration the next time around.That, not incidentally, is how he ended up with his mentee in the first place.“If you do not start thinking and acting and considering this issue as an issue that warrants management’s attention, you won’t change the paradigm,” Gilchrist said.

From http://www.itbusiness.ca/ 03/07/2016

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Microsoft Canada and ICTC Release National Digital Talent Strategy

 

Sweeping changes to education, government policy, and the private sector alike will be needed if Canada’s IT industry is to have a leading role in the rapidly evolving digital economy, according to a new report prepared by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), with support from Microsoft Canada.Titled “Digital Talent: Road to 2020 and Beyond,” the March 9 report outlines seven recommendations that ICTC says will be essential to nurturing Canada’s digital workforce, and ensuring it can meet the tech industry’s growing demand, with the report estimating that Canada will need 182,000 skilled IT workers by 2019.“Unfortunately, the domestic supply of ICT graduates and workers will be insufficient to meet this demand,” the report says. “Engaging all available talent, including women, youth, immigrants, Indigenous persons and persons with disabilities, will be critical in mitigating the talent shortage. We also need to ensure that new graduates have the practical knowledge and skills they need to enter the workforce quickly and add value to Canadian businesses.”

 

According to the report, Canada’s digital economy currently employs approximately 1.15 million workers, contributes $74 billion annually to the national GDP, and has grown at more than four times the rate of the overall economy during the last two years.Yet even those numbers are a drop in the bucket compared to the benefits gained when applying digital technology to other industries: each one per cent increase in technology-driven productivity yields an additional $8 billion for the Canadian economy, says ICTC president and CEO NamirAnani, who inadvertently began developing the report when he started collaborating with a group of organizations including the CATAAlliance and CIO Association of Canada to research the country’s rate of technological adoption.“We found that adoption was not taking place,” Amani says. “It was an eye-opener… so we started to look at the impediments… specifically the small companies with 20 employees or below that represent 75 per cent of Canada’s industry… the main impediment was access to talent.”

 

During a three-month period, ICTC researchers consulted with industry, education, government, and professionals across Canada regarding the problem, ultimately asking more than 500 individuals and organizations to contribute potential solutions.Since “at the end of the day a strategy without a base of action is not going to make a difference,” Amani says, ICTC has also formed three national taskforces composed of industry, education, and government leaders: Education and Skills; Industry Growth; and Diversity and Inclusion.The result is a living strategy that will continue to evolve, he says, with ICTC staff regularly meeting with members of each taskforce and key stakeholders, including lead sponsor Microsoft Canada, to evaluate their progress.“We’re at the cusp of a whole new digital transformation that’s much bigger than has happened in the past,” he says. “This [national talent strategy] represents an opportunity for us as a country to figure out how we can seize that opportunity moving forward.”

 

“I’m really pleased this conversation is happening,” Microsoft Canada president Janet Kennedy tells ITBusiness.ca. “I don’t think there’s any question that Canadians are behind on productivity, and I think we can do something about that very quickly in terms of helping more Canadians have easy and affordable access to technology.”The seven pillars representing ICTC’s national digital talent strategy are below. Meanwhile, you can read the organization’s 57-page report here.

 

Pillar 1: Making computer science education mandatory from Kindergarten through Grade 12

It’s hardly a new argument that if Canada wants to succeed in the digital economy, it needs to build a stronger pipeline for talent – starting at the elementary and secondary level with an increased focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and IT courses, the report says, noting that while many youth recognize the value of STEM, few end up choosing it as a field of study.

 

Pillar 2: Removing barriers to full participation in the ICT field by women, immigrants, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples and visible minorities

Despite Canada’s diversity, too much of the IT industry remains a white boy’s club, with women comprising 25 per cent of the digital economy and immigrants 40 per cent, according to the report. It’s a problem that ICTC would like to see the industry address through such measures as new learning opportunities (ex. coding lessons or leadership courses) aimed at underrepresented groups, or providing small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with resources that can help them identify and address unconscious bias in their organizations.

 

Pillar 3: Providing incentives such as tax credits to reduce the financial burden on small and medium-sized businesses to upskill employees in ICT

Every $100,000 invested into training 10 mid-career IT professionals in emerging technologies can potentially contribute $2.1 million to Canada’s GDP, according to ICTC, but with more than 75 per cent of Canada’s tech workers employed by organizations with fewer than 10 employees – and therefore limited resources to invest in talent – few have the opportunity, a situation the report would like to see governments at all levels change using mechanisms such as subsidies or tax credits.

 

Pillar 4: Attracting and retaining global talent

As Canada’s population growth continues to decline, domestic talent will become increasingly scarce. Fortunately, the report notes, Canada has a tradition of welcoming global talent; unfortunately, the transition process to keep skilled foreign workers in Canada can be a long and convoluted one, an issue ICTC would like to see addressed by having federal and provincial policymakers collaborate with the tech industry to ensure that foreigners can be more easily connected with positions in high demand.

 

Pillar 5: Strengthening Canadians’ digital literacy and related skills

Strong digital literacy not only increases one’s ability to navigate an increasingly digital world, it also boosts technology consumption, increasing demand for technology-related goods and creating a culture that could attract more digital entrepreneurs and companies to Canada, the report says, adding that governments, companies, and educators alike should develop and expand the availability of free online technology resources such as cyber-security advice, and provide their services through digital means whenever possible.

 

Pillar 6: Fostering digital entrepreneurship

Canada lags behind other advanced economies when it comes to translating research and development into commercialized products and services, ranking 22nd for innovation in the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Competitiveness Report – despite large per-capita investments by the federal government, the report says. In this case, ICTC would like to see more investment from private companies and venture capitalists, though the report notes that post-secondary education and government can play a role too, by encouraging projects with commercial potential.

 

Pillar 7: Building labour mobility pathways to fill high demand occupations

With the tech industry rapidly expanding while traditional economic powerhouses like manufacturing and oil and gas decline, there’s never been a greater opportunity for governments and companies alike to develop and take advantage of a deep, unused talent pool, perhaps by prioritizing certain sectors, creating training programs, or extending employment insurance benefits to include skills development.

From http://www.itbusiness.ca/ 03/11/2016

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U.S.: Here's the Government's New Policy for Optimizing Data Centers

 

A new White House policy for optimizing energy-guzzling data centers in the federal government would block agencies from budgeting any money toward new or expanding data centers without approval from the federal chief information officer. The new Data Center Optimization Initiative “supersedes” a 2010 effort to close down data centers. The new policy emphasizes IT optimization in a bid to save more than $1 billion over the next two years, according to a draft of the new policy set to be published March 2 in the Federal Register. The new policy is posted on datacenters.cio.gov. Unlike the previous consolidation initiative, the new policy sets out metrics for energy metering and power efficiency. The policy requires agencies to monitor and report the energy efficiency of data centers through a “Power Usage Effectiveness” metric, and calls for agencies to achieve and maintain a PUE of less than 1.5 for their existing data centers by Sept. 30, 2018.

 

New data centers are encouraged to achieve a PUE below 1.2. Agencies are directed to include PUE requirements in any future procurements involving data centers. The policy also mandates agencies “evaluate consolidation or closure” for data centers that cannot cost effectively achieve a PUE target of 1.5 or less, and recommends transitioning them to cloud services or to shared services data centers. Energy metering and PUE are not the only new metrics required by the new policy. The Office of Management and Budget wants to see significant savings stemming from the optimization effort. All told, the policy aims to reduce governmentwide costs associated with physical data centers by at least 25 percent relative to fiscal 2016 IT spending data. In actual dollars, OMB wants to save about $1.4 billion by the close of fiscal 2018.

 

Further, agencies will no longer classify data centers as “core” or “non-core,” but rather as “tiered” and “non-tiered.” DCOI defines tiered data centers as those that use a separate physical space for IT infrastructure, an uninterruptible power supply, an independent cooling system and a backup power generator. While the new policy is heavy on optimization, it still calls for closing of data centers that no longer consume power or no longer house physical servers. Updated goals set out in the new policy exceed agencies’ existing closure plans, calling for agencies to close at least 25 percent of their tiered data centers governmentwide and 60 percent of non-tiered data centers. The target date for the closures is the end of fiscal 2018. The new goals would result in the closure of more than half -- 52 percent -- of the federal government’s overall data center inventory, according to the memo. (Currently, agencies are on track to close about 44 percent of the approximately 11,000 federal data centers.) The public will have a 30-day comment period on the new draft policy.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 03/01/2016

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Watchdogs Prep for Review of Agenciess’ IT Security Policies

 

A Commerce Department watchdog is putting agency officials on notice: His team will be poking around the agency’s policies for protecting computer systems from cyberattacks. A Feb. 29 memo from Allen Crawley, the assistant inspector general for systems acquisition and IT security, says the IG’s office is kicking off an audit of the department’s IT security policies and practices for systems that store personally identifiable information as well as information of those involved in national security or intelligence activities. The IG’s office sent the memo to Commerce Chief Information Officer Steve Cooper and Catrina Purvis, the agency’s top privacy official and director of the Office of Privacy and Open Government. Also copied on the memo were Rod Turk, the agency’s chief information security officer, and a slew of IT officials from Commerce’s bureaus.

 

The IG plans to conduct fieldwork both inside the agency and at contractor sites, according to the memo. The security review is required by the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, which was included in the massive $1.1 trillion omnibus funding measure and approved by Congress late last year. Along putting the Department of Homeland Security in charge of automated cyberthreat information sharing and a host of other measures, the bill also required agency IGs to probe how agencies handle security of sensitive computer systems. Specifically, IGs are directed to examine whether agencies use multifactor authentication to control access to sensitive systems, how they conduct software inventories and what capabilities they use to monitor and detect attempted exfiltration of data and other threats. Agency watchdogs have until August to complete their security reviews and submit them to Congress.

 

The security of agency networks has been under scrutiny since the Office of Personnel Management revealed last summer a massive data breach involving sensitive background investigation files of some 21.5 million federal employees, retirees and contractors. In the wake of the breach, the White House ordered agencies to immediately tighten security as part of a 30-day “cybersecurity sprint.” During the exercise, the percentage of federal employees required to use a smart card in addition to a password to log on increased from about 43 percent to more than 72 percent during, according to OMB. That percentage has continued to inch upward, officials say.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 03/04/2016

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Presidential Report Puts Cities at the Center of US Innovation Policy

 

I’ve long complained that U.S. cities are not getting the attention they deserve from the federal government, even though they are the nation’s fundamental engines of innovation and economic progress. But that may be starting to change, thanks to a new report from President Obama’s high-level Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.In the report, titled "Cities and the Future of Technology," PCAST makes the case for putting cities at the very center of America’s innovation strategy and technology policy. The report is the product of a blue-ribbon panel of the nation’s leading scientists, technologists and urbanists such as John P. Holdren (the assistant to the president for science and technology), Alphabet’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Doctoroff, the CEO of Sidewalk Labs. Ultimately, PCAST argues in favor of a “place-based” policy that uses investments to embed the most advanced technology in urban infrastructure. It maintains that the U.S. needs a bold new approach that goes beyond the current emphasis on smart cities.

 

In other words, the nation and its cities should use technology not only to upgrade and transform aging infrastructure, but to reshape the way cities operate from top to bottom. Doing so will save energy, reduce traffic and congestion, create more sustainable and competitive cities, and bolster the innovation and competitiveness of the U.S. more broadly, according to the report.In advancing its findings, the report focuses on several dimensions of cities and technology.Transportation: The report highlights efforts to develop driverless vehicles, or CAVs. These kinds of developments, the report argues, not only pose significant money-saving opportunities, but are also responsible for placing the nation “on the verge of large-scale transformation.”Considering the cost of traffic collisions ($300 billion per year), vehicular congestion ($124 billion per year), and related health-care incidents ($50-80 billion per year) in the U.S., the report finds that the nation could save around $1.2 trillion per year if people refrained from driving.

 

Energy: From electric energy systems to electric vehicles, the increasing “electrification” of our cities is helping to protect our environment and benefit our economy in the long run, the report argues. The report also focuses on the concept of “District Energy,” which uses technology to coordinate the local production of energy with its local uses. In 2015, three cities—Burlington, Vermont; Greensburg, Kansas; and Aspen, Colorado—already declared themselves 100 percent renewable, the report finds.Buildings and housing:  While nearly 67 percent of cities worldwide have committed to green-building codes, only 12 U.S. cities rank among the leading cities for environmental design. To fix this, the report recommends a number of changes, including the integration of sensory technology that understands and responds to changes in the environment.

 

Water: With regard to our world’s most precious resource, the report focuses on storm water systems as a means of improving water infrastructure at the local level. Over in Los Angeles, for instance, the report finds that the city could triple or even quadruple its storm-water capture by 2099 by adding these systems in households and neighborhood districts.Factories and farms: Technology is not only transforming high-end knowledge fields, but labor-intensive fields like manufacturing and farming as well. When it comes to manufacturing, the report focuses on the need to take advantage of the growth of high-tech industries by creating jobs for low-income residents.When it comes to urban farming, the report emphasizes the need for soil-less agriculture systems and praises the work of rooftop greenhouses in places like Brooklyn, Queens and Chicago.

 

Most of all, the report makes the case for stronger involvement of the federal government in the crucial nexus of cities and technology. Many have argued that cities can solve their own problems, or even that mayors should rule the world, but the report smartly recognizes that such massive investments in infrastructure need the support of the federal government. To that end, the report makes four specific recommendations.Invest in and experiment with technology: First, the report recommends the creation of a new Cities Innovation Technology Investment Initiative, or CITII, to coordinate city-by-city efforts and enhance urban innovation across the nation. At the outset, this initiative would select five districts—at least two of which are low-income communities—to receive $30-40 million for technology advancements.

 

The initiative would also designate certain federal agencies as “districts of experimentation” to test out new technologies. Finally, the report recommends that the CITII develop training and certification programs to turn new innovation into a means of job production.Set up innovation laboratories: Next, the report recommends creating new “innovation laboratories” within the Department of Housing and Urban Development to assemble the same technological resources that many governmental agencies have already.Focus on infrastructure and low-income communities: The report recommends that cities develop “Urban Development Districts,” which would receive funding from the Treasury to generate innovation in low-income districts. Along these same lines, the authors support the approval of public infrastructure bonds that would incentivize private investment in tech-based urban innovation.

 

Coordinate research: Finally, a new Urban Science Technology Initiative should be created within the National Science and Technology Council to coordinate federally funded research (both short- and long-term) across these agencies.The report recognizes that cities are the key to both developing and deploying new technology. Just as technology led to massive advances in manufacturing—from automation and robotics to more efficient supply chains and deliveries—so too does it promise to improve the productivity of cities and urban infrastructure.The big problem, of course, lies in our increasingly polarized and dysfunctional political system that will make it hard, if not impossible, to do the kinds of things the report outlines. Still, the report does much to show why we need to put cities at the center of our strategy for innovation and economic competitiveness.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 03/18/2016

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White House Offers Details on $3.1B IT Modernization Plan

 

The White House has proposed legislation to create a $3.1 billion revolving fund for upgrading outdated federal IT systems. The proposed fund is a central piece of President Barack Obama's effort to make agencies more digitally savvy in his last months in office.Federal CIO Tony Scott called the modernization fund "an important first step in changing the way the federal government manages its IT portfolio."The proposal received swift backing from Democrats on Capitol Hill, with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer saying he will introduce legislation to establish the fund when lawmakers return from recess next week.The White House proposal calls for an independent board of experts to help prioritize high-risk federal systems for replacement. The board would look for multiple legacy systems that could be replaced with a few common platforms, Scott wrote in an April 8 blog post.

 

It is currently hard for agencies to take advantage of those common platforms because they are "acting on their own with limited insight into other agencies' operations," he wrote.Agencies would have to repay money drawn from the fund, so the initial $3.1 billion in proposed funding for fiscal 2017 would cover at least $12 billion in projects over 10 years, White House officials said.IT acquisition and development officials at the General Services Administration would counsel agencies on their modernization plans so that "every investment that receives funding [would] benefit from centralized oversight and expertise," Scott wrote."The ITMF model has a proven track record in the private sector of reducing long-term costs," Hoyer said in a statement.

 

"This bill will rapidly upgrade our federal IT systems that are most in need of upgrading, either from being cybersecurity risks, inefficient or costly to maintain," he added. "It will implement the upgrades using the latest best practices from our innovation economy in Silicon Valley and all across our country."GSA's 18F digital services unit would make sure the fund targets projects that use best practices such as shared services, cloud computing and agile development, Hoyer said.Civilian agencies spend 71 percent -- or $36 billion -- of their IT budgets on maintaining legacy IT investments, a drain on modernization funding, Scott said."A comprehensive review last year of federal cybersecurity found that government relies on legacy systems, software, applications and infrastructure, which are harder to defend against sophisticated actors and less cost-effective," Scott wrote.

 

A spokesman for Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said the congressman, a big backer of IT reform in the past, is reviewing the legislative proposal and would not be able to comment by press time.Another IT-focused lawmaker, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), has said he supports the White House's modernization efforts but it will be up to agencies to keep their eyes on the ball. "This is going to be constantly an issue, and [agencies] need to make sure they are prepared to do that," Hurd said in February.Michael Daniel, Obama's top cybersecurity adviser, has previously expressed confidence in Congress' willingness to support the ITMF. At a New America event in February, Daniel said cybersecurity is a bipartisan issue and predicted that there will be "very broad [congressional] support for the goals that we're trying to achieve."The administration hopes the ITMF will put agencies on a path to permanent modernization and keep them from falling too far behind technological advancements. "Stable funding allows for long-term thinking and shorter development times, rather than costly one-off fixes," Scott wrote.

From https://fcw.com/ 04/08/2016

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4 Steps to Consider When Creatibg a Cloud Strategy in 2016

 

Ever since the National Institute of Standards and Technology published its definition of cloud computing, government agencies and industry have worked together to diligently embrace and deploy cloud infrastructure throughout government IT. We have seen a combination of public as well as private clouds -- with some agencies emerging as providers to others within the federal government. We have also witnessed different agencies pooling cloud resources to create community clouds so they adhere to various regulatory compliance mandates while saving time, money and resources. We can say with confidence that government has made strides in the adoption of cloud technologies. In fact, a recent report by Market Research Media projects federal cloud spending to surpass $10 billion by 2020.

 

The reasons for this growth are manifold. At its core, the cloud helps agencies improve the services they provide while lowering the cost of providing and maintaining the resulting applications and infrastructure. Agencies can do this while providing an environment for innovation and better engagement with end users. These results have become the rallying cry of CIOs throughout the government. Expectations of end users and customers have evolved as well. Driven by the consumerization of IT, contemporary users expect iPad simplicity with Gmail reliability. Mobile and social interaction have become the norm. As such, users expect updates and innovation to be delivered seamlessly, in the same way Facebook or Amazon might release a new feature to their social and online shopping experiences.

 

Accordingly, federal CIOs are frequently finding that their agencies are evolving into technology-focused agencies. The success of digital services organizations within the Commerce Department, the General Services Administration and other government arms amplifies this new reality. The upside of this evolution is that IT can become a source of competitive advantage and drive deep engagement with its constituencies and business partners. To realize this potential, federal IT administrators implementing a cloud strategy should consider the following steps: Start small by taking a staged approach. Choose a small, user-focused application (a.k.a. system of engagement) to build a proof point around both cloud and agile development approaches. In the beginning, stay away from applications that require wholesale change to existing data and application infrastructure.

 

Embrace automation. Automation is the name of the game when it comes to cloud. If virtual servers require human interaction to provision or update, seek the tooling that can automate these practices. The same goes for application deployment and scaling. Remember, as soon as a user has to log into a server in the cloud, the value of that implementation is diminished. The good news is these practices can be developed within existing data centers using just a bit of new tooling to build Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment infrastructure. Consider containers. Containerization can also play an important role in guiding automation and deployment strategies. Containers provide a standardized interface around applications for startup and shutdown and, when used appropriately, can provide capabilities to move workloads between disparate cloud providers. Orchestration engines like Kubernetes provide the ability to then manage containers at scale.

 

Develop an exit strategy. Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat’s CEO, once said, “cloud has the potential to be the mother of all lock-in.” How true that has turned out to be. When we begin to adopt cloud providers, we risk trading our proprietary database or middleware lock-in for a much more insidious lock-in potential. As we build applications in a cloud-provided panacea, we have the potential to design solutions that can never feasibly exist within any other cloud. With that in mind, developing a cloud exit strategy becomes as important as having an entry strategy. In fact, they should be developed hand in hand, to enable a valid and open alternative to either bring applications back into the government data center, or migrate them to another cloud provider. Otherwise, federal IT administrators run the risk of their projects costing millions of dollars and headaches to relocate from one cloud provider to another. Just ask Verizon customers impacted by the company’s recent decision to close cloud centers about how much of a challenge this can be.

 

To avoid this issue, stick to technologies that are open and based on industry standards so all of the latest and greatest widgets can easily be moved between cloud providers. Because of this heightened focus on cloud technology, you might think we have reached a government cloud nirvana, while we know the truth is anything but. Deployment of resources within data centers can still take days, weeks, or even months in our virtualized world. Moving workloads between disparate cloud providers still proves to be problematic at best and impossible at worst. And too often, cloud approaches get boiled down to lowering the total cost of ownership of individual servers or virtual machines, rather than laying a foundation for innovation. But rest assured -- the future is bright, and the cloud offers the federal government immense adaptability, agility, and efficiencies. It all depends on how federal IT administrators choose to view the cloud, and the steps they take to implement a cloud strategy.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 05/06/2016

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Why Law Enforcement Agencies Need to Share Data

 

From financial fraud to child pornography, crime-fighting agencies increasingly rely on other organizations' data to get the job done."The single hacker can do things that were never thought of years ago," said Bruce Welsh, unit chief in the FBI's Cyber Division.In a "growing and unsecure" cyber ecosystem, agencies need to share data quickly and effectively with partner organizations, he said at IBM's Government Analytics Forum on May 5.Jamie Holt, cybercrime unit chief at Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, said outside tools proved crucial in Project VIC, an ambitious initiative to tackle child pornography.After seizing 6 petabytes of data in 2015 -- the equivalent of 77 years of high-definition video -- Holt's 6,000 agents faced the daunting challenge of combing through all that evidence. HSI ameliorated the backlog with a tool that could pull out previously identified images, thereby cutting a nine-month review backlog down to one month and reducing the number of times agents had to view graphic images of abuse, Holt said.

 

Even with a better internal data-wrangling scheme, HSI still needs international help because abusers are often in one country, victims in another and servers storing child pornography in a third, Holt added.Broad cooperation is also crucial for dealing with financial crimes. Kenn Kern, chief of staff of the Investigation Division at the New York County District Attorney's Office, said his office doesn't have immediate access to every American's personal data as some people suspect.He said he can't access federal data without court orders, and he wouldn't want to."I don't want everyone's data," he said. "It's too much to deal with."But when he does need to get data from federal agencies or another law enforcement outfit, that data must be ready to use.

 

Vijay D'Souza, director of the Government Accountability Office's Center for Enhanced Analytics, said fraudsters aren't always linked to all their crimes because one jurisdiction uses their full name in records while another relies on initials. Establishing information-sharing agreements among agencies to reduce lag times and standardize data formats is a must, he added.Linking criminals to their activities is especially tricky internationally, but Kern said it is crucial. Trying to fight financial crime without quick, effective data transfers between London and New York is a fool's errand, he added.For Holt, integration is the name of the game -- between organizations and tools alike."It takes a lot of time for a human to process all that information within each individual tool," Holt said, adding that many vendors' tools don't connect well with others.Interoperable tools and data are the key to giving law enforcement a clear picture of threats and crimes in an ever-swelling mountain of data, Holt added.

From https://fcw.com/ 05/06/2016

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Around the World in 20 News Stories

 

Regulators hit the headlines in Latin America, its all-go in India, U.S. operators focus on content, and the rumour mill turns in Europe.The newswires have been relatively quiet in Total Telecom's part of the world this week, doubtless due in part to the post-Mobile World Congress recovery period. But further afield there was action aplenty in the telecoms space, so join us for a whistlestop tour of this week's global news highlights.

 

Latin America

We begin in Latin America, where Telecom Italia finally appears to have gained approval for the sale of its controlling stake in Telecom Argentina; new regulator ENACOM also gave the go-ahead to Grupo Clarin's acquisition of Nextel Argentina from NII Holdings. Other highlights saw Mexico's IFT ratify its recently-announced AWS spectrum auction results and explain the difference in price paid by participants America Movil and AT&T.

- Regulator OKs Telecom Italia's Argentina sale

- Mexico confirms AWS spectrum auction results

- Telefonica gets World Bank loan to pay for spectrum in Ecuador

 

Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific region was busy as always, with India dominating the headlines due to the ongoing battle between mobile operators and the regulator over the controversial dropped calls compensation scheme. Meanwhile, the Indian press reported changes to the planned merger between Rcom and Aircel; Pakistan's PTCL and Ufone welcomed new CEOs; Tele2 and Altel completed their merger deal in Kazakhstan, having won over regulators; and Thailand's True Corp secured a 2 billion credit line to pay for its 4G licence.Further afield, Australia's NBN responded to media accusations that it is falling behind its targets with regard to network build-out.

- India supreme court to make call drop decision next week

- RCom, Aircel to create 50:50 JV

- Telco leadership changes in Pakistan

- Mobile operators merge in Kazakhstan

- True gets 2bn bank backing for 4G licence

- NBN denies claims it is falling behind targets

 

Middle East and Africa

The big news in the MEA region was the failure of Vodacom's bid to acquire South African fixed-line operator Neotel, despite having recently reworked the deal. Vodacon blamed "regulatory complexities". There were also results announcements from major players Ooredoo and MTN.

- Vodacom, Neotel deal collapses

- Currency issues hit Ooredoo's full-year financials

- MTN full-year profit tumbles

 

North America

It has mostly been about content in North America, with AT&T's announcement that it will make DirecTV available over the Internet later this year and Verizon's partnership with publishing giant Hearst to create a video content production and distribution JV. Rival T-Mobile US also made the news, with media reports claiming that parent Deutsche Telekom will likely hold off on trying to sell the business for a few months at least. North of the border, Shaw Communications gained a presence in the Canadian mobile market when it closed its C$1.6 billion acquisition of Wind Mobile.

- AT&T's DirecTV goes OTT

- Verizon, Hearst form video JV

- Deutsche Telekom to hang on to T-Mobile US...for now

- Shaw closes C$1.6bn Wind buy

 

Europe

Rumour and speculation abound in Europe. This week, "sources" have informed us that Vivendi is looking to change Telecom Italia's strategic direction and possibly install a chief executive of its own choosing; the Italian incumbent is set to get an offer for towers business INWIT that values it at around 3 billion; and CK Hutchison, along with other interested parties, will next week attend a closed-door meeting organised by the European Commission to discuss its planned takeover of O2 in the U.K.Meanwhile, the European Commission published a summary of responses to two recently-concluded telco consultations, one outcome being that many end-users do not feel their connectivity needs are being met.

- Telecom Italia CEO's job under threat...from Vivendi

- Frontrunners seen upping offer for Italy's INWIT

- UK telcos meet with EU to discuss O2/3UK merger

- EU consumers' broadband needs 'not fulfilled'

(Click here for details http://www.totaltele.com/view.aspx?ID=493047)

From http://www.totaltele.com/ 03/04/2016

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Internet Politics: Developed vs Developing

 

It is not so convincing how the developed world looks at the rest of the hemisphere with the same attitude of equality and control. On one hand there are voices of equality where as in the other there is greed of power and control that lures them with an unending fight of power vs power in safeguarding their own survival. From the participation and development of policies to running the concept of any kind of technology platform, the sense of control and collaboration that catalyzes and leads the overall process. It pushes the developing world aside in saying we have second rights to technology and other aspect of internet development process. May be an abrupt thought but most of us coming down from the third world scenario or developing country feels different about what technology is all about.

 

I think it does not matter in its use and operation but when it comes to internet development process, then and there we feel reserved as there seems to be a big discrimination of understanding technology and its policy from unilateral side. If you look at the whole internet evolution process, there seems to be a certain role and possibilities of investment done and catered by few of the developed nations. Moving down the line the growth and popularity of internet succeeded because of its freedom of choice and adaptation ability that focused more towards the issue of cooperation and coordination by the entire community and people. The dynamics of internet created its own opportunity which doesn't needed any explanation but why the developed nations are trying to control and create a mechanism of containing it, is simply a question of amazement?

 

From mass surveillance to the issues of cyber terrorism and warfare and censorship things are not only getting out of control but it has adopted and characterized the new development as its part of its development process. Why are we scared and of what? With such insecurities, the development of internet is moving toward the faster age of Information and communication where its externalities are further coming up with prominent features and capacity. Similarly, the WikiLeaks is yet another example that showcases the weakness of not the evolution of the internet process but highlights the weakness of the developed nation in procrastinating the superiority complex. Likewise, today the Internet is moving towards creating a history where it will be connecting the next billion of 4 billion by the end of this year. But when it comes down to digital equity, still today there are various aspect of differences that discriminate people at regional and national level for their basic rights and privacy.

 

Where are we and what are we doing about it? Though there are basic standards that defines internet as the basic right of every individual but when it comes down to practice even at surface level there no existence of cooperation. My Question is why this discrimination and what are we doing to ensure my digital rights coming down at an individual level from Asia or Africa. Just by saying and putting policies things won't work, so what are the roles of organization like International Telecommunication Union (ITU), ICAAN, Internet Governance forum (IGF), United Nation etc. We need grassroots level interventions of creating the possibilities and bridging the gaps. Is the scope and role of such organizations just limited to reports and big fancy meetings where action challenges the reality? Or is it the numbers of participation that is catered in the name of Multistakeholderism that satisfies the whole responsibility? Still today internet has not been able to standardize in terms of access, cost, quality and rights. There is a huge gap of understanding. Why and how this gap can be shortened and further internet can be developed a as tool of development and humanity?

 

Who is responsible?

The long practice of favoritism and nepotism are still seen in big Internet conferences like IGF and ICANN meeting where still today the nominations are based on recommendations and power. The big platform have reservation of Big developed nation in terms of decision making roles and leadership where developing and least developed nations have been shadowed. Though the concept of Multistakeholderism has been adopted, it radically differentiates in terms of finding its own meaning and interpretation. Multistakeholderism in absence of practice apprehends like a bait that lures us to be part of the whole digital ecosystem but gives us no voice in shouting out the real issues. We are limited within a cocoon where the developed nation leads and governs in majority in view of the technical community's recommendation. The so called practice may give voices to very few nations but what about the rest?

 

Who is going to represent them?

For example Asia is one of the most booming economies where there are many smaller economies. At minute level, they operate and they have their own status. Just by giving opportunity to one nation the whole continent cannot be represented, so what are we doing about it? We have to initiate and change one nation at time and it's a must. It is not impossible but we need to think beyond the box. Whether you take about cyber security or latest technology or individual rights, there is so much of discrimination in understanding the whole process of adaptation and cooperation. Even the process of standardization would have variants of possibilities while in action at regional and nation level. Conflict of interest plays a huge role while, cooperation and coordination is not a full proper solution for the internet politics that goes on in selecting the one with the voice and neglecting the one who is silent is certainly discouraging the interest.

 

Internet as a community of development is only possible when we secure the right of every individual and create a uniform level of cooperation and understanding. Though various aspect of Multistakeholderism and collaborative leadership has been pushed, when it comes to giving recognition and leadership, the developed world fails to acknowledge reality limiting us to an option of adjustment. We have the voice and we have the energy but do we have the choice? Please do not give us the limited opportunities in fighting for the options as we are aware of how the internet politics work. The politics that goes behind the scene are not just limited in terms of appointment and funding options, but it goes on even in the rights to voice and communicate where the developed countries have been given the role of leadership and we have been suppressed of listening and following the rest. Digital equality is a must, not just in terms of words but in practice, to ensure all individuals from a developing, to a least developed country, voice their part of the story. You cannot show a blind man the road but you can give him the choice to follow the direction. Just like that we need great leadership with better attitude who can entertain better politics with better scope and role to develop internet as a tool of humanity for betterment. By Shreedeep Rayamajhi, ICT4D Consultant. More blog posts from Shreedeep Rayamajhi can also be read here.

From http://www.circleid.com/ 05/03/2016

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Commission Publishes Results of Two Public Consultations Under Digital Single Market Strategy

 

The Commission has today published two reports as part of its preparatory work to create a Digital Single Market. The first one is related to the public consultation on the review of the EU Satellite and Cable Directive (Full report). The objectives of the consultation were to collect views on how stakeholders evaluate the requirements of the Directive and on the possibility of extending some of its principles in light of market and technological developments as well as online practices. The Commission will take account of the results of the public consultation in its ongoing work to facilitate cross-border access to content in the EU. The second report published today covers the public consultation on the technical measures related to the end of roaming charges in the EU. A few days after a new decrease in roaming charges, the Commission is fully working on the preparation of the end of roaming charges set for June 2017. The results of the public consultation will notably contribute to the review of wholesale markets (i.e. the prices that operators charge each other for the use of their networks) to be presented in the coming weeks.

 

Vice-President Ansip, in charge of the Digital Single Market, and Commissioner Oettinger, in charge of the Digital Economy and Society, said: "We have now analysed almost all the contributions to the public consultations that we have launched under the Digital Single Market Strategy. One year after we presented our plans, we are on the right track to translate them into concrete proposals. Our next set of initiatives should be on the table at the end of the month. They will boost e-commerce in the EU and contribute to creating the rights conditions for a thriving digital economy and society, with modern rules for audiovisual media and policy directions in the area of online platforms".

From https://ec.europa.eu/ 05/07/2016

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CHINA: Setting New Online Import Tax Rules

 

China will change the tax rules on online retail goods from April 8 to level the playing field for e-commerce platforms and traditional retailers and importers. Retail goods purchased online will no longer be classified as "parcels," which enjoy a "parcel tax" rate, lower than that on other imported goods. Instead, online purchases from overseas will be charged in the same way as any other imported goods, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced on Thursday. "Parcel tax is not for trade purposes, which is exactly what online retailing is. It is unfair to conventional importers and domestic producers," said Zhang Bin of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. China levies parcel tax on imported goods worth less than 1,000 yuan (150 U.S. dollars), and the rates is mostly 10 percent. Taxes under 50 yuan are waived. As demand for overseas goods grows, online purchasing agents have taken advantage of parcel tax and used new methods such as repackaging and mailing products separately to avoid tax. The new policy only allows a maximum of 2,000 yuan per single cross-border transaction and a maximum of 20,000 yuan per person per year. Goods that exceed these limits will be levied the full tax for general trade, the MOF said.

 

According to a 2015 survey by Amazon China on online imports, most buyers are under 35 and around 90 percent have a college education. More than half earn more than 5,000 yuan per month. The new policy will speed up customs clearance so consumers will receive most orders from overseas within two weeks, instead of the current two months. Cross-border e-commerce has been booming in China. The country plans to set up more cross-border e-commerce pilot zones to attract businesses, create jobs and nurture new business models that will boost foreign trade and stimulate the economy, the State Council announced in January. The expansion of the pilot zones came at a time when the country is facing sluggish foreign trade. Total export and import value for 2015 decreased 7 percent year on year, falling for the first time in six years. The Ministry of Commerce predicted the volume of cross-border e-commerce in 2016 will reach 6.5 trillion yuan and will soon account for 20 percent of China's foreign trade.

From http://www.chinagate.cn/ 03/28/2016

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Gov't Reassures Foreign Companies on New Internet Rules

 

China's draft Internet regulation on domain names, the addresses used to navigate the Web, will not affect foreign companies' normal business in China, the top industry regulator said on Wednesday. "The draft rule asks websites that engage in network access within the borders of China to register their domain names in the country. Companies accessing network outside of the country will not be affected," the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a statement. The remarks came after the industry regulator published the draft regulation last week, which asked Internet service providers to block access to websites whose domain names are registered outside China. "There is no fundamental conflict between the draft regulation and global rules on managing domain names. And it will not affect foreign companies' normal daily operations in China," the statement said. The rule, which is open to public feedback until April 25, comes amid growing concern over national security in China. It is the government's latest effort to reduce threats toward national security and consumers by cutting access to "dangerous" websites registered overseas, analysts said. Charlie Dai, principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc, said the statement failed to address the key issue of whether the new rule will apply to foreign websites both accessible in China and having their servers physically located there.

 

"Many international Internet companies have moved their computer servers to the mainland so as to offer faster surfing experience to local consumers," Dai said. "But wording in the draft rule is too broad and vague to know whether these companies will be affected." According to Dai, websites with servers deployed outside China will not be subject to the new rule. Currently, a string of foreign tech giants such as Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc, as well as homegrown Internet companies Baidu Inc and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, registered their domain names in other countries. Foreign domain names are of greater appeal to Internet companies than Chinese versions, as the former are cheaper, more stable and have global availability, Dai added. The draft regulation comes as terrorist groups and other illegal organizations are leveraging the Internet to spread their ideas and maximize their clout. Long Weilian, a famous tech blogger in China, said the new rule is intended to reduce threats toward consumers and enterprises, as well as boost the use of Chinese domain names. "Technically, the re-registration of domain names itself is not hard. Companies can transfer their domain names from foreign registration service providers to domestic ones within a day," Long said.

From http://www.chinagate.cn/ 03/31/2016

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Rule of Law Crucial in Cyberspace: People's Daily

 

A commentary in Saturday's People's Daily has defended China's regulation of online content as lawful and necessary. "The Internet is not above the law. Where there is cyberspace, there is rule of law," said the article in the newspaper. Multiple opinions can be allowed in cyberspace, but netizens must not stir up enmity, distort facts or encourage criminality, it said. "A clean and healthy cyberspace is in the interests of the people, while a foul and unhealthy one serves no one," President Xi Jinping told a recent symposium on cyber security. Echoing Xi's remarks, the commentary warned that without rule of law, the Internet would be riddled with rumors and scams, saying these are especially harmful to young Internet users. The People's Daily said enterprises, website operators, online stores, social platforms and search engines, as well as the Communist Party of China and the government, must shoulder their responsibilities for cyberspace management.

From http://www.news.cn/ 04/23/2016

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China Completes Drafting E-commerce Law

 

China has completed a draft version of the country’s first e-commerce law to guide the sector’s sound development, a lawmaker said on March 10. The draft will be submitted as early as possible to the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) for review, said Uzhitu, vice chairman of the committee, at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session. After that, the draft e-commerce law will be presented to the NPC Standing Committee for further reading, Uzhitu said. The legislation is necessary to deal with new problems in data protection and infringements upon customers’ interests, he said.

From http://www.gov.cn/ 03/10/2016

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New Policy for Cross-border E-commerce May Be Delayed

 

New tariff policy for cross-border e-commerce may see some new adjustments, which are scheduled to be unveiled in near term, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Tuesday. The adjustments suggested that the new rules should be postponed for one year. During the one-year transition period, cross-border retailers could make preparation for new regulation. This comes just one month after China ushered in a new tax policy that requires products bought on cross border e-commerce platforms to be subject to import tariffs. In fact, it's the third adjustments for the new restrictions on online imports. Earlier, authorities did some fine-tuning in the policy of importing goods for the first time, then, the second batch of "positive list" was unveiled to cover more commodities. Between Thursday and Saturday, several ministries and other authorities, including the Ministry of Commerce, the General Administration of Customs, and the Ministry of Finance, did some intensive research on the effect of the new policy, and solicited opinions from some online retail websites such as Tmall Global, Jumei.com, vip.com, and xiaohongshu.com.

 

During the meeting, authorities made clear that the nation will support cross-border e-commerce, with focus on B2B and exports. However, it doesn't mean the development of B2C will be restricted. A person who attended the meeting held in Henan Friday told Shanghai Securities News that representatives from several cross-border online shopping platforms hope the new rules could be delayed for a while, and the country should define a new trade management category for cross-border e-commerce. They also hoped that during the implementation of the new policy, a "positive list" can stand for an entry license, and cancel customs clearance certificates. The adoption of transition period is within expectation, said Zhang Li, deputy director of e-commerce research department under the Ministry of Commerce. New policy for cross-border e-businesses was adopted too hastily, and the country should take a soft measure and give enterprise some time to adapt it, Zhang added.

From http://www.chinagate.cn/ 05/11/2016

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China Rolls Out Three-year Program for AI Growth

 

China will boost growth of the artificial intelligence (AI) sector in the next three years, said a statement issued by the National Development and Reform Commission on Monday. By 2018, China shall build platforms for fundamental AI resources and innovation and make breakthroughs on basic core technology, said the three-year implementation program for "Internet Plus" AI. The country shall be in line with global AI technology and industries by 2018, it said. The program will involve key projects such as intelligent home appliances, smart automobiles, intelligent wearable devices and robots. Government departments shall map out supportive fiscal policies for the sector and boost international cooperation, it said. China has been promoting the robotics industry as it strives to upgrade its manufacturing sector and address labor shortage. Last year, China announced the "Internet Plus" initiative to enable more businesses to take advantage of the Internet. Also last year, China unveiled the "Made in China 2025" blueprint, which aims to improve manufacturing and shift the country away from low-end manufacturing to more value-added production.

From http://www.news.cn/ 05/23/2016

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JAPAN: Govt Starts Work on Plan for ‘100 Mil.’

 

The government has started working in earnest on a mid- to long-term plan for what it calls “a society with all 100-million plus people dynamically engaged,” a plan conceived at the initiative of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and scheduled to be compiled in May. With its eye on the House of Councillors election this summer, the government intends to set a course to reform the nature of employment, with “equal pay for equal work” as the key policy. It is also hastily mapping out measures to cope with the issue of children on waiting lists for nursery schools, which is currently embroiled in controversy triggered by an anonymous blog post. “My child has turned 1 year old, so I tried to get a job again,” said a woman who participated in a “dialogue for realizing a society with all 100-million plus people dynamically engaged” held in Osaka on Saturday. “But there were no vacancies at nursery facilities,” she said. Katsunobu Kato, state minister in charge of promoting the dynamic engagement of all citizens, responded: “We will tackle the issue seriously. We want to deal with the issue with keen awareness, such as securing employees for these facilities by improving their working conditions.”

 

The dialogues were started in February to reflect people’s opinions on a plan for realizing a dynamically engaged society. About 400 people participated in the fourth and final event on Saturday. Before the Saturday dialogue, Kato inspected a nursery school in Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture. The government and the ruling parties intend to discuss policies in earnest that will be included in the plan. The plan will become a platform for the ruling parties’ campaign pledges in the upper house election. Abe expressed his desire to realize equal pay for equal work, a concept in which individuals doing the same kind of work should receive the same pay regardless of whether they are regular or non-regular workers. Abe intends to establish that principle as a pillar of the plan. The largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan has made the income disparity issue a point of contention in the upper house election. A senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said, “The government and ruling parties are trying to contain opposition parties by calling the public’s attention to our efforts for equal pay for equal work.”

 

At the same time, measures to alleviate the wait to get into child care facilities are suddenly attracting increasing attention due to an anonymous blog titled, “Failed to get a place at a nursery school. Japan must die.” Opposition parties are using the blog to criticize the administration. A sense of urgency is spreading within the government and the ruling parties, with one member saying, “The issue could affect the upper house election.” To calm the situation, the government intends to create new measures for children on waiting lists and include those measures in the plan for a dynamically engaged society. The government has started to devise the measures under the leadership of Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda. The government intends to come up with the measures by the end of April, before the plan is officially formulated in May. The LDP and coalition partner Komeito each plan to set up a project team and propose measures to the government. “We’re in an unfavorable situation,” a government source said. “But if we can demonstrate our initiatives properly, it will benefit the ruling parties.”

From http://the-japan-news.com 03/14/2016

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Govt to Disclose Info on How Pension Assets Are Invested

 

The government intends to disclose information on stocks and bonds owned by the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), which manages pension reserves, and other information after a certain period of time. Currently, the GPIF delegates investment management to trust banks and other organizations. The latest decision on information disclosure is intended to dispel public concern over arbitrary management of pension assets and other matters, according to sources. The government submitted bills to the current Diet session to revise relevant laws, and revise as early as 2017 a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry ordinance to specify the contents to be disclosed, the sources said. In a bill to revise the law governing the GPIF, the government reportedly plans to create a new provision that requires the GPIF to create documents containing the information specified by the welfare ministry ordinance and to disclose the documents. It collectively submitted bills to revise related laws, including the law concerning the GPIF, to the current Diet session. If the revision bills are passed into law, a provision that makes it mandatory for the GPIF to disclose such information as trades in individual stocks and bonds, and their current aggregate value will be added to the ministry ordinance, the sources said. The government also plans to disclose minutes from the meetings of the GPIF’s management committee, which decides the body’s investment principles, according to the sources. Regarding the content to be disclosed, as well as the timing and specific means of disclosure, the ministry will make final decisions based on discussions at the pension committee of the Social Security Council, an advisory body to the health, labor and welfare minister, according to the sources.

 

The move to promote information disclosure was prompted by growing distrust over how pension premiums collected from people are invested, observers said. The GPIF is one of the world’s largest institutional investors, managing and investing pension reserves worth about ¥140 trillion. As of the end of 2015, 37 percent of GPIF’s holdings were in domestic bonds, 23 percent in domestic equities, 22 percent in foreign equities, 13 percent in foreign bonds and the remaining portion in other financial instruments. Actual investment management, such as the choice of equities to be bought and sold, is delegated to outside bodies. Due to high stock prices resulting from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Abenomics economic policy package and other factors, the accumulated profits of the GPIF since fiscal 2001, when it started fully investing pension assets in markets, amounted to about ¥50 trillion as of the end of 2015. However, they have been affected by such factors as falling stock prices since January 2016, and there is growing distrust among the public over the management of pension reserves, including their investment in stocks and other assets. The government judged it would be necessary to disclose information to restore trust, according to the sources. The government’s traditional stance was not to disclose information on GPIF stock trading that involves a huge amount of funds because it could influence stock prices and other matters if such information was disclosed. However, if such information is disclosed a certain period of time after trading, it is now widely believed that “it would be possible to avoid influencing the markets,” a senior official at the welfare ministry said.

 

The government has been reviewing the GPIF’s investment principles since October 2014, and made it possible to invest up to nearly half its pension reserves in domestic and foreign equities, which have large price fluctuations. Public interest in the investment management of pension reserves has been growing, so it is natural that the government decided to disclose information. There has been much misguided criticism in the Diet among opposition parties, including that companies close to the government will be supported because their shares will be purchased by the GPIF. Ensuring transparency will help dispel suspicions about arbitrary management of pension reserves. With regard to the latest decision on information disclosure, some feel it would be strategic to allow the GPIF to directly decide on its own how pension reserves should be invested. Currently, the GPIF delegates investment management to trust banks and other organizations. However, if it starts trading equities and bonds on its own, it will become necessary to disclose relevant information. Regarding direct investment management by the GPIF, there is concern within economic circles and elsewhere that the GPIF’s ownership of shares in companies could influence corporate management. The government and the ruling parties intend to review the pros and cons of the matter as early as 2020. They will surely be required to make a careful decision.

From http://the-japan-news.com 03/14/2016

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Government Council OK’s ‘Dynamic Engagement’ Draft Plan

 

A government council agreed Wednesday on a draft plan to realize Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to render Japan “a society in which all citizens are dynamically engaged.”  The National Council for Promoting the Dynamic Engagement of All Citizens, chaired by the prime minister and comprising Cabinet ministers and experts, decided on the draft plan as a 10-year program with mid- to long-term perspectives. The council met at the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday. The draft stipulates that wages need to be raised to secure human resources for child care and nursing care, and that equal pay for equal work should be realized so that wage levels do not differ unfairly due to employment status. After the ruling parties examine the draft, the government aims to obtain Cabinet approval of the plan on May 31. The draft lists practical measures to cope with the problem of waiting lists for day care centers and reform of working environments, among other things, to realize the Abe administration’s goal of a society in which all citizens are dynamically engaged. Regarding day care center waiting lists, the draft plan stipulates that the wage levels for nursery staff will be effectively hiked by 2 percent. This indicates that the monthly salaries of such workers will increase by about ¥6,000 starting next fiscal year.

 

The wage gap between highly skilled, experienced nursery staffers and female workers in other jobs will be narrowed. The gap currently amounts to about ¥40,000 a month, and the draft plan vows to consider “additional measures to improve working conditions.” Regarding the working conditions of nursing care staff mainly for the elderly, the draft plan says, “Systems for career progression will be established starting in fiscal 2017, and wage levels will be improved by ¥10,000 a month on average.” Concerning the policy of equal pay for equal work regardless of employment status, the draft plan says, “Preparations for legal revisions will be made without hesitation.”  The government will consider revising the Labor Contract Law, the part-time employment law and the Temporary Staffing Services Law together for this purpose. The government aims to clarify criteria regarding whether the differences in working conditions between regular and nonregular workers are unreasonable, and encourage companies to correct any such differences.

From http://the-japan-news.com 05/18/2016

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SOUTH KOREA: Gov't to Hold Off on Plan for 4th Mobile Carrier

 

Korea's ICT ministry said Wednesday it has decided to put off a project to launch another mobile carrier in the country, after its previous attempts made no headway due to lack of financially qualified bidders. Since October 2010, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Panning has opened bidding seven times with the aim of setting up a new mobile carrier. At present, the market is dominated by three players: SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus. The government's attempt is in line with its efforts to add more competition and bring down network subscription fees, which can benefit consumers. "For now, we will not receive further applications for a fourth mobile carrier, as we are not likely to promote the project," a government official said. "But this decision is not permanent." In January, the ministry announced the result of the seventh bid for the program, where three firms filed applications. There were no winners, as the ministry said all candidates "lacked credibility and viability for their fund-raising plans." Industry watchers also pointed out the government no longer needs to allow another mobile carrier, as the rise of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) already provide users with budget subscription plans. MVNOs refer to mobile service providers that rent networks from the country's three carriers. As this can reduce the cost of managing networks, the firms usually sell budget subscription plans through low-end smartphones. SK Telecom currently dominates Korea's mobile network market, holding around 50 percent, followed by KT with around 30 percent and LG Uplus with 20 percent.

From http://www.koreaherald.com 02/24/2016

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Int'l Standards for Health Care-Related IoT Devices to Be Unveiled

 

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute(ETRI) said Wednesday that it will unveil international standards for health care-related Internet of Things(IoT) products in May. The Daejeon-based research institute, known for holding the most U.S. patents among companies and research institutes around the world, said that it is developing two draft standards for IoT devices that are being developed by the Open Interconnect Consortium(OIC). The two draft standards are related to the scope of health care resources and size of health care devices, respectively. The ETRI said it will complete the development of the draft standards by May and then release them as an open source platform, enabling developers to download them and apply them to wearable devices or other applied products they manufacture. The institute expects the standards will also facilitate the development of other international standards for IoT devices and applied products regarding health care services.

From http://world.kbs.co.kr 03/02/2016

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Korea, ASEAN Discuss Cooperation on Information, Media

 

Korea and ASEAN countries will enhance cooperation on the information and media sectors.  The Korean government made these proposals as a way to bolster cooperation at the Conference of the Ministers Responsible for Information and Related Meetings that took place on March 17 in Cebu, the Philippines. Korea’s proposals in this regard include developing cooperation projects in news media in order to meet the era of mobile communications that exists today, strengthening exchanges in cultural content, and expanding exchanges among journalists from across the region. In regard to cooperation on information and media, First Vice Minister of Culture, Sports & Tourism Chung Kwan-joong explained Korea’s efforts to implement the “ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan Through Information and Media (2012 – 2017).” He also proposed conducting joint research into media consumption trends in the ASEAN+3 nations as a cooperation project in the news sector. 

Vice Minister Chung told meeting participants about Korea’s plan to host the “ASEAN+3 Digital Journalism Workshop” in 2017 where participants will be able to discuss the development of digital journalism in each country in order to respond to challenges faced by new journalism media.  During the conference, the Korean delegation held one-on-one meetings with China to discuss better ways to manage the high-profile journalists’ forum between the two countries. Both delegations hoped to expand cooperation not only on the journalism sector, but also on broader sectors, including media, information and broadcasting. During a one-on-one meeting with the Korean delegation, ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh vowed to actively support Korea’s proposals for “joint research into media consumption trends in the ASEAN+3 region” at ASEAN's secretariat level. 

From http://www.korea.net 03/23/2016

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Daegu Rises as Nation's 'Smartest City'

 

The city of Daegu has been chosen as the pilot city to test-drive a city-wide implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT). The Daegu Metropolitan City government recently joined hands with Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom to transform Daegu into a "smart city" with an open network for the Internet of Things. This ties in with the city's efforts to cultivate its startup businesses. The pilot city will be a zone free of IoT regulations, and the Daegu government will be in charge of providing administrative and financial support to the region's startup businesses. Samsung Electronics will provide equipment related to the IoT and the open network infrastructure, and will lend its support to technical development by sharing intellectual property rights pertaining to the IoT. SK Telecom will supply the telecommunications infrastructure and offer its expertise in energy efficiency, cloud computing and big data, and IoT solutions. In preparation for the pilot project, the company is setting up a specialized IoT open network that covers the entirety of the Daegu metropolitan area, to be completed by May 2016. An open lab where new services can be developed and verified is also in the works. Kwon Young-jin, mayor of the Daegu Metropolitan City government, said, "Daegu City has been given an opportunity to become the center of the IT industry. We will be providing full administrative and financial support so that we can emerge as the new incubator for startup businesses."

From http://www.korea.net 04/04/2016

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Korea Creates New 'Control Tower' on Sci-Tech Policy

 

Korea launched a presidential council on science and technology Thursday to oversee the nation's efforts to overhaul the research and development (R&D) sector. The "strategic" panel, headed by President Park Geun-hye, will serve as a "control tower" and a "trouble shooter" for Korea's overall science and technology policy, said the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. Park presided over the inaugural session of the council at her office Cheong Wa Dae, attended by 19 other standing members of the panel and 21 top government officials, including Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn. "The only way to overcome the pending crisis situation facing our economy and to ensure another take-off of our economy is to promote a creative economy based on innovative ideas and new technologies," the president said. "(The government) plans to push for a state strategic project to spearhead pan-national policy on innovating the science and technology field." A sense of crisis is palpable here over slow progress in Korea's R&D industry, as it's eagerly seeking new growth engines.

Korea spent 4.29 percent of its GDP on R&D as of 2014, but criticism has mounted that the government lacks specific strategy and leadership. The landslide victory by Google DeepMind's artificial intelligence program AlphaGo over South Korea's Go master Lee Se-dol in March was another wake-up call. There have been growing calls that Korea should revamp its R&D strategy to catch up with global powerhouses in the field. "Korea's existing R&D strategy is outdated and fundamental renovation is needed in the related system," the ministry said. It added that the government will review all its R&D projects from a "zero base" to focus on enhancing effectiveness and productivity. The government will take a two-track approach to concentrate on a small number of selected R&D projects that require its direct handling and let the private sector lead in the remaining ones. It also has decided to expand long-term financial support to talented rookies in the R&D field. Details of major R&D projects for 2017 will be decided in the next meeting of the council, of which a date has not been set, added the ministry.

From http://www.koreaherald.com 05/12/2016

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INDONESIA: Government Releases New Norms for OTT Mobile Service Providers

 

The Indonesian government has finally released a regulation requiring foreign over the top (OTT) mobile service providers to acquire licences in the country. The new announcement, which will be followed by a ministrial regulation in the near future, is aimed at protecting and encouraging the development of local OTT internet applications. In a statement, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Rudiantara said foreign service providers will have to register as a local entity with sole ownership or establish a joint-venture with local partners. This means giant tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter could be forced to procure additional investments. He also said that providers will be given “reasonable” periods of time to comply with the new rules. He added that all players, national and foreign, must adhere to the country’s laws regarding content filtering, censorship, and national payment gateway usage. Previously Rudiantara had said the government intended to resolve the international OTT players first before the locally owned OTTs citing a commitment to equality. In response to the new regulation, Product Manager Maulana Muhammad of ruangguru.com, Indonesia’s fastest growing marketplace for classes and private tutors, pointed out it has been long awaited by national players. “We have been hoping for a level playing field and that needs to come from the government’s regulation,” he said. Ruangguru.com works as a platform based service, where students can find tutors online and directly interact with them through the website’s online database. It has been operating since 2004. With the largest economy in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is currently dominated by international OTT applications like Twitter and Facebook, with as many as 40 million accounts of Indonesians on Twitter.

From http://www.dealstreetasia.com/ 04/01/2016

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SINGAPORE: Outlines "Design 2025" Towards Innovation-Driven Economy

 

Singapore has rolled out a new design masterplan, which sets out 15 recommendations under five strategic thrusts, to promote the city-state towards a thriving innovation-driven economy, according to a press release by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) on Thursday. The "Design 2025" was released by the Design Masterplan Committee (DMC), which was appointed by the MCI in May 2015 to develop the strategies that will take design in Singapore to the next level of development. The vision of Design 2025 is for Singapore to be a thriving innovation- driven economy and a loveable city by design, according to MCI. "Using design as a strategic tool, companies will be able to create new businesses, new opportunities and new jobs," MCI said. "We believe that design can play a significant role in the future economy of Singapore. Design is an important driver of innovation and value creation for businesses and society. It can also add vibrancy and richness to our national identity," said Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the Design Masterplan Committee.

 

Design 2025 has set out 15 recommendations under five strategic thrusts. The first thrust aims to nurture design as a national competency to prepare the next generation of Singapore's workforce for the future economy. It also seeks to develop a multi- disciplinary, industry-ready design workforce that will excel at a higher level of practice. The second focuses on promoting the adoption of design and strengthening the design capabilities of businesses and the public sector. The purpose of the third thrust is to help design firms in Singapore grow and expand internationally through initiatives that foster collaborations and the pooling of resources, as well as support for design research and experimentation to stay ahead of the curve. The fourth thrust looks at bringing design closer to the community to promote greater appreciation of good design and a higher level of co-creation activity to improve daily living experiences, while the fifth thrust seeks to strengthen the Singapore Design brand. "I am confident that the recommendations outlined in Design 2025 will help increase design adoption and grow the design industry further," said Yaacob Ibrahim, minister for communications and information. "More importantly, they will enable businesses to create business opportunities, and society to improve the quality of life for our people through design," the minister added.

From http://news.xinhuanet.com/ 03/10/2016

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THAILAND: Cyber Strategies for Defence Draft Approved

 

The Defence Ministry on Monday approved the cyber strategies for the national defence draft at a meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan. The ministry believes the cyber strategies are needed in the advent of cyber threats as many countries use cyber as military tools to gain advantages or to instigate unrest, said ministry spokesman Maj-General Kongcheep Tantrawanit. "We need such strategies to increase our cyber potential and help the military carry out its mission effectively,'' he said. The proposed law aimed to give officials the liberty to use cyber measures and limit the liberty of rivals or enemies from interfering or attacking Thailand using cyber threats. Under the proposal, a central body would be established to coordinate operations among state agencies in charge of national security. Another centre would be established to monitor cyber threats and prepare proactive operations against cyber attackers. Additional measures would be identified to ensure the cyber operations receive national cooperation.  Plans would be drawn up to ensure state agencies are able to deal with cyber crises. Meanwhile, Kongcheep clarified why Prawit did not endorse any deal to procure military items from Russia. After returning from his official visit to Russia on Sunday, Prawit denied talking to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Nikolai Platonovich, the secretary of Russia's Security Council, about a deal to procure military items. Kongcheep said the ministry had to follow steps and procedures when buying military items, while the state of the economy was also a factor.  "We have development plans for the short, medium and long term. Everything has a working life," he said. "If we look over the long term, we must know when our equipment will stop functioning."

From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ 03/01/2016

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Act Reduces Thai Regulator’s Autonomy; DTAC Abstains from 900mhz Re-Auction

 

Thailand’s military-backed cabinet has approved a law – the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Act – which hands control of the formerly independent telecoms regulator, the National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to the new Digital Economy Commission chaired by the Prime Minister. The Act also introduces a single seven-member board for the NBTC, replacing the existing dual broadcasting and telecoms boards. As reported by TelecomAsia, NBTC commissioner selection will be via a committee consisting of the president of the constitutional court, the president of the supreme court, the president of the administrative court, chairman of the national anti-corruption commission, the auditor-general, the chairman of the national human rights commission and the governor of the Bank of Thailand. The committee will select 14 individuals which are passed to new Digital Economy Ministry (formerly the ICT Ministry) which will forward them to the senate for selection before the final choice is then sent to the Prime Minister. The act also stipulates that the NBTC must follow the policy of the Digital Economy Commission and abide by the government policy statement. In a transitional period, the existing NBTC will continue until commissioners’ terms finish in September 2017 (‘unless there are less than four NBTC board members remaining in which case the entire NBTC board will be considered expired’). Meanwhile, Thailand’s second largest cellco DTAC has confirmed it will not participate in the upcoming re-auction of 900MHz spectrum. Rivals AIS and True have both picked up bid documents for the June auction, which carries a reserve price of THB75.65 billion (USD2.16 billion).

From https://www.telegeography.com/ 04/25/2016

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Govt Urged to Promote at Least Three $1-Billion Tech Start-Ups in Five Years

 

THAILAND SHOULD nurture at least three technology business start-ups worth US$1 billion (Bt35 billion) each within the next five years, according to an industry white paper. Citing the white paper submitted to the government, Patai Padungtin, president of Thailand Start-up Association, said the country needed to quickly develop the tech start-up sector with various measures. The industry believes that once the country has a number of high-value start-ups, with a minimum of three $1 billion-or-more start-ups, it will be able to create an estimated 10,000 positions for high-skill workers. It said the start-up sector would then have the potential to create revenues of at least Bt8 billion per year plus create value chains in each business worth Bt50 billion in total per year. This will also attract overseas investment worth an annual Bt3 billion, it said. "For start-ups, it's a do-or-die time. But the government is trying to push the sector forward quickly to create a new generation of economic warriors. Therefore, we recently submitted a white paper to develop the start-up ecosystem," said Patai. According to the proposal, the industry has urged the government to overhaul rules and regulations by amending laws and promoting start-ups with tax benefits and other policies.

 

For example, the industry believes it's necessary for Thailand to reduce its capital gains tax to attract more start-up funds since the tax in Singapore and Hong Kong is zero. It said the government also should offer tax incentives for related start-up businesses with a corporate income tax allowance. Thai start-ups should also be allowed to issue convertible notes so investors could invest conveniently in these operations. For investors and personnel, the government should set up committees to vet qualified investors and start-up entrepreneurs so they could be given privileges properly. The industry said both the convertible debt instrument and the employee stock option should be promoted as tools to develop the sector. In addition, start-ups should be allowed to do international money transfers via Internet banking like in Hong Kong. To attract talent, the industry said the government should make it easier to get work permits, while the Securities and Exchange Commission should amend its regulations to promote the option of initial public offerings for tech start-ups.

 

Tax privileges for start-ups

Due to unfavourable conditions in Thailand, more Thai start-ups do IPOs in overseas markets, such as through the Australian Securities Exchange, than here. The government should also promote the setting up of matching funds for investment in start-ups, while offering seed money to students at qualified educational institutes to build new start-ups. There should be tax privileges for related start-up businesses such as co-worker space as well as for businesses that use start-up services. Thailand should also have a national incubator or accelerator programme to drive start-ups during their initial stage and help them get grants worth Bt300,000-Bt500,0000 for each project. Last week, the Finance, and Science and Technology ministries jointly announced new incentives for tech start-ups and venture capital funds to invest in the sector. The move also aims to stimulate investment in the government's 10 clusters of technology-based businesses, developing the capital market and enhancing the country's competitiveness. Recently, the government introduced two new laws under Royal decree: the Revenue Code's tax-exempt issue No 597 and issue No 602. These make technology start-ups and venture-capital business investors exempt from taxation when their ventures are tied to one or more of the government's 10 clusters of technology-based businesses. These sectors include automobiles, smart electronics, bio-tech, food and agriculture, and healthcare. They have the potential to attract investors around the world and will play an important role in driving Thailand's economy in the future. At present, the Board of Investment is developing investment-promotion measures that focus on the 10 target industries.

From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ 05/09/2016

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VIETNAM: Gov't Calls on IT Leaders to Further Develop Sector

 

A senior government official has expressed the hope that the country's information and technology (IT) officials would join hands in implementing Resolution 36a/ NQ-CP on e-government this year. "I hope that the number of enterprises taking part in and allowed to take part in the implementation of the resolution will rise in the future," said Le Manh Ha, deputy head of the government office and general secretary of the National Committee on IT Application said at a new year meeting gathering IT associations and clubs in Ha Noi on Thursday. The meeting is an opportunity for the IT community in and outside the country to exchange and warm up the series of events and activities in the year. Le Doan Hop, chairman of the Vietnam Digital Communication Association, said that the annual new year meeting was the opportunity for the country's IT staff to encourage and work together with others to develop the country's IT sector. Pham Hong Hai, deputy minister of information and communications, also expressed the hope and expectation that the Vietnamese IT community would develop faster and stronger in the future so that the country could become a powerful technology country by 2020. Vietnamese IT staff are growing and contributing to the country's development, Nghiem Vu Khai, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Union of Scientific and Technological Associations, said. Speaking highly about the role of IT associations and organisations, Khai expressed hope that IT associations and organisations would co-operate and support each other to become a close-knit community in the future. The world's ICT sector was growing eventfully with many changes that would bring about numerous surprises, Vu Hoang Lien, chairman of the Viet Nam Internet Association said, and added that it would be an opportunity for the ICT community and enterprises to co-operate and compete with those around the world.

From http://vietnamnews.vn/ 02/27/2016

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President Backs Hi-Tech Plans to Offset Drought

 

President Trương Tấn Sang yesterday asked residents of Lộc An Commune of Lộc Ninh district in the southern Bình Phước Province to employ high technology for agricultural production in order to minimise the dependence on weather conditions. He noted that it is also local authorities’ responsibility to usher in socio-economic development and promote better living conditions. He spoke with provincial leaders and local residents during his visit to the province yesterday. Speaking to the president, Bình Phước Province authorities asked the Government to support the creation of a national electricity network programme for the province’s rural areas. Authorities said the ongoing severe drought has caused huge water shortages in local reservoirs, adding that the agriculture sector needs timely plans to support local residents. In order to increase the province’s GDP from 6.5 to 7 percent, local authorities said they hope the Government would start the border patrol path early at a cost of VND630 billion (US$28 million) and increase investment capital for bordering economic zones. They also called for upgrades to irrigation systems to ensure an ample water supply for agricultural production. President Sang asked relevant ministries and sectors to study these requests in order to facilitate development in the province while avoiding the creation of more ODA loans or burdens on the State budget. He also said the province should be aware of the integration process and of its own potential and strengths in order to take advantage of opportunities that the process would bring in the future.

From http://vietnamnews.vn/ 03/19/2016

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NA Discuss Access to Information, Development Plans

 

National Assembly deputies on March 24 agreed on the essentials of a law on information access rights during their ongoing session in Hanoi. NA discuss access to information, development plans, Government news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news At the session, deputies said they considered access to information as a fundamental civic and human right as it creates public trust in State policies, especially those on international integration. “Information disclosure will ensure transparency and openness in the fight against corruption and miscarriages of justice. It is the key solution to the principle of people knowing, people doing and people checking,” said deputy Tran Ngoc Vinh from Hai Phong city. “The draft law should therefore identify who is responsible for information disclosure in line with the 2013 Constitution,” he said. Deputy Truong Trong Nghia from HCM City agreed, adding that information recipients should include both Vietnamese people and foreigners living inside and outside of Vietnam. “Many of them have business plans in Vietnam and rely on information to make their decisions. The law should deal with information access rights for overseas Vietnamese and those without nationality,” he said. Meanwhile, many deputies said the law needed to require state agencies to be responsible for providing information about or relating to their activities and information under their holdings. Deputy Tran Thi Dieu Thuy from HCM City suggested a supplement to the law, which would require the offices of the People’s Supreme Court and the People’s Supreme Procuracy to provide information under their holding.

 

Socio-economic development discussed

Earlier the same day, the National Assembly reviewed the implementation of the socio-economic development tasks in 2015 and worked out future tasks for the next five years. Over the past five years, the rate of inflation was controlled, the macro economy stable, the Consumer Price Index reduced to 0.6 percent in 2015 from 18.13 percent in 2011, credit quality has gradually improved, and exchange rate and foreign exchange reserves were basically stable. Regarding the challenges facing Vietnam in its process of international integration, the deputies said that the government needed to take practical measures to develop high-quality human resources and transportation to raise the economy’s competitiveness in the 2016-20 period. While discussing the 2016-20 land use plan, National Assembly deputies expressed their concern about the impacts of climate change on production and people’s lives in the Central, Central Highland and Mekong Delta areas. The deputies stressed the need to develop forests as a long-term solution to help prevent drought and saline intrusion. “The present policy on forest protection and development has not met the urgent demand in the environment and the challenges of climate change. It is essential to increase forest coverage for environmental protection and national socio-economic development,” said deputy Hoang Ngoc Dung from Son La province. “In the next term, there should be changes in the laws and policies on forest protection and development,” he said.

From http://english.vietnamnet.vn/ 03/25/2016

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BANGLADESH: Excise Department, NBP, Punjab IT Board Sign Pact

An agreement was signed between Excise & Taxation Department, National Bank of Pakistan and Punjab Information Technology Board here on Wednesday for providing registration of vehicles and motorcycles to the purchasers at the sale points under Transport Sahulat Programme. Under the agreement, registration and number plates will be available from dealers to the purchasers instead of their repeated visits to the offices. The government is providing relief to the people through effective use of information technology for timely resolving their problems and improving service delivery. This was stated by Provincial Secretary Excise & Taxation Dr Ahmed Bilal at the launching ceremony of Transport Sahulat Programme. Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board Dr Umer Saif, In-charge Special Monitoring Unit Salman Sufi and Head of the National Bank were also present on the occasion. Narrating the details, Secretary Excise said that this agreement was part of Transport Sahulat Programme so that the registration system of vehicles could be modernised. 

He said under this agreement, the dealers registered with Excise & Taxation Department will provide License Plate to the purchasers of the vehicle at the time of purchase and the vehicle tax amount will be transferred to the account of Excise Department in National Bank through dealers directly. He said that the registered vehicles will be running on roads smoothly through this system and unregistered vehicles will be discouraged. The dealers' vehicles registration system will first be launched in Lahore and later its scope will be extended to other 35 districts. Under this system, theft of vehicles and other problems will be resolved. Secretary Excise & Taxation further stated the dealers obtaining license under this system will be given training of Dealers Vehicles Registration System Software and later this system will be started officially in Lahore. The registration of vehicles will be transferred on smart card next year. Ahmed Bilal said that the system was being introduced for the first time in South Asia which will not only help in eliminating corruption but the vehicles to be used in terrorism will also soon be identified. 

From http://www.brecorder.com 03/03/2016

 

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INDIA: UP Govt to Formulate Separate Cybercrime Law

 

Considering the recent rise in cybercrime cases in the state, Uttar Pradesh government is planning to make a separate cybercrime law for the state. Azam Khan, Parliamentary Affair Minister, told that the Uttar Pradesh state government has instructed the Ministry of Home Affairs to make a separate cybercrime law so that the rising cases of cybercrime could be controlled.He said that he wants the law to be made by consensus. There is a uncontrolled use of abusive language and due to the lack of a strict law, nothing much could be done against them. UP police department has developed a software which can show all the details only on typing a special word, he added. It will help to grab those who pass provoking and abusive comments on social media. He also discussed the initiatives taken by the government to build cyber police stations and controlling cybercrime in the state.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com 02/25/2016

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PM Modi Orders Speedy Execution of Digital India Schemes

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered officials to quickly implement the ‘housing for all’ scheme in order to provide broadband to all gram panchayats and facilitate eGovernance. The order was issued while he reviewed the progress of key infrastructure sectors in the country, including coal, housing and ports, oil and gas, renewable energy and power, as also the Digital India programme.According to an official statement, “The prime minister was informed that progress of electrification of all unelectrified villages is proceeding at a rapid pace. Out of the approximately 18,500 unelectrified villages, 6,000 have already been electrified.”Modi also took special interest in renewable energy, notably on the progress in distribution of LED bulbs across the country. Officials said that against the target of 175 GW of such energy capacity by 2022, 39.5 GW of installed capacity had already been achieved.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com 03/07/2016

 

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PAKISTAN: Project to Support Female IT Graduates Launched

 

The project of supporting female Information Technology (IT) graduates through internship program was launched here at Hamdard University Main Campus at Madinat al-Hikmah, Karachi. The project was launched under the Gender Equity Program (GEP) of Aurat Foundation with support of USAID and the project would be executed by Hamdard University. Speaking on the occasion, Regional Director Aurat Foundation Ms. Mehnaz Rehman said that the female IT graduates could not find jobs because of not having sufficient skill. The project would support them to get jobs easily. The female graduates are very intelligent and have talent but many are still jobless and the project would help them to contribute and play positive role in the development of the country. Chief Guest of the ceremony Director K&N Foods Ms Naushaba Khalil said that the use of Information technology was increasing by each passing. Keeping in the view rise of IT, women should enhance participation toward IT because the positive role of women could be beneficial for themselves and society as well. Project Director of Hamdard University, Asad Ur Rehman said that under the program, 120 female fresh graduates would be selected and they would be given a 3-weeks training on Information Technology and 3-day training on labor laws and sexual harassment law. -PR 

From http://www.brecorder.com 04/22/2016

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AZERBAIJAN: Gov’t Drafts Strategic Plan to Boost ICT Sector

 

A strategic plan for the development of the information and communication technologies sector is being drafted by a commission operating under the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs Organizations of Azerbaijan. Commission Chairman Ismail Alakbarov told Trend that the strategic plan will take into account the short-term and long-term goals for the development high-tech industry in Azerbaijan, and consider issues related to development of the country’s export potential and legal regulation. The National Confederation of Entrepreneurs Organizations has a great potential which can be used for the development purposes, he believes. The commission includes private enterprises from economic sector which have better understanding about the problematic areas in this field, said the chairman. Most likely, the development of the strategic plan will take months, but it will reflect interests of both government and business sector. Alakbarov further added that state support in this sphere can be tax relief or its complete remission in specific activity areas, for example e- commerce. The growth of the country’s export potential in the ICT field is of great importance, but the state support is needed to the private sector.

Azerbaijan’s companies participated in international tenders in this regard, Alakbarov said by reminding that the budget of such tenders amounts to millions of dollars which is beyond that one company can afford. The way-out from this situation is the establishment of a consortium. Nevertheless, there is another constraining factor- requirement for the bank guarantee. Thus, company needs to put $10,000 in its bank account in order to be able to attend the tender. In Turkey, the government directly acts as a guarantor and does everything in order to ensure the company’s participation in the tender, and when the company wins the tender it contributes to the state’s monetary reserves respectively, highlighted Alakbarov. He went on to say that attractive markets for the IT-companies of Azerbaijan are the markets of countries of the Central Asia and Africa. Nowadays, many international financial institutions allocate huge funds for the development of health, education, agriculture and other fields in the African countries. Furthermore, the advantage of local IT-companies is that their proposed solutions are competitive from a commercial point of view in comparison with European equivalents. What’s more, Azerbaijan also intends to reduce its dependence on high-tech imports. Iltimas Mammadov, the Deputy Minister of Communications and High Technologies announced that mass production of high-tech hardware and software development will be established in order to achieve this goal. Mammadov stressed that the security issue is an essential component in realization of import substitution of high-tech products. The cooperation with the scientific community of the country may play an important role in expanding production and software development, he added.

From http://www.azernews.az/ 05/02/2016

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AUSTRALIA: New Digital Rights Org Sets Sights on Data Retention Rollback

 

A new Australian organisation aims to build a broader fight-back around digital civil liberties. Digital Rights Watch officially launched today. The chair of the organisation, Tim Singleton Norton, said that DRW isn’t intended as a replacement for existing digital rights and privacy organisations. Instead the intention is for it to act as an umbrella organisation that can link together and amplify the efforts of different sectors affected by legislation such as the data retention regime. “We’re trying to get all of those digital space advocates and then link them up with human rights advocates, link them with human rights lawyers, with the telcos and in general with the activism sector, and do it in a way that actually connects them,” he said. “I guess part of our remit is not to replace anything but to be a connector into the sectors that have to date not been connected with these issues.”

 

Singleton Norton said that the organisation came out of a series of workshops held at the end of 2015. A defining feature of the organisation will be reaching out “beyond just the digital realm,” he said. “A lot of this space has been focussed on a very niche tech industry and that’s meant it hasn’t reached a wider audience of people who will actually be impacted by [legislation],” he said. Singleton Norton said that 2015 was a “pretty horrific year”, citing the introduction of the data retention scheme, the government’s National Facial Biometric Matching Capability and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement inching closer. “All of these things came through so rapidly and with very little public debate,” he said. He said that although there have been some strong advocates on issues such as data retention, ultimately the government has managed to push through legislation with minimal public backlash.

 

“In many ways the formation of the organisation is a little bit late in some instances,” Singleton Norton said. “We’ve seen all of this legislation go through but that was also a catalyst — ‘We need a coordinated approach to this so that it doesn’t get worse and then we can roll back some of that horrendous legislation’.” The organisation has a range of what Singleton Norton describes as ‘foundation partners’ — organisations and individuals that have endorsed the general idea of the organisation and have contributed to its formation in some capacity or another. Among them are Choice, Thoughtworks, the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, the Australian Privacy Foundation, human rights lawyer Julian Burnside, broadcaster Mary Kostakidis, and iiNet founder Michael Malone. “Most of them are backing the concept, the policy agenda and the kind of outlook of our plan,” Singleton Norton said. “The Privacy Foundation has already said that they’re very willing to work with us on advocacy and policy development when it relates to privacy, whereas Thoughtworks are providing a lot of the back-end support.”

 

The nascent organisation is already forming international links, Singleton Norton said, including with Fight for the Future in the US and Open Rights Group in the UK. The data retention regime will be an early focus. The organisation wants to be able to ‘translate’ the scheme and make information about its impact accessible to the public, including through a series of fortnightly briefings for supporters, journalists, and other advocates. The organisation will also be developing policy responses as the government introduces new legislation. “We’ve got a team of policy advisers, at the moment pro bono, from lawyers down to privacy advocates to a whole range of different people and they’ll be developing these policy briefings that hope to influence what’s happening both in parliament and outside [it].” To that end DRW will also be trying to build a broader movement, he added. “We’ve been talking to a few of the major campaigning organisations,” Singleton Norton said.

From http://www.computerworld.com.au 03/11/2016

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Government Releases Disability Communications Consultation Paper

 

The federal government has released a consultation paper aimed at improving communication options for Australians with disability and ensuring the sustainability of the National Relay Service (NRS). The consultation paper - Communications accessibility: 2016 and beyond - canvasses the growing range of communications options available for Australians with a disability. The paper seeks feedback on ways to improve the delivery of the NRS, which helps people who are deaf or have a speech or hearing impairment to make and receive phone calls. The government says nearly half a million successful connections were made to the NRS in 2014-15 and use has continued to grow this financial year, with advances in technology improving the range of accessible services available in Australia. According to the government, smartphone and tablet devices now offer high levels of accessibility with a growing number of text and video based communication options, such as live chat, messaging, email and video calls.

 

And, this has created more real-time and independent options for people with disability to communicate with friends, family and businesses without requiring specialised equipment. The government says that promoting and enabling adoption of these improved accessible service options will provide substantial opportunities to improve the overall quality of life for people with disability. And, use of alternative service options will also assist in maintaining the sustainability of the NRS as a safety net communication option for Australians who are deaf, hearing and/or speech impaired, through spreading the demand for accessible services across a wide array of options.

From http://www.itwire.com 03/28/2016

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Australian Federal Budget 2016: NBN Still Needs to Raise Money

 

What does Australia’s new federal Budget 2016 say about the NBN? Details within, with links to the documents so you can see for yourself. The NBN is still years away from completion, and so too is the funding the NBN requires to get the job done far from being sorted. In this ‘Statement 8: Statement of Risks (continued)’ document on ‘Fiscal Risks’, Australians are told that: “The Australian Government has committed $29.5 billion in equity to NBN Co Limited (nbn), which is expected to be fully utilised by the end of the 2016‑17 financial year. “Consistent with nbn's 2016 Corporate Plan, nbn is expected to raise debt from external markets of between $16.5 billion and $26.5 billion (with a base case of $19.5 billion) to complete the rollout of the network. nbn is currently undertaking the necessary preparatory work on the proposed debt raising. “In the event that nbn is initially unable to raise the necessary debt on acceptable terms, interim funding support may be required. Were it required, additional Government financial support for nbn would have implications for the fiscal position, for example by increasing assets and liabilities on the balance sheet and, depending on the nature of support, could have positive or negative impacts on the underlying cash balance.” In this document entitled: ‘Statement 8: Statement of Risks (continued) - Significant but remote contingencies for ‘Communications and the Arts’, Australians are told:

 

“NBN Co Limited — Equity Agreement”

“The Australian Government has entered into an Equity Funding Agreement with NBN Co Limited (nbn). The Agreement formalises the Australian Government's intention to provide equity to fund the roll‑out of the National Broadband Network, with such funding being conditional on the annual appropriation processes. In addition, it commits the Australian Government, in the event of a termination of the National Broadband Network roll‑out, to provide sufficient funds to nbn to meet its costs arising from that termination. Although the nbn Equity Funding Agreement will end in 2019, the Commonwealth would retain obligations to meet nbn's costs arising from a termination of the roll‑out. As at 29 February 2016, nbn's termination liabilities were estimated at $9.4 billion.”

 

“Optus financial guarantee”

“The Australian Government has provided a guarantee in respect of the NBN Co Limited's financial obligations to Optus Networks Pty Ltd, Optus Internet Pty Limited, Optus Vision Media Pty Limited and SingTel Optus Pty Ltd (collectively, Optus) under the Optus HFC Subscriber Agreement (Guarantee). An amended version of that Agreement came into effect on 19 September 2015 and the Guarantee continues to apply to that Agreement. The Agreement extends for the period of the National Broadband Network roll‑out in Optus Hybrid Fibre Coaxial areas. As at 29 February 2016 it is estimated that the Australian Government's liability under the Guarantee will not exceed $50 million. There is a low risk that a claim would be made under the Guarantee. The Guarantee will terminate in 2021.”

 

“Telstra Financial Guarantee”

“The Australian Government has provided a guarantee to Telstra Corporation Limited (Telstra) in respect of NBN Co Limited's (nbn) financial obligations to Telstra under the Definitive Agreements. The Agreements were amended on 14 December 2014. The Guarantee was not amended at that time and it continues in force in accordance with its terms in respect of the amended Definitive Agreements. The liabilities under the agreements between Telstra and nbn arise progressively during the roll‑out of the National Broadband Network as Telstra's infrastructure is accessed and Telstra's customers are disconnected from its copper and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial cable networks. The Australian Government is only liable in the event nbn does not pay an amount when due under the Definitive Agreements. As at 29 February 2016, nbn had generated liabilities covered by the guarantee estimated at $4.3 billion. The guarantee will terminate when nbn achieves specified credit ratings for a period of two continuous years and either:

# the company is capitalised by the Commonwealth to the agreed amount; or

# the Communications Minister declares, under the National Broadband Network Companies Act 2011, that, in his or her opinion, the National Broadband Network should be treated as built and fully operational.

 

“Termination of the funding agreement with OPEL Network Pty Ltd”

“As at 31 March 2016, the Australian Government is a party to legal action brought by OPEL Networks Pty Ltd (in Liquidation) (OPEL) and Optus Networks Pty Ltd (Optus) in relation to an agreement under the Broadband Connect Infrastructure Programme. OPEL is a joint venture between Optus and Elders Telecommunications Infrastructure Pty Ltd. The outcome of that litigation is unknown as the proceedings are ongoing.” In the section entitled: ‘Statement 8: Statement of Risks (continued) Contingent liabilities — unquantifiable’ in the ‘Communications and the Arts’ section, Australins are told about ‘NBN Co Limited - Board Members’ Insolvency Indemnity.” This section says: “The Australian Government has provided each Director of NBN Co Limited (nbn) with an indemnity against liability as a result of the Government failing to meet its funding obligations to nbn.

 

“The liabilities covered by this indemnity would be no greater than those covered by the nbn Equity Agreement, with the exception of any legal expenses incurred by individual Directors arising from this indemnity.” In ‘Statement 6: Debt Statement, Assets and Liabilities (continued) - The Australian Government's major assets and liabilities’, the section entitled ‘National Broadband Network’ states: “The National Broadband Network (NBN) will deliver fast, affordable broadband to all Australians. The Government has instructed NBN Co Limited (nbn) to complete the NBN using a multi‑technology mix (including fibre to the premises, fibre to the node, hybrid fibre coaxial cable, and wireless and satellite technologies), to ensure the NBN is delivered as soon as possible and at least cost to taxpayers. The Government will provide $8.8 billion in equity to nbn in 2016‑17, including $0.4 billion moved from 2015‑16. The Government's equity contributions are capped at $29.5 billion.”

From http://www.itwire.com 05/04/2016

 

 

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NEW ZEALAND: Telcos Back Govt Plans to Reduce UFB Delays and Frustrations

 

Telcos across New Zealand have welcomed Government plans to streamline consenting rules to help speed up the installation of the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) rollout, as part of the first phase of its Land Access Reforms to reduce delays and frustrations with getting properties connected to UFB. As reported by Computerworld New Zealand, Communication Minister Amy Adams made the changes following on from the Land Access for Telecommunications Discussion Document released last year. In response to the move, Vodafone has welcomed the new regulations to streamline Kiwi customers’ experience connecting to UFB. “Kiwis love broadband and are increasingly using it as a key enabler of their connected homes,” says Matt Williams, Consumer Director, Vodafone. With this, more and more New Zealanders are shifting to fibre, making us the fastest country in the OECD in terms of fibre uptake. Some of our customers have told us how frustrating it is to get connected to fibre due to access on shared driveways or cross-leases. Previously they would need to carry out an extensive consent process to install fibre into their home. It is pleasing to see the government, industry and public working together to simplify this process, so more kiwis can benefit from New Zealand’s UFB investment.”

 

TCF

On the whole, the telecommunications industry supports the changes, which will “remove a barrier” to connecting to the UFB network. According to TCF CEO, Geoff Thorn, the current requirement to get consent from all property owners is slowing down the installation process and creating frustration for consumers who are actively seeking to upgrade to UFB. As such, Thorn believes the proposed changes are a positive step forward and will help reduce the time required for consumers to get their fibre connection with the changes also estimated to save the industry costs of between $18 and $40 million over the next four years. “The demand for UFB has been growing at an unprecedented rate,” Thorn adds. “Clearly, consumers want access to fast broadband. However, many New Zealanders need to get their neighbour’s consent in order to take the UFB connection down a shared driveway, or right of way. At the moment, if a neighbour simply doesn’t respond to the request for consent, the consumer wanting the connection misses out. Broadband connections are no longer a ‘nice to have’. New Zealand has a world class UFB network and it is important that all New Zealanders have the opportunity to connect to this network, and not be beholden to their neighbour.”

 

Thorn says network operators are using a range of technologies to provide the fibre connection to the consumer’s premises. “Many of these technologies have a low impact on the shared land,” he adds. “Consequently, the TCF supports the idea that the industry should be able to get on with constructing these low impact installations, after providing advanced notice to all property owners.” For Thorn, it’s also important for consumers to understand that connecting fibre to their home or office is a construction job. “A job which requires careful planning and qualified installers,” he adds. “The very high demand for connections means that there will always be some delay. “To place the size of the task for the industry into perspective, the number of UFB connections is currently about twice the number of new connections the electricity industry is doing, and it is increasing rapidly as consumers understand the benefits of fibre.”

 

MyRepublic

The Government’s announcement has also been welcomed by MyRepublic, who believe the move demonstrates an “important step” toward ensuring all New Zealanders are able to enjoy the vastly superior internet experience provided by fibre broadband. “This improvement is an important step to address some of these challenges around consent, and ensures consumers who are currently affected by delays, can be connected in a timely and simple process, whilst still respecting the rights of property owners,” says Vaughan Baker, Managing Director, MyRepublic. “A pragmatic consents process is a critical step in the right direction in creating balance and addressing some of the issues experienced to date during the fibre roll out and we applaud the Government for taking action. But we’re not there yet, we’re far from it. In Singapore, our entire fibre installation process is now completed within 5 days and in Indonesia, we’re achieving same day installations in the majority of cases. These are the aspirational installation targets that we’d like Chorus and the LFCs to aim for. We recognise New Zealand differs from Singapore and Indonesia in many ways, but we can learn a lot from their fibre deployments.”

 

At present, Baker says MyRepublic is in discussion with Chorus and the LFCs, as well as their subcontractors, on ways the experience of the MyRepublic Group in the APAC region can be leveraged in the country’s local build. “These changes mean more New Zealanders will be able to connect to this world class fibre broadband network,” Baker adds. “MyRepublic will continue to be at the forefront of helping customers take advantage of the fibre revolution, and delivering an awesome internet experience to all kiwis.”

 

Ultrafast Fibre

Ultrafast Fibre CEO, William Hamilton, says the changes will help people to connect and access the benefits of fibre faster. “We support the Minister’s initiative to help make the UFB installation process as efficient and as quick as possible,” he says. “Our team has been working closely with the industry and officials to get these changes in place - using our own experiences and the voice of the customer to get the message across. We believe this legislative change will have a positive impact for many end users and also for our business.” Hamilton says there is increasingly high demand for UFB from consumers across the residential, business, health and education sectors. “We are now completing a significant number of installations each month,” he adds. “Demand for UFB services is growing rapidly and the Minister’s announcement is likely to encourage even more people to connect, as they will be less likely to face the previous constraints and uncertainty. Ultrafast Fibre is determined to enhance the connection experience for our Retail Service Providers’ customers who access UFB services over our network. We want to enable them to innovate and leverage all the benefits that UFB brings.”

From http://www.computerworld.co.nz 02/29/2016

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PAPUA NEW GUINEA: UN ICT Experts Here to Provide Technical, Strategic Advice - Ganasi

 

UNITED Nations experts on information and technology are here to provide technical and strategic advice to Parliament and the Bougainville House of Representatives. Gerry Kessell-Haak from New Zealand and Richard Coombe from Scotland met parliament staff in Port Moresby and Buka to review the existing Information and Communication Technology infrastructure. The experts have begun to develop an assessment report with timetables to implement new ICT strategies. Acting Speaker Aide Ganasi thanked the UNDP for facilitating the exercise. Any assistance given to improve ICT infrastructure and processes in Parliament will assist in achieving the Speaker’s vision to modernise Parliament,” he said. Deputy Speaker of the Bougainville House of Representatives Francesca Semoso stated that an improved ICT network would positively impact the conduct of parliamentary business. ICT provides critical tools for building strong, effective parliament to advance inclusive and sustainable human development.” Roy Trivedy, the UN resident coordinator and Uinted Nations Development Programme resident representative said: “UNDP is happy to partner with the Government of PNG and the Bougainville House of Representatives to use its best knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the country. “This support will assist the PNG Parliament and the ABG Parliament to improve the effectiveness of their legislative and representative work.”

From The National 02/24/2016

 

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AFRICA: Egyptian Govt Names Hosni Head of IT Development Agency

 

The Egyptian government has appointed Asmaa Mahmoud Hosni Ahmed as the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) CEO for a year, effective 03 April. Hosni has around 22 years' experience in ICT and in developing strategies, implementing projects and managing companies. She has 20 years of experience in establishing a 50-50 partnership with the Orascom group in Egypt, the UAE and US, and in managing distributor networks in the Arab region to market and implement projects. Hosni was a founder member of Wasla Egypt and worked with a team at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to develop regulations for mobile payments She also worked as a Business Development Director at Mobinil. She is one of the key founders of Health Insights, with offices in Egypt and the UAE.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 04/01/2016

 

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EUROPE: Ukraine - E-government Taking Off, Bringing Light to Nation’s Dark, Corrupt Places

 

Many countries have taken out the human equation through automation – saving money and improving public service in the process – through introducing electronic government platforms.The United Nations ranked Ukraine ranked 87th out of 193 countries in its e-government survey in 2014. That is far behind Europe in terms of providing services online, but in 2015, the country made significant strides in making more government services available over the internet. According to OleksandrRyzhenko, chairman of the State Agency for E-Government in Ukraine, the process was spearheaded by the ministries of justice, regional development and ecology.

 

Justice Ministry leads

To get registered as a private entrepreneur in Ukraine, a person used to have to spend several days in line or pay a bribe to officials to skip the ordeal. Now, a new online service launched last year allows a person to register themselves as an entrepreneur within 24 hours.Out of the 3.5 million entrepreneurs who registered in Ukraine last year, 2.5 million registered via the ministry’s free online registration service, and a half a million registered online and paid an official fee to expedite the process, said Justice Minister PavloPetrenko. The ministry has also created a service that allows citizens to obtain an entrepreneur’s certificate from theUnified State Registers within an hour, for a set, official fee.The key advantage of going online is that it reduces the risks of corruption in the Justice Ministry’s system, Petrenko said.By the end of 2016, the ministry plans to make all its services electronic. That will enable citizens to amend a company’s corporate charter and core business definition, change its director, register a change in surname, and register a marriage, divorce, death or birth online using a digital signature.

 

Created by volunteers

Pressure to remove the bureaucratic obstacles to delivering government services in Ukraine came largely from the ground up, from civil society.But with no coherent state strategy for implementing e-government, the country has at least two platforms that claim to offer similar functions.DmytroDubilet, the project manager of iGov – a new state administrative services portal – said his initiative started with a Facebook post. Dubilet called on other information technology specialists to volunteer to make the delivery of state administrative services more convenient and efficient. More than 100 people responded to the call, and they are now actively developing the project after the portal launched in June 2015.Developed on open source software, iGov cost the state nothing. “If we built the project on a commercial footing it would cost millions of hryvnias every month,” Dubilet said. As of now, 20 percent of the government’s services are available on iGov. The plan is to add all 1,000 of them to the platform by the end of 2016.

 

Some services are provided entirely remotely, such as applications for subsidies. For others, citizens still need to fill in an application, pay a fee, and schedule a visit to a government agency to receive the certificate they require.As electronic signatures are not widely used in Ukraine and not all ministries recognize them, the problem of verification was solved with the help of bank IDs – nine Ukrainian banks have joined in the project.Currently, the online provision of state services is spread unevenly through Ukraine, with Dnipropetrovsk Oblast taking the lead.While earlier volunteers were asking government agencies to use their platform, now the central and municipal administrative bodies are coming to the iGov developers with requests to make their services available on the platform.As no big portal can survive on the enthusiasm of volunteers forever, iGov’s founder is now looking for grants, and has hired the project’s first full-time staff. Dubilet said that after iGov is finished and removed from the volunteers’ shoulders, keeping it going should cost the state less than Hr 100,000 per month. He said that the Economy Ministry will audit the portal before taking over responsibility for it.

 

One stop shop

Apart from the volunteer initiative iGov, the Economy Ministry has its own online government services pilot project -- poslugy.gov.ua. According to Ukraine’s law on providing administrative services, this unified state portal should play the role of a "one-stop shop," providing information about all administrative services in the country. At the moment, citizens can obtain online only those services that are provided by the Economy Ministry. However, other services that become electronic later should also become available on poslugy.gov.ua. “Respectively all other portals that offer state services should be integrated into it, according to the rules. Those rules are almost finished and are being agreed for now,” the State Agency for E-Government’s chairman Ryzhenko said. According to officials, unlike iGov, the Economy Ministry’s portal will allow citizens not only to schedule a visit to a government agency, but also to submit documents and receive services online.

 

At the same time, Ukrainian law does not forbid government agencies and local authorities from providing their services separately on their own websites, just as the Justice Ministry does. The problem with making government services available online in Ukraine is that everything that has already been achieved will need to be re-done, says OlehLevchenko, e-governance expert from the non-governmental Reanimation Package of Reforms.He doubts that the biggest portal, iGov, will become a centralized e-government platform, because it is a non-government initiative. There is also the question of the security of the personal data stored on iGov."It’s not enough to have the will and an electronic program. It is important to make officials work with it," Levchenko told the Kyiv Post.

 

As for government initiatives, the problem with the online services of the Justice Ministry is that they are being introduced without a coherent strategy, Levchenko said. Thus, when other ministries go online, additional challenges will arise in efficiently connecting those systems.

On the other hand, before introducing e-government, Ukraine needs to simplify or cancel many of its bureaucratic procedures, all of which are stipulated in laws, Levchenko said. The civic activists who are working on the iGov cannot re-engineer the legislation, he said. It can be done only by the ministries and state agencies which provide those services. Levchenko said this process is part of the state administrative services reform that is underway in the country.“Thus, most management processes have been suspended or are only half complete,” he said. “This is why the effort to create e-government at this time looks like an attempt to make chaos electronic.”

From http://www.kyivpost.com/ 03/28/2016

 

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NORTH AMERICA: U.S. - 5 Steps to Better State IT Procurement

 

IT procurement remains a complex issue. It seems like we have been talking about how to better the process for many years now, with no real results. But thankfully, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) recently developed and released a five-step process, Call To Action: Recommendations for Improved State IT Procurement, that guides state leaders to improve their IT procurement process.Meredith Ward, Senior Policy Analyst at NASCIO, and Doug Robinson, Executive Director at NASCIO, sat down with Emily Jarvis on GovLoop’s State and Local Spotlight to discuss the call to action and what it all entails. emily-snl-badge-02-300x300“CIOs still don’t understand why the process takes so long. In general, it takes 18 months for the IT procurement cycle to begin and end. And although there is a good reason, a good purpose for the protections put in place, laws do not get updated overnight,” Ward said.In their recent interview, Ward and Robinson detailed five steps they believe will improve IT procurement in state government.

 

1) Remove unlimited liability clauses in state terms and conditions: The report noted, “As state CIOs continue to deploy IT solutions, it is important to recognize the fiscal benefits of transforming the procurement process to meet the needs of a smaller workforce, budget constraints, and consolidation efforts. States who have eliminated unlimited liability have also experienced an increased innovative and competitive contract culture.”“It is not the norm in the marketplace, but it is the provision for states,” Robinson said. Large, multinational corporations do not want to put their assets and their company at risk with an unlimited liability. When limitations are put in place, competition among the vendors is encouraged, which leads to a healthier procurement system.

 

2) Introduce more flexible terms and conditions: Ward and Robinson explained that the role of procurement officials is to level the playing field, to reduce the risk to state government and its taxpayers. Additionally, procurement officials should promote healthy competition within the state, but sometimes these two roles can cause friction with one another.That may explain why some states continue to be unwilling to waiver on their terms and conditions. Robinson referred to these terms as “absolutes,” and explained that they lead to companies’ refusal to accept the standard terms and conditions because they are too onerous. Instead, NASCIO hopes to instill the mentality that the more flexible terms are, the more agile and adaptive an agency can be in their IT adoption.

 

3) Don’t require performance bonds from vendors: Investopedia defines a performance bond as “a bond issued to one party of a contract as a guarantee against the failure of the other party to meet obligations specified in the contract.” The website uses a construction project as an example and explains that “if the contractor fails to construct the building according to the specifications laid out by the contract, the client is guaranteed compensation for any monetary loss.”Not only are performance bonds becoming harder and harder to obtain, but they also hinder progress and diversity among potential contractors. “Small companies, in particular, find that they have to post a performance bond just to do the work, which is a financial hardship for them,” Robinson said. “It doesn’t improve or motivate the company to do a good job simply because they are concerned about forfeiting their bond.”

 

4) Leverage enterprise architecture for improved IT procurement: Robinson defined enterprise architecture as “a roadmap for rationalizing your IT investment” and a way to “make sure that everything you do fits into the big picture, the big vision.” States need to remember the ultimate reason for procuring IT services and solutions. Robinson even recommended that, “Every solicitation coming out of state government that involves information technology should have a provision that states in the request for a proposal that respondents must agree to comply with the state’s enterprise architecture.”

 

5) Improve the Negotiations Process: “This is probably the hardest one,” Robinson said. The way state government is set up, states only get to interact with the potential reward recipient. The second or third candidates are removed from the process, which means there is very little room for negotiation or leveraging, Ward explained. Therefore, the negotiation process must change. “As technology changes, services change and we have to continue to be agile and adaptive to what needs to happen,” she concluded.Bottom line: state IT procurement systems must become more agile and smooth. Otherwise, we will continue to see statistics like 47 percent of state CIOs expressed negative outlooks on IT procurement processes.

From https://www.govloop.com/ 03/04/2016

 

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6 Ideas to Help Government Realize Open Data's Transformative Power

 

Government thinks open data is an add-on that boosts transparency, but it’s more than that. Most open data portals don’t look like labors of love. They look like abandoned last-minute science fair projects, pie charts sagging because someone didn’t use enough glue stick. The current open data movement is more than a decade old, but some are still asking why they should even bother. “Right now, it is irrational for almost anybody who works in government to open data. It makes no sense,” Waldo Jaquith said. “Most people, it’s not in their job description to open data — they’re just the CIO. So if he fails to open data, worst case, nothing bad happens. But if he does open some data and it has PII [personally identifying information], then his worst case is that he’s hauled before a legislative subcommittee, grilled, humiliated and fired.” Though perhaps it’s not immediately apparent, Jaquith is the director of U.S. Open Data and one of the movement’s most active advocates. But he’s also a realist. Open data is struggling to gain financial and spiritual backing. Open data may fizzle out within the next two years, said Jaquith, and a glance at government’s attitude toward the entire “open” concept supports that timeline.

 

The people who are really into open data — like Jaquith — aren’t the fad-following type. Open data’s disciples believe in it because they’ve seen that just a little prodding in the right spots can make a big difference. In 2014, Jaquith bought a temporary license for Virginia’s business registration data for $450 and published the records online. That data wasn’t just news to the public — it had been kept from Virginia’s municipal governments too. Before that, the state’s municipal governments had no way of knowing which businesses existed within their boundaries and, therefore, they had no way of knowing which businesses weren’t paying license fees and property taxes. Jaquith estimated (“wildly,” he admits) that this single data set is worth $100 million to Virginia’s municipal governments collectively. The disconnect between the massive operational potential that open data holds and government’s slow movement toward harnessing it can be explained simply. Government thinks open data is an add-on that boosts transparency, but it’s more than that. Open data isn’t a $2 side of guacamole that adds flavor to the burrito. It’s the restaurant’s mission statement. Here are six ideas that can help government more fully realize open data’s transformative power.

 

Open+Data+portal1. RECONSIDER YOUR DATA'S PURPOSE

Open data isn’t just about transparency and economic development. If it were, those things would have happened by now. People still largely don’t know what their governments are doing and no one’s frequenting their city’s open data portal to find out — they read the news. Open data portals haven’t stopped corruption; the unscrupulous simply reroute their activities around the spotlight. And if anyone’s using open data to build groundbreaking apps that improve the world and generate industry, they’re doing a great job keeping it a secret. For government, open data is about working smarter. “I’m tired of the argument of ‘Oh, it will unlock value to the private sector,’” Jaquith said. “That’s nice. I hope people make billions of dollars off of that. But nobody in any government is going to spend any real amount of time on all the work that goes into opening all the data sets on a sustainable, complete basis because some stranger somewhere might get rich.”

 

Open data’s most basic advantage is that it makes life easier for government workers. Information that’s requested regularly can be put online, freeing workers to do other tasks. At its best, open data uncovers interjurisdictional insights that save money and improve operations. And no matter how tenuous, peripheral bonuses like transparency and economic development are still there too. Governments aren’t gaining the benefits of open data today because there’s not been a rigorous effort to integrate the concept of openness into public-sector work. One unnamed city that ranks respectably in the U.S. City Open Data Census has more than 1,000 records on its open data portal. But only 132 of those records are data sets and 86 of those data sets are pieces of a single budget that have been split apart. This is a common practice across the public sector and one that reveals intent. For the most part, governments aren’t publishing their data because they know it’s a useful resource that ought to be easily accessible, well curated, neat and current so that it can be used by all. It’s because 1,000 sounds better than 50 when an official is giving a speech or addressing stakeholders, and they’re not the ones who have to use it.

 

2. CONSUME YOUR OWN OPEN DATA

Governments use data. Open data portals are designed for displaying and sharing information in an organized way. Therefore, governments should use a tool designed for the thing they’re trying to do. Even putting aside the “open” concept, public-sector offices around the nation would benefit hugely from having a common, shared pool of data they can draw upon when they need reliable information. Putting the data online is the most practical way to do that — and it also happens to meet the political dictates of transparency — but government should be doing this for its own sake. “The most common mistake I see governments make with open data is thinking that publication is the end of the activity, rather than beginning of the activity,” said Dan O’Neil, executive director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative. “Because publishing data can be, if we live in a perfect world, simply a prefatory step to allowing residents to talk about how data affects their lives and helps them live better. But usually, what happens is they publish data and they run as fast as they can in the other direction.”

 

3. PLAN BEYOND TECHNOLOGY

Open data has outgrown the novelty phase, and that means it needs organizational and policy support to survive. It needs comprehensive planning and believers who will act. People wouldn’t be giving up much if they abandoned open data today, O’Neil said, because open data hasn’t done much. The tragedy of giving up now, he said, would purely be a loss of prospect, because open data could change the world if the focus were shifted away from technology and toward the needs of the people. An organization called City Bureau is attempting to encourage young non-white people to become reporters in an attempt to restore balance to journalistic coverage on the south and west sides of Chicago. Another journalistic endeavor on Chicago’s South Side called Invisible Institute serves as a watchdog organization that uses investigative reporting, litigation and public discussion to further its civil rights goals. O’Neil’s world is one of civic tech and social justice, but regardless of whether a person supports these particular groups ideologically, everyone can learn from their approach.

 

“That’s where it’s at,” O’Neil said. “Getting data that isn’t open and making it open and then having an actual community strategy around analyzing not just the data, but the social justice issues around the general milieu.” Government needs to do the same if open data is to find meaning. Just putting data online and hoping for the best isn’t wrong, but it doesn’t do much. Open data needs a clear plan, and it needs to come from a wide patronage within government. “The most common mistake is focusing on the project over the practice,” said Will Saunders, Washington state’s open data guy (his actual title). “It’s always attractive to have an executive sponsor, and a lot of times open data projects get started as a transparency commitment, as ‘a hallmark of my administration’ kind of thing. [Sometimes] you wind up having a diligent, small group of folks who facilitate the publication of data and then if there’s a leadership change in three or four years, then a lot of the sustainability just isn’t there.”

 

4. AUTOMATE SLOWLY

Washington could be publishing three to four times more data than it is today, Saunders said, but the state doesn’t because longevity through automation ensures the efforts will stick. “Program managers know that they can and should publish, and when they do, they tend to link it to their own programmatic goals as opposed to a specific political commitment,” he said. “What I typically do is work with agencies to see if there’s a way I can encourage them to make publication part of their program design, and if I can’t, then I wait for another day.” This approach is slower, but like proper diet and exercise, experts recommend it because it works. Open data’s relevance will grow only if efforts mature. In Washington and elsewhere, data sets are often used for purposes different from what was originally intended. Opportunities to repurpose data will appear more frequently as the information becomes better organized, shared and understood. One severe obstacle to that prospect is that today there exist few standard schemas for publishing data. Roads, for instance, cross every boundary the nation has, and yet road data takes a new format in each jurisdiction. Today, without standards, a large project that uses open road data sounds like more trouble than it’s worth.

 

5. COLLABORATE ON THE CREATION OF PUBLISHING STANDARDS

Government has a hard time following publishing standards today because not many exist. The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing is developing some standards for police data, Data.gov is working toward a standard that will let companies like Uber publish their ride data meaningfully, and programs like Bloomberg’s What Works Cities initiative are positioned to develop standards across city lines. Comprehensive and accessible publishing rules would reduce the work required of freeing data sets, and it would solve many of today’s data sharing and comprehension snags.

 

6. TRUST YOUR EXPERTS

The public isn’t qualified to tell the government how it should be using its data, because the public doesn’t understand government. Most people think “the government” means the president or Congress. No one understands the challenges of government better than those who run it and those are the people who should guide the use of public-sector data. Utah is growing its open data automation daily under the guidance of experts. The technology office monitors which data sets its offices need and educates stakeholders on how to use that information. The state auditor, the health-care system and external data requesters are among those learning, said Dave Fletcher, Utah’s CTO. “Increasingly we’re working on an initiative that we’re calling data-driven government to make better decisions based on data,” Fletcher said, adding that they share statewide data with counties so information like graduation rates, unemployment rates, taxes and air quality measures are easily accessed by commissioners.

 

Drew Mingl, Utah’s open data coordinator, said people are grateful to have a definitive centralized source of state information that can yield new insights. Data now being drawn from the state’s Medicare system, for example, showed a $25,000 deviation in the cost of hip replacement surgery in two neighboring counties. “People are now making better, more informed decisions because we’ve put all this state data in one place where they can get access to it,” Mingl said. Los Angeles runs one of the best open data portals in the nation. It ranks first on the U.S. City Open Data Census, with nearly 100 percent of the city’s data open to the public. It’s not perfect, but what it has, it gained through the knowledge of the city’s experienced workers. Ted Ross, general manager of L.A.’s Information Technology Agency, said the city wanted three things from its portal: a way for average citizens to view data casually, capabilities for data scientists who wanted to do more with the data, like download it or use APIs, and the ability to integrate federated data sets from across systems. Contracting a vendor was the easiest way to reach those goals, Ross said, so rather than develop the portal in-house, that’s what Los Angeles did.

 

The city listens to the people who use data most to guide its efforts: journalists, researchers, officials and technology staff, Ross said. This feedback ensures the city’s doing more than fulfilling a political mandate, he said. L.A. has done more with its data than leave it dangling. Vision Zero, a multinational road safety program, promotes roadway design to reduce pedestrian injury and death, and it’s powered by the city’s open data. “We worked with USC, who volunteered about 25 graduate-level data science students and three professors, and we basically analyzed for causation and commonality, and trends relating to those, and they can help identify some of the high-value networks,” Ross said. “That’s a prime example of taking open data and ... using it as a platform to interact with a local university and actually identify information and insight that’s being leveraged to save lives.” Open data doesn’t need to save lives — and it usually won’t. Its value is in supporting the core functions of government, which are basic things like keeping parks and water clean and trash cans empty, said Josh Baron, applications delivery manager for Ann Arbor, Mich., and that should be the goal of everyone who works in government. “Our No. 1 job,” Baron said, “is to support the lines of business who are out there making the city a wonderful place to live.”

From http://www.govtech.com/ 03/10/2016

 

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The 12 Countries That Have Plugged the Most Stuff into the Internet of Things

 

The Internet is infiltrating all of our devices, from thermostats to stoves. Yet, the technology seems to be more popular in other countries than in the U.S. The Koreans, Danish and Swiss have more things tethered to the internet, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and search engine Shodan. The Internet of Things as an industry is still nascent, but that hasn’t stopped many tech companies from developing IoT devices, software and systems. In January 2014, Google acquired Nest, a smart thermostat and fire detector manufacturer, for $3.2 billion. Amazon released a voice-controlled speaker, the Amazon Echo, in November 2014, and the device has steadily grown in popularity. Apple released a revamped Apple TV over the summer to digitize the living room, with Siri integration and a sleek remote. Still, IoT technology hasn’t gone mainstream. Changing behavior is difficult, and many technical issues like security need to be solved. But the OECD says that IoT devices can help governments make their operations more efficient, and transform transportation monitoring, eHealth and energy.

From http://www.nextgov.com/ 03/29/2016

 

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Obama’s Cyber Commission Looks to Next Administration and Beyond

 

President Barack Obama's new cybersecurity commission has grand ambitions that include shaping how American society approaches Internet security under the next administration and beyond."Consider your recommendations as a down payment for the next administration, for the next decade," Lisa Monaco, the White House's top counterterrorism adviser, told the inaugural meeting of the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. "Think of your audience as society as a whole, not only the federal government."The commission, which Obama established by executive order in February, has until Dec. 1 to deliver recommendations in a range of areas, including identity management, the cybersecurity of the Internet of Things, training the federal workforce and educating the public.The commission's executive director is Kiersten Todt, a newly hired Commerce Department official and former risk management consultant. Tom Donilon, Obama's former national security adviser, and Sam Palmisano, former CEO of IBM, are also helping oversee the group. The 10 other members of the commission include retired Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency; Patrick Gallagher, former head of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology; and executives from Microsoft and Uber.

 

The commission's immediate task is to refine the scope of its work, Todt told FCW after the three-hour public meeting. How the group defines the issues will in part determine how successful the initiative is, she added.The commission has lined up five public workshops, starting with one next month in New York City, to field ideas for addressing vexing national challenges. The July meeting, set for Houston, will focus on securing critical infrastructure using the oil and gas industry as an example, Todt said.She added that the commission hopes to draw on ideas from startups at the public workshops.Alexander, who is now CEO of IronNet Cybersecurity, told FCW that the commission is facing a difficult task. There is "a lot to get done in a short time," he said. When asked how, as the former director of a spy agency with offensive cyber capabilities, he would stay unbiased in his recommendations, Alexander said it would be biased to preclude anyone from the commission because of his or her work in government or the private sector.In her remarks, Monaco touched on the burden of the federal government's legacy IT systems, which can be costly to maintain and vulnerable to hacking. She pointed to the massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management last year as evidence.

 

"We have a culture of bureaucratic stasis, if you will, that does not incentivize cybersecurity," Monaco said, adding that agency leaders should think more like corporate CEOs in how they manage cyber risk.After her remarks, the commissioners posed critical questions to Monaco. Annie Anton, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, asked how the government was addressing what she said was a tension between a policy of not negotiating with terrorists but one of engaging with dispensers of ransomware, which encrypts a computer user's data until hackers are paid off.Monaco said the administration was still gathering data on ransomware and mulling the policy implications.There have been 321 reports of ransomware-related activity affecting 29 federal networks since June 2015, the Department of Homeland Security said in a recent letter to senators. DHS officials added that they were unaware of cases in which federal agencies had paid hackers to remove ransomware.

From https://fcw.com/ 04/14/2016

 

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Durable Cost Savings in Government IT

 

The U.S. government IT spending landscape is extraordinarily complex -- not surprising for an enterprise with dozens of departments and more than two million employees. However, in our experience we have seen that organizational spending for even the most common IT computing commodities can be excessively complicated. For example, some individual departments use more than 50 models of hardware, connected by sprawling networks -- even though the vast majority of their employees only need Internet, email and office software to do their jobs.This excess IT spending represents a major cost-cutting opportunity for the federal government -- perhaps as much as 30 percent. For example, using shared and cloud-based resources and optimizing the use of hardware are just a few ways government organizations could reduce spending significantly without compromising business and mission needs. Put simply, it's taking out cost without diminishing what's being done.Clearly, this mission is not just about cost cutting -- the longer-term benefit to government would be in developing an approach that transforms the way IT spending is done, so that the changes made now have a lasting effect on the enterprise. To make this happen, government IT leaders must adopt a new model that aligns and shares resources across departmental lines.

 

Overcoming the fears

In our work helping federal organizations reduce IT spending, we encounter familiar sentiments in response to newer, cutting-edge IT work styles. The following are some examples of actual quotes we have heard:

- "Individual organizations purchase their own hardware; we don't question their requirements for premium software."

- "We're not sure if there's a government precedent for cloud-based software, and we assume it conflicts with our security needs."

- "We buy and maintain excess surge hardware and software capacity in case our needs increase one day."

- "Our employees have always had their own dedicated desks and computing devices."

 

Unfortunately, the typical governmental budget process is by its nature inefficient: Individual departments and agencies purchase their own hardware, probe little into the premium requirements or the alternatives common in the private sector that could benefit the government, and, on the whole, end up spending far more than if they had worked together.However, many commercial best practices common in the private sector today offer government CIOs a number of potential cost-reduction opportunities, including: shared desks; kiosks; Wi-Fi-connected phones; a single end-user hardware configuration baseline for 80 percent of users, refreshed every three years; and low-cost, cloud-based software.Implementing some of these practices would in turn lead to reduced costs elsewhere, including reduced real-estate footprints, smaller local data centers and a smaller, more limited catalog of assets to maintain. Those are transformational changes that would come with limited to no impact on performance results.

 

The impetus for leadership

Private-sector CIOs maintain a pulse on user needs, helping prevent unneeded purchases or over-estimating technical requirements. They challenge user needs and optimize IT costs in two key ways:

- Demand management: forecasting and managing what users should have versus what they desire

- Specification rationalization: matching product specifications to actual user requirements

 

However, government purchasers are often given incentives that run counter to optimizing IT expenditures. In particular, exhausting agency IT budgets before the end of the fiscal year to avoid future budget cuts serves to exacerbate an already-complex IT installation base, and to bring on a new cycle of maintenance costs.Ultimately, what's more important than picking the right IT assets is aligning IT leadership on key priorities, and instilling a transformational mindset across the organization that will lead to sustainable cost efficiency. In many government organizations, CIOs are responsible for user needs, but a clear framework of responsibilities is required to provide valuable procurement data to decision makers and purchasers. Strong IT leaders need to coordinate visibility into data-driven optimization opportunities across organizational subcomponents to implement effective enterprise-wide decisions.

 

This capability is sorely needed where existing efforts, such as the Federal Procurement Data System, often fall short in assisting procurement decision making. Quite often the FPDS data is incomplete, or it does not provide enough visibility into individual purchasing decisions. For example, NAICS codes titled "Computer Systems Design Services," and product service codes called "IT And Telecom -- IT Strategy and Architecture," offer little information about what the money is actually spent on.  However, a clearer understanding of expenditures would result if mapping to commodity categories was added to the FPDS database. Government agencies can overcome this by building off the successes of increasing IT oversight. A proven, repeatable approach for assessing IT functions and unearthing or substantiating data surrounding IT operations and procedures can help identify areas of value. Our approach to IT transformation gathers the necessary data by looking at an IT program through six lenses that provide a fact-based, transparent view of IT operations.

 

1. Operating Model Optimization -- Determine whether the organization is structurally set up to be efficient and whether it has the right level of governance to gain a better understanding of the weaknesses and strengths of the IT organizational, operating, and governance models.

2. Service Management Optimization -- Look carefully at how well the business architecture, the IT architecture, and IT service delivery processes are standardized and harmonized to simplify IT landscape.

3. Technology Foresight/Lifecycle Management -- Improving technology foresight can give IT Executives the ability to look beyond today's solutions and see promising technologies being introduced that may be incorporated effectively into the IT operations.

4. Complexity Management -- Simplify the IT environment by isolating opportunities to rationalize existing applications and infrastructure, which will reduce IT costs, (including invoice, funding, budget process, data standards, etc.) and reduce complexity both by looking at specific IT operations and taking an enterprise view.

5. Sourcing -- A thorough assessment of sourcing practices will point to ways IT can more effectively establish and manage vendor contracts as well as manage IT demand.

6. Off-shoring/Outsourcing -- Get an enhanced perspective about how to optimize the balance between in-house and contracted delivery of IT services, when to use government employees to handle projects and when it should leverage outsourced contractors and suppliers for cost and performance benefits.

 

These lenses provide a fact-based transparent view of IT operations, showing where a program stands today and which aspects need minor adjustments or major overhauls to improve departments' cost efficiency in supporting the missions of its component agencies. In our experience, this approach can uncover cost savings ranging between five and 15 percent for each lens.The above model gives CIOs of both departments and their subcomponents the ability to make an immediate, lasting impact by working collaboratively. Given that federal departments typically comprise many agencies and offices with individual purchasers, the agency and department CIOs should compare pricing information for the same products across subcomponents. The CIO's power in this case is that he or she can orchestrate greater department-wide visibility into pricing. Our research has found that the same product can sell for up to 35 percent more when sold separately as subcomponents from individual value-added resellers.

 

Consolidating purchases to two or three VARs within each department can give subcomponent CIOs the leverage to apply greater pressure to optimize prices. CIOs can also reduce premium software purchases (for example, "Pro" or "Ultimate" versions) by evaluating individual requirements for permanent access to such software, rather than expensive enterprise-wide deployments.With federal budgets declining, CIOs need to feel there is an incentive to spend less, rather than facing fears they could face future budget cuts if they don't spend everything. For example, senior executives could allow for money saved from the budget to be reinvested into a "technology mission innovation fund" that allows CIOs to experiment with tools that could create new value down the line.Reduced inventories -- starting at the General Services Administration -- could also yield valuable results. For example, when investigating network equipment we found that the GSA provided nearly 100 different buying options for a single type of switch equipment. Choice is good, but confusing purchasers is not. Furthermore, GSA is uniquely positioned to set up a first-of-its-kind eBay-like platform to facilitate equipment exchanges among departments, allowing purchasers to realize more competitive prices for new purchases from an OEM, and the seller an opportunity to re-monetize their unused or under-utilized equipment.

 

CIOs hold the key to cost-efficient government IT

When speaking with purchasing officials, we often hear about a fear of the unknown when it comes to government IT, particularly around cybersecurity and the cloud. However, we believe that for CIOs there is a prime opportunity to take the lead in promoting transformational best practices to combat myths about end-user and enterprise equipment. IT decision makers can aggressively take advantage of services from cloud service providers vetted through FedRAMP to provide a framework for ongoing security assessment and authorization. This will enable their agencies to have access to secure, reliable, cost-efficient, and trustworthy cloud services.

 

CIOs are charged with providing the organization's resources to enable organizational capabilities. As leaders, they need to challenge, and when needed carefully push back on, IT demand in order to use budget resources more efficiently and, where warranted, transition their organizations to a low-footprint IT vision. By making data-driven decisions, they can empower purchasers with knowledge about cost-optimized solutions. Otherwise, simply refreshing IT inventories while costs continue to grow could ultimately cripple their organization.

From https://fcw.com/ 04/22/2016

 

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Modern Cloud for a Modern Government

 

There is no doubt that the move to cloud computing is here. But many organizations still struggle with an essential question:  What is the best way to get there?Public service agencies, including those in government, education, and healthcare are always looking for lower-cost and more flexible ways to improve the efficiency, flexibility, operational agility and integrity of their systems. Cloud computing has come to be recognized as both a business and deployment model that enables public sector organizations to achieve these aspirations.

 

U.S. federal government agencies are implementing cloud computing with the support of the Federal CIO, the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration. Meanwhile, worldwide, governments and local agencies, burdened by budget cuts, a rapidly aging workforce and increased service demand, particularly in health and social care, have initiated several strategies.  In the UK the Digital by Default strategy estimates that moving services from offline to digital channels will save between 1.7 and 1.8 billion a year (nearly $2.5 billion USD) while in Australia  officials plan with their Digital First policy that by 2020, four out of five Australians will choose to engage with the government through the internet or other types of online service. Similar initiatives are underway in Canada, Japan and many other nations.

 

Public Sector organizations are facing increased public expectation to access services quickly and conveniently, when and where it suits them. By developing an agency culture that puts citizens’ needs first forces government leaders to plan and design services focused on specific user tasks, and  using digital technology to drive improved services at lower costs.  Today’s modern agencies are consistent in their approach as they move toward the cloud, and often start by examining two important components:

 

Business Drivers:

- Improving citizen services and experiences:  Many governments are looking for ways to improved, more integrated and targeted services to their constituents, while reducing the long-term cost of delivery.

- Overcoming budget cuts and rising costs: In the current economic climate governments are often faced with declining tax revenue and other income sources, while overall costs are generally rising.

- Innovation demands: Agencies are being asked to provide increasingly personalized solutions across disparate lines of business. And they’re being asked to deliver these innovations more quickly than ever.

 

IT Drivers

- Reducing escalating operational costs. Agencies want technology that can reduce costs such as maintenance, power, cooling, floor space and staff.

- Enabling process improvement. Deliver functionality that provides improvements in overall costs and effectiveness of government processes.

- Improving service levels: Modern agencies require improved IT performance, availability, security and compliance. Providing smaller upgrades over time can be less disruptive and costly.

 

Government Journey to Cloud

If you’re reading this blog then you most likely have already started the journey.  Hopefully, you have a complete plan that takes into account short- and long-term objectives. The most successful early cloud adopters were able to mix rapid uptake with thoughtful, long-term planning.  Cloud computing should be tackled as a strategic plan within your organization to ensure there is the right level of support and business alignment to be successful. I recommend this approach:

1 Define the business objectives. Examine the current environment and determine how to cut costs, deliver better services and be positioned to grow.

2 Define the cloud strategy. Evaluate transaction, program and policy services that are candidates based on the strategic intent and which organizations will be targeted.

3 Create the roadmap. Set strategic direction for cloud adoption within your organization.  Establish a framework within which any single project can contribute to the overall goal, allowing multiple projects to progress in parallel yet remain coordinated in pursuit of a common target that provides value greater than the sum of the individual projects.

4 Deploy cloud services. Determine the first components of the new operating model. Core decisions on the operating model impact the business case and implementation strategy.

5 Achieve new operational efficiencies. Start leveraging new business capabilities to drive process improvement and help users do their job more efficiently.

 

Moving to cloud does not mean that agencies must replace every single system.   Cloud is complementary to existing IT infrastructure.   The goal should be to identify which functions and systems could be more efficient in the cloud and would provide the greatest return on investment, and deliver the most business value to users.  It is an iterative process,Everyone’s journey to cloud is slightly different and is typically based on their business and technology environment. Certain steps inevitably will be more challenging than others.  Learn from your peers by reading about their successes and challenges. The new GovLoop cloud guide offers a variety federal and state & local examples of agencies successfully making the journey.  Creating a blueprint and gaining upfront support is a key part of ensuring you make it across the finish line.

From https://www.govloop.com/ 05/06/2016

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CHINA: Issues Concerning Internet in Premier’s Work Report

 

In this year’s government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang on March 5, several issues concerning the Internet were mentioned, such as flexible production processes, introduction of e-commerce in rural areas and cross-border e-commerce. Although many of the issues are not new to the public, they all have new meaning and concepts for guiding this year’s work. The report encourages enterprises to use flexible and custom-tailored production processes, which means that the Internet will continue to play an important role in balancing the supply and demand of goods. The Internet will provide customer information to manufacturers, a new business model of C2M (Customer-to-Manufactory), and the craftsmanship spirit was also stressed in the production process. As agricultural products and services in China are not fully connected to the Internet yet, the report encouraged introducing e-commerce in rural areas. It said that fiber-optic networks will be developed in a number of cities, and 50,000 administrative villages will be connected with fiber-optic networks, thus enabling more urban and rural residents to enjoy a more digital way of life. The government clearly supports the export of domestic products. It encouraged supporting enterprises in developing overseas warehouses for export products, and promoting the development of enterprises that provide comprehensive foreign trade services.

 

This concept is in line with Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s idea from eWTO in August 2015, which is to achieve global trade through e-commerce to achieve a “free and equal global trade”. In addition, proper use of idle resources was also stressed. The document decided to stimulate the second-hand car market, which can be linked with the Premier’s idea of a sharing economy that drives economic growth and innovation by sharing and coordinating. Development of a sharing economy will promote the efficient use of resources, and more people will take part and benefit. And stimulating the second-hand car market also will help fully use the idle resources and push the upgrades in consumption mode. As mass entrepreneurship and innovation has been widespread in industries, the government is paying more attention to the national strategy this year. It said that platforms will be created for crowd innovation, crowd support, crowd-sourcing, and crowd-funding, and mechanisms will be built to encourage new types of business startups and innovation-making through cooperation between enterprises, institutions of higher learning, research institutes, and makers. Besides implementing the “Internet Plus” action plan, the government decided to carry out the “Internet Plus government services” model and promote better information sharing and streamline government procedures, which means that the government has realized that upgrades of government functions are key for the implementation of this plan.

From http://www.gov.cn/ 04/13/2016

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Chinese Police Launch Mobile App to Find Missing Children

 

Chinese police on Sunday launched a mobile app to encourage witnesses to report the whereabouts of missing or trafficked children. More than 5,000 anti-trafficking police will provide updates to the app on receiving new reports of missing children, according to a statement from the criminal investigation bureau of the Ministry of Public Security. Users near where the child disappeared will receive push notifications, including photos and descriptions. The scope of these push notifications will be expanded over time. Information will be available to the public at the platform's official Sina Weibo account. Police will cooperate with new media outlets and mobile apps to encourage the public to help in anti-trafficking work.

From http://www.news.cn/ 05/15/2016

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S. Korea, Indonesia Strengthen Cooperation on E-Government

 

Korea and Indonesia have jointly opened a cooperation center in Jakarta that will focus on online government services. The Korea-Indonesia Electronic Government Cooperation Center opened its doors on March 2 on the fourth floor of the Indonesian Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform building. The launch was made possible following a summit in December 2014 between President Park Geun-hye and her Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo where they vowed to expand bilateral cooperation on providing online government services, or e-government services. The center will run for three years, until December 2018. Public officials and experts from Seoul and Jakarta will be dispatched to the center to carry out a series of joint research projects and consultations aimed at enhancing capabilities to manage electronic government systems. Bilateral cooperation in the sector between the two countries began in 2007 with consulting efforts on an electronic patent system. Afterward, a national financial information system was introduced in 2009 and then a public security management system followed in 2015. “Cooperation on e-government services with the Indonesian government offers much more than other areas of cooperation. As Korea serves as a cooperative partner that helps to achieve administrative reform and run e-government systems effectively with this newly-established center, our cooperation here will contribute to the realization of a transparent and efficient democratic government in Indonesia, one of the core goals that the government here hopes to achieve,” said Minister of the Interior Hong Yun-sik.

From http://www.korea.net 03/07/2016

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President to Form Science, Technology Council

 

President Park Geun-hye announced on March 17 that her administration will establish a presidential strategic council on science and technology so as to considerably boost the nation's R&D productivity. In a meeting at Cheong Wa Dae on the themes of artificial intelligence and an information society, she ordered her administration to outline the establishment of a new control body that would oversee investment into R&D. The meeting was attended by about 20 businesspeople and experts from the artificial intelligence and software sectors. President Park said, “This new science and technology strategic council will comprise of private experts in related sectors and officials from related government organizations.” She further explained that the council “will shape strategies in core science and technology policies in a top-down manner and serve as a moderator to resolve conflicts among related government ministries. By doing so, it will lead to fundamental innovation in our R&D system.”  President Park said, “As of 2014, Korea’s investment into R&D accounted for 4.3 percent of our GDP, which topped the world. It's ranked sixth in the world on an absolute scale, but it's just one third of that of the U.S.” “This is because of the lack of a functioning R&D control body, and it has led to an unbalanced allocation of national investment into R&D,” she explained. 

From http://www.korea.net/ 03/18/2016

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Korea, Serbia Collaborate on E-Government

 

Korea and Serbia have agreed to share their experiences and technologies concerning online government services. Minister of the Interior Hong Yun-sik met with Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister Kori Udovicki in Seoul on March 16 where they signed a memorandum of understanding covering a partnership on e-government, said the ministry. As part of the agreed partnership, the two countries will exchange specialists and share good examples of providing government services online, all while working on increasing Serbia's capacity for the development and management of such e-government services. The agreement was suggested by Serbia, as the European nation is working on developing its e-government services. The government is working on reforming its economic structure and cutting down on public sector manpower, all while working on adopting more mobile technologies in the government. "Being in the initial stages of development, we, Serbia, want to build an inclusive partnership to develop an e-government with Korea, a nation that has leading experience and great achievements in this field," the Serbian deputy prime minister said. 

 

Korea's system of online government services is regarded as one of the world's best, as seen from the fact that Korea topped the United Nations e-Government Survey for three consecutive years in a row. To develop a better and more efficient online system of government services, the Korean government has now adopted a cloud computing system covering the entire government. Up until now, the government has only been running the service as a pilot program and only at the Ministry of the Interior. Through such network-based computing, staff who used to save data to a physical hard drive on a desktop computer will now be able to save their data on the network. This will allow them to share and use the saved data, transcending the walls and silos between different divisions and organization, and allowing them to work efficiently without any constraint of location. The cloud will be customized for mobile computers, including smartphones and tablets, to help staff access their data at anytime and at any place. Finally, after the Ministry of Personnel Management joined on March 14, now 20 more ministries and government branches, including the Office for Government Policy Coordination, will join the network and the entire government will be covered by next year. 

From http://www.korea.net 03/25/2016

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Korea, Nigeria Join Hands on E-Government

 

Major newspapers across Nigeria, including The Guardian and Leadership, reported on March 24 Abuja's collaboration with Seoul on online government services. The Nigerian government is seeking to develop e-government systems in partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and is planning to undertake some structural changes, reported The Guardian in its article "Govt collaborates with S’Korea on $8.56m eGovt initiative."  Nigerian Minister of Communications Adebayo Shittu visited Korea with a delegation of 14 government officials as part of the launch of his government's development of e-government systems, Nigerian media reported. The minister and the delegation's visit to Seoul is "in tandem with the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari," whose "desire to turn around the fortunes of the country in laying a new and enduring foundation for a better future for the masses of our people," The Guardian wrote. 

 

The Nigerian government needs to "take a full advantage of the Korean Government’s gesture in taking new initiatives," the minister said. The partnership will "impact the way our people are governed and propel Nigeria to greatness that will give the needed impetus to the Change Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari," the minister said as he explained the Nigerian government's partnership with Korea. Through e-government development projects in Nigeria, a master plan for online government services will be established, while training programs for more than 20,000 Nigerian government officials will be implemented. Also, an e-government training center will be built in Nigeria, the chief representative of KOICA in Nigeria, Jung Sang-hoon, explained. He also expressed his hopes that the delegation's visit to Korea would help improve the two countries' partnership in a more pragmatic manner.

From http://www.korea.net 03/31/2016

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Korea to Expand E-Gov't Services by 2020

 

Over the next five years the Korean government plans to establish cooperation centers in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Central America and South America that will focus on online and electronic government services. The Korean government hopes to share with the world its successful experiences in developing and managing electronic online government services, all while continuing to set global e-government standards as it is one of the world's leading countries in terms of electronic and online government services. All of this is part of the Electronic Government 2020 Master Plan that was announced on April 1 by the Ministry of the Interior. To respond to the rapidly changing e-government environment, including the development of the new technology, a Korean law prescribes that the government should establish a master plan regarding electronic government every five years. 

Besides international cooperation, the 2020 plan also projects the adoption of new IT for "intelligent administration" and to further the industry and to create jobs. Artificial intelligence (AI) will be used to analyze and prevent crimes, and an "intelligent decision making process" will be developed to deal with disasters, safety management and security. New online government services using technologies like 3-D printing and drone management will be made, to help with the fostering of new industries and the creation of more jobs. Minister of the Interior Hong Yun-sik said that the e-government master plan will "continue to seek for innovative administration, while at the same time will create new industries and jobs by adopting new AI and IT." 

From http://www.korea.net 04/07/2016

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SINGAPORE: ICT Manpower to Be Key Focus in Ministry's Budget: Yaacob

 

SINGAPORE: Addressing manpower issues in the Info-Communications and Technology (ICT) sector will be one key focus of the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) when it details its plans in the coming Budget debate. Despite an increase in the number of jobs available, Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said there is a "talent gap", with not many Singaporeans wanting to join the sector. "We're going to talk a lot more about ICT manpower and I hope young Singaporeans will consider this as a career of their choice because the opportunities are certainly abundant," said Dr Yaacob on the sidelines of the Car-Free Sunday event on Sunday morning (Mar 27). In particular, he pointed to opportunities in data analytics and the Smart Nation initiative, which will also require manpower to not just maintain the system but develop applications and services for Singaporeans. Cyber-security is another area where more Singaporeans are needed, he said. "By its very nature I need Singaporeans because of the security concerns," stressed Dr Yaacob. Another area that the ministry will look into is launching the National Reading Movement. "Reading is an important part of making our nation a literate and informed society,” he said. Despite statistics showing one in two Singaporeans have visited the nation’s libraries, Dr Yaacob said there are still some gaps that have to be addressed. This is to ensure all regional and public libraries can play a part in enhancing the love for reading among Singaporeans, he said.

From http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ 03/27/2016

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Government to Call for S$2.8b of ICT Tenders in FY2016

 

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Government will be calling for a projected S$2.82 billion of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tenders across the 2016 fiscal year, according to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) on Monday (May 23). This is more than S$100 million than FY15's expenditure of S$2.69 billion. The ICT tenders will comprise mainly infrastructure and ICT security bulk contracts, due to some multi-year contracts ending in FY16, as well as contracts relating to agency-specific systems, said IDA, which will soon form the new Government Technology Agency (GovTech) agency. Elaborating, CEO-designate of GovTech Jacqueline Poh told reporters in a media briefing that more than 50 per cent of this year's projected expenditure will be on infrastructure-related projects, and these include data centres, data storage, PCs and laptops, routers and even WiFi in schools. In fact, the top three focus areas for public ICT expenditure will be on infrastructure, security for Internet of Things, and Government agency systems, she said. This is why much of the S$2.82 billion expenditure will be realised in three to five years, and not within the current financial year.

 

GOVERNMENT TO UP DATA CENTRE CAPACITY

The focus on infrastructure is to better support the data and digital services needs of a Digital Government in a Smart Nation, IDA said. For instance, increased data centre virtualisation will allow the Government to modernise its hosting of ICT applications and ensure faster time to production for new services, it said. Ms Poh also mentioned that there will be an increase in data centre capacity, including the replacement of some of these Government data centres that are reaching their end-of-life. WiFi will also be extended to more areas within Government schools to support smart learning. There is currently WiFi in common areas within schools, but the Government is looking to make WiFi more pervasive in areas such as classrooms, she said. The agency will also continue to invest in cybersecurity, with a bulk tender for IT security services to be call in this fiscal year, the agency said. “We want to empower Singapore with possibilities through technology. To do that, investment in infrastructure is necessary so that innovative, citizen-centric services can be built and enhanced on a strong foundation,” said Ms Poh in the press release.

 

SMES NOT LEFT OUT

IDA was keen to stress that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will not lose out in this infrastructure-heavy round of ICT expenditure. It noted that in FY15, SMEs accounted for more than half of the total contracted value of ICT tenders, and this financial year will be more of the same. About eight in 10 project tenders that will be called are valued at S$5 million and under, which means these are opportunities for SMEs to target, the agency said. To help more local tech companies take up such ICT projects, IDA launched the Accreditation@IDA scheme in 2014, and this provides an independent third-party evaluation of early-stage growth technology by promising Singapore-based companies. It said that 13 companies, including Hope Technik and V-Key, have been accredited and this means Government agencies must buy from these vendors put in the "green lane" and not treat them as just another procurement option, said Ms Poh. To date, S$3.3 million in contracts have been awarded to these 13 companies, and the value is small to begin with as there is no need for a tender process or a Request for Proposal, she said. There are another 35 projects in the pipeline, and a "large number" of companies that have initiated the accreditation process, although not all will succeed, she added.

From http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ 05/23/2016

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THAILAND: Ministry, Parties Launch Scheme to Incubate Digital Start-ups

 

THE INFORMATION and Communications Technology Ministry will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on May 28 with 12 parties to jointly promote the incubation of potential digital start-up businesses, ICT Minister Uttama Savanayana said. The participating parties include Advanced Info Service, Total Access Communication, True Corp, Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Krungthai Bank, as well as several universities such as Chulalongkorn.

 

Bt300m project

The ministry has set aside Bt300 million to launch the project, which will be open to applicants in the fourth quarter this year, so they can be trained to develop their own digital start-ups in many sectors. Applications can be submitted at the ministry, which will then pass them on to different training venues in line with their proposal. For instance, those interested in developing a start-up in the health and tourism arena will be sent to Chulalongkorn University, while those interested in the robotics industry will be incubated at King Mongkut's Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang. Those keen on developing engineering entrepreneurships will be trained at both Bangkok University and King Mongkut's University of Technology, Thonburi. The banks may provide funding in the form of venture capital to promising applicants, Uttama said. On May 28, the ICT Ministry will also sign an MoU with the Agricultural and Cooperatives Ministry, the Interior Ministry and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives to promote the use of digital technology among farmers. The Non-formal and Informal Education Office will also take part in the project by educating people at the grassroots level on digital technology, so they will be able to enter the e-commerce channel. There are some 2,000 community digital technology learning centres across the country, and the ministry aims to install Wi-Fi networks in 600 of them this year.

From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ 05/21/2016

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VIETNAM: HCM City Collects New Poverty Data

 

HCM City conducts a survey to collect data on poverty from March 10 to April 29, according to the HCM City Steering Committee for Poverty Reduction and Increase of Better-off Households. The survey will be supplemented with questions to collect data on income of citizens as well as five dimensions of what is called multi-dimensional poverty. These include education-training, housing-clean water, healthcare, employment, social insurance and access to information. Around 400,000-450,000 households with a permanent residence or temporary residence registration (KT3), which accounts for 20 per cent of the city’s 2 million households, are expected to be polled, said Trương Văn Lương, chief of the steering committee secretariat. Households with an income of VNĐ21 million (US$940) per person per year and below are identified as poor households. Near-poor households are those with income of VNĐ21-28 million (US$940-1,255) per person per year. It is estimated that the city has about 130,000 poor families and 80,000 near-poor families. The city is the first locality in the country to adopt a multi-dimensional approach in evaluating poverty for the 2016-2020 period.

From http://vietnamnews.vn/ 03/11/2016

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Deputy Minister Urges Wider Use of IT in Business, State Offices

 

Application and development of information and telecommunications significantly contributed to national socio-economic growth during the 2011 – 2015 period, especially in HCM City, delegates heard at a meeting held in HCM City on Friday (March 11). Speaking at the meeting, Phan Tâm, deputy minister of the Information and Communications Ministry, said: “2015 was a very special year as the information and telecommunications industry became the biggest tax contributor to the State budget. Turnover of the industry was more than US$42 billion.” The industry has gained an annual growth rate of 20 -25 per cent, and since 2009, Việt Nam has been listed in the top 10 nations considered to be the most attractive for software processing. All ministries, industries and localities now have websites that provide public services. The broad application of information and telecommunications in businesses has also helped to develop e-commerce and promote labour productivity and competitiveness. HCM City was recognised as a leader in developing information and telecommunications’ applications with many achievements, including expanding the Quang Trung Software City (QTSC) to other localities, and completing rehearsals to protect and rescue information systems in case of attacks from the outside.

 

“However, the functions of information and communications’ networks and equipment haven’t been fully used to increase efficiency in managing and operating State offices and enterprises. In addition, national database and information systems – the foundation for e-Government – have been deployed slowly,” Tâm added. He also pointed out that human resource skills in information and telecommunications were limited in both State offices and the business community. This year, the ministry will submit a review, amendments and additions to provisions in the Information and Communications Law as well as complete guidance for the Network Information Security Law, which will begin operation in July. “To remain in the leading position, HCM City’s Information and Communications Department has set a goal to boost the software industry, IT services, micro chipset production and IT application in State offices. It will also aim for IT safety during the 2016-2020 period,” Lê Thái Hỷ, director of the department, said. Hỷ also asked the Government to offer support to the micro chipset industry by using Vietnamese-made chipsets in national projects.

 

Agreements signed to boost IT in HCM City

Also on March 11, the HCM City Computer Association signed a co-operation agreement with the municipal Department of Information and Communications to improve development of the city’s information technology sector. HCA also signed co-operation agreements with Panasonic, Sao Bắc Đầu Technologies Group, Luxoft Vietnam, Mắt Bão Joint Stock Company, VinaCIS Corp, ROBO and others at a meeting of the city’s IT industry the same day. According to HCA, the agreements will enable IT firms to access quality management programmes and participate in investment promotion programmes both in and outside Việt Nam. In addition, the department, HCA and firms will join hands to organise exhibitions, trade fairs, and seminars in the field to help firms share information and seek business partners, including the Việt Nam Information and Communication Technologies Outlook seminar. Speaking at the event, Chu Tiến Dũng, HCA’s chairman, said the information technology industry enjoyed high growth last year, with many firms doubling their growth rate over the previous year. “The competitiveness of Vietnamese IT firms in the domestic and global markets has increasingly improved,” he said. With the Government’s determination to shift to e-Government and offer online public services to better satisfy citizens and corporations, the IT sector is expected to have more chance to grow this year, he said.

From http://vietnamnews.vn/ 03/14/2016

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Hotline Opens to Prevent Corruption in Land Use Certificate Issuance

 

A hotline has been set up to receive feedback from people and businesses on the difficulties they may encounter while registering for land use certificates or “red books.”The hotline was set up by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.Complaints can be made on the hotline number 043.795.7889, via email at cucksqlsdd@gmail.com or through a letter to the ministry’s General Department of Land Management at 10 TônThấtThuyết Street, Nam TừLiêm District, HàNội.In particular, the ministry will deal with complaints on the long delays and corrupt practices by officials of the local land registration agencies while issuing land use certificates.The decision to set up a hotline was made following the release of the latest survey on Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) earlier this month. Some 14,000 citizens across the country from different demographic groups were polled for the index.According to the report, the number of people who had paid bribes to receive the “red book” quickly had increased tremendously.Compared to 2014, there had been a noticeable spike in the bribes paid for land use rights certificates. The estimated number of respondents who paid bribes to get a land use rights certificate increased to more than 44 per cent in 2015, up from 24 per cent in 2014, according to the report.More than 22 per cent of those surveyed said they had to wait for more than 100 days to get the land use rights paperwork they had requested for - instead of the 30 days as mandated by the law.Besides the hotline and the email, Minister TrầnHồngHà had also asked the General Department of Land Management to work with the people’s committees of the different localities to identify cases of violations and have appropriate punishment in line with regulations.

From http://vietnamnews.vn/ 04/22/2016

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BANGLADESH: IT Ministry-- National Assembly Panel Approves Rs 2.56 Billion Outlay Under PSDP

 

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoIT) approved a total outlay of Rs 2.56 billion under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for fiscal year 2016-17 against Rs 922.804 million earmarked for the current financial year. The standing committee meeting, chaired by Captain Muhammad Safdar (r), thoroughly discussed the proposals prepared for fiscal year 2016-17, in respect to MoIT and its attached departments and sent to the Committee on Information Technology for consideration and recommendations.  The proposed layout of PSDP for fiscal year 2016-17 is Rs 2.56 billion for 20 schemes relating to IT & Telecom sectors include 11 old/ongoing and nine new projects. The ministry proposed Rs 1.33 billion for 9 new schemes: (i) IT capacity building of federal government employees (NITB)-Rs 20 million, (ii) replication of e-health services at federally administrative hospitals (NITB)-Rs 20 million, (iii) research studies and up-gradations for ICT industry- Rs 51 million, (iv) IT industry support programs (PSEB)-Rs 37.264 million, (v) expansion of broadband internet services in AJ&K Phase-II (SCO)-Rs 44.4 million, (vi) expansion of broadband internet services in GB Phase-II (SCO)-Rs 32.5 million, (vii) replacement of GSM network of AJ&K -Rs 580 million, (viii) provision of seamless GSM coverage along KKH for proposed Gwadar-Kashghar economic corridor in Gilgit-Baltistan GB (SCO)-Rs 489 million and (ix) feasibility study and consultancy for development of Information Technology (IT) park at Karachi-Rs 58.287 million. 

The government allocated Rs 922.804 million including Rs 722.804 million local component and Rs 150 million foreign component for the current year. However the data of Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms shows that Rs 1342.55 million has so far been released to IT and Telecom Ministry including Rs 1144.5 million foreign aid and Rs 198 million local components.  The Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms does not show the foreign component however, according to the Economic Affairs Division, China has released Rs 1,144.5 million for construction of cross-border optical fiber cable (OFC) system between China and Pakistan for international connectivity of voice/data traffic under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). 

The government has not released any amount against the replication of e-office (basic common applications) at 45 divisions of federal government, research & development unit (Islamabad) and technology parks development project at Islamabad projects. After being passed from Standing Committee, the proposed PSDP would be presented before the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms for further consideration.  The committee also constituted a sub committee to investigate the illegal appointments in National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC). Aisha, MNA who was invited on special capacity, drew the attention of the committee towards investigation for the illegal appointments in NTC. The meeting was attended by Muhammad Talal Chaudhry, Mehar Ishtiaq Ahmad, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, Farhana Qamar, Zahra Wadood Fatemi, Nauman Islam Shaikh, Amjid Ali Khan, Engineer Dawar Khan Kundi and Shahjehan Muneer Mangrio Members/MNAs and on special invitation by the Committee Aisha, MNA besides Azmat Ali Ranjha, Secretary Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and with their other staff. 

From http://www.brecorder.com 03/05/2016

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INDIA: Govt Takes MyGov Closer to People Through Facebook

 

MyGov, an interactive platform created to ensure effective, participative governance, is now active on Facebook. Coming under DeitY, Ministry of Communications & IT, Government of India, this is a platform where citizens can participate in governance by giving their views and opinions on various important issues of the country.The platform comprises various sections, including Do, Discuss, Poll, Blog and Talk, offering citizens the opportunities to participate and express their ideas and views.According to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “MyGov is a technology-driven medium that will provide citizens an opportunity to contribute towards good governance.”Speaking exclusively to eGov recently, Guarav Dwivedi, MyGov CEO, said- “MyGov is an innovative platform to build a partnership between citizens and the government with the help of technology for overall growth and development of India.” He further said that the basic idea behind MyGov is that the expertise and talent, which is available within the country in plenty, should be used for various kinds of activities that relate to governance like designing of policies and implementation of programmes, and getting creative inputs from the citizens.“For the very first time in the history of this country, citizens from across India are coming together to share their innovative ideas, thoughts and suggestions with the government in areas related to various policies, programmes, schemes, etc. MyGov aims to empower citizens to work hand-in-hand with the government,” he added.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com 03/07/2016

 

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Govt to Digitise Post Offices, Allocates Rs.4,909cr

 

The Government of India has decided to digitalise 1.5 lakh post offices across India, including 1.3 lakh post offices in rural areas.A budget of Rs 4,909 crore has been allocated for this project, which would be completed by March 2017.A special emphasis has been laid on rural post offices, called Gramin Daak Sewak post offices, so that the advantages of Digital India are spread far and wide. As per reports, BharatNet project, which aims to connect all villages with broadband Internet would be the backbone of this special digitalisation drive.Setting up of a centralised data center, connecting all post offices with intranet, advanced disaster management and data recovery systems are some of the processes which would be implemented to make India Post one of the most technologically advanced platforms in the world. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Telecom and IT Minister, informed that Telecommunication Consultant India Limited (TCIL) shall be the provider of handheld devices, while RICOH India Limited would provide the technology.Besides, a contract has been given to Infosys to be ‘Rural System Integrator’.A special mobile app would also be launched, which would enable India Post’s payment banking as well.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com 03/07/2016

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Kerala Revenue Dept to Go E-way by Mar End

 

The Revenue Department in Ernakulam collectorate will be the first to benefit from the eGovernance project of the Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM). The paperless eOffice will be ready by March-end.The eOffice venture backed by the features of accountability and faster decision-making is in its final stages of Phase 1.As per an official, “The process of e-tendering has been finished. Recruitments of resource persons to train the officials are now being carried out.”Though the election code of conduct has been implemented in the State, the officials are hoping that it will not interfere with the venture. “The initiative has no direct link with the public as this would reform the administerial set up only,” said the official.Some of the features include easy retrievability of electronic data, knowing the status of the files instantly, easy access and storage of large and latest information.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com 03/14/2016

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Kerala Revenue Dept to Go Paperless by March-end

  

The Revenue Department in Ernakulam collectorate will be the first to benefit from the eGovernance project of the Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM). The paperless eOffice will be ready by March-end.The eOffice venture backed by the features of accountability and faster decision-making is in its final stages of Phase 1.As per an official, “The process of e-tendering has been finished. Recruitments of resource persons to train the officials are now being carried out.”Though the election code of conduct has been implemented in the State, the officials are hoping that it will not interfere with the venture. “The initiative has no direct link with the public as this would reform the administerial set up only,” said the official.Some of the features include easy retrievability of electronic data, knowing the status of the files instantly, easy access and storage of large and latest information.

From http://pib.nic.in 03/14/2016

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Bihar Police to Use Smartphones, Social Network for Communication  

 

Bihar government has decided to upgrade the police from feature phones to smartphones to use WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Emails for quick and efficient inter-department communication. “The smartphones will be provided to all the police officials, irrespective of the grade for better and efficient state-level coordination.The android apps will help to connect all the officers from Station House Officers (SHOs) to DGP, instantly,” Pankaj Darad, Inspector-General (Provisions), told to media. The Home Department has approved the Rs 2.08crore project for police officials in Bihar, considering the need of Android smartphone to send information and documents quickly. 1,390 smartphones, with an average price of Rs 15,000, have been purchased out of which 940 handsets are to be given to the SHOs and rest to the senior officials. This will revolutionise the current communication method via feature phones and wireless walkie-talkies. It will be mandatory for the police to download and use the current social networking tools in the same manner as it is used by large organisations and famous personalities.

 

These communication technologies will help in reducing wait time for communication between the supervisors and the officers by providing direct contact. It will also enable the police to send photos, video clips or documents related to any crime. The latest happenings in an area can also be informed or discussed in WhatsApp or Facebook Groups. The written communication, online, will reduce the time spent in gathering and also can be a better proof than verbal communication. The initiative has been welcomed by the people of Bihar who will now be able to share their grievances with the police directly through social media. Twitter is very common at higher level, but its penetration at the ground level of the police department will help in faster solution to common men problems.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com 03/23/2016

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Taking eGovernance to Level Next

 

With a view to giving fur- ther push to the digital initiatives in the State, so as to bring more gov- ernment services to the citizens’ doorsteps, the Government has under- taken several projects in different areas, which are in various stages of implementation. They include: AGRISNET is a mission mode project under National e-Governance Plan of Government of India, Department of Agriculture & Co- operation. The Ministry of Agriculture has decided to launch a Central Sector Scheme titled ‘Strengthening / Promoting Agricultural Informatics & Communications’ of which one component is AGRISNET. The Department of Agriculture, Punjab has initiated to introduce eGovernance by leveraging ICT to provide agriculture related information or data and to improve upon its functioning in order to bring efficiency, transparency and accountability. The project is currently in the advance stage of final- ising Project Consultant.

 

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has cleared creation of a ‘National Optical Fibre Network’ (NOFN) with an investment of Rs 20, 000 crore that would provide broadband connectivity to all village panchayats in three years. The Telecom Commission (DoT) decision- making arm has approved the project that will be funded through the Universal Service Obli- gation (USO) Fund. The funding for the broad- band network will come from the USO fund; the USO fund has a balance of Rs 16,000 crore. A World Bank study revealed that a 10 per cent increase in broadband connectivity helps in pushing the GDP growth by 1.4 per cent. Once completed, the optic fibre network will help bring various electronic and Internet-based initiatives of the government to the people living in the remotest corner of the country. In State of Punjab, NOFN will provide connectivity to more than 12000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) of the State. This would ensure broadband connectivity with adequate bandwidth till the village level. NOFN shall be a 365×24 reliable, robust, scalable and available IP capable network to ensure continuous availability of services. In the first phase connectivity shall be provided to 5000 villages.

 

NOFN will help the government implement its various eGovernance initiatives such as e-health, e-banking and e-education,facilitating inclusive growth. NOFN will enable effective and faster implementation of various mission mode e-governance projects as well as delivery of a whole range of electronic services by the private sector to citizens in rural areas. Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry Of Commerce & Industry, Government of India is currently implement- ing the eBiz Mission Mode Project under the National eGovernance Plan (NeGP) in the coun- try. The project envisions transforming the business environment by provid- ing efficient, convenient, transparent and integrated electronic services online through a single window to the investor, industries and businesses in the areas of information on forms and procedures, licences payments and compliances through- out the life cycle of a business or industry. The core theme of eBiz lies in radical shift in the Government Service Delivery approach, from being department-centric to customer-centric. Initially 24 services have been offered to various departments in the First Phase of project. The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, is currently implementing the eBiz Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). The Core theme of eBiz lies in radi- cal shift in the Governments’ services delivery approach from being department-centric to customer-centric. Project will facilitate single window delivery of services to investors and businesses throughout the business life cycle. The DIPP has decided to extend this project to Punjab immediately and currently it is in the initial stage of dialogue.

 

eGovernance in Municipalities” is a unique initiative of the government of India conceptualised under the umbrella of the overall National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) aimed at improv- ing operational efficiencies within Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). It has been observed that presently there is very limited or no computerisation across ULBs in different States. There is very limited or non-existent staffs with IT know-how. There is lack of standardisation of processes and processes are primarily operated in a manual mode. This MMP is one with significant citizen interaction, given that municipalities provide a large number of basic services for millions of citizen living in urban centres across the Nation. In Punjab, Local Government Department has initiated this project to deliver end-to-end ser- vices to its citizens in a citizen-centric way with high levels of accountability and transparency in its service delivery supported by a high degree of efficiency and effectiveness in the department’s internal operations. The project is in the process of selection of implementing agency. NeGP, in its last Apex Committee meeting included “Education” as a new MMP. The proj- ect is in the initial stage of conception. As a first step in conceptualizing the scheme in the area of Education, the Department of School Edu- cation & Literacy initiated the process of con- sultations with stakeholders for framing Core Scope Document. The core focus of deliverable services to its stakeholders such as students, parents, partners, State Govt. NISG has been selected as a consultant for the preparation of Core Scope Document

 

The Apex Committee for the National eGovernance Plan (NeGP) chaired by Cabinet Secretary has approved the inclusion of Health as a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the NeGP. ICT for programme management has been undertaken by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in the Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) programme and the Ministry envisages a more comprehensive use of ICT including for Hospital Information Systems, supply chain management for drugs and vaccines, providing ICT tools to ASHA and ANM workers, programme management of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), etc. through this MMP. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is the nodal Ministry for the design, development and implementation of the MMP. Currently, a study to identify the priorities and scope of the MMP is underway. The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is an important social safety net for the poor. To improve efficiency and effectiveness of the entire system, the Department of Food & Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, GoI, has embarked upon an eGovernance initiative involving computerisation of TPDS. For achieving end-to-end Computerisation of TPDS, the Department of Food & Public Distribution, Government of India has identified 4 key components which are required to be implemented in all the States/UTs as below:

1.                   Creation & Management of digitised Beneficiary Database

2.                   Supply-Chain Management of TPDS commodities from Food Corporation of India (FCI) till Fair Price Shops (FPS)

3.                   Sale of TPDS commodities at Fair Price Shops including identification and authentication of beneficiaries and recording of transactions.

4.                   Transparency and Grievance Redressal Mechanism For PDS Punjab

 

For PDS Punjab is the torch bearer in initiating the Biometric based Authentication Services with Food and Civil Supplies Department established as the state level Authentication User Agency (AUA). Authentication Service Agency (ASA) setup has also been completed. State is working on the PDS project using this Aadhaar authentication framework through PoS devices at Fair Price Shops to address issues of inefficiency, wastage and pilferage. The digitisation of Ration Card data has been completed and field verification and seeding of Aadhaar to Ration Cards is being done on ground leveraging technology as well as administrative proficiency.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com 03/09/2016

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‘Faceless, Paperless, Cashless’ Recruitment Process for Govt Jobs!

 

In a bid to make the life of government job seekers easier, the Central Government is working on an online recruitment plan, media reports suggest. From buying the job application form until final selection, candidates have to stand in various queues, including the serpentine ones for making payment for the examination fee. Moreover, it is a common practice to pay ‘convenience fee’ to lower rung police officials for getting the process of police verification expedited. Keeping these very hassles of government job aspirants in mind, the government is trying to put a system in place wherein candidates will be able to complete the entire recruitment process online, of course barring the exercise of appearing in a written test. The move is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India programme, though various states need to come onboard for the plan to become a successful model for hassle-free recruitment. A group of secretaries, who came up with the proposal, term it a “faceless, paperless and cashless” experience for government recruitments, as the candidates will not be required to come face-to-face with any government official right from applying until joining the job. According to the proposal, all government vacancies will be put up on a common portal and applications will be invited online. Applicants would be able to certify their applications with eSign, an online electronic signature service that enables an Aadhaar card holder to digitally sign a document. This will do away with the need of physically signing application forms and queuing up at offices to submit them. The new system will also allow payment of exam fee online through a universal payment interface. The candidates will be able to upload their certificates into a digital locker, which will allow the government access these documents online. The Secretaries in the Ministry of Personnel are doing a weekly review of the recommendations of the group of Secretaries to ensure the earliest possible implementation of the plan. This has been taken up with all secretaries at the Centre and Chief Secretaries of states, according to a Department of Personnel & Training spokesperson.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com 03/30/2016

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DIPP Launches Dedicated Portal, Mobile App for Startups

  

To help young entrepreneurs avail all the government incentives directly and for giving a huge push to Startup India campaign, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has launched a dedicated portal and a mobile app for startups. All the information related to incubation facilities, tax benefits, company registration within 24 hours, validation as eligible startup entry and applying to various schemes under government’s Startup India plan will be made available on the portal. “With the help of the portal, we want to create a conducive environment for startups. It will work as a platform for easy exchange of information between all stakeholders,” said a senior official. The portal will bring together a lot of startup-related entities ranging from incubators, accelerators, VCs, seed capital and angel investment funds, and various government functionaries. A 12-point action plan has also been introduced to encourage the startups in the country by providing various incentives to the startups like greater access to capital, incubation and appropriate talent for these upcoming corporations. A three year tax holiday, tax exemption for capital gains, and funds worth Rs. 10,000 crore for startups have been announced by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. They have also been exempted from any inspection during the first three years of their operations. The portal (www.startupindia.gov.in), which was announced by Modi while announcing the Startup India Action Plan in January this year, is now live, from where one can also download the Startup India mobile app.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com 04/01/2016

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Govt’s ‘Mother App’ to Bring 200+ Services on One Platform

 

The Government of India is about to launch a master application, called ‘mother of all apps’, which will consolidate 200+ services offered by the Central, State and local governments, on a single platform. The app, conceptualised by the Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology under the National e-Governance Division (NeGD), has been termed as Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance or UMANG. Considering the massive use of smartphones across the country, this app has the potential to transfer the power of information directly to the end-user. “Everyone is carrying a smartphone and using Internet on mobile. So, we want to reach the citizens directly,” an official from NeGD said. The government has already invited bids from private players to develop and deploy this massive platform. NeGD has a plan to make 50 major services available for the people by the end of this year itself. Also, 70 to 80 more new services are planned to be brought on to UMANG, in the coming years.

 

The services to be introduced in UMANG include National scholarship, Healthcare applications, Passport Seva, Women Safety (Nirbhaya),  E-Post, Crime and criminal tracking, Network and systems, Commercial tax/GST, Income tax, CBSE/State education boards, E-Municipality, IRCTC, Utility bills, Mother and child tracking, Public distribution system, Transport – Vahan/Sarathi, e-Court, m-Kisan, Land records, PF/NPS. All these services would be made available in 13 languages. Those who doesn’t have a smartphone, can access the same via feature phone using SMS based menu and a toll free number. Aadhar Card, PayGov and DigiLocker shall also be included within this platform, thereby making it even more powerful. The integration of state and central departments into this platform are the biggest challenge for the officials, as bureaucratic challenges & politics may retard the process. The Government will select a partner agency which would look after the development, implementation, enhancement and operations & maintenance of the UMANG platform for a period of 3 years with a possibility of extension to another 2 years and again for 2 years subject to mutually agreed terms and conditions. Major Central / State government services are expected to be provided through UMANG.

From http://egov.eletsonline.com 04/26/2016

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AZERBAIJAN: Communications Ministry Studies Opportunities of Alternative Internet Channels

 

Azerbaijan is studying opportunities of alternative Internet channels to prevent its mass re-disconnection. Elmir Valizade, Deputy Minister of Communications and High Technologies announced about this while talking to local media on March 17. The country has already done a lot of work in this direction, according to Valizade. Azerbaijan has lost nearly all of its internet connection due to technical issues on November 16, 2015. The problem occurred since a fire broke out in the lines connected to the DATA-center of Delta Telecom, Azerbaijan’s primary provider. The backup system at the DATA-center failed to become operational, as there was a problem in the power supply of the company. Internet outage for several hours affected the functioning of some organizations in the country. Given that numerous operations are performed using the Internet, sudden interruptions can be catastrophic in terms of work of various structures. Valizade stressed that the ministry came to the conclusion based on studying the above mentioned situation. “Now, certain questions are being examined in order to provide an alternative to Internet channels, as well as ensure stability and high quality of the provided services,” he said.

 

Slow Internet connection in Azerbaijan is linked with the failures in communication lines in about half of cases, believes Araz Aliyev, deputy head of the State Service for Antimonopoly Policy and Consumer Rights Protection under the Economy Ministry. The service together with the Communications Ministry has recently created a working group, which was engaged in checking the speed of the Internet in the country and revealed the problems in the internet connections. Following the monitoring, Internet service providers have acted appropriately and most of the problems were solved, according to Aliyev. Today, the field of ICT, including the Internet, is a rapidly developing area in Azerbaijan. The state pays special attention to this sphere, which is a priority for the economic development of the country. Currently, some 75 percent of the population uses the Internet in Azerbaijan. Broadband Internet penetration among the population stands at 62 percent. For these indicators, Azerbaijan is twice ahead of the world average. The volume of incoming Internet traffic in Azerbaijan reaches 190 gigabits, according to Delta Telecom. The largest volume of Internet traffic delivered to the end user accounts for the BakinterNet state Internet provider (over 33 percent) as of 2015.

From http://www.azernews.az/ 03/18/2016

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IRAN: ICT Ministry Faced Pressure to Block Social Apps During Elections

 

Iran's Ministry of Information and Communications Technology faced pressures by some organizations to block social apps in the country during the parliamentary and the Assembly of Experts elections, said the ICT Minister Mahmoud Vaezi.  "But we did not give way," he said, Khabar Online news agency reported Feb. 26.  The minister also refused to relate a recent slow-down in internet connection to the elections.  During the presidential election in 2009, Iranians had no internet connection and even text messages service throughout a day.  Social networking apps are highly popular among Iranians.  At least 22 million Iranians use Telegram messaging app, one of the most recently-developed social apps with high number of users worldwide, which is as of yet free to access in Iran.  But many Iranians have to use proxies to access other popular sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and others, most of which were blocked following post-2009 election disturbances.

From http://en.trend.az/ 02/26/2016

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KAZAKHSTAN: Government to Found Ministry of ICT

 

Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, has obliged the government to found a Ministry of ICT, reports Profit.kz. The ministry will monitor Kazakhstan's internet resources, social networks and other mass media, and will also carry out polls and perform other tasks. Currently, the government does not have a department controlling the sector. The Ministry of Culture and Information used regulate mass media but was reorganised in 2010 as the Ministry of Culture and Sports. There was then a Ministry of Communications and Information, but it was abolished in 2012 and its functions divided between the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The latter was abolished in 2014 and its functions transferred to a new Ministry of Investment and Development.

From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 05/09/2016

 

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UZBEKISTAN: Prosecutor General's Office Introduces New Version of Its Website

 

On March 23, Prosecutor General's office of the Republic of Uzbekistan introduced a new version of its official website - www.prokuratura.uz.  According to the press service of the Ministry, development of the new website is carried out taking into account all requirements set for public authorities' websites. It has a logical structure of presenting information, attractive graphics, and color design, and full of the necessary materials on the activities of the prosecution authorities.  The official website of the body has main functions that are mandatory for implementation, which in turn will help the visitors to find the information needed, allow using all its functions and provide extra facilities for persons with disabilities, etc.  Additional changes have concerned general navigation, main menu. The updated website has been replenished with new modules, the available one's undergone integration.  In particular, a new block "Activities" represents information about the work of prosecutors in ensuring the rule of law, strengthening of legality, protection of rights and freedoms of citizens, legitimate interests of society and the state, the prevention of crimes and offences. 

 

The site also features the pages of regional and equated prosecutors ' offices, which for convenience have been combined in one unit. Now, in addition to information about the structure of bodies of Prosecutor's offices of the Republic of Uzbekistan, it is possible to find information about regional news, reviews on activity of the regional and equated prosecutors ' offices, as well as analytical information about the state of prosecutorial supervision.  Visitors of the block "Online services" are presented the opportunity to get acquainted with the schedules for reception of citizens, as at the attorney General's office, so at regional and equal to them Prosecutor's offices, contact details of responsible persons for organizing the reception. In addition, any entity, whether legal or natural, can “Submit application” or a complaint through the Internet reception.  In addition, the site provides the opportunity to obtain free legal advice.  Among new important sections, it is necessary to mention the "Documents", which contains the draft laws, normative and legal acts worked out by the attorney General's office, "New laws", which contains information about the changes in legislation and clarification of existing legislation in various spheres of public relations. Visitors can express their views, suggestions on outstanding bills through feedback.  The central place in the "Press center" is given to news on the activity of bodies of the Procurator on the protection of the rights of citizens, entities of entrepreneurial activity, combating crime and corruption. A separate block “Library” contains releases of information programs, videos prepared by the attorney General's office, as well as a photo gallery.

From http://technologies.uzreport.uz/ 03/24/2016

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Center "Electronic government" Launches Two Channels in Telegram

 

The Center "Electronic government" has launched two channels in Telegram messenger: Egov Business for entrepreneurs and Egov News for the public. These channels allow quickly and in real-time to receive news about projects and initiatives of the "Electronic government", the new online services provided to the business and population of the state. In addition, users can get information on how to become a business entity, file an appeal to the state body, and much more.

From http://technologies.uzreport.uz/ 04/08/2016

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Uzbek Ministry Hosts Meeting with Telecommunication Standardization Bureau

 

On April 13, the Ministry for development of information technologies and communications hosted a meeting with the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Lee Che Soub, who arrived in Tashkent to participate at the regional ITU forum "Bridging the standardization gap" and regional preparatory meeting to the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2016.  During the meeting, the sides discussed prospects of further cooperation with the telecommunication standardization sector of ITU (ITU-T). In particular, they considered the possibilities of a partnership between industrial universities and research institutions of Uzbekistan with the ITU-T to improve the skills of specialists and development of research capacity.  In addition, they exchanged views on the activities of ITU-T standards development for the use of the latest information and communication technologies such as IoT (Internet of things), Smart city and others.  The parties agreed to organize in Uzbekistan seminars and workshops on standardization in the ICT sector with the participation of leading experts of ITU-T and other foreign partners.

From http://technologies.uzreport.uz/ 04/14/2016

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STC Launches Portal of Electronic Tax Services

 

The State Tax Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan in test mode has launched the new portal of e-government services "Electronic tax services." The portal has been developed within the project for the integration of complex information systems "Soliq", to provide interactive services in the field of taxation. The main goal of the project is to optimize the provision of electronic public services to population and business, increasing their quality and availability, decreasing the administrative costs associated with obtaining services, and as a result - increase the level of satisfaction of citizens by the quality of service. In accordance with the requirements of the Law "On electronic government" all e-government services in the portal are divided into interactive and informational. It is convenient to look for the right service direction, depending on the user needs: to obtain information, to send a report or appeal, to calculate the tax, get help. Services are available for individuals, legal entities and individual entrepreneurs.

A separate group has information about services operating in the test mode. Another innovation is the separate personal offices for all categories of taxpayers, including the personal office of an individual entrepreneur, which did not exist before. In addition, taxpayers now have the opportunity to evaluate and comment on each service, while tax authorities study the opinion of taxpayers and respond promptly to suggestions and comments. As of today, the tax authorities provide 26 types of electronic state services. 10 new services are provided in test mode. Services are available to all taxpayers, regardless of their category and location. According to the press service of the STC, during the upcoming month the portal my.soliq.uz will work in test mode, in order to identify and solve the existing shortcomings and add new features.

From http://technologies.uzreport.uz/ 04/20/2016

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AUSTRALIA: Open Data - Government Releases Address Data

 

The federal government has made the Geocoded National Address File (G-NAF) and Administrative Boundaries datasets freely available through its open data repository, data.gov.au. “With the release of the G-NAF, Australia becomes one of only a few countries in the world to make national geocoded address data openly available,” assistant minister for cities and digital transformation, Angus Taylor, said in a statement. G-NAF includes 13 million physical address records, while the Administrative Boundaries dataset includes Australian Bureau of Statistics boundaries, electoral boundaries, state and territory boundaries, local government areas, suburbs/localities, wards and town points. The G-NAF custodian is PSMA, a corporation jointly owned by the federal and state and territory governments. The datasets are released under variations of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (users must abide by the Australian Privacy Principles and there is a restriction on using G-NAF to send mail).