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  • Central Asia, comprising Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, serves as a strategic link between Asia and Europe for terrestrial Internet connectivity. Many international and regional organizations are recognizing the potential positive economic and social impact of a regional connectivity infrastructure.  The Internet Society was excited to announce recently that it is collaborating with several high-level stakeholders in the Kyrgyz Republic to develop Internet infrastructure in the region. Collaborating with the Internet Society European Regional Bureau are...
    Date published 16 December 2014
  • As a participant at the Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers thematic debate on Freedom of Expression, I made the following remarks: The Internet has become a part of everyday life for about 40% of the world’s population and is still growing. The network is no longer connecting only computers; it connects everything from mobile phones to tablets and, tomorrow, to a growing number of everyday objects. Ultimately, whatever the devices we use today or tomorrow, the Internet connects people.  Since the Internet was created in the early 1970s, it has evolved from a research project to...
    Date published 09 December 2014
  • The Internet has reached a critical juncture and faces challenges that threaten to compromise the freedom and openness upon which it was built. There is a growing need to restore the world’s trust and confidence in the global network, and every stakeholder should be included in the dialogue about its future…precisely because it impacts so many, in so many important ways. The Internet Society is a strong advocate for an open and free Internet. We believe the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance is the only way to ensure the stability, security, and availability of the global...
    Date published 23 May 2014
  • In view of major conferences taking place this year, the adoption of a formal policy position on Internet governance " Internet Policy and Governance - Europe's role in shaping the future of Internet governance" by the European Commission on 12 February is a major contribution. It is the first comprehensive position paper by a governmental stakeholder, in this case the Executive Branch of the European Union which takes the lead and comes up with a vision on the future of Internet governance.   The role of governments in multistakeholder Internet governance arrangements is one of the key...
    Date published 18 February 2014
  • Data protection/Cloud computing EU: Commission publishes communication on data-driven economy On 2 July, the European Commission published a communication entitled Towards a thriving data-driven economy which sketches the features of a data-driven economy and sets out some conclusions to support and accelerate the transition towards it. Activities in the field of cloud computing are also comprised in the document. EC estimates big data technology and services will grow worldwide to almost 17 billion USD by 2015 at a compound annual growth rate of 40%. Due to the complexity of the current...
  • Regional Context With an incredibly diverse range of cultures, governments and economies the European region faces a strong divide on issues concerning Internet governance, infrastructure, research, and investment. While Western Europe benefits from many of its residents accessing the Internet via broadband, it is still facing strong divide on critical policy issues. Eastern Europe is, on the other hand, still fundamentally behind the rest of the region in terms of basic access and broadband. In 2010, the European Commission unveiled its Digital Agenda, which outlines a plan for digital...
  • Net neutrality French Digital Council publishes report calling for net neutrality law The National Digital Council (‘Conseil National du Numérique’, CNNum), recently created by Digital Economy Minister Fleur Pellerin, has published a report on net neutrality, in which it argues that the freedom of speech in France is not adequately protected, considering the development of online filtering and blocking practices. Specifically, CNNum calls for: Net neutrality to be recognised as a fundamental principle to the exercise of the freedom of communications and...
  • Data Protection UK: Major data breach reported by accountancy firm Sage The personal information of employees at 280 UK businesses was reported to have been compromised by a perpetrator using an internal company computer login. The companies involved have been notified and advised to remain on alert. Sage stated it was treating this as a major priority.  It remains to be seen whether the information has been stolen or simply viewed.  If the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) decides this is a case of negligence, Sage could undergo non-criminal enforcement, audit or even face...
  • Net neutrality EU: Presidency presents Connected Continent consolidated text in preparation of informal trilogues In view of the preparations for informal trilogues, the Latvian Presidency presented an amended consolidated version of the Connected Continent proposal. The Presidency noted that net neutrality is one of the outstanding issues. As it stands, the law would ban broadband operators from discriminating between applications, content or services carried over their networks. MEP Pilar Del Castillo Vera (Spain, EPP), the Rapporteur on the dossier, expressed her optimism about reaching a...
  • Data protection “No” to the inclusion of data protection in transatlantic trade talks Representatives from the EU and the US met last week in Brussels to discuss whether data protection provisions should be included in the negotiations on the EU-US trade deal. EU Justice Commissioner Reding has warned against bringing this question into talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Reding has underlined that data protection is not red tape and as such is not negotiable. Amid the revelations of the scope of the US surveillance, Reding’s...