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Technology 13 January 2020

The Week in Internet News: Mexico, NYC Push for Internet Access for All

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Everyone’s invited: Politicians in Mexico and New York City announced plans for universal Internet access in recent days. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced a plan to bring access to the large swaths of the country that don’t have it, including a government investment of more than $500,000, according to AA News. Meanwhile, New York City Major Bill de Blasio is pushing an “Internet master plan” to improve access. About 18 percent of the city’s residents have neither mobile nor home Internet connections, and about 40 percent have one or the other, but not both, the New York Daily News reports.

New pressure campaign: The U.S. FBI is asking Apple for help to access encrypted communications on an iPhone that belonged to the Saudi military student who killed three people last month at a naval base in Pensacola, Fla., the Washington Post reports. It’s unclear what information the FBI is looking for, given that the shooter is dead, but the request is a new step in the long-running fight between the U.S. government and large tech vendors over the use of encryption on smartphones and other devices.

Cyber retaliation: Many cybersecurity experts expect Iran to retaliate with cyberattacks for the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump administration to kill top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, Yahoo News reports. Experts say Iranian hackers are prepared to attack — but they are deciding how to do it and whether the attack factors into their risk calculation for retaliation. 

Your right to access: The Supreme Court in India has ruled that Internet access is a fundamental right, in response to the long-term shutdown in the Kashmir region, India Today reports. The court also said the indefinite shutdown was unwarranted and an “abuse of power,” Tech Crunch notes. The court said the indefinite suspension of Internet service violates India’s telecommunications rules. Justice N. V. Ramana ordered authorities in Kashmir to review all the shutdowns within a week.

Keep the Internet on, and strong. Read the Internet Society Position on Internet Shutdowns.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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