Two new aviation statutory instruments have been adopted by the British Parliament:
SOurce – ITU:
Significant progress on key issues of Internet Governance
ITU Conference gathers stakeholders from government, industry and civil society to debate international Internet public policy-related issues
Geneva, 16 May 2013 – “This year’s WTPF, with its focus on international Internet-related public policy matters, is especially timely – as we stand at a ‘tipping point’, with the Internet making the transition from a mass-market in industrialized countries, to strong demand and widespread usage around the world”, said Dr Touré, as the ITU’s fifth World Telecommunication Policy Forum concluded in Geneva today.
Dr Touré went on to say that “at WTPF, we have created a shared vision; a shared vision that can now be transformed into effective action to bring connectivity to the two-thirds of the world’s people who are still offline – and that is our bottom line, connecting the unconnected and achieving full digital inclusion for all citizens of the world.”
The WTPF was chaired by Mr. Ivo Ivanovski, Minister of Information Society and Administration, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, who was supported in his task by six vice-chairs. “The WTPF came hot on the heels of the difficult discussions in Dubai last December during the revision of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) treaty” said Mr. Ivanovski, “so it is all the more remarkable to have witnessed such an incredible and constructive spirit of cooperation and consensus. Representatives from governments, private sector and civil society have worked side-by-side, understanding what was at stake and fully focused on our common goal – nothing less than the responsibility to ensure safe and affordable access for everyone to the future Internet.”
This year’s Forum focused on the topic of Internet-related public policy issues, a theme unanimously chosen by the ITU membership at its last Plenipotentiary Conference in 2010. The Plenipotentiary is the main governance body of the ITU and meets every four years. The run-up to the WTPF included three preparatory meetings of the Informal Experts Group – a cross-sectoral, multistakeholder group, comprising some 180 experts, which advised the Forum and supported the drafting of the Secretary-General’s Report which was the main input document to the conference.
This report contained six Opinions – essentially, non-binding recommendations to guide Internet public policy – which were discussed at length and finalized in working groups and during the Plenary Sessions this week.
The Opinions cover some of the key and fundamental issues of Internet Governance today, including:
Promoting Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) as a long term solution to advance connectivity
Fostering an enabling environment for the greater growth and development of broadband connectivity
Supporting Capacity Building for the deployment of IPv6
Supporting IPv6 Adoption and Transition from IPv4
Supporting Multi-stakeholderism in Internet Governance
Supporting operationalizing the Enhanced Cooperation Process
The conference was set up into three working groups, each dealing with two opinions. Opinions one to four were finalized and endorsed ahead of time. Opinions five and six required more in-depth discussion however, particularly around the role of government in Internet governance issues. The necessity to include government is not contested by any stakeholders, but the extent of their role and responsibility opened up extensive discussions focusing on the need to balance the mitigation of risks while maximizing the undoubted opportunities provided by an open Internet.
In the end, in the words of one delegation, “perfect cannot not be the enemy of good” and it was agreed unanimously that the texts should be fully adopted and considered as important progress towards defining an efficient Internet governance system to manage the incredible global resource which the Internet has now become. An additional contribution on the role of government in the multi-stakeholder model proposed by Brazil and revised after consultation with a number of countries, received widespread support and though it was not endorsed, it was agreed that it merited further discussion beyond WTPF.
The WTPF gathered more than 900 participants together in Geneva from some 130 countries, while over 3000 people participated remotely via webcast. All sessions, including the WTPF working groups, were webcast. There was active participation during the conference, which welcomed contributions from the floor from governments, industry and civil society representatives encompassing both members and non-members of the ITU itself.
Reflecting back on the week’s work and looking forward to future challenges, Dr Touré said, “It is so impressive to see all stakeholders coming together and working in such a positive spirit of collaboration. I am proud that ITU is playing its part to champion multistakeholderism and to use its convening power to facilitate constructive dialogue. We have achieved a lot together this week and we are excited about what this will mean in terms of concrete, positive actions over the coming years”.
Source – U.S. State Department:
U.S. Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty With Australia
Secretary of State
May 16, 2013
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Today’s entry into force of the Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty between the United States and Australia enables American and Australian troops to get the best technology in the fastest way possible.
It will expand our reach and help defend our interests around the world.
The creation of an approved community of users makes it easier for our two defense industries to collaborate in developing and fielding new technologies.
Australia is already a significant defense trade partner of the United States and one of our closest allies, and this treaty deepens our relationship even further.
The Disasters Charter has been activated for a Tropical Cyclone Mahasen in Bangladesh and Myanmar:
Tropical Cyclone Mahasen in Bangladesh and Myanmar
Type of Event: Cyclone / Floods
Location of Event: Bangladesh and Myanmar
Date of Charter Activation: 15 May 2013
Charter Requestor: UNITAR/UNOSAT on behalf of UNOCHA
Project Management: UNITAR/UNOSAT
Description of the Event:
Tropical Cyclone Mahasen struck the southern coast of Bangladesh on 16 May 2013, and is expected to affect as much as 8.2 million people in the area. Hundreds of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate in advance of the oncoming storm in Bangladesh and neighbouring Myanmar.
While the storm has not been classified as severe, the main concerns are about the resulting floods and landslides left in the cyclone’s wake. This was evident in Sri Lanka, where at least seven people were killed in floods and mudslides even though the cyclone did not make landfall in the country.
There are reports that two people have been killed in Bangladesh, so far, and fifty people were killed in Myanmar while attempting to evacuate by boat on 14 May.
It is forecast that Cyclone Mahasen will drive further inland and weaken in Bangladesh and Myanmar over the coming days.
Source – ITU:
Cybersecurity on global agenda at information society forum
ITU develops partnerships with Member States and industry
Geneva, 16 May 2013 – Cybersecurity took centre stage at the WSIS Forum – the follow up process of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) that is currently taking place in Geneva, 13-17 May 2013.
The 2013 WSIS Forum is being held ten years after the Geneva Phase of WSIS, which took place in 2003.
The High Level Dialogue at the WSIS Forum on “Securing cyberspace in a borderless world: Vision 2015 and Beyond” focused on future strategies and actions needed for harmonized international cooperation.
Citing annual losses of over USD 100 billion being caused by cybercrime ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said, “In the security business, trust is key, and if we do not start to develop such a culture of trust, there will be no way that the cyber world can ever become truly safe and secure.”
Global initiatives within the framework of ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA), such as Child Online Protection (COP) and the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) were reviewed.
The ITU-IMPACT Partners’ Meeting and COP Partners’ Meeting confirmed the commitment in the private sector and among civil society leaders to work together with governments and agreed on developing future activities and projects.
Ghana seeks to safeguard cyberspace
Within the framework of the ITU-IMPACT initiative, the Ministry of Communication of Ghana entered into an agreement with ITU on the establishment of a national Computer Incident Response Team, strengthening its ability to prevent and mitigate cybersecurity incidents. The project will provide Ghana with the necessary capacity and technical capabilities to build a national point of contact to respond in an effective manner to cybercrimes and cyberattacks. The project will run for six months.
”This project demonstrates the commitment of Ghana to unleash the full potential of ICT by ensuring security in cyberspace and building trust and confidence in the use of the Internet,” said Minister of Communications Edward Omane Boamah.
“This agreement will enable Ghana to join the global network that we are building to secure cyberspace,” said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “Ghana will then become part of the solution, curbing potential cyber threats that are currently emanating from sources in Africa.”
Approaching the 10-year anniversary of the Tunis Phase of WSIS, which took place in 2005, the Forum meetings took stock of progress made on the outcomes – Action Lines – of the Summit. Discussions at the Facilitation Meeting on Action Line C5, which accorded ITU the responsibility for strengthening cybersecurity, recognized the importance of building confidence in the use of ICTs in an increasingly networked society and agreed to extend the dialogue beyond the target date of 2015.
An important landmark was reached with ITU and ABI Research, a market intelligence company specializing in technology, signing an agreement to establish a Global Cybersecurity Index designed to facilitate information sharing on cyberthreats among ITU Member States.
In line with an agreement made in 2011 with Symantec, the network security company, ITU released the Internet Security Threat Report which presents Symantec data and analysis on the threat landscape and reaches new milestones in the fight against cyber threats. ITU’s ongoing commitment to publish Symantec security reports aims to appraise Member States of rising threats in cyberspace, in order to create a safer and more secure environment for all users – governments and businesses and, most significantly, children and youth.
With the aim of enhancing child online safety, ITU and the Walt Disney Company are joining forces to develop workshops to Train-the-Trainer during the Be Safe, Be Smart track of the Global Youth Summit that will take place 9-11 September in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Furthermore, a workshop organized by ITU and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) on the Establishment of COP National Framework, emphasized that child protection is not only a matter of safeguarding children’s rights but is a core human development component in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. ITU and CTO have established COP National Frameworks in six African Countries: Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Mauritius, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
“Cybersecurity is a borderless issue that requires a global approach and concerted effort,” said Sanou. “The WSIS forum adds value as an enabling platform for international cooperation on ICT for development and for strengthening cybersecurity worldwide.”
Source – Space News:
Pentagon Renews Controversial Satellite Lease
By Warren Ferster | May. 16, 2013
WASHINGTON — Citing a new process that elevates decisions on certain commercial satellite leases to senior levels, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has renewed a controversial bandwidth lease involving a Hong Kong company with substantial Chinese government ownership.
The satellite in question is Apstar 7, operated by APT Satellite Holdings. The company is nearly 40 percent owned by China Aerospace Corp., which in turn is owned by the Chinese government. The new decision-making process was used to execute the one-year, $10.7 million contract renewal with Harris CapRock Government Solutions of Fairfax, Va., which provides DoD with satellite communications services using capacity leased from third parties, according to a DoD statement.
“The Department of Defense has initiated an oversight mechanism to better manage and assess leasing commercial communication services provided over satellites owned, operated, or launched from states currently subject to comprehensive or tailored economic sanctions. This oversight mechanism will more thoroughly scrutinize potential satellite communication leases and potential alternatives with the main purpose of protecting national security interests, even while providing operational capability,” the DoD statement said. [Full Story]
Source – Delimiter:
Interpol filter scope creep:
ASIC ordering unilateral website blocks
The Federal Government has confirmed its financial regulator has started requiring Australian Internet service providers to block websites suspected of providing fraudulent financial opportunities, in a move which appears to also open the door for other government agencies to unilaterally block sites they deem questionable in their own portfolios.
The news came tonight in a statement issued by the office of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, following a controversial event in April which saw some 1,200 websites wrongfully blocked by several of Australia’s major Internet service providers. . . . [Full Story]
H.R. 1955: To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of alternatives for commemorating Long Island’s aviation history, including a determination of the suitability and feasibility of designating parts of the study area as a unit of the National Park System, and for other purposes was introduced on May 13, 2013 by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY4).
Source – United States Mission to the United Nations:
Statement by Erin Pelton, Spokesperson, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, on Iran’s Rotation as President of the Conference on Disarmament, May 13, 2013
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
May 13, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Iran’s upcoming rotation as President of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) is unfortunate and highly inappropriate. The United States continues to believe that countries that are under Chapter VII sanctions for weapons proliferation or massive human-rights abuses should be barred from any formal or ceremonial positions in UN bodies.
While the presidency of the CD is largely ceremonial and involves no substantive responsibilities, allowing Iran–a country that is in flagrant violation of its obligations under multiple UN Security Council Resolutions and to the IAEA Board of Governors–to hold such a position runs counter to the goals and objectives of the Conference on Disarmament itself. As a result, the United States will not be represented at the ambassadorial level during any meeting presided over by Iran.
Source – U.S. State Department:
The President’s Export Control Reform Initiative: Reinventing the System and Promoting National Security
Bureau of Public Affairs
May 10, 2013
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“We need fundamental reform in all four areas of our current control system – in what we control, how we control it, how we enforce those controls, and how we manage our controls.” – President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama’s Export Control Reform Initiative is a common sense approach to overhauling the nation’s export control system. The President’s entire national security team supports a comprehensive overhaul of the system to meet the current and anticipated U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives of the 21st century.
The Administration has determined that fundamental reform of the current system is necessary to enhance our national security by:
Focusing resources on the threats that matter most
Increasing interoperability with our Allies
Strengthening the U.S. defense industrial base by reducing incentives for foreign manufacturers to design out and avoid using U.S. parts and components.
The current system operates under laws written in the 1970s and is designed to address the challenges of the Cold War. Its functions are spread across seven U.S. Government departments (Commerce, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, Justice, State, and Treasury). This results in ambiguity and confusion for U.S. companies and leads to jurisdictional disputes between departments, which delay license decisions for months and even years. This harms U.S. business, is bad for enforcing our export control requirements, and impedes our ability to prosecute those who violate U.S. export control laws. The solution is not simply to expand government by adding more licensing and enforcement personnel.
Need for Reform
Without better discrimination among export items and destinations of greatest concern, the U.S. Government would need to continually expand its licensing and enforcement resources to cover every export part and component, even those destined for governments of close Allies. The current system also is slowly strangling the U.S. defense industrial base and eroding America’s ability to manufacture domestically the parts and components needed for its own weapons systems.
National Security Dimension
The Export Control Reform Initiative will improve our ability to meet national security and foreign policy objectives. The reforms will more stringently protect our most sensitive items, ensuring that such items do not go to end-users or end-uses of concern. As part of these reforms, the Administration is recalibrating the controls and licensing requirements on items that, if diverted, pose a low risk to national security, so the government can focus its review on and improve its ability to protect more critical items. This amounts to a good government prioritization of our export controls.
Enhancing Export Prohibitions
The reform initiative will enhance, not ease, the prohibitions on destinations like Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria, and will reinforce the U.S. policy of not supporting China’s military modernization program.
“…these reforms will focus our resources on the threats that matter most, and help us work more effectively with our allies in the field. They’ll bring transparency and coherence to a field of regulation which has long been lacking both. And by enhancing the competitiveness of our manufacturing and technology sectors, they’ll help us not just increase exports and create jobs, but strengthen our national security as well.” -President Barack Obama
To follow developments on the reform initiative, visit www.export.gov/ecr