Social Icons

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dyman Associates Management Japan, EU planning cybersecurity summit

(japantimes) - With China a suspected source of cyberattacks, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Union leaders will agree at a summit in Brussels on May 7 to launch a dialogue to boost cybersecurity, according to a draft of a statement to be issued after the meeting.

“Facing more severe, widespread and globalized risks surrounding cyberspace . . . protection of a safe, open and secure cyberspace is needed,” according to the draft, a copy of which was obtained Sunday.

Abe and the EU leaders, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, will also agree to hold an inaugural meeting of a Japan-EU dialogue on the stable use of outer space in the latter half of this year in Tokyo, the draft says.

Tokyo appears poised to proactively contribute to international rule-making over cyberspace. The launch of a Japan-EU dialogue to promote cooperation on cyberspace would follow similar consultations Japan has held with the United States, Britain and other countries.

In recognition of the threat posed to national security, Japan said in its National Security Strategy adopted in December that it will strengthen information sharing and promote cyberspace defense cooperation with relevant countries.

In the first meeting of the Japan-EU Space Policy Dialogue, the two sides are expected to discuss creation of international norms to reduce space debris caused by anti-satellite tests, satellite collisions and other reasons.
“We affirm the importance of safety, security and sustainability of outer space activities,” the draft statement says.

In 2007, China destroyed one of its aging satellites via a missile-driven anti-satellite test, creating a mess of fragments fluttering through space and sparking concern that such debris could seriously damage other satellites nearby.

In the summit, Abe and the EU leaders will reaffirm their shared view that international disputes and issues “should be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law, not by force or coercion,” the draft says.

The wording apparently refers to the intrusions by Chinese patrol ships into Japanese waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea in aimed at undermining Japan’s administration of the islets, claimed as Diaoyu by Beijing and Tiaoyutai by Taiwan.

Turning to Ukraine, the Japanese and EU leaders will “strongly condemn” and “will not recognize” Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March, while urging Moscow and other parties concerned to “refrain from any steps to further destabilize Ukraine,” the draft says.

The leaders will call for ensuring freedom of navigation in and flight over the open seas, according to the draft, in an apparent criticism of China’s unilateral declaration in November of an air defense identification zone overlapping Japanese airspace over the Senkaku Islands.

Beijing announced rules requiring aircraft entering the zone — which covers an extensive area above the high seas separating China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan — to file flight plans in advance and follow instructions of Chinese controllers or face “defensive emergency measures.”

Policymakers and experts outside China, however, say Beijing is not in line with international norms.
Among other issues, the EU leaders will welcome an expanded role for Japan in promoting and sustaining global peace and security, as set out in Abe’s policy of proactively contributing to peace based on the principle of international cooperation, it says.

Japan will study the possibility of participating in EU peace missions in Africa and elsewhere, it says.
Brussels will be the last leg of Abe’s six-nation European tour starting Tuesday, following visits to Germany, Britain, Portugal, Spain and France.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dyman Associates Management ISACA launches cyber-security skills programme

(computerweekly) - Global IT association ISACA has launched its Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX) programme to help address the global security skills shortage.

According to the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report, more than one million positions for security professionals remain unfilled around the world.

CSX is aimed at helping IT professionals with security-related responsibilities to “skill up” and providing support through research, guidance and mentoring.

A recent ISACA survey found that 62% of organisations have not increased security training in 2014, despite 20% of enterprises reporting they have been hit by advanced persistent threats.

“Unless the industry moves now to address the cyber-security skills crisis, threats such as major retail data breaches and the Heartbleed bug will continue to outpace the ability of organisations to defend against them,” said Robert Stroud, ISACA international president-elect.

CSX is designed as a comprehensive programme that provides expert-level cyber-security resources tailored to each stage in a cyber-security professional’s career.

The programme includes career development resources, frameworks, community and research guidance, such as Responding to Targeted Cyberattacks and Transforming Cybersecurity Using COBIT 5.

There is also a Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate that is aimed at entry level information security professionals with zero to three years of practitioner experience.

The CSX program marks the first time in its 45-year history that ISACA will offer a security-related certificate.

The certificate is for people just coming out of college and for career-changers now getting into IT security. The foundational level is knowledge-based and covers four domains:
  • Cybersecurity architecture principles
  • Security of networks, systems, applications and data
  • Incident response
  • Security implications related to adoption of emerging technologies
  • The exam will be offered online and at select ISACA conferences and trainingevents beginning this September.
  • The content aligns with the US NICE framework and was developed by a team of about 20 cyber-security professionals from around the world.
  • ISACA plans to add more to the CSX programme, including: A cybersecurity practitioner-level certification with the first exam in 2015, Cybersecurity Training courses, SCADA guidance and digital forensics guidance.
  • A recent global poll of members of ISACA student chapters shows that 88% of the ISACA student members surveyed say they plan to work in a position that requires some level of cybersecurity knowledge.
  • A recent global poll of members of ISACA student chapters shows that 88% of the ISACA student members surveyed say they plan to work in a position that requires some level of cybersecurity knowledge.
However, fewer than half say they will have the adequate skills and knowledge they need to do the job when they graduate.

“Security is always one of the top three items on a CIO’s mind, yet IT and computer science courses at university level are not allocating a proportional amount of training to cybersecurity,” said Eddie Schwartz, chair of ISACA’s Cybersecurity Task Force.

“Today, there is a sizeable gap between formal education and real world needs. This, in itself, is an area requiring immediate focus so that the industry can get better at detecting and mitigating cyber threats,” he said.

According to Tony Hayes, ISACA international president, enterprises cannot rely on just a handful of universities to teach cybersecurity.

“With every employee and endpoint at risk of being exploited by cyber criminals, security is everyone’s business. We need to make cybersecurity education as accessible as possible to the next generation of defenders,” he said.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Dyman Associates Management U.S., UK advise avoiding Internet Explorer until bug fixed

The Microsoft logo is seen at their offices in Bucharest March 20, 2013.

(Reuters) - The U.S. and UK governments on Monday advised computer users to consider using alternatives to Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer browser until the company fixes a security flaw that hackers used to launch attacks.

The Internet Explorer bug, disclosed over the weekend, is the first high-profile computer threat to emerge since Microsoft stopped providing security updates for Windows XP earlier this month. That means PCs running the 13-year-old operating system will remain unprotected, even after Microsoft releases updates to defend against it.

The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team said in an advisory released on Monday that the vulnerability in versions 6 to 11 of Internet Explorer could lead to "the complete compromise" of an affected system.

The recently established UK National Computer Emergency Response Team issued similar advice to British computer users, saying that in addition to considering alternative browsers, they should make sure their antivirus software is current and regularly updated.

Versions 6 to 11 of Internet Explorer dominate desktop browsing, accounting for 55 percent of global market share, according to research firm NetMarketShare.

Boldizsár Bencsáth, assistant professor with Hungary's Laboratory of Cryptography and Systems Security, said the best solution was to use another browser such as Google Inc's Chrome or Mozilla's Firefox.


Security experts have long been warning Windows XP users to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8 before Microsoft stopped supporting it at the beginning of this month.

The threat that emerged over the weekend could be the wakeup call that prompts the estimated 15 to 25 percent of PC users who still use XP to dump those systems.

"Everybody should be moving off of it now. They should have done it months ago," said Jeff Williams, director of security strategy with Dell SecureWorks.

Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies, expects several hundred million people running Windows XP to dump those machines for other devices by the end of the year.

They will be looking at Windows machines as well as Apple Inc's Macs and iPads along with Google's Chrome laptops and Android tablets, he said.

"Not everybody will necessarily go to Windows, but Microsoft has a good chance at getting their business," he said. "It's got to be a good stimulus for the year."

News of the vulnerability surfaced over the weekend. Cybersecurity software maker FireEye Inc warned that a sophisticated group of hackers have been exploiting the bug in a campaign dubbed "Operation Clandestine Fox."

Friday, April 25, 2014

Dyman Associates Management: Project Management

Unpredictability justifies the need for project management. How we prepare for the unpredictable is at the heart of enhancing project implementation — executing projects both in a rapid manner and with superior dependability on the committed targeted dates of delivery.

Usually neglected, the value of project management is vital to a company. Projects render business needs into answers applicable for lasting sustainability and development. Dyman & Associates Risk Management Projects fully realizes the essence of implementing projects promptly and within budget. Our project strategy is founded on Goldratt's Theory of Constraints and guarantees the shortest time for delivering your requirements.

Dyman & Associates Risk Management Projects consultants are not only PMP-qualified; they are likewise knowledgeable professionals with far-reaching technical and management track record. This lets our project managers comprehend project coverage and assure themselves of the soundness of project target dates as well as involve project stakeholders in important dialogs pertaining to excellent performance.

Our most frequently sought after Project Management involvements are:

Remediation Project Management A company flops an audit and has a number of issues to resolve. Dyman & Associates Risk Management Projects makes sure all stakeholders stay centered on the objectives (compliance).

Data Center Move Transferring infrastructure/applications from one location to another or integrating compound DC within one site. Dyman & Associates Risk Management Projects minimizes the potentials for unmet target dates and downed systems.

Big-scale Technology Resets By improving cable plant, desktops, routers,switches, POS, Wide Area Network, etc., Dyman & Associates Risk Management Projects assures that internal & external stakeholders deliver the goods as committed. We do this both for the corporate office and for 2,000 distant offices all over the world.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dyman Associates Management: Project Management Office (PMO)

A Project Management Office (PMO) is a group or department within a business, agency or enterprise that defines and maintains standards for project management within the organization.

The primary goal of a PMO is to achieve benefits from standardizing and following project management policies, processes and methods. Over time, a PMO generally will become the source for guidance, documentation, and metrics related to the practices involved in managing and implementing projects within the organization. A PMO may also get involved in project-related tasks and follow up on project activities through completion. The office may report on project activities, problems and requirements to executive management as a strategic tool in keeping implementers and decision makers moving toward consistent, business- or mission-focused goals and objectives.

A PMO generally bases its project management principles, practices and processes on some kind of industry standard methodology such as PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) or PRINCE2 (Project in Controlled Environments). Such approaches are consistent with the requirements related to ISO9000 and to government regulatory requirements such as the US Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) program.

How a project management office (PMO) is designed and staffed for maximum effectiveness depends on a variety of organizational factors, including targeted goals, traditional strengths and cultural imperatives. There are three basic organizational styles for a project management office.

1.     The project repository: This model occurs most often in organizations that empower distributed, business-centric project ownership, or enterprises with weak central governance. The project office simply serves as a source of information on project methodology and standards. Project managers continue to report to, and are funded by, their respective business areas.

2.     The project coach model: This model assumes a willingness to share some project management practices across business functions and uses the project office to coordinate the communication. Best practices are documented and shared and project performance is monitored actively. The PMO in this model is a permanent structure with staff and has some supervisory responsibility for all projects.

3.     The enterprise project management office: This model also assumes a governance process that involves the project office in all projects, regardless of size, allowing it to assess scope, allocate resources and verify time, budget, risk and impact assumptions before the project is undertaken. Funding is generally a combination of direct, budgeted allocation for baseline services and a fee-for-service charge for others.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dyman Associates Management: Why mobile security requires a holistic approach

Its remarkable how much can change over the course of just a couple of years. We've seen bring-your-own-device (BYOD) evolve from a buzzword to an accepted practice with a strong business use case. Cyber criminals are savvier than ever and using mobile-optimized techniques and malware to obtain more targeted prizes, such as Social Security numbers and credit card information. Decade-old attacks are even resurfacing under new guises, and with far greater precision than their predecessors. And of course, the proliferation of mobile devices available to an increasingly remote workforce continues to plague IT security professionals who are all too aware of the potential threats.

However, for all the considerable hype around each emerging mobile threat vector, one simple truth remains often overlooked: The only secure way of handling mobile devices is in a managed way. But what exactly does a managed approach look like?

IT security professionals and cyber criminals are continuously battling to gain the upper hand. The trouble is, for the most part, the good guys are being more reactive than proactive. While we are learning from mistakes or flaws in security frameworks as they are breached, cyber criminals are already plotting the next attack, carefully considering areas of  network security that are most susceptible to infiltration. How many more high profile incidents, such as the Adobe or Target hacks, must we endure before going on the offensive? As an industry, it's time to realize that mobile security has been, and continues to be, a systemic problem. Unfortunately, despite myriad expert warnings and sensitive data being put at risk, many mobile technology companies' primary focus remains on the consumer market instead of the enterprise market.

To put it bluntly, endpoints like personal laptops, smartphones or tablets remain the weakest points within a security infrastructure. That's why it's so befuddling how organizations are still permitting unmanaged devices on their corporate networks. With the technical ability of today's cyber criminals, intercepting unencrypted communications, for example, is as simple as taking candy from a baby. While proactive steps to combat threats such as these are clearly necessary, it's important to note that  there is no one magic technology that can efficiently safeguard against every type of malicious situation or attack.

It boils down to this – there is no substitute for fundamentally robust network security components being seamlessly implemented to establish defense in depth. Ideally, this will include everything from client device firewalls to IPsec VPNs. An important caveat to include here is, even these rigorous security mechanisms aren't failsafe against users ignoring common safety precautions, such as blindly clicking on links or opening suspicious e-mail attachments. This means companies should not take for granted that everyone within their organization is equally savvy about basic technology and security protocols—they must continuously educate and reinforce best practices.

Comprehensive solutions are hard to come by, as many security solutions designed to combat mobile threats can, at best, be described as siloed solutions that lack integration between critical security functions and the ability to be managed by IT. To be clear, these solutions do not lack sophistication because, in many cases, they are perfectly functional for the tasks they are designed to perform. Rather, the issue is that threat detection, mitigation and response requires an integrated and managed approach that is often difficult to obtain, considering the way mobile threats are currently tackled. 

For instance, because mobile devices are constantly exposed to different and often hostile public networks, the best security technologies are barely enough to secure a user. Therefore, in the absence of a one-size-fits-all security product – which does not appear to be on the horizon – the best option is to interconnect the range of best-of-breed security products and technologies and have them work together, focusing on providing defense-in-depth rapid threat response. IF-MAP, for example, is an open standard that is well-positioned to deliver in this area. IF-MAP provides the possibility to interconnect different IT security systems for an accurate representation of the health status of an IT network.

All things considered, the problem with mobile devices remains a systemic one. Organizations must be more and more proactive about patching up the holes in their remote access strategies at every stage, from policy creation to the technologies' implementations. IT administrators must reach out across the aisle to everyone, from designers, software architects, company management and end-users, to ensure that the necessary security precautions are being taken, and that corporate compliance is being adhered to. If this collaboration and holistic approach can be accomplished, we are likely to see fewer headlines about major corporate network breaches. Let's make 2014 the year that we take action.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dyman Associates Management, China on frontlines of cyber security threat

Twenty years after it embraced the internet, China has become a cyber-giant, but a weak one vulnerable to a skyrocketing number of threats.

Since China formally became a member of the global internet club on April 20, 1994, internet users had grown to 618 million at the end of last year, the largest number in the world.

However, due to the lack of technology, experience and strong teams to counter online crime, China finds itself embroiled in cyber security threats from both within and outside the country, especially from the West.

A sign of China's weakness in cyberspace is the fact that China annually imports CMOS chips worth more than US$200 billion, which far exceeds its crude oil imports, according to Deng Zhonghan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Disadvantages in software and hardware for information technology mean the Chinese government and industries are unprepared for cyber espionage. Any sabotage could pose dangers to the country's security and development as well as people's lives and work, experts say.

The situation became more urgent after Edward Snowden, a former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, said the US had been hacking into institutions based on the Chinese mainland.

The NSA has also been spying into the servers of Chinese company Huawei's sealed headquarters, according to revelations by The New York Times and Der Spiegel, which the US has not denied.

The spread of online crimes, including the dissemination of rumors and pornography, are also threatening social stability, forcing authorities to enhance campaigns to clean up cyberspace.

To better coordinate internet security and informatization work among different sectors, China has set up a central Internet security and informatization leading group led by President Xi Jinping to turn the nation into an "internet power."

"Without cyber security, there is no national security," Xi warned.


China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center said in its latest annual report that nearly 11 million Chinese PCs were infected last year. Of these, 30 percent of the attacks stemmed from US sources.

About 15,000 computers were hit by Trojan Horse malware and 61,000 websites were targeted with backdoor attacks that originated overseas.

Wang Minghua, the center's operation department director, said threats to China's economic information security are rising as the center settled more than 10,000 cases of phishing websites targeting Chinese banks, a 55% increase compared with that of 2012.

Safety risks could affect internet trade platforms and mobile payment applications and relevant industries as well as consumers' privacy, he said.

Government websites also frequently fall victim to hacker attacks, with more than 600 targeted in 2013.

The official site of the People's Bank of China was hacked on Dec. 19 last year after it curbed bit coin transactions in China, the center said.

Officials said the fundamental reason for China's exposure to the cyber threat is the lack of key technologies, including CPUs, operating systems, databases, high-end servers and telecommunications facilities.

All these core technologies and products have long been monopolized by developed countries, so that the systems of China's government and military departments face severe potential threats of intrusion, said Qiu Shanqin, director in charge of software and integrated circuit sector under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

China's IT market has been dominated by Western giants, including Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Intel and Apple, while Chinese telecommunications equipment server Huawei has been denied access to the US market for years.

While China itself is a victim of cyber crimes, the country has recently come under frequent criticism from other countries, including the United States, which claimed the Chinese government was behind hacking activities targeting their countries.

Cyber attacks from the United States have been as serious as the accusations from Washington, said CNCERT director Huang Chengqing.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Defense have refuted the accusations, reiterating China's resolve in combating cyber crimes and calling for the international community to fight hacking.


President Xi has called for fostering a "politically firm, professionally competent and morally upright" team to build an "Internet power."

Experts say teams must be good at developing key technologies, including CPU and cloud computing, countering online crimes, and international cooperation.

Huai Jinpeng, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said talents in the government, the military and critical IT companies must unite to promote research and bolster information sharing.

Inspiring innovation under favorable government policies is the key to casting off China's excessive dependence on overseas equipment and information systems, he said.

China will also make a law on cyber security this year, according to a legislation plan released by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

The legislative efforts will help coordinate major sectors to better manage information online, protect key infrastructure facilities and clean up cyberspace, Huai said.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dyman Associates Management, Focus on global effort to ensure cybersecurity

Muscat : With the number of cybersecurity attacks increasing, regional and global cooperation is Necessary to face the challenge, speakers at the third annual Regional Cybersecurity Summit that opened in Muscat on Monday, stressed.

Organized by the Information Technology Authority (ITA), represented by Oman National CERT (OCERT) in cooperation with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), IMPACT and French business information group Naseba, the 3rd Annual Regional Cybersecurity Summit opened under the auspices of Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Commenting on the summit, he said, "This regional conference is very important for the Sultanate as it has assumed responsibility for cybersecurity in the region. The Cooperation Between The regional countries and other countries that have important interests in this region Should be real. The Sultanate welcomes Such cooperation, are priority aims to electronic protected the common interests from theft and other bad behaviors that could result in losses for the business community and companies, investments and others. "

In His welcome address at the summit, Dr. Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA Oman, said, "The issue of cybersecurity in general and Protecting institutions' critical infrastructures in particular Requires a holistic view. As the number of cybersecurity attacks Increase, regional and global cooperation is Necessary to face the challenge . The role of regional and national CERTs is to work together to develop plans, share experiences and discuss solutions. "

Highlighting some statistics from Symantec from the past two years, Dr. Al Ruzaiqi Stated that the financial loss resulting from cybercrime is estimated and 110 billion dollars per year, and that 556 million people worldwide have fallen victim to cybercrimes. Further he pointed out that the sectors most affected by cybercrime are the critical infrastructure facilities around the world. "Only by intensifying our efforts to develop solutions and strategies for the protection of Such institutions can we win the war against cybercrime."

Chairperson for the first day of the event, Eng. Badar Ali Al Salehi, Director General of OCERT, explained the importance of such a regional gathering and the impact it can have on the future of the region cybersecurity.

He said, "The conference is being organized to highlight key issues that are affecting most regional countries. It acts as a platform for everyone to come together and address these threats." His opening remarks he concluded by noting the importance of staying ahead. "It is important to learn from mistakes and figure out the motives behind the cyber-attacks . But the main key is prevention. "

The opening keynote address was followed by the address of Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of the Swiss Company, High Tech Bridge. While the keynote address discussed the importance of maximizing efficiency and eliminating vulnerabilities in the interconnected and interdependent infrastructures, Kolochenko Protecting highlighted how all the classified information has Become a top priority for all nations and Businesses across the world.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dyman & Associates Risk Management Projects on Staff editorial: The internet, is it a privilege or human right?

There’s no denying that in this day and age, technology has taken over a considerable portion of our lives. Aside from cellphones, the most prominent technology to have hit our generation is the Internet. Now information, news and even people are literally a Google search away.

Back in 2011, the United Nations (UN) released a statement that said the UN has recognized that Internet access is a human right.

We here at the Sundial believe that Internet access is as of now a privilege, since we have to pay to have access to the net. Given the precedence of the Internet, we believe that the internet should become a human right. Even so, there are some precautions to understand if we were to hand universal control of the Internet to a single power.

To us Matadors, and even more so for those of us at the Sundial, the Internet has become an indispensable tool necessary to do almost all of our daily tasks. Whenever the Internet at school goes down, we freak out.

From just perusing the Internet to using Google Documents to put together an essay for class, the Internet has surgically embedded itself into our daily lives. Many who live in this era can no longer imagine what life would be like without the Internet.

Think about it. In developed nations, nearly everything is found or done online now. The Internet has become the new classifieds, as friends use social media to broadcast a job opening, or when job-seekers use Craigslist, Monster or the company site itself to search and apply for a job. These job searches more than likely lead us to an online application, a print-out of an application or the instructions to email a resume.

But the Internet is more than just a gigantic classified ad. For college students, it’s become a necessity.

Media convergence of the classrooms is taking place, as evidenced by the various my CSUN tablet classes, Moodle and online classes. There’s no denying that the Internet and technology is taking our learning environment beyond the traditional classroom.

Now, tests, quizzes and sometimes even finals are being facilitated through Moodle. Electronic submissions of essays are commonplace, and emailing professors for help or to schedule office hours is often taken for granted.

Not only is that, but reminders and notifications constantly sent to students through the use of the Internet. Applying for FAFSA now takes place online, as well as registering for our classes.

Navigational apps on our smartphones have become common, as people will now say that they will just “navi it.” Now, reaching places we’ve never been to before is easier than ever with the Internet and our phones.
These things that have become second-nature will fall if the Internet goes down.

Internet is a wealth of information

The Internet is an informative and vital tool. It is the source and form of information for billions. Not only does it serve to keep the global community up to date with world events at a swift rate, but it also serves as a worldwide platform built for interactive communication.

From research papers to just reading the news, the Internet has the capacity to hand us information within seconds. Google Search takes literally less than one second to give you results that can number within the millions.

To localize the impact the Internet has on our access of information, look at our own Oviatt library. Books have become searchable online to check for their availability and location. Some texts have even become an online-only text and online resources from other libraries can be pulled by the Oviatt for us to use.

On a global scale, the spread of information has led to various uprisings throughout the world. Just look at Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks. Wikileaks was able to release over 700,000 documents of classified United States military proceedings. One of the documents included a video in which US soldiers shoot suspected Iraqi rebels from a helicopter. The leak caused to the US Military to review the video.

The Internet spreads word of injustices that happen all around the world. Take the situations happening in Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine. Without the Internet allowing for citizens within those nations to pass information, the world wouldn’t have much knowledge as to what’s really going on.

To a large degree, the Arab Spring revolutions throughout the Middle East and parts of North Africa wouldn’t have gained momentum without the Internet. The revolutionaries during the Arab Spring used social media to organize their communities, and thus inform and mobilize the global community to help support these revolutions.

Control of the Internet

While we support the belief that the Internet should become a human right, there are dangers if governments worldwide were to take control of the Internet.

Making the Internet a human right should not make it a public resource. The physical infrastructure such as cell towers and wiring already laid out by independent companies as well as technical developments are vital in advancing our understanding of what we’re capable of on the web. If the Internet becomes a government utility without competition, it risks stagnation.

Having a market of competitive providers keeps rates reasonable and technology fluid, which could prove beneficial as entrepreneurial companies expand into less-connected areas. Keeping Internet connectivity diversified, as opposed to the way our water is handled, also ensures that no one has definitive control over access and available content.

This is essential when issues like censorship and privacy come into play. For example, during Egypt’s revolution, the internet was censored by the government in order to suppress information and quell the uprisings.

Instead of becoming the source of public Internet access, governments should strive to become a hub for them by brokering contracts and working with private providers to create a public network. There should be regulations on the providers to ensure a diverse market, but not much government interference beyond that. Providers seeking to win public favor would then have to continue to improve their product, theoretically improving the options available to consumers.

As of now, the Internet is a privilege. About two billion people have access to the net, according to the Internet World Stats. However there will come a time where the Internet will become a right. The Internet is changing our society, and has the potential to bring even greater change to this world.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dyman & Associates Risk Management Projects on Data privacy shapes up as a next-generation trade barrier

Revelations about U.S. digital eavesdropping have fanned concerns about Internet privacy and may complicate U.S. attempts to write rules enshrining the free flow of data into trade pacts with European and Pacific trading partners.

As more and more consumers and businesses shop and sign up for services online, the IT industry is working to fend off rising digital protectionism it sees as threatening an e-commerce marketplace estimated at up to $8 trillion a year.

"Restrictions on information flows are trade barriers," Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, said at a Cato Institute event last month, warning that the worst possible outcome would be for the Internet to turn into "Splinternet."

The unease of U.S. technology companies has mounted in lockstep with rising worries overseas about data privacy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel — a target of U.S. spying — has called for a European Internet protected from Washington's snooping. Brazil and the European Union plan to lay their own undersea communications cable to reduce reliance on the United States. And other countries are showing a preference for storing data on local servers rather than in the United States.
President Barack Obama acknowledged this week that it would take time to win back the trust of even friendly governments.

Trade experts predict the United States will have to make concessions on data privacy in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks (TTIP) with the EU, and will probably not get all it wants in Pacific Rim trade talks either.

"It is unfortunate because there were some good nuanced conversations happening before the spying allegations," said Adam Schlosser, director of the Center for Global Regulatory Cooperation at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"But there is now a tendency to inappropriately conflate national security and law enforcement with ... commercial privacy practices, which has put a damper on rational debate."
The TTIP and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks are billed as next-generation trade negotiations, covering not only tariffs and goods trade but also common standards and goals in areas ranging from labor standards and environmental protection to intellectual property and data flows.

The last two issues are key for digital trade, which encompasses everything from U.S. cherry farmers selling direct to Chinese families via Alibaba Group Holdings' Tmall electronic shopping platform to plane maker Boeing monitoring in-flight diagnostic data on-line.

A 2011 report by the McKinsey Global Institute found almost $8 trillion changed hands each year through e-commerce, something that explains the keen interest IT firms and industry associations are taking in the trade agreements.

According to data compiled by the Sunlight Foundation, the computing and IT industry has been the second-biggest lobbyist on the TPP, after the pharmaceutical industry.
Industry groups such as the Software & Information Industry Association say free exchange of data is the key focus.

"For SIIA and its members, the most crucial issue in the trade agreements under negotiation is to get provisions permitting cross-border data flows," said Carl Schonander, international public policy director at SIIA, whose members include Reuters News parentThomson Reuters.
BSA the Software Alliance, an advocacy group for the software industry has warned that TPP partners Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam are among countries adopting or proposing rules banning or limiting companies from transferring personal information off-shore. This might mean U.S. companies have to set up local servers in every country.

"Data flows are the lifeblood of the digital economy," said BSA policy director David Ohrenstein. "Trade agreements (must) ensure borders are open to data flows."

In an ideal world for IT companies, countries signing the TPP would promise not to impede cross-border data flows or make companies set up local servers.

U.S-based lobbyists expect those provisions to make it in, possibly with exceptions, but say work is still needed to convince trading partners to promise that any new regulations - including on privacy - will not restrict trade unnecessarily.

In Europe, where the backlash against U.S. spying has been the strongest, policymakers want changes by mid-2014 to the Safe Harbor Agreement, which allows U.S. companies with European-level privacy standards access to European data.

An opinion poll by the Atlantic Council and the Bertelsmann Foundation found rules governing cross border data flows and the alignment of privacy protections were among the most contentious and important, issues in the U.S.-Europe talks.

Atlantic Council Vice President Fran Burwell said it would be hard to get support from theEuropean Parliament or countries like Germany without an agreement on data protection.

"I think the big concession that (the U.S.) will have to make will be in the data privacy area," she said.
Tension is also brewing over intellectual property. U.S. music, book and software companies see piracy of copyright material as the biggest threat to their exports, while companies like Google worry about being held responsible for the actions of clients on their networks.

Data privacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation said proposals in draft TPP chapters would restrict flexibility in allowing fair use of copyright materials and encourage low-quality software patents by setting the bar too low.

A group of 29 smaller tech companies wrote to U.S. Senate Finance Committee ChairmanRon Wyden last week and warned against including harsher criminal penalties for minor copyright infringements in the TPP. The committee has jurisdiction over trade issues in the U.S. Congress.

"Reddit is a platform the same way that the telephone is a platform," said Erik Martin, general manager of on-line news hub Reddit, one of the signatories to the letter.

"To put so much burden on the providers to deal with problems from individual users is just really going to put a chill on investment and put a chill on innovation."