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 Wednesday, June 29, 2005

From the Seattle Times: Calls increasing for safer, more-secure Internet

Built by academics when everyone online was assumed to be a "good citizen," the Internet today is buckling under the weight of what is estimated to be nearly a billion diverse users surfing, racing and tripping all over the network.

Hackers, viruses, worms, spam, spyware and phishing sites have proliferated to the point where it's nearly impossible for most computer users to go online without falling victim to them.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 2:12:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

During this morning's session at the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity on Information Sharing of National and Regional Approaches, Good Practices and Guidelines, Myriam DUNN, Head, International Relations and Security Network (ISN), Center for Security Studies (CSS), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland presented a background paper (PDF) on A Comparative Analysis of Cybersecurity Initatives Worldwide.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 12:14:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The final presentation at yesterday's session on spam at the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity, John LEVINE, Chair, IETF Antispam Research Group (ASRG) made a presentation entitled the Limits of Security Technology: Lessons from the Spam Wars.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:46:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Commission recently hosted an Open Workshop on Identifying Policy and Regulatory Issues of Next Generation Networks (PDF) on the 22 June 2005. The presentations made at the workshop can be found here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:27:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Yesterday, at the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity, during the day focused on spam, a session was dedicated to discussing national policies and legislative approaches to spam. As part of this session, a Background Paper commissioned by ITU, entitled A Comparative Analysis of Spam Laws: the Quest for Model Law, was presented (presentation) by Derek BAMBAUER, Research Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society. The authors of hte paper are Derek BAMBAUER, John PALFREY, Executive Director, and David ABRAMS, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School, United States. From the introduction to the report: 

The goal of this paper is to help policymakers understand the potential benefits and challenges of model spam legislation as a tool to improve the security of and user confidence in information and communications technology (ICT), as well as the potential that model spam legislation holds for Internet users worldwide. First, it sets forth a framework for understanding spam and identifies key issues confronting regulators. Next, the paper examines the set of options for spam laws based on existing and proposed legislation gathered by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU). It analyzes the level of consensus among these extant laws and the degree to which a particular component is included in most legislation and in the degree to which provisions addressing this component are similar or harmonized. The paper points towards zones where there is considerable consensus while simultaneously illuminating the most fundamental differences, so that policymakers can tackle the hard issues and choices involved in spam laws. Finally, the paper makes preliminary recommendations for spam law efforts and considers both the potential for and the likely efficacy of a model spam law.

During the same sessions, there were presentations from:

  • Panellist: Jonathan KRADEN (biography), Staff Attorney, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), United States
      o  Presentation
  • Panellist: Miguel MONTERO (biography), Spam Ruling Administrator, Radiografica Costarricense (RACSA), Costa Rica
      o  Presentation
  • Panellist: Liang LIU (biography), Assistant Director, Anti-Spam Coordination Team, Internet Society of China, People’s Republic of China
      o  Presentation
  • Presentation: Maria Cristina BUETI (biography), Policy Analyst, Strategy and Policy Unit, ITU
    ”ITU Survey of Anti-Spam Laws and Authorities Worldwide”
      o  Presentation
Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:10:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Luc Mathan from the relatively new Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) is giving a presentation on MAAWG's efforts to align the messaging industry stakeholders along three directives: Collaboration, Technology and Policy. The working group will address collaborating on cross-operator communications, best practices and technology to combat messaging abuse, as well as developing a cohesive point of view on public policy.  More information about MAAWG.

MAAWG members are developing a feedback loop mechanisms to deal with spam complaints between ISPs. They are also creating a contact database for service providers to be able to contact the appropriate person to deal with a messaging abuse situation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 9:29:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Steve Linford of the Spamhaus Project is speaking at the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity on the first day which is concentrating on countering spam. Some of his remarks:

  • Spamhaus blocks approximatley 8 billion spam messages per day
  • They estimate there are 4 million infected zombie machines which have been compromised with 60-100,000 newly infected per week
  • These are used to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Attacks
  • This is increasingly a criminal activity with "spam supermarkets"
  • Mostly American and Russian spammers using Chinese hosting. These are technically smart users who firewall their sites from their hosting companies.
  • Spammers in Russia are more criminal than US counterparts. They are involved in
  • The largest Russian ISP, Rostelecom says they cannot terminate accounts as Russian law does not permit it.
  • Australian spam laws are best in the world, penalties are high enough to make a dent in spam
  • Consumer confidence in the Internet is dropping every day
  • Spam is a cancer and it is fast killing the Internet

Some of Steve's conclusions include:

  • You must ban and not regulate spam
  • Governments must give resources to law enforcement agencies
  • Make it criminal for ISPs to host spammers
  • Require a 24 hour point of contact for all ISPs to terminate problems
  • Educate users to not reply to spam

The meeting is also being audiocast live over the Internet. Mr. Linford's talk is the beginning of Session 2.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 9:06:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At the start of the 21st century, our societies are increasingly dependent on information and communications technologies (ICTs) that span the globe. The ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity opens today and takes place from 28 June – 1 July 2005 at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. This conference will examine the recommendations in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) first phase's Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action that relate to building confidence and security in the use of ICTs and the promotion of a global culture of cybersecurity. Now available on the meeting web site is the agenda (with links to presentations as they are given) and meeting background papers and contributions. The meeting is also being audiocast live over the Internet.

The meeting will specifically consider six broad themes in promoting international cooperative measures among governments, the private sector and other stakeholders, including:

  • information sharing of national approaches, good practices and guidelines; 
  • developing watch, warning and incident response capabilities;
  • harmonizing national legal approaches and international legal coordination;
  • technical standards;
  • privacy, data and consumer protection;
  • developing economies and cybersecurity.

The first day of the meeting will focus on countering spam as follow-up to the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam held in July 2004.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 6:09:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 27, 2005

In Netwizards Blog: according to the records in the IETF's database (here and here), both SPF and Sender-ID anti-spam proposals were tentatively approved by the IESG (the "approval board" of the IETF) as experimental standards RFCs.

Monday, June 27, 2005 1:41:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, June 12, 2005

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region plans to enact an anti-spam law next year to crack down on companies that send unsolicited e-mails or make automated telemarketing calls to consumers.

"Au Man-ho, director-general of the Telecommunications Authority, said in a statement Saturday that direct marketing companies using automated calling on an unsolicited basis can be considered a spam problem."

Click here to view the full article.

Sunday, June 12, 2005 4:32:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 10, 2005

There are lots different indices which rank the world's countries according to their level of penetration of ICTs, or their e-readiness. But until now there has been no agreement on what indicators to include, or what methodology to use. Now, in the framework of the implementation of the WSIS Plan of Action, a new methodology, prepared by Michael Minges of TMG Inc on behalf of ITU, has been released for developing a composite "Digital Opportunity Index". This new methodology is based on the core list of indicators agreed by the "Partnership for Measuring ICT for Development" of UN agencies at their meeting on 7-9 February 2005.

The draft methodology is structured around eleven indicators in four clusters:

  • Affordability and coverage: Mobile phone coverage and tariff baskets for mobiles and Internet access.
  • Access path and device: Penetration of fixed-lines, mobile phones and PCs.
  • Infrastructure: Fixed and mobile Internet subscribers and international Internet bandwidth per inhabitant.
  • Quality: Penetration of fixed and mobile broadband subscribers.

The index has been developed according to a modular methodology, so that it can be easily extended, adpated for national use, or used alongside other indices, such as the UNDP's Human Development Index. As a proof-of-concept, the methodology has been applied to 40 leading economies, with Sweden, Denmark, Republic of Korea, Switzerland and Hong Kong-China appearing in the top five. The index will be further discussed at the WSIS Thematic Meeting on "Multi-stakeholder partnerships for bridging the digital divide", to be held on 23-24 June 2005, in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

More

Friday, June 10, 2005 9:31:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"Preparations for the second World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis (16-18 November 2005) have entered a crucial phase. This summit should reach an international consensus on two key unresolved issues from the first phase: Internet governance and financial mechanisms for bridging the digital divide between developed and developing countries. The European Commission has now adopted a communication outlining the EU's priorities for the Tunis meeting. To promote an Information Society for all, respectful of human rights and of freedom of expression and cultural and linguistic diversity, the EU wishes to preserve and strengthen the sound foundations laid during the first summit in Geneva."

For more details click here.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 2:17:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |