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 Monday, September 16, 2013

ITU members have agreed new international standards (ITU-T Recommendations) outlining security considerations essential to cloud computing and, crucial to the long-term preservation and utility of IP-based resources, a ‘framework for the discovery of identity management information’ to enable interoperability across heterogenous information systems.

Recommendation ITU-T X.1600 “Security framework for cloud computing”, having reached first-stage approval (‘determined’) and now undergoing a final review, describes security threats in the cloud computing environment and, through a framework methodology, matches threats with the security capabilities advised to be specified in mitigating them. ITU-T X.1600 will act as a ‘handbook’ guiding the future standardization of identified threat-mitigation techniques; in addition providing an implementation reference for systems-level cloud security.

Recommendation ITU-T X.1255 “Framework for the discovery of identity management information”, approved and soon to be freely available on ITU’s website, details an open architecture framework in which identity management (IdM) information – identifying ‘digital objects’ and enabling information sharing among entities including subscribers, users, networks, network elements, software applications, services and devices – can be discovered, accessed and represented by heterogenous IdM systems representing IdM information in different ways, supported by a variety of trust frameworks and employing different metadata schemas.

ITU-T X.1255 lays out a framework that enables discovery of identity-related information and its provenance; identity-related information attributes, including but not limited to visual logos and human-readable site names; and attributes and functionality of applications. The framework, in addition, describes a data model and protocol to enable meta-level interoperability in the management of this information across heterogeneous IdM environments.

The Recommendation is a first step towards the Digital Object Architecture (DOA) advocated by the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), which is intended to achieve the “universal information access” possible with uniquely identifiable digital objects structured so as to ensure their machine and platform independence.

For a succinct description of the history, motivation and promise of the DOA, see Peter J. Denning & Robert E. Kahn, “The Long Quest for Universal Information Access”, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 53 No. 12, Pages 34-36.

The new Recommendations were agreed at a meeting of ITU-T Study Group 17 (Security) in Geneva, 26 August to 04 September, which also saw the establishment of three new work items, on:

  • high-speed Abstract Syntax Notation (ASN.1) Octet Encoding Rules (OER) needed by the financial services sector to gain milliseconds on the trading floor;
  • updating the Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) to eliminate all obsolete ASN.1 features in the interests of making the CMS usable with all ASN.1 standardized encoding rules; and,
  • new challenges for Public-Key Infrastructure (PKI) standardization presented by mobile networks, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, cloud computing and smart grid.

More information on the work of ITU-T Study Group 17 can be found here.

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Monday, September 16, 2013 2:00:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU regrets to announce the death of Col. Richard ‘Dick’ C. Brackney (Ret.).

Dick was a well-known and respected authority on international cybersercurity and had contributed greatly to ITU’s work in the field over a period of more than ten years.

In August he sent a message to his colleagues: "Dear colleagues at MS and International Standards Community: I have enjoyed my work in the Standards community over the years. But, the time has come for it to end. I've learned over this summer that time is VERY precious and my time has ended. Thank you all for your support! ---Dick".

Dick had a wide and varied career including 35 years at the US National Security Agency. He served in combat during Desert Shield/Desert Storm and was the recipient of numerous service decorations including two National Defense Service Medals, and a Meritorious Service Medal.

He will be sadly missed by all including ITU staff, delegates of Study Groups 13 and 17 and the standards and cybersecurity communities at large.

A viewing/memorial service will take place on September 17th (Tuesday) at 7 p.m. EDT at the following location: Howell Funeral Home 10220 Guilford Road Jessup, Maryland 20794. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Dick to the American Heart Association at http://honor.americanheart.org/site/TR/Events/General?pxfid=260931&fr_id=1030&pg=fund.

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Monday, September 16, 2013 1:49:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The latest post to the ITU blog by María Paula Sartori, Green ICT Services Expert at Telefónica, asks if it is possible to achieve high levels of efficiency in a ‘Smart City’, and to what extent a city can become both ‘Smart’ and ‘Sustainable’.

Smart Sustainable Cities are a central topic at the 3rd ITU Green Standards Week in Madrid, Spain, 16-20 September.

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Monday, September 16, 2013 1:32:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 05, 2013

The IPR website has been improved with the following features:

• New layout
• Search URLs can be bookmarked
• Details can be viewed in a separate page
• RSS feature is available from the top of the result part (e.g. for patent statement: http://www.itu.int/ipr/rss.aspx?sector=ITU-T&class=PS)

As a consequence cross linkage is now possible, from various itu-t websites.

The new website is accessible at : www.itu.int/ipr

Thursday, September 05, 2013 8:47:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 04, 2013

In the run-up to the Telefónica-hosted 3rd ITU Green Standards Week in Madrid, 16-20 September, a post to the ITU blog penned by Maya Ormazabal, Head of Environment at Telefónica Corporation, frames the debate around electrical and electronic waste (‘e-waste’) and how its proliferation – today cause for concern – could in the future lead to new, sustainable business opportunities in reuse and recycling.

Read the full blog post here

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Wednesday, September 04, 2013 3:30:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 30, 2013

The first meeting of the ITU-T Study Group 13 Regional Group for Africa (SG13 RG-AFR), the group to coordinate African contributions to the standardization work of ITU-T Study Group 13 (Future networks), will be preceded by a one-day workshop – free of charge and open to all – on “Standardization on IMT, M2M, IoT, Cloud Computing and SDN”. The workshop will, in addition, be followed by a meeting of the SG13 ‘Rapporteur Group’ tasked with developing international standards (ITU-T Recommendations) under Question 5/13 “Applying IMS and IMT in developing country mobile telecom networks”.

The events are being organized by ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and hosted by Algeria’s Regulatory Authority for Post and Telecommunications (ARPT) in Algiers, Algeria, 8-12 September; as follows:

ITU Workshop on “Standardization on IMT, M2M, IoT, Cloud Computing and SDN”, 8 September:

The workshop will provide an overview of ITU-T and, in particular, SG13 work in these areas as well as an opportunity for discussion and knowledge-sharing around regional developments on these topics. It will also feature an introduction to the objectives of SG13RG-AFR, which is expected to prioritize the study of cloud computing and future networks.

Rapporteur Group meeting on Question 5/13 “Applying IMS and IMT in developing country mobile telecom networks”, 9 September:

The ‘Rapporteur Group’ or task team responsible for Question 5/13 will progress its standardization work on the scenarios and requirements of developing-country implementations of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT-2000 or ‘3G’; IMT-Advanced or ‘4G’), the systems of radiocommunication standards developed and maintained by ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) that enable global mobile telecommunications and high-speed mobile broadband. ITU-T, through SG13, produces complementary standards detailing networking aspects of IMT.

First meeting of the ITU-T Study Group 13 Regional Group for Africa (SG13RG-AFR), 10-12 September:

Within ITU-T Study Groups, Regional Groups aim to ensure that ITU-T Recommendations address the needs of all the world’s regions. As such, Regional Groups play a key role in ITU’s work to ‘bridge the standardization gap’ between developed and developing countries by fostering an inclusive environment where all possess equal opportunity to contribute to and influence the standardization process. SG13RG-AFR will consolidate African regional contributions to the work of SG13, and its first meeting will determine the group’s guiding Action Plan, working procedures and work programme, as well as the schedule of work to be undertaken in preparation for the next meeting of SG13 in Kampala, Uganda, 4-15 November 2013

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Friday, August 30, 2013 4:49:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 26, 2013

ITU will host a High Level Workshop to review developments in International Mobile Roaming services (IMRs), 23-24 September in Geneva.

The event will bring together senior representatives of relevant ministries, regulatory bodies and operators to review developments in IMRs, by examining the economic and regulatory steps which have been taken to reduce prices and improve competition.

Results of a new ITU Report on “International mobile roaming services: Facilitating competition and protecting users ” will be presented during the Workshop. The paper analyses initiatives to address high prices for international mobile roaming services as well as measures to improve protection for users. Providing analysis of a number of policy and regulatory initiatives and changes in the roaming business model and marketplace, the paper examines developments and discusses best practices and recommendations to develop more efficient markets for international mobile roaming services.

Roaming was a hot topic at the recent World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) with Article 4 of the International Telecommunication Regulations on International Telecommunication Services stating:

4.4 Member States shall foster measures to ensure that authorized operating agencies provide free-of-charge, transparent, up-to-date and accurate information to end users on international  telecommunication services, including international roaming prices and the associated relevant conditions, in a timely manner.

4.5 Member States shall foster measures to ensure that telecommunication services in international roaming of satisfactory quality are provided to visiting users.

4.6 Member States should foster cooperation among authorized operating agencies in order to avoid and mitigate inadvertent roaming charges in border zones.

4.7 Member States shall endeavour to promote competition in the provision of international roaming services and are encouraged to develop policies that foster competitive roaming prices for the benefit of end users.

The text within the international treaty followed agreement by ITU Members from the public and private sectors on measures to reduce ‘bill-shock’ whereby consumers are faced with unexpected and excessive charges for mobile roaming. In September 2012 they approved Recommendation ITU-T D.98, which includes a number of measures to empower consumers and encourage operators to lower tariffs. These measures  represented the first truly international agreement taking steps towards lowering roaming costs.

Participants at the High Level Workshop will be given the opportunity to discuss this Resolution and Recommendation as well as other Recommendations, best practices and initiatives which have led or could lead to lower prices, facilitating more competition and protecting users.

The event is free of charge and open to all ITU Members, mandatory registration is via this webpage. All the information about this High Level Workshop is available on the website: www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Regulatory-Market/Pages/Events2013/GE_Roaming/home.aspx.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 12:26:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In the latest ITU blog, Miguel Raimilla, Executive Director of the Telecentre.org Foundation, writes on accessibility differences faced by today's youth. One of the subjects of the next Global Youth Summit in Costa Rica. More

Monday, August 26, 2013 10:21:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |