1. Last 7 days
    1. Meta, the parent company of Facebook today said that it is partnering with the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC), civil society groups and local radio stations to stop spread of fake news and protect the integrity of the Nigerian 2023 general elections.

      TITLE: Meta partners with Nigerian organisations to combat disinformation ahead of 2023 elections

      CONTENT: Meta announced they will partner with the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC), civil society groups and local radio stations to combat the spread of disinformation and protect the integrity of the Nigerian 2023 general elections. The approach has also been informed by conversations with human rights groups, NGOs, local civil society organisations, regional experts and local election authorities and consists of a series of measures to promote good practices and make it easier for audiences to distinguish trusted content from dubious claims. For instance, the official Facebook page on the 2023 elections on its platform will have a blue tick which confirms the authentic of the results posted on the INEC official website. Additionally, Meta has quadrupled the size of its global teams working on safety and security to about 40,000 people, including over 15,000 content reviewers in every major timezone. Collectively, these reviewers are able to review content in more than 70 languages- including Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa.

      EXCERPT: Meta announced they will partner with the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC), civil society groups and local radio stations to combat the spread of disinformation and protect the integrity of the Nigerian 2023 general elections.

      LINK: https://leadership.ng/meta-partners-inec-ngos-to-combat-2023-elections-fake-news/

      TREND: Fake news

      DATE: 08/12/2022

      COUNTRY: Nigeria

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  2. Nov 2022
    1. Signatories are

      Initial: Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States

      Additional signatories: Ukraine, South Korea, New Zealand, Brazil, Poland, Mexico, Israel, Romania, Bahrain, Singapore, Colombia, France and Saudi Arabia.

      ||sorina||

    2. THE ARTEMIS ACCORDS

      ||sorina|| we should include this into our 'space diplomacy' set of documents

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    1. TITLE: New evidence revealed the disparity in the internet access for children in five African countries

      CONTENT: A recent UNICEF research brief estimated the level of internet access for children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, and the United Republic of Tanzania, as well as the most common barriers to connecting children to the digital world and their consequences. The report classified these common barriers into three categories: infrastructure-related, resource-constrained, and adult permission-related. According to the findings, 90% of children in the five countries surveyed reported having at least one barrier to regular internet access. The most frequently mentioned barrier was the high cost of data.

      The report identified three priorities for addressing the digital divide and enabling equal access to digital connectivity: investing in electricity and connectivity with a focus on marginalised communities and users; lowering the cost of connectivity and devices; and addressing cultural and social norms as barriers to address for children and adolescents.

      EXCERPT: A recent UNICEF research brief revealed that 90% of children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, and Tanzania experienced at least one of three common barriers to regular internet access - infrastructure-related, resource-constrained, and adult permission-related barriers. The most frequently mentioned barrier was the high cost of data.

      LINK: https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/1559-estimates-of-internet-access-for-children-in-ethiopia-kenya-namibia-uganda-and-the-united-republic-of-tanzania.html

      TOPIC: Children’s rights

      TREND: internet access; internet connectivity; digital divide; digital inclusion.

      DATE: November 2022

      COUNTRY: Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda and Tanzania

    1. TITLE: WHO report evaluates online safety and violence against children educational programmes for youth.

      CONTENT: Based on a review of evaluations of online safety programmes and online VAC programmes for children and adolescents, the report, What Works to Prevent Online Violence Against Children, discovered strong evidence that prevention education for children can work, and that this is a key strategy for addressing online VAC. Educational programmes have been widely demonstrated to improve overall safety and health. These educational programmes are particularly effective in preventing one type of online VAC, cyberbullying (both victimisation and perpetration).

      This report also captured a number of structural and skill components that contribute to the effectiveness of educational programmes and should be widely adopted.

      • Structural components include multiple and varied learning strategies and tools; more lessons, more message exposures, more reminders, and follow-ups; using peer engagement, role-plays, and interactions; getting a supportive whole-school environment; and parental involvement.
      • Skill components include problem-solving, assertiveness, empathy, self-regulation, help-seeking, bystander or defender mobilization, social norm instruction, sex education, and substance abuse education.

      The report also revealed that there is a lack of evidence about the success of prevention programmes for online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

      The report suggests implementing school-based educational programmes with multiple sessions that encourage youth interaction and involve parents. It emphasises the need for more violence prevention programmes that integrate content about online dangers with offline violence prevention. It suggested less emphasis on stranger danger and more emphasis on acquaintance and peer perpetrators, who are responsible for the majority of online violence against children.

      EXCERPT: The WHO report on what works to prevent online violence against children, based on a review of evaluations of online safety programmes for youth, found strong evidence that prevention education for children can work and can increase safety and health in general.

      LINK: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/978924006206

      TOPIC: Child safety online

      TREND: Violence against children; online violence against children; educational program; cyberbullying; online child sexual exploitation and abuse; evidence review.

      DATE: 24 November 2022

      COUNTRY: Global

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    1. TITLE: UNICEF released a future-ready, child-centered digital framework to address inequalities in children's lives.

      CONTENT: Given that digital exclusion mirrors and magnifies existing social, cultural, and economic inequities and pushes vulnerable children closer to the edges of marginalisation, the digitization of society has an uneven consequence on all children. In order to address the effects of the shifting digital and governance landscape, as well as emerging and embedded technologies, on children's experience with digital technologies, a future-oritened framework for an equitable digital future was proposed in this new UNICEF report. This framework drew the needs of transformation from "digital inclusion" to "digital equality". For this framework to effectively respond to new trends and technologies, a wider range of stakeholders must be engaged.

      The framework can be used as a foundation for developing and evaluating digital inclusion policies, as a roadmap for structuring the involvement of pertinent stakeholders in achieving digital equality for children, and as a tool to assist in the design of policies and interventions by state authorities, civic groups, and the private sector.

      EXCERPT: A new child-centered digital framework proposed by UNICEF painted an equitable digital future, highlighting the need for a shift from "digital inclusion" to "digital equality," as well as increased participation from relevant stakeholders.

      LINK: https://www.unicef.org/globalinsight/reports/towards-child-centred-digital-equality-framework

      TOPIC: Children’s rights

      TREND: digital equity; child-centred; inequality

      DATE: October 2022

      COUNTRY: Global

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    1. TITLE: WHO report recommends to strengthen the evidence base to monitor the digital health transformation

      CONTENT: Digital health refers to the use of information and communication technologies for delivering health care and service, managing health systems and facilities. Despite the positive role that digital health has played to improve health care access, safety, and quality, this WHO report pointed out that digital health programmes and interventions are often not monitored or evaluated. It found that existing metrics for measurement and evaluation tend to be left behind by the rapid evolution of digital health. This report made the case for the necessity of incorporating health data measurement and governance into health care systems. Making available information more accessible at the national and international levels, addressing the variability in digital health monitoring, paying closer attention to monitoring digital health inequalities, and addressing the potential risk of exacerbating inequalities among the most vulnerable, including young children, are all necessary steps to improve monitoring activities.

      EXCERPT: A WHO report noted that monitoring of digital health programmes is frequently lacking. It advised focusing attention on enhancing current measurement measures, reducing the variability in digital health monitoring, and addressing the disparities in digital health among the most vulnerable, especially young children.

      LINK: https://www.who.int/europe/publications/i/item/WHO-EURO-2022-5985-45750-65816

      TOPIC: Children’s rights

      TREND: digital health; monitoring and evaluation.

      DATE: 22 November 2022

      COUNTRY: Global

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    1. TITLE: Disrupting Harm Research Project generates and archives new evidence on how digital technology facilitates the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.

      CONTENT: This resource page consists of evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse at national and regional levels, which helps us to better understand the disrupting situations of abuse and exploitation in developing countries, and better navigate how to prevent them. Evidence has been generated and collected through desk-based research and nationally representative survey with internet-using children aged 12-17 and their caregivers in 13 countries across Eastern and Southern Africa and Southeast Asia. National reports and a series of data insight reports can be found on this page, presenting an overal understanding of the threats that online child sexual exploitation and abuse causes and national responses to the threat.

      EXCERPT: Disrupting harm project, hosted by the End Violence Partnership, in collaboration with ECPAT International, INTERPOL and the UNICEF Innocenti, to conduct research and assessment in 13 countries across Eastern and Southern Africa and Southeast Asia and generate and collect new evidence on how digital technology facilitates the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.

      LINK: https://www.end-violence.org/disrupting-harm#context

      TOPIC: child safety online

      TREND: online child sexual exploitation and abuse; disrupting harm

      DATE: November 2022

      COUNTRY: Global

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    1. Taiwan says it sees less Chinese interference ahead of elections

      TITLE: Taiwanese Foreign Minister attests decreased Chinese interference in upcoming elections

      CONTENT: Taiwan has repeatedly accused China of attempts to meddle in their elections with online disinformation campaigns. China, which claims the democratically governed island as its own territory, has always played a role in Taiwanese politics. However, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said to the press ahead of the elections that this time around it seemed like there has been less interference from the Chinese government. Still, more recent news reports do find evidence of Chinese disinformation operations in Taiwan. China's Taiwan Affairs Office did not respond to requests for comment by Reuters.

      EXCERPT: Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said to the press ahead of the elections that this time around it seemed like there has been less interference from the Chinese government.

      LINK: https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/taiwan-says-it-sees-less-chinese-interference-ahead-elections-2022-11-23/

      TREND: Fake news

      DATE: 27/11/2022

      COUNTRY: Taiwan

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    1. Emmanuel Macron has accused Russia of feeding disinformation to further its “predatory project” in Africa, where France has had military setbacks.

      TITLE: Macron accuses Russia of financing disinformation projects in Africa

      CONTENT: In an interview with TV5 Monde, Emmanuel Macron has accused Russia of spreading disinformation to further its “predatory project” in Africa. He explained that there are several different actors with the intention to spread disinformation in the continent in order to hurt France after its military setback in the Region. In particular, there is concern regarding the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group that built connections with Mali’s military after France pulled its troops out of the country. Russia has rejected the accusations and Yevgeny Prigozhin, the businessman believed by the EU to be behind the Wagner Group called the reports “fakes, outright lies and … falsification”.

      EXCERPT: In an interview with TV5 Monde, Emmanuel Macron has accused Russia of spreading disinformation to further its “predatory project” in Africa.

      LINK: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/20/emmanuel-macron-accuses-russia-of-feeding-disinformation-in-africa

      TREND: Fake news

      DATE: 21/11/2022

      COUNTRY: Russia, France, Mali

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    1. How climate disinformation is spreading after Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover

      TITLE: Activists express concerns about climate disinformation on Twitter after Musk's takeover

      CONTENT: Activists have been expressing their concerns about climate disinformation on Twitter after Musk's takeover. Although there has not been an explicit policy change in Twitter’s approach to tackling climate disinformation on the platform, Musk fired Twitter’s sustainability team within a wider cull of staff two days before the start of COP27. Jennie King, head of civic action and education at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) explained that Twitter was supposed to be the voice of COP27, according to a campaign planned in advance alongside climate advocates. However, she expressed that all the intermediaries on the company were laid off and since then there has been a spike in outright climate denial on the platform,

      EXCERPT: Activists have been expressing their concerns about climate disinformation on Twitter after Musk's takeover. Although there has not been an explicit policy change in Twitter’s approach to tackling climate disinformation on the platform, Musk fired Twitter’s sustainability team within a wider cull of staff two days before the start of COP27.

      LINK: https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/11/17/how-climate-disinformation-is-spreading-after-elon-musks-twitter-takeover

      TREND: Fake news

      DATE: 18/11/2022

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    1. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was taken to hospital after arriving in Indonesia's Bali for the G20 summit, the Associated Press reported on Monday, a report that Moscow dismissed as "fake news".

      TITLE: Moscow claims that reports of their hospitalised foreign minister at G20 are 'fake news'

      CONTENT: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Bali to represent Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit. Lavrov was taken to the hospital shortly after arriving in Bali and the Associated Press reported on Monday that Lavrov was being treated for a heart condition, citing several sources. Nevertheless, Russia's foreign ministry spokesperson claimed that the report was baseless and dismissed the situation by calling it "fake news".

      EXCERPT: Russia's foreign ministry spokesperson claims that reports of their hospitalised foreign minister at G20 are 'fake news'

      LINK: https://www.reuters.com/world/russian-foreign-minister-taken-hospital-after-arriving-g20-summit-ap-2022-11-14/

      TREND: fake news

      DATE: 14/11/2022

      COUNTRY: Russia

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    1. A California federal judge dismissed blockchain platform Dfinity's trademark suit over the infinity-symbol logo against Meta Platforms Inc. The judge ruled that the two logos were not similar enough to sustain the lawsuit.

      In a trademark infringement lawsuit, Swiss blockchain group Dfinity Foundation alleged that Mets copied its infinity-symbol logo, which was similar to the one used by the Swiss company.

      The court found that Meta's logo was not likely to cause consumer confusion with Dfinity's logo as Dfinity's rainbow infinity logo is not similar in shape or colour to Meta's log. Given the targeted audience, it is unlikely to create any confusion, the court concluded.

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    1. Pressure for peace talks is growing, even as Russia retreats from Kherson

      A good analysis of Ukraine peace talks

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    1. TITLE:Govt. hosts capacity building for persons with disability in digital technology

      CONTENT:The government of Ghana is advancing digital inclusion for Persons with Disability (PWDs) to enable them to take advantage of the digital and financial technology services. During a workshop on digital accessibility for persons with disability, the Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, disclosed that empowering persons with disability with the right skills and knowledge builds their capacity to contribute to national development. ‘We will ensure that all citizens benefit equally and equitably from digital skills, products and services, as we are determined to narrow all forms of the digital divide’, she said. Issues of the importance of digital accessibility for persons with disability, interventions, gaps in digital accessibility and solutions to strengthen policies were part of the discussions during the workshop.

      EXCERPT: To reduce the digital divide in Ghana, the government has taken the initiative to train persons with disability in digital technology.

      LINK: https://publicsectormag.net/tag/ministry-of-communications-and-digitalisation/

      TOPIC: Rights of persons with disability

      COUNTRY: Accra, Ghana

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    1. Fighting Misinformation Online

      TITLE: Fighting Misinformation Online

      CONTENT: Fighting Misinformation Online summit in Brussels and online. The event will be hosted by Annette Kroeber-Riel, (VP, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Europe at Google) alongside YouTube, the EUI and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation at De Warande, Brussels.

      Speakers

      Věra Jourová, Vice President for Values and Transparency, European Commission Jon Ronson, non-fiction author and documentary maker Krisztina Stump, Head of Unit, Media Convergence and Social Media, European Commission Alexander Stubb: former President of Finland and Director at the European University Institute Tali Sharot, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Director, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

      EXCERPT: Fighting Misinformation Online summit in Brussels and online.

      LINK: https://newsonair.withgoogle.com/events/fighting-misinformation-online

      TREND: Fake news

      DATE: 29/11/2022

      COUNTRY: Belgium (and online)

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    1. Primera condena en España por difundir ‘fake news’ sobre los menores migrantes

      TITLE: Police Officer becomes first person in Spain with criminal conviction for spreading fake news

      CONTENT: A Guardia Civil officer becomes the first person in Spain with a criminal conviction for spreading fake news on social media. He was convicted for publishing a video of a brutal aggression to a woman and assigning the blame to a gang of migrant children housed at a residence in Canet de Mar (Barcelona). The aggression had actually happened in China and had nothing to do with the migrant children he had falsely accused. The police officer accepted he had posted fake news driven by his animosity towards Moroccan immigrants and was given a 15-month prison sentence. However, he will be exempted from spending time in jail as long as he attends a reeducation course and does not commit any further xenophobic crimes. The court stated that posts like this are very harmful for democracy, as they increase prejudice towards vulnerable groups.

      EXCERPT: A Guardia Civil officer becomes the first person in Spain with a criminal conviction for spreading fake news on social media. He was convicted for publishing a video of a brutal aggression to a woman and assigning the blame to a gang of migrant children housed at a residence near Barcelona.

      LINK: https://elpais.com/espana/catalunya/2022-11-08/primera-condena-en-espana-por-difundir-fake-news-sobre-los-menores-migrantes.html?utm_source=LinkedIn&ssm=LK_CM#Echobox=1667978794

      TOPIC: Freedom of expression

      TREND: Fake News

      PROCESS: Related process(es)

      DATE: 9/11/2022

      COUNTRY: Spain

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    1. Is globalisation going back to localisation and centralisation?

      The US government announced the Chips and Science Act of 2022 to strengthen the chips supply chain and provide more STEM job opportunities to Americans.

      The UK Digital Strategy sets semiconductors and advanced computing as critical supply chains and builds partnerships with the US government.

      The European Commission proposed the Chips Act in Feb. 2022 to enhance productivity and technology leadership. Then, the Commission approved the Italian measure to improve the semiconductor supply chain. To achieve the goals of digital and green transition.

      Some advanced economies try to deindustrialization, keep the research and development in these developed countries and set manufacturing processes in less economically developed countries before 2022. The economic activity is called the "global division of labour."

      But these national and regional strategies or bills seem to make the whole manufacturing process in the local country or the region and try to decouple with some controversial countries.

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    1. But more than any single post, the danger of manipulated media lies in the way it risks further damaging the ability of many social media users to depend on concepts like truth and proof. The existence of deepfakes, which are usually created by grafting a digital face onto someone else’s body, is being used as an accusation and an excuse by those hoping to discredit reality and dodge accountability — a phenomenon known as the liar’s dividend

      Title: Misinformation experts express concern about manipulated content on TikTok

      Content: Experts who study misinformation are expressing concerns about manipulated video and photo content on TikTok. Manipulated media is a key feature on the platform and is mostly used as an entertainment or humorous resource. However, fake news stories and deepfake images of politicians are starting to become a pervasive reality on the popular video platform. These techniques are being applied to posts that sow political division, advance conspiracy theories and threaten the core tenets of democracy ahead of the midterm elections. Henry Ajder, an expert on manipulated and synthetic media stated: “When this volume of content can be created so quickly and at such scale, it completely changes the landscape.” Experts also said it is especially difficult to detect and moderate this kind of content on TikTok, where an estimated 1.6 billion active users put their own stamp on someone else’s content, and where objective facts, satire and outright deceit sometimes blend together in the fast-moving feed. Regardless of single posts, the largest concern is about how these apps where manipulated media is a feature blurs the users ability to tell the difference between truth and fake.

      Excerpt: Experts who study misinformation are expressing concerns about manipulated video and photo content on TikTok. The largest concern is about how these apps where manipulated media is a key feature blurrs the users ability to tell the difference between truth and fake.

      Link: (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/04/technology/tiktok-deepfakes-disinformation.html)

      Trend: Fake news

      Date: November 4th

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    1. TITLE: INTERPOL launches first INTERPOL Global Crime Trend Report 2022 (IGCTR)

      CONTENT: With a view to improving law enforcement's access to timely and accurate criminal intelligence analysis, INTERPOL has produced the first INTERPOL Global Crime Trend Report 2022 (IGCTR), which also includes a summary of key findings on global crime trends. The IGCTR is INTERPOL's first assessment to greatly rely upon the Organisation's data holdings and contributions from its global network of 195 member countries as well as private sector partners

      Among the top five global trends ranks cybercrimes, for which ransomware, phishing, online scams and computer intrusion are perceived as 'high' or 'very high' threats by INTERPOL member countries. Also among the top ten crime trends was Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA), for which 62% of member countries expected these crimes to "increase" or "significantly increase" in the future.

      TOPIC: cybercrime

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    1. Some other reference:

    2. Title: The German Chancellor will visit Beijing to push human rights and an open market

      The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, will visit Beijing on Nov 4. The trip aims to discuss human rights and push an open market. The Chancellor will probably focus on establishing a mutually beneficial business relationship between Germany and China, especially for all European and enterprises. (link)

      The German government allowed the Chinese shipping company to set up a terminal in Hamburg. The government is still assessing a Sweden company's acquisition of a small-scale, German-based semiconductor company with €85 million. The Sweden company is owned by one of the Chinese microchip manufacturers. (link)

      The U.S. Government published the rule to restrict chips in advanced technology export to Chinese entities in Oct. To prevent the Chinese government uses advanced chips in military applications. Chinese enterprises begin to search for any opportunity to own the chip technology to prosper their technical development, i.e., supercomputer, artificial intelligence, autonomy technology and aerospace technology. Many related companies have stopped providing services or materials to Chinese companies.

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    1. empowering long-serving career officials ensures the most experienced officials are influential in the policy process and incentivizes the development of expertise through a career in government service

      ||Katarina_An|| Is this related to your research on diplomatic functions?

      @kishan rana what indian diplomacy

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    1. TITLE: The White House to host the second Counter Ransomware Initiative Summit

      CONTENT: This week, the White House will host the Counter Ransowmare Initiative Summit with representatives from 13 international firms and representatives from 36 countries and the European Union to discuss the growing threat posed by ransomware and other cybercrime on critical infrastructure and individuals. The goal of the Summit is to “institute a set of cyber norms and rules of the road that are recognized across the globe to counter criminal ransomware threats and hold malicious actors accountable”. A joint statement by participants is expected at the end of the Summit.

      EXCERPT: The White House will host the second Counter Ransowmare Initiative Summit with representatives from 36 countries and the EU as well as private sector actors to discuss the threats posed by ransomware and other cybercrime on critical infrastructure.

      LINK: https://www.reuters.com/technology/cyber-officials-37-countries-13-companies-meet-ransomware-washington-2022-10-31/?&web_view=true

      TOPIC: Critical Infrastructure, Cybersecurity

      TREND: Protection of Critical Infrastructure

      PROCESS: -

      DATE: 31October 2022

      COUNTRY: United States

    2. TITLE: Australia releases a practical framework for cyber governance principles

      CONTENT: The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CSCRC) have published the Cybersecurity Governance Principles, a set of governance principles and a “practical framework” for organizations to strengthen their cyber resilience. The principles cover five main areas: roles and responsibilities, cyber strategy, cyber risk management, cyber resilient culture, and cyber incident planning.

      These guidelines build on the recently published Cybersecurity Performance Goals for Critical Infrastructure by the US Department of Homeland Security as an example of best practice and are being considered by the Australian government as it reviews its cyber laws following a spate of recent high-profile hacks.

      EXCERPT: The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CSCRC) have published the Cybersecurity Governance Principles, a set of governance principles and a “practical framework” for organizations to strengthen their cyber resilience.

      LINK: https://www.continuitycentral.com/index.php/news/technology/7847-new-cyber-security-governance-principles-for-australian-organizations

      TOPIC: Critical Infrastructure, Cybersecurity

      TREND: Protection of Critical Infrastructure

      PROCESS: -

      DATE: 27 October 2022

      COUNTRY: Australia

    3. TITLE: The US Department of Homeland Security releases New Cybersecurity Performance Goals for Critical Infrastructure (CPGs)

      CONTENT: On 27 October 2022, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released new Cybersecurity Performance Goals (CPGs). CPGs are voluntary and non-comprehensive “prioritized subset of IT and operational technology (OT) cybersecurity practices)” that identify the highest priorities and measures owners of critical infrastructures and supply chains should follow to protect against cyber attacks.

      As part of the White House efforts and new investments in cybersecurity, the CPGs were developed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in collaboration with governmental and private sector actors. These procedures are meant to be implemented in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), covering the following issues: account security, device security, data security, governance and training, vulnerability management, supply chain and third parties security, and finally recovery and response.

      EXCERPT: The United States Department of Homeland Security released new New Cybersecurity Performance Goals for Critical Infrastructure (CPGs) to identify priorities and measures owners of critical infrastructures and supply chains should follow to protect against cyber attacks.

      LINK: https://www.msspalert.com/cybersecurity-news/dhs-releases-new-cybersecurity-performance-goals-for-critical-infrastructure-facilities/

      TOPIC: Critical Infrastructure, Cybersecurity

      TREND: Protection of Critical Infrastructure

      PROCESS: -

      DATE: 27 October 2022

      COUNTRY: United States

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    1. India's central bank will introduce a pilot wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC)

      Central Bank of India will introduce the pilot project to test the ability of the Central Bank Digital currency. Similar programs were launched around the world in an effort to test the future widespread use of the CBDCs.

      Pilot project in India is supported by nine largest Indian banks. The starting date of the pilot project is November first among the selected a group of merchants and users for this program.

      Central Bank Digital Currency is a digital version of countries respective currency issued by the Central Bank of that state.

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  3. Oct 2022
    1. Dutch corporations have unknowingly supplied Russia with high tech.

      Dutch high-tech companies have unknowingly sold technology to firms founded by the Russian military intelligence service, the head of the Dutch military (MIVD) secret service revealed in an interview with Financieele Dagblad.

      As explained by MIVD head, Jan Swillens, the Russian secret service created dozens of businesses functioning in the Netherlands as 'front companies' to purchase technology in the Netherlands and smuggle it to Russia, thus evading sanctions. The products range from microchips to rubber for the tires of military vehicles.

      Such practices have existed since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, 'but with the war in Ukraine, it is increasing significantly', Swillens said.

      Duch official has called on high-tech companies to conduct more thorough research into their customers and inquire about their products' actual end users and has informed defense minister Kajsa Ollongren about the smuggling routes.

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    1. A Russian diplomat warned that commercial satellites used by the US and its allies to help Ukraine in the war could become legitimate targets for attacks.

      Speaking at the first special session of the UN General Assembly on Disarmament, Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy director of the Russian foreign ministry's department for non-proliferation and arms control, said that:

      'Quasi-civilian infrastructure may be a legitimate target for a retaliatory strike,' and noted that helping through civilian satellites constitutes indirect participation in military conflicts, calling it 'an extremely dangerous trend'.

      A senior official from the American administration quickly responded in reaction to threats made by a Russian diplomat.

      John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, said at a news conference that 'any attack on US infrastructure will be met with a response and that will be met with a response appropriate to the threat that's posed to our infrastructure.'

      Likewise, Kirby promised that the US would continue supporting Ukrainian war efforts.

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    1. Title: The U.S. BIS announced new Export Administration Regulations for national security and foreign policy concerned https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/10/13/2022-21658/implementation-of-additional-export-controls-certain-advanced-computing-and-semiconductor

      The US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is concerned about its national security and foreign policy. The BIS made critical changes to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

      Based on the published document, advanced integrated circuits (ICs) used in supercomputing, semiconductor manufacturing in ICs, software, and technology in new advanced computing and military defense usage are in the EAR. They need to apply for export permission. The document also listed twenty-eight entities in China which were identified for the national security and foreign policy concerned.

      The US BIS knows the new rule will impact to the supply chain, they also set two changes to minimize the short term impact on the supply chains. The new rule gives some companies a one-year waiver to produce their products in China .

    1. China put forward the Global Development Initiative (GDI) last year. Seen as a continuation of the Belt and Road Initiative, the GDI prioritises the alignment of areas for cooperation with the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. China emphasises cooperation through UN development agencies in implementing the GDI, as opposed to the Belt and Road Initiative, which is primarily a bilateral endeavour.

      ||sorina|| One of the main shifts in China's Global Development Initiative is that it should focu son SDGs and it should be implemented via the UN (unlike Belt and Road Initaitive).

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    1. Could the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change be an approach to a global Cyber Framework Convention? Few thoughts here. Thanks Asoke for the idea! PS I made public comments, so that we could possibly involve others to comment as well in future.

      ||asokemATdiplomacy.edu|| ||Pavlina|| ||JovanK||

    2. The UNFCCC is a “Rio Convention”, one of two opened for signature at the “Rio Earth Summit” in 1992.

      There could be an umbrella related to various digital policy issues (cybercrime at least, if not also LAWS, and some IG topics like human rights). But, it would be additionally complex (if not impossible) to do such a cluster. But, there should be some mechanism that can connect all these dots (and future and emerging - like negotiations on AI).

    3. Parties wanted more certainty on impacts of and vulnerability to climate change

      In cyber, we are through with this, and could move to mitigation already.

    4. The Convention acknowledges the vulnerability of all countries to the effects of climate change and calls for special efforts to ease the consequences, especially in developing countries which lack the resources to do so on their own.

      This is the same in cyber.

    5. Sets a lofty but specific goal.

      This would be trickier for cyber, as there seems to be nothing as a specific goal discussed so far. How to define it? It could bind states to clarify and agree on (in future) how existing international law applies - ie find the way for it to apply; leaving it to further negotiations on regular basis to clarify bit by bit, through additional Protocols?

      Or, should it be related to something quantitatively measurable, like number of attacks or loss, etc? This may be tricky to measure since, unlike global scientific measurements on the environment which can't be hidden by states, here, some aspects about attacks can be hidden by states to ensure deniability.

      Can we borrow anything from other disarmament or other peace and security treaties for this mater?

    6. Charts the beginnings of a path to strike a delicate balance.

      This remains important for cybersecurity as well. Thinking about cybersecurity generally slows down digitalisation (though without it, digitalisation might bring more challenges than benefits).

      While environment seems to be at the opposite side of development, cybersecurity can actually be seen as an enabler of development, and might be easier to make countries accept both (thus not striking 'a balance' in essence).

      But in practice, it is sort of a balance of investment and pace in digitalisation vs/and cybersecurity, because there are limited funds and thus priorities.

    7. Keeps tabs on the problem and what's being done about it.

      Current OEWG is shaping 'National survey' (proposed by Mexico) which may further turn into a more complex and substantial reporting mechanism.

      PoA is proposing a regular review process.

      Perhaps combining the two - and asking multistkeholder venues (esp. academia?) to come up with measurement/assessment methodology of the progress (also linked to the concrete goal of the treaty above)?

    8. providing financial support for action on climate change-- above and beyond any financial assistance they already provide to these countries

      OEWG and GGE had capacity building as one of the key pillars. Yet, funding was not directly discussed; rather, support to developing countries to be able to implement the agreed norms. This is a solid basis.

      There might not need to be specific fund for cybersecurity. Instead, digitalisation funds should be extended/used for this. Perhaps, a more direct link between development aid and cybersecurity can be made. On one hand, it obliges developed countries to not only export digitalisation, but also security. On the other, it obliges developing countries to take both.

    9. Puts the onus on developed countries to lead the way.

      Here, it is rather the P5+ that can lead the way, as it is about armament and stability.

      Should they have a particular role, by leading by the example? Most state-backed attacks are linked to a handful of countries - how to put the onus on them (and how to make this list without going into a tricky bit on attribution)?

      Certainly, developed countries would have greater capacities for offense and defence. But, they would also be more vulnerable since they are more digitalised.

    10. Recognized that there was a problem.

      OEWG and GGE already recognised 'emerging threats' clearly, and there is a broad agreement. It could cover still some more threats which are not recognised openly (like exploitation of vulnerabilities). It could bind member states to act in the interests of human safety and international peace.

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    1. Interpol says metaverse opens up new world of cybercrime

      Madan Oberoi, Interpol's executive director for technology and innovation warned about the potential of cybercrime in the metaverse and said the agency is preparing for dangers posed by the virtual world(s).

      Metaverse could potentially amplify the cybercrime challenges already present online while also introducing a host of new ones. Cybercrime might operate differently when augmented reality and virtual reality are involved. Oberoi cautioned

      "Some of the crimes may be new to this medium, some of the existing crimes will be enabled by the medium and taken to a new level," Oberoi said.

      He underlined other serious concerns, such as child safety and the possibility that virtual reality can make crime in the real world easier.

      ‘If terror group wants to attack a physical space they may use this space to plan and simulate and launch their exercises before attacking,’ he said.

      Law agencies are increasingly interested in the metaverse, with Interpol developing its own virtual environment that will allow police forces around the world to communicate with one another and even participate in immersive training courses. At the same time, Europol recently published its second report about the metaverse named ‘Policing in the metaverse: what law enforcement needs to know’.

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    1. Apple Inc lost an appeal in a London court over key technology patents that are used in Apple's devices. The Court of Appeal confirmed the lower court’s previous decision that Optis Cellular Technology LLC can restrict Apple from using the crucial patents for 3G and 4G telecommunications unless Apple commits to fair and reasonable terms of use.

      Judge Richard Arnold stated that Apple merely needed to agree to accept a global license over the standard essential patents on terms that a court considered to be fair and reasonable to avoid an injunction on using the patents in England and Wales.

      The ruling is the latest in a dispute that has been ongoing since 2019 when Optis accused Apple of infringing eight of its patents on key telecommunications technology through the sale of products, including iPhone and iPad. In contrast, Apple claimed that Optis has been abusing its dominant position.

      The legal battle between Apple viruses Optis has already prompted six separate trials and three appellate hearings in Uk alone, with two further Court of Appeal hearings due next year.

      Also, the mentioned companies led a legal dispute before a court in the US, where a judge fined Apple $300 million for infringing on Optis' patent rights related to wireless standards. Apple attempted to appeal the decision, but an East Texas court denied its bid for a third trial in May.

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    1. The bill is especially concerned with the protection of children, having been developed in response to the death of Molly Russell, a U.K. teen who took her own life after being exposed to suicide-related posts on Instagram

      UK's telecom regulator chief (Ofcom)said Meta and Microsoft will not be allowed to self-regulate their metaverses in the UK and will be subject to the country's proposed Online Safety Bill. Breach of the online safety legislation, which is yet to be approved, may result in heavy fines of up to 10% of annual global revenues. Furthermore, senior executives of those companies could even face criminal charges in case of extreme violations.

      Melanie Dawes, CEO of Ofcom, stated that businesses in the metaverse wouldn't be allowed to self-regulate their virtual worlds and would instead need to comply with the Online Safety Bill in the UK.

      The Online Safety Bill is a proposed legislation drafted to prevent the online sharing of harmful content. The law, which is yet to be approved, would require companies to create a set of strict measures to address harmful content. The legislation focuses particularly on protecting children.

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    1. Tata Power

      The Hive ransomware group has claimed responsibility for a cyberattack against India's largest power company Tata Power. As reported by bleepingcomputer, the threat actor began leaking data allegedly stolen from Tata Power on their leak site after failed ransom negotiations.

      According to details shared by security researcher Rakesh Krishnan, the leak contains personally identifiable information (PII), including Aadhaar identity numbers, permanent account numbers (PAN), drivers' license, salary specifics, and engineering drawings.

      The incident is said to have occurred on 3 October 2022 and was confirmed by Tata Power; however, the company refused to provide any additional details (about the incident).

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    1. Apple filed a lawsuit against medical tech company Masimo Corp in federal court in Delaware, accusing the company of 'copying' its Apple Watch. According to the case, Masimo Corp, W1 smartwatches infringed several Apple Watch patents.

      An Apple spokesperson said in a statement that it hoped the suit would 'protect the innovations we advance on behalf of our customers.'

      On the other hand, Masimo spokesperson said Apple's suit was an effort to 'divert attention from the litigations brought by Masimo,' and accused Apple of intellectual property theft "instead of competing fairly."

      Previously, Masimo, which specializes in health-monitoring devices for medical patients, sued Apple in California federal court in 2020. The company claimed that Apple had stolen its trade secrets and infringed its patents, including measuring heart rate and blood-oxygen levels. Last year, it also asked the US government to halt imports of Apple Watches that violate its patents.

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    1. Tropical Scorpius

      The Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) reported the spread of phishing emails that target critical infrastructure with Cuba Ransomware.

      As explained by CERT-UA Team, phishing emails impersonated the Press Service of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, enticing recipients to click a link. The victims are lured to a third-party website to update the PDF Reader software to read the embedded document. Upon clicking the 'DOWNLOAD' button, victims are infected with malware known as 'ROMCOM RAT.' The operations are linked to the threat actor 'Tropical Scorpius'.

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    1. Iran's atomic energy organization says e-mail was hacked

      TITLE: Iran’s nuclear energy agency’s email got hacked from a foreign country

      CONTENT: Iran's atomic energy organization announced on Sunday that an e-mail server belonging to one of its subsidiaries had been hacked from a foreign country and material had been published online.

      Black Reward, an Iranian hacker collective, claimed in a statement posted on Twitter that it has made leaked information about Iranian nuclear programs, calling the move a gesture of support for Iranian protesters.

      According to Black Reward, the documents released included atomic development contracts and agreements with domestic and foreign partners, management and operational schedules of different parts of the Bushehr power plant, and passports and visas of Iranian and Russian specialists working there.

      In a statement made on October 21, Black Reward threatened to reveal hacked data within 24 hours if the government did not free political prisoners and those detained during the uprising.

      EXCERPT: An e-mail server belonging to Iran's atomic energy organization was hacked from a foreign country. Black Reward, an Iranian hacker collective, claims it has made leaked information about Iran's nuclear programs public. Documents include atomic development contracts, management and operational schedules of different parts of Bushehr power plant.

      TOPIC: Cybercrime, Cyberconflict and warfare

      DATE: 23.10.

      LINK: https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/irans-atomic-energy-organization-says-e-mail-was-hacked-state-media-says-2022-10-23/

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    1. New Phishing Campaign Targets Saudi Government Service Portal

      TITLE: Saudi government’s service site becomes a target of a new phishing campaign

      CONTENT: Multiple phishing domains imitating Absher, the Saudi government service site, have been set up to supply citizens with fake services and steal their passwords.

      CloudSEK cybersecurity researchers made the finding and published an advisory about the threat on Thursday.

      Government services in the Saudi region have reportedly recently been a top target for cybercriminals looking to steal user credentials and exploit them in other cyberattacks, according to CloudSEK.

      In order to lessen the effects of these assaults, CloudSEK urged government agencies to keep an eye on phishing attempts that target citizens and warn and educate them about the risks, such as by advising them not to click on questionable links.

      EXCERPT: Saudi citizens are being targeted by phishing websites that mimic Absher, the Saudi government service site. Cybercriminals are looking to steal user credentials and exploit them in other cyberattacks, researchers say. Government services in the Saudi region have reportedly been a top target for cybercriminals.

      LINK: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/phishing-campaign-saudi-government/

      DATE: 21.10.

      TOPIC: Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Cyberconflict and warfare

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    1. The prehistory of the Internet

      Ian Peter's pre-history of the Internet

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    1. This text sent by ||sorina|| discusses the way how machines can simulate common sense.

      It is rather realistic because it starts with assumption that AI cannot replace human consciousness, but it can 'simulate' it by observing and measuring.

      It is based on 'heuristic', philosophical concept, that deals with the way how we make decisions.

      Practically speaking, AI is learning from experience by human evaluation of AI decisions and 're-inforced' learning. In that sense, what we do with the text is methodologically similar: we ask AI to provide us with drafts and we react to it based on our intelligence and knowledge.

      ||Jovan||

    2. but with the development of benchmarking tools like AGENT, we’ll be able to measure how close we’re getting.

      It is a good point. We may not simulate human counsciousness but we can observe it.

    3. ‘cost-reward trade-offs’, which means an understanding of how humans take actions “based on utility, trading off the rewards of its goal against the costs of reaching it.”

      What motivates human actions?

    4. A model must then judge how surprising the agent’s behaviors in the ‘test’ videos are, based on the actions it learned in the ‘familiarization’ videos. Using the AGENT benchmark, that model is then validated against large-scale human-rating trials, where humans rated the ‘surprising’ ‘test’ videos as more surprising than the ‘expected’ test videos.

      AGENT works on reinforced learning as well.

    5. Researchers from IBM, MIT, and Harvard have created just that: AGENT, which stands for Action-Goal-Efficiency-coNstraint-uTility.

      We should follow AGENT development. It is also interesting for diplomacy since diplomat is AGENT.

    6. a “naive sense of physics” — this means that we know certain things about physics without having to work through physics equations, like why you shouldn’t put a bowling ball on a slanted surface.

      It is an important part of 'common sense'

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    1. The Europol Innovation Lab has published its second report under its Observatory function, ‘Policing in the metaverse: what law enforcement needs to know’. The reports are intended to aid in the understanding, adaptation, and planning of law enforcement agencies for policing in the metaverse.

      Based on in-depth consultations with law enforcement experts, industry and academia, the report provides a detailed overview of the potential for criminal activities within the metaverse, recommendations for tackling crime (within the metaverse) alongside the opportunities and best practices for building a police presence online.

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    1. Zscaler

      Internet connectivity was on 19 October impacted after a major cable cut in the south of France, affecting subsea cable connectivity to Europe, Asia, the United States and potentially other parts of the world. As a result, customers may see packet loss or latency for websites and applications which cross these impacted routes. Cloud security company Zscaler reports that they made routing adjustments to reduce the impact.

      According to Zscaler, three French links - from Marseille-Lyon, Marseille-Milano, and Marseille-Barcelona- were cut.

      While the repair crews reached the spots quickly, they had to wait for the police to collect evidence. As of now, the issue has been resolved, and all internet connectivity should resume usually.

      Coincidently, the undersea cable that connects the Shetland Islands to the Scottish mainland has reportedly also suffered damage, according to the BBC. Since cables between the Faroe Islands and Shetland were also recently damaged, this is the second incidence involving marine cables in that area in a short period.

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    1. Ransomware is Being Used As a Precursor to Physical War: Ivanti

      TITLE: Ivanti’s Ransomware Index Report Q2–Q3 2022: Ransomware leads to physical war

      CONTENT: Since 2019, ransomware has expanded by 466%, and it is increasingly being utilized as a precursor to actual combat.

      The findings came from Ivanti's Ransomware Index Report Q2-Q3 2022, which the company released earlier today to Infosecurity.

      The data also suggests that ransomware groups are becoming more sophisticated and widespread, with 35 vulnerabilities becoming related with ransomware in the first three quarters of 2022 and 159 trending active exploits. Based on the report, 47.4% of ransomware vulnerabilities threaten healthcare systems, 31.6% damage energy systems, and 21.1% affect key manufacturing.

      The Ivanti research claims that hostile nations are increasingly using state-sponsored threat groups to infiltrate, destabilize, and disrupt operations in their target countries. As shown in the recent Russia-Ukraine war, ransomware is being utilized as a precursor to physical warfare in many of these operations.

      Ivanti executive also noted that IT and security teams need to work on employing automation technology that can not only correlate data from disparate sources, but also quantify risk, provide early warning of weaponization, predict assaults, and prioritize remedial actions.

      TOPIC: Cyberconflict and warfare, Cybercrime, Critical infrastructure

      DATE: 20.10.

      LINK: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/ransomware-precursor-to-physical/

      EXCERPT: Ivanti's Ransomware Index Report Q2-Q3 2022 states that ransomware is being utilized as a precursor to physical warfare. The report shows percentage of ransomware expansion since 2019, as well as ransomware vulnerabilities that threaten some of the most critical infrastructure. It is suggested that IT and security teams work on quantifying risk, providing early warning of weaponization, predicting assaults, and prioritizing remedial actions.

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    1. Interpol unveiled the first-ever 'metaverse' designed for law enforcement worldwide at its ongoing 90th General Assembly in Delhi. The metaverse platform is envisioned to aid police forces worldwide to interact with other officers and even take 'immersive training courses in forensic investigation and other policing capabilities'. Likewise, the platform allows users to visit virtual Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France.

      'The metaverse has the potential to transform every aspect of our daily lives with enormous implications for law enforcement,' Madan Oberoi, Interpol's Executive Director of Technology and Innovation, said in a statement.

      'But in order for police to understand the metaverse, we need to experience it'., added Oberoi

      In addition, Interpol announced the formation of a metaverse expert group to voice law enforcement's concerns worldwide and guaranteed that the new virtual world was safe by design.

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    1. Officials will need to communicate clearly with the public as part of a bid to improve accessibility for all parts of society

      ||VladaR||, ||JovanK||

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    1. The 5×5—The future of cyber diplomacy

      Cyber Diplomacy document by the Atlantic Council

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    1. Ajman Police General Command said its metaverse project is the first such police service in the UAE and the development makes it the first government body in the emirate of Ajman to take the digital leap.

      The Ajman Police in Dubai has become the first law enforcement organization in the world to provide metaverse services. The Ajman Police stated that its metaverse initiative is the first of its kind for the United Arab Emirates and marks the Ajman government's entry into the metaverse.

      According to the Police force, citizens will be able to interact with police officials in the metaverse by wearing Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop computers.

      Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed bin Abdullah Abu Shehab, head of the Services Development Team, stated, 'the project came within Ajman Police's efforts to strengthen cooperation with its customers and involve them in the design and development of services. Metaverse comes within the framework of facilitating the meeting between customers through VR, which brings them together with police officers without the need for a personal presence at the police station.'

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    1. Russia's ministry of industry and trade recommended that industrial enterprises stop using Zoom, Skype, and WhatsApp for official purposes and choose Russian systems as an alternative.

      As Kommersant reports, the ministry explained its decision 'as the requirement to comply with the government's requirements and strengthen information security measures.'

      Another high-ranking Russian official had made a similar request. A 'full ban on WhatsApp use for official purposes by the Russian state and municipal employees' employees' was demanded by Anton Gorelkin, deputy chairman of the information policy committee of the Russian parliament.

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