Thursday, 20 April 2017

Digital Divide: World Cyber Alerts - April 20, 2017


Change Is Coming to SumRando - Stay Tuned!


Policy
their legislation today could be yours tomorrow

American flag and map


New United States legislation has prompted Americans everywhere to turn to VPNs to protect their ISPs: “We saw a noticeable increase [in downloads] around the time Congress was considering the bill until the time Trump signed it,” reported Caleb Chen of London Trust Media. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are now free to collect and resell personal and browsing data to ad targeters and data brokers alike.





Privacy, Surveillance and Censorship
government isn't always on your side

American flag and map


The United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) has penetrated the SWIFT banking network and monitored various Middle East banks, according to anonymous hacker Shadow Brokers. The released files reveal vulnerabilities in several Microsoft Windows products.




Iranian flag and map


The Iranian government is requiring “Telegram channels with more than 5,000 followers to register with the country’s Culture Ministry.” The block of the encrypted messaging app precedes upcoming national elections; between 16,000 and 20,000 Telegram channels were blocked each week in March.

Ugandan flag and map




Ugandan academic and activist Stella Nyanzi has been charged with cyber-harassment. Her crime? Labeling President Yoweri Museveni a “pair of buttocks” on Facebook. According to her lawyer, “Dr. Nyanzi is within her constitutional rights and we are for an all-out legal battle with the state to defend her rights.”





Research and Initiatives
making your world a more cybersecure place

Malaysian flag and map


Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has asked social media activists to defend the government via cyberspace: “We have long been in defensive mode. Enough. It is now time to attack,” reads a post on najibrazak.com.



German flag and map



Germany’s Cyber-Security Council and Israel’s Checkmarx have opened a joint international chapter. “Cyber threats are not bound to national borders, so that transnational cooperation and networking is inevitable for the exchange of know-how and best practices,” acknowledged Council president Philipp von Saldern.







All images credit of BOLDG/Shutterstock.com.
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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Digital Divide: World Cyber Alerts - March 27, 2017


Privacy, Surveillance and Censorship
government isn't always on your side

American flag and map


Foreign governments have the right to spy on Americans by remote control, says a United States Court of Appeals decision. The verdict was in response to the case of Kidane v. Ethiopia, in which Mr. Kidane was monitored by the Ethiopian government in his United States home via computer malware. 

Kenyan flag and map


Privacy International has found that Kenyan security agencies are violating privacy rights and committing human rights abuses. “Telecommunications operators end up handing over their customers’ data because they largely feel that they cannot decline agencies’ requests, in part due to the vagueness in the law,” acknowledged the report. 




Research and Initiatives
making your world a more cybersecure place

Mexican flag and map 

Singaporean flag and map Microsoft is opening a cybersecurity center in Mexico. “By opening this Cyber Security Center, we are offering our clients protection from attacks and security risks, as well as ways to detect them and find solutions,” noted Jorge Silva of Microsoft Mexico. 







The National University of Singapore now has a cybersecurity facility, which aims to provide a “realistic environment” for research and testing. 

British flag and map



The United Kingdom’s GCHQ recently held a cybersecurity summit in response to fears a Russian hack would interfere with the country’s upcoming election. Of particular concern were the security of internal emails and databases of voters’ political views.






All images credit of BOLDG/Shutterstock.com.
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

SumTips: How to Bring Back Cameroon's Internet

Cameroonian flag and map
Step One: Read Access Now’s open letter to telecommunications companies in Cameroon on the internet shutdown.
“The internet shutdown in Cameroon’s anglophone regions has been continuing for a month and has significantly interfered with citizens’ daily lives. By blocking access to information and services, the disruption thwarts the exercise of human rights, including the freedoms of expression and association, and slows economic development, seriously harming the innovative businesses dependent on your services. We estimate the shutdown has already cost more than US$1.39 million and grows daily.”

Step Two: Know the open letter’s recommendations.
We recommend that [telecommunications companies]:
1.    Publicly denounce the shutdown and the harm it has caused to your customers and your company’s economic and reputational interests;
2.    Detail the geographic scope and technical implementation of the blocking;
3.    Reveal the demand from the government that required you to block internet access, and any gag order or other pressure to conceal the demand; and
4.    Jointly push back against the government demand, through all legal and policy tools at your disposal, in order to restore internet access.

Step Three: Sign Avaaz’s #BringBackOurInternet petition.
“As citizens from Cameroon and around the world, we call you to sanction the government of Cameroon until they restore internet for all it’s citizens. We condemn the actions by President Biya to shutdown the internet in anglophone areas of the country and repress freedom of expression. The United Nations considers internet shutdowns as a violation of the international human rights law, we need you to respond and act for the respect of human rights.”
Be an advocate, surf secure and stay Rando!



Image credit of BOLDG/Shutterstock.com.
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Digital Divide: World Cyber Alerts - February 21, 2017


Policy
their legislation today could be yours tomorrow

Chinese flag and map 

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has announced that it will create a commission to establish cybersecurity policies and reviews. Internet products and services that affect national security or the public interest will be subject to a security review. 





Research and Initiatives
making your world a more cybersecure place

Indian flag and map 

India's Software Freedom Law Centre now maintains an online Internet Shutdown Tracker. Says the organization, "We aim to stand strong with the message that the information superhighway that is the Internet is essential for the holistic socio-economic and cultural development of the country. #KeepItOn." 

South African flag and map



IBM’s Digital-Nation Africa is launching in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt. The project aims to prepare individuals for careers in cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence and cloud computing

Israeli flag and map

Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have formed a joint project known as the Bio-Inspired Agile Cyber Security Assurance Framework (BICSAF). Professor Lam Khin Yong reported the project “will be able to develop innovative methods for combating one of the most complicated problems in cyber security – Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs).” 

Finnish flag and map 



Finland, a country known for its internet security, will open a cybersecurity hub in Helsinki this year. The center will work to stop cyberwarfare threats and will involve the cooperation of the United States, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Poland and the Baltic States. 




Cyberattacks
the threats we all face

Kenyan flag and map


Cybercrime cost Kenya Sh17.7 billion, or .28% of its GDP, in 2016, the highest of all African countries. The east African nation is ranked as the 69th most vulnerable country in the Global Threat Index. 

Turkish flag and map



Lion Soldiers Team, a Turkish hacking group, has claimed responsibility for an attack that disrupted the website of the Austrian parliament. On Facebook, the group announced, “Our reaction will be harsh in response to this racism of Austria against Muslims!!! (Parliament down.).” 

Japanese flag and map




Japan experienced a record-setting 128.1 billion cyberattacks in 2016. The highest number of attacks from any single country came from China. 





Looking Back
a new glimpse at past alerts

American flag and map 

An unsigned United States cybersecurity executive order has been revised to reflect a more moderate agenda: “Much of this quite literally could have been written by the Obama administration,” reported Paul Rosenzweig, a former member of the Department of Homeland Security. Whether or when President Trump will sign the revamped executive order remains uncertain. 





All images credit of BOLDG/Shutterstock.com.
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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

SumTips: Where Art Is Under Attack

Iranian flag and map
Independent organization Freemuse, or Freedom of Musical Expression, recently released “Art Under Threat”, a 46-page report on censorship and attacks on artistic expression in 2016. The results reveal that freedom of expression for artists is a global concern, with 1,028 attacks occurring in 78 countries worldwide. Top offenders include:

6 Serious Violators:
 
1.    Iran: Artists are often charged with and sentenced for “insulting the sacred”, “propaganda against the state” or “spreading depravity”. Iranian courts use the “assembly line” method for prosecuting artists and other citizens, and barbaric methods, such as lashing, to punish convicts. On 5 November 2016, Iranian singer Amir Tataloo was sentenced to five years in prison and 74 lashes after being found guilty of ‘spreading Western immorality’.”

2.    Turkey: “The attempted coup against President Erdo─čan on 15 July 2016 and the following State of Emergency led to a clampdown on oppositional voices in Turkey hitting media, academia and the arts world hard, literally silencing and imprisoning tens of thousands of people.”

3.    Egypt: “Article 65 in Egypt’s 2014 constitution grants citizens the right to express their opinions verbally, in writing, through imagery, or by any other means of expression and publication. Another article guarantees freedom of artistic and literary creativity stating that “the state shall encourage arts and literature, sponsor creative artists and writers and protect their productions, and provide the means necessary for achieving this end”. However, Egypt’s legislation still allows for the jailing of artists and citizens on the charge of ‘contempt of religion’.”

4.    Nigeria: “Artists face a complex system of censorship carried out by a variety of actors, further complicated by multiple censorship boards. In addition to the national censorship boards, states such as Kano in the North and Lagos in the South even have their own censorship boards, with the consequence that artists and cultural producers of these states face double censorship mechanisms.”

5.    China: “In China, legal bodies are not separated from political institutions and opinions considered in opposition with the government and country’s “One China” policy are not allowed. Censorship of arts, media and academia is widespread. “Objectionable” content, including references to controversial Chinese historical details, Chinese politics, details about Chinese leaders, sexually explicit material and, in some instances, material relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues are not allowed.”

6.    Russia: “Nationalism and political allegiance also continue to drive what type of art is allowed on stage and in halls, or what is funded by state coffers. Plays are vetted and cancelled for their political and moral content and artists are blacklisted for their political views on issues such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict.”

Top 10 Countries for ‘Serious Violations’—killings, abductions, attacks, imprisonments, prosecutions, persecutions and threats:

1.    Iran: 30 serious violations
2.    Turkey: 23 serious violations
3.    Egypt: 18 serious violations
4.    Nigeria: 15 serious violations
5.    China: 14 serious violations
6.    Russia: 10 serious violations
7.    Syria: 4 serious violations
8.    Malaysia: 4 serious violations
9.    Tanzania: 4 serious violations
10.   Uzbekistan: 4 serious violations

Top 10 Countries for Acts of Censorship:
1.    Ukraine: 557 censorship violations
2.    Kuwait: 61 censorship violations
3.    China: 20 censorship violations
4.    Egypt: 19 censorship violations
5.    India: 17 censorship violations
6.    Russia: 16 censorship violations
7.    Turkey: 13 censorship violations
8.    United States: 13 censorship violations
9.    Pakistan: 11 censorship violations
10.  Iran: 9 censorship violations

Support the arts, surf secure and stay Rando!



Image credit of BOLDG/Shutterstock.com.
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SumRando Cybersecurity is a Mauritius-based VPNWeb Proxy and Secure Messenger provider. Surf secure and stay Rando!