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China’s Pursuit of Public International Cybersecurity Law Leadership

By Anthony Rutkowski

There are relatively few venues today for the development of public international cybersecurity law among Nation States. One was the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) at which the U.S. several months ago announced its de facto withdrawal with some concern expressed. A much older, well-established venue is newly assuming considerable significance — the Expert Group on the International Telecommunication Regulations (EG-ITRs). The EG-ITRs activity has the ability to shape the evolution of public international cybersecurity law that has existed over many decades to which most of the nations of the world accede and generally abide by. Indeed, within that treaty provision ensemble, it was the 1988 version of the ITRs that enabled datagram internets to be lawfully implemented across borders globally when the provisions came into effect in July 1990.

China has rarely undertaken a role in developing public international cybersecurity law over the many years the provisions have existed. Only once did it submit a formal proposal — fifteen years ago to the 2002 Plenipotentiary Conference where it introduced a resolution concerning “rapid Internet growth [that] has given rise to new problems in communication security.” Thus, a China formal submission to the upcoming third EG-ITRs meeting on 17-19 January 2018 in Geneva is significant in itself.

Furthermore, what China did submit represents a cogent, visionary focus on the key challenges of cybersecurity today, and it deals with the most critical issues facing every nation. Additionally, the participation from China in the EG-ITRs includes knowledgeable senior staff from its key Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), with a supporting submission from China Telecom.

The action suggests that China seems now willing and able to assume leadership in the evolution of public international cybersecurity law. The step also is also bolstered by its investing more resources globally in collaborating on related technical specifications in multiple international industry activities than any other nation over the past decade.

The principal focus of the China EG-ITRs submission is cybersecurity — with so-called Over the Top (OTT) virtual services as the prime example. China notes that “the safety and security of the world telecommunications/ICT networks have become a global concern in respect of sovereignty, security and development interests of all nations.” It goes on to observe that “there’s a severe lack of [public international cybersecurity law] provisions…in relation to the governance of the international telecommunications/ICT network security.”

The OTT exterritoriality example that China chose is compelling. OTT implementations present some of the most difficult public international law challenges today because they enable any arbitrary party from outside a Nation State’s jurisdiction to autonomously engage in an unfettered array of network-based actions within that Nation State, including deployment of software agents and management of IoT devices. Some of those actions are commercial in nature or otherwise benign, albeit within the remit of most countries to control as public offerings. Other actions are frequently criminal and cause significant harm on remote systems or devices through malware.

OTT implementations through encrypted tunnels — which frequently occur — are especially problematic. The concern was underscored by statistics provided at a recent international meeting in Singapore by a leading cybersecurity vendor which noted that half of all the attacks today are implemented using these methods. New OTT vendor transmission protocols like QUIC and Transport Layer Security 1.3 exponentially exacerbate the cybersecurity challenges and expand the threat surface. The encrypted OTT attack vectors include recent Russian meddling in the U.S. national elections highlighted by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence.

Looking ahead, the real ultimate “new trend” is the implementation of fully virtualized NFV-SDN architectures across national borders. Massive industry efforts occurring worldwide to bring this about are coming to fruition. Initial mobile network 5G implementations partially using NFV-SDN have been introduced. The platforms enable entire virtual network architectures of multiple datagram internets to be orchestrated from cloud data centers and altered at-will using temporary addresses among any desired endpoints. However, nations will be reticent to allow the orchestration of these capabilities across their national borders from other nations without effective public international cybersecurity provisions. The alternative is complete Balkanization where NFV-SDNs are only allowed domestically which transnational providers would be forced to replicate repeatedly in each national jurisdiction. The stakes here are high for the enormous number of major industry participants. China seems to be positioning itself to take leadership in facilitating the global NFV-SDN marketplace through enabling public international cybersecurity law. The step is measured and visionary by any measure – in a world where multilateral solutions and knowledgeable leadership are badly needed.

By contrast, at the same third meeting of the EG-ITRs, the U.S. position is a traditional one over the past two decades – rejecting “the rationale for a treaty addressing [the provision and operation of international telecommunication services and the] potential effects.” It further eschews any treatment of “new trends” asserting that doing so would “render [the provisions] obsolete.”

The problem here is that cybersecurity is not exactly a “new trend,” nor are many of the basic network developments underway worldwide. A position of doing nothing is untenable for many reasons. International telecommunication via networks in different national jurisdictions are under absolute sovereign control of those jurisdictions. Transporting traffic to and from endpoints in different countries inherently requires global cooperation. Every nation has a sovereign right to inspect and stop foreign communication traffic — the very first public international cybersecurity provision agreed when the first networks were interconnected in 1850 and reaffirmed at every treaty conference since. Over the decades, stable, enduring public international cybersecurity law has grown in importance — especially in today’s interconnected global information-based economy. Transnational providers of network-based services today are vitally dependent on effective public international law arrangements that enable providers to engage in their own commercial agreements to transport and terminate traffic.

The obliviousness to new trends position of the U.S. seems unlikely to head off further dialogue on essential new public international cybersecurity law, and stands in stark contrast to pleas by major global IT enterprises like Microsoft at international forums calling for a Digital Geneva Convention on cybersecurity to facilitate the global market for their increasingly data centre based offerings.

The U.S. views on public international cybersecurity law and facilitating intergovernmental organizations like the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are extremely varied and have witnessed wild swings over the decades. Even today, the U.S. strongly supports radio-related, mass media, and transport layer security activities while depreciating those dealing with telecommunications and datagram internets. The latter views largely arose from a U.S. strategic decision in the 1990s to abandon its previous support for secure OSI internet platforms and facilitate the DARPA internet ones in an unfettered global marketplace. Stable, enduring global multilateral venues like the ITU were abandoned and the obligations ignored in the process.

History shows that many of the key existing public international cybersecurity law provisions were first articulated and significantly advanced by the U.S. after both World Wars, as well as when they were essential to introducing new global communication platforms. Indeed, after the Harding Administration rejected such provisions in the early 1920s for the new global cybersecurity challenges of radio communication, the Herbert Hoover Administration completely reversed course near the end of that decade and led the world to institute innovative cybersecurity treaty provisions and the subsequent creation of the ITU.

Times change. Today, the virtualization of network infrastructures represented by OTT offerings and NFV-SDNs, together with exponential IoT device proliferation, are rather dramatic developments from an international cybersecurity law perspective. However, they are quite similar to challenges once faced with the introduction of global radiocommunication internets a century ago. That technology enabled the orchestration of virtual networks anywhere in the world that were capable of causing significant harm in other national jurisdictions. The creative, necessary public international cybersecurity legal solutions developed then, may well be applicable today. In any case, effective solutions are essential today.

The pursuit of a leadership role in public international cybersecurity law by China today is one once manifested by the U.S. to facilitate the global introduction of new technologies. Doing nothing is not really an adequate answer, and bilateral agreements among 193 countries or inventing another body to accomplish the same objectives are arguably even worse avenues. The U.S. and its allies, as well as major industry representatives, should take a fresh look at the institutional options today. Evolving existing enduring multilateral law and institutional mechanisms seem like a pragmatic and sensible step.

China’s closing metaphor on emerging public international cybersecurity law seems chosen to describe a long-term leadership role in international cybersecurity law with unusual, elegant poetry at the end of its submission. “China believes, the whole process will go forward continuously like a wave on the sea, high and low at different times, but it will make progress along with the new telecom development trends, and it will, of course, pave the way for the good development and security of the telecom industry…”

Written by Anthony Rutkowski, Principal, Netmagic Associates LLC

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More under: Cybersecurity, Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation

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Smart grids to save city dwellers $14bn in energy costs by 2022, says Juniper Research

By Zenobia Hegde

New data from Juniper Research has found that the development of smart grids linked to smart cities will result in citizens saving $14 billion (€11.67 billion) per annum in energy bills by 2022. This is up from the $3.4 billion (€2.83 billion) saving estimated for 2017, resulting from smart metre rollouts, energy-saving policies and sensing technology to improve grid reliability and efficiency.

As part of the new study, Smart Cities: Strategies & Forecasts in Energy, Transport & Lighting 2017-2022, Juniper analysed and ranked global cities to assess their performance and approach towards energy consumption and delivery:

San Francisco
New York
Portland, OR

“Seoul’s large-scale deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, smart street lighting and smart metre rollouts will undoubtedly accelerate the development of smart grid infrastructure to manage these elements,” remarked research author Steffen Sorrell.

Steffen Sorrell

Renewables & Blockchain transform the grid

Juniper found that the high cost of carbon capture and storage technology was making fossil fuel investment uneconomical. With the projected cost of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar falling close to $60 (€50.03) per MWh (Megawatt hour) in 2022, it predicted the inevitable investment would force accelerated deployment of smart grid solutions to reliably scale renewable energy.

Furthermore, the research argued that the business case for distributed renewable generation would be strengthened by the application of blockchain. Here, dramatic efficiencies along the value chain could be achieved, by simplifying a certification system currently susceptible to accounting errors and increased costs.

Policy required

Juniper found that with smart city budgets now being discussed and allocated worldwide, policy had become more important than the technology. For instance, it argued that MaaS (Mobility as a Service) could drastically reduce city congestion by virtue of nearly eliminating the need for private transport.

Nevertheless, it claimed that MaaS would never come to fruition without strict city policy enforcement. For that reason, it predicted that cities in Far East Asia would become ‘true’ smart cities earlier than their Western counterparts.

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.

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AI and digital assistants to surge in 2018, IHS Markit says

By Zenobia Hegde

As they become more ubiquitous in homes and in various consumer electronics products, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital assistants are likely to be two of the major overarching themes at this week’s 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Accelerating growth in both of these markets underscores their surging role in the overall consumer electronics landscape. More than 5 billion consumer devices supporting digital assistants will be in use in 2018, with almost 3 billion more added by 2021, according to IHS Markit, a global provider of critical information, analytics and solutions.

Despite this growth, there are still some hurdles to overcome, before consumer adoption is widespread. “Amazon has a clear lead over rivals Google, Apple and Samsung, in terms of the numbers of skills and third-party apps and services supported by its Echo products, but more needs to be done by all platforms, to help users discover new skills and uses for the technology,” said Jack Kent, director, operators and mobile media, IHS Markit.

Jack Kent

“Major technology companies continue to make investments and acquire companies that increase AI expertise. Apple has been the most acquisitive to date, but Google has been the most active investor in third-party AI-centric companies.”

Following are more key points to bear in mind about AI and digital assistants, as leading technology companies converge on Las Vegas for next week’s conference:

Smart home security

Video surveillance will continue to be a critical component of the smart home in 2018, with video cameras and video doorbells representing nearly 20% of devices shipped into the smart home globally this year. As such, video surveillance will become even more intelligent, by pairing noise classifications, voice and facial recognition, and allowing consumers to filter what is most important in their daily lives. Moreover, there will be more all-in-one devices launched in 2018, which will combine smart speakers, video cameras and hubs connecting all devices in the home.

Blake Kozak

“As smart home players look to differentiate themselves and grow market share, smart home products will achieve more proprietary expansions through acquisition and in-house research and development,” said Blake Kozak, principal analyst, smart home and security, IHS Markit, “These deals will likely enhance the opportunities for AI and home automation. For example, although Amazon and Google will continue to ramp up partnerships, Amazon will direct its focus on developing equipment in-house, while Google will revamp relations with Nest.”

Smart speakers

Dinesh Kithany

With heavyweights Google and Amazon aggressively ramping up competition in the space, smart speakers have risen in prominence over the last year, as both standalone products and voice-based interfaces to the smart home. In fact, 39 million smart speakers are forecast to be shipped globally in 2018, up sharply from 27 million units shipped in 2017.

“The smart speaker surge is only just beginning,” said Paul Erickson, senior analyst at IHS Markit. “2018 is the year competition in this market truly begins – and the year true mainstream adoption accelerates. We expect numerous third-party smart speakers built around one or more digital assistants, so consumers will have more choices, […]

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Senet and Kerlink announce a collaborative expansion of Senet’s LPWA Network in Las Vegas

By Zenobia Hegde

Senet, a provider of cloud-based software, global connectivity service platforms and network build-out for the Internet of Things (IoT), and Kerlink, a provider in network solutions dedicated to the IoT, have announced a collaborative expansion of Senet’s Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) in the Las Vegas area to support a variety of commercial solution offerings, market trials and proofs of concepts.

Powered by Kerlink’s 64-channel WirnetTM iBTS gateways to expand Senet’s public outdoor network coverage, the network also will provide indoor connectivity for Senet’s partners to demonstrate IoT applications at this year’s CES. In addition to expanding Senet’s network coverage and capacity, the roll out represents the first production network in North America to support LoRaWANTM geolocation. This functionality uses a different technology than GPS, eliminating the requirement for costly and battery hungry processing GPS requires.

This functionality is supported by Senet’s LoRa end nodes, and can be used for a wide range of applications requiring location determination for battery powered endpoints that do not require the precision of GPS. Demand for these services is significant, with a third of the world’s 15 billion connected devices forecasted to be critically dependent on geodata by the end of 2020 according to Machina Research.

The IoT is a broadly covered topic at CES, including sessions on smart homes, connected cities, healthcare and wearable technology, along with several dedicated demonstration areas for IoT infrastructure. To run demo applications on the Senet network during CES, companies simply need to register on Senet’s Developer Portal to coordinate access.

Carlos Briceno

“Strong ecosystem partnerships and critical technical advantages have allowed Senet to become a leading IoT connectivity software and solutions provider,” said Dave Kjendal, CTO of Senet. “We are pleased to be working with trusted partners like Kerlink to bring geolocation and other enhanced features to market in order to meet the demands of mass scale IoT deployments.”

“We are excited to support expansion of Senet’s Low Power Wide Area Virtual Network in Las Vegas, which will bring new IoT benefits like geolocation to companies in the region, and enable a variety of innovative IoT demos at CES,” said Carlos Briceno, senior director of sales and business development for Kerlink Inc. “It also marks Kerlink’s first large IoT network deployment in the U.S. and an expansion of our international footprint, following roll outs across Europe, and in South America, New Zealand and India.”

Senet partners demonstrating applications on its network at CES include MultiTech (booth #2214, Westgate Resort & Casino), Sagemcom (Venetian, Lvl 3 – Murano 3201B), Semtech (booth #2215, Westgate Resort & Casino), ST Microelectronics (Wynn Encore Hospitality Suites), Tektelic (Venetian Tower – Suite 31-201), and TrackNet (LoRa Alliance booth #2121, Westgate Resort & Casino).

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Collaboration with large health insurer claimed to affordably improve independent living for the elderly

By Zenobia Hegde

Qorvo®, a provider of innovative RF solutions that connect the world, is helping seniors live more independently in their homes with the help of a new eHealth system powered by the company’s chipsets for the Internet of Things (IoT). Health insurer CZ will provide the system to 3,000 elderly customers in the Netherlands, marking the first deployment of a senior smart home solution by a large health insurance company.

eHealth technologies with whole-home sensor systems present an opportunity for health insurers and consumers to reduce healthcare costs and enhance quality of life. According to Grand View Research, the global eHealth market is expected to reach US$308 billion (€256.33 billion) by 2022, and the transition of the healthcare industry into a digital healthcare system for management and analysis of patient health is expected to be the most vital driver of the market.

The system that CZ will deploy consists of a non-intrusive set of motion and open/close sensors, and a gateway. It combines proven cloud algorithm expertise from Sensara with industry-leading Zigbee® Green Power RF solutions from Qorvo. Zigbee Green Power is optimised for ultra-long coin-cell battery life sensors (10-year replacement) and provides secure, long-range and highly reliable wireless data transmission. These features are essential to the evolution of the smart home.

Menno Janssen

Menno Janssen, strategic program manager of CZ, said, “We believe that seniors using reliable eHealth systems will gain a wide range of benefits, enhancing their quality of life and enabling their families or caregivers to have peace of mind that they are safe and healthy.”

Cees Links, general manager of Qorvo’s Wireless Connectivity business unit, said, “The innovation that Qorvo delivers in its Zigbee Green Power RF solutions, combined with behavior analysis algorithms, helps elderly people live longer and more independently at home.

We’re excited about our partnership with CZ, a large health insurance company, and commend them for being a frontrunner in deploying eHealth solutions to improve lives. The IoT lifestyle market is quickly growing, and Qorvo is proud to play a more significant part.”

Qorvo products that solve the IoT’s toughest RF challenges will be showcased during CES 2018 (#CES2018) in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 9-12, in booth #42531, Halls A-D of Sands Expo.

More information about the IoT is available by downloading the Qorvo free e-book series, “Internet of Things For Dummies®.” The two-volume series is designed to help technical and nontechnical professionals understand the intricacies of the IoT. The e-books are available here. In addition, a video about Qorvo’s senior lifestyle system – can be accessed here.

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CircleID’s Top 10 Posts of 2017

By CircleID Reporter

Wolfgang Kleinwächter

It is once again time for our annual review of posts that received the most attention on CircleID during the past year. Congratulations to all the 2017 participants for sharing their thoughts and making a difference in the industry. 2017 marked CircleID’s 15th year of operation as a medium dedicated to all critical matters related to the Internet infrastructure and services. We are in the midst of historic times, facing rapid technological developments and there is a lot to look forward to in 2018.

Top 10 Featured Blogs from the community in 2017:

#1 Internet Governance Outlook 2017: Nationalistic Hierarchies vs. Multistakeholder Networks?Wolfgang Kleinwächter – Jan 06, 2017
Viewed 37,265 times
#2 Slovaks Worry About the Future of Their Country’s .SK TLDOndrej Jombík – Aug 02, 2017
Viewed 12,441 times
#3 Neil Schwartzman Sorry, Not Sorry: WHOIS Data Must Remain PublicNeil Schwartzman – Apr 27, 2017
Viewed 12,323 times
#4 John Levine The Hack Back Bill in Congress is Better Than You’d ExpectJohn Levine – Oct 23, 2017
Viewed 11,878 times
#5 Steven Bellovin Preliminary Thoughts on the Equifax HackSteven Bellovin – Sep 17, 2017
Viewed 11,827 times
#6 The Darkening Web: Is there Light at the end of the Tunnel?Wolfgang Kleinwächter – Oct 15, 2017
Viewed 11,627 times
#7 Anthony Rutkowski Legal Controls on Extreme End-to-End Encryption (ee2ee)Anthony Rutkowski – Oct 24, 2017
Viewed 11,378 times
#8 Martin Unger The IoT Needs a Paradigm Shift from Security to Safety of Connected DevicesMartin Unger – Aug 23, 2017
Viewed 11,373 times
#9 Niel Harper 8 Reasons Why Cybersecurity Strategy and Business Operations are InseparableNiel Harper – May 13, 2017
Viewed 11,279 times
#10 Michael J. Oghia Shedding Light on How Much Energy the Internet and ICTs ConsumeMichael J. Oghia – Mar 21, 2017
Viewed 10,988 times

Top 10 News in 2017:

#1 CircleID Reporter Security Researchers are Warning About a New IoT Botnet Storm BrewingOct 31, 2017
Viewed 11,496 times
#2 CircleID Reporter IBM Launches Quad9, a DNS-based Privacy and Security Service to Protect Users from Malicious SitesNov 16, 2017
Viewed 11,215 times
#3 CircleID Reporter Domain Registries to Discuss Possibility of ICANN Fee Cuts in Private Meeting This MonthSep 05, 2017
Viewed 11,055 times
#4 CircleID Reporter New Wave of Ransomware Spreading Rapidly Through Russia, Ukrain and Other NationsOct 24, 2017
Viewed 10,610 times
#5 CircleID Reporter Equifax Breach Blamed on Open-Source Software FlawSep 11, 2017
Viewed 9,868 times
#6 CircleID Reporter EFF Resigns from World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) over EME DecisionSep 19, 2017
Viewed 9,504 times
#7 CircleID Reporter Cyberattacks Against Abortion Clinics on the RiseOct 05, 2017
Viewed 9,331 times
#8 CircleID Reporter China to Create National Cyberattack DatabaseSep 15, 2017
Viewed 8,873 times
#9 CircleID Reporter Equifax Hacked, Nearly Half of US Population AffectedSep 07, 2017
Viewed 8,722 times
#10 CircleID Reporter Russian Behind Massive LinkedIn, Dropbox Hack Subject of Extradition Fight Between US and RussiaNov 26, 2017
Viewed 8,720 times

Top 10 Industry News in 2017 (sponsored posts):

#1 Internet Commerce Association The Rise and Fall of the UDRP Theory of ‘Retroactive Bad Faith’Internet Commerce Association – May 08, 2017
Viewed 6,966 times
#2 Internet Commerce Association Why the Record Number of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking UDRP Filings in 2016?Internet Commerce Association – Jun 14, 2017
Viewed 6,628 times
#3 Verisign 2016 Year in Review: The Trending Keywords in .COM and .NET Domain RegistrationsVerisign – Mar 10, 2017
Viewed 6,193 times
#4 Verisign Verisign Releases Q4 2016 DDoS Trends Report: 167% Increase in Average Peak Attack from 2015 to 2016Verisign – Feb 13, 2017
Viewed 6,035 times
#5 Radix A Look at How the New .SPACE TLD Has Performed Over the Past 2 YearsRadix – Feb 15, 2017
Viewed 5,874 times
#6 Verisign Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 329.3 Million, 2.3 Million Growth in Last Quarter of 2016Verisign – Feb 28, 2017
Viewed 5,587 times
#7 Radix Google Buys Business.Site Domain for ‘Google My Business’Radix – Aug 22, 2017
Viewed 5,125 times
#8 Afilias 5 Afilias Top Level Domains Now Licensed for Sale in ChinaAfilias – Apr 06, 2017
Viewed 5,048 times
#9 Internet Commerce Association UDRP: Better Late than Never – ICA Applauds WIPO for Removing Misguided ‘Retroactive Bad Faith’Internet Commerce Association – May 24, 2017
Viewed 5,022 times
#10 Radix Radix Announces Largest New gTLD Sale with Casino.OnlineRadix – Mar 27, 2017
Viewed 4,997 times

Written by CircleID Reporter

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More under: Access Providers, Cyberattack, Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, DDoS, DNS, DNS Security, Domain Names, ICANN, Internet Governance, Internet of Things, Law, Net Neutrality, Policy & Regulation, Privacy, New TLDs, UDRP, Whois

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Programming’s Heavy Hitters Will Make Presence Felt at CES

By Alex Silverman

The convergence of programming and distribution into an all-in-one video business will be on display this week at CES 2018, as media stalwarts and digital disruptors come together to offer insight into where the business is headed. OTT and streaming video will once again be a well-covered subject, as more established players embrace direct-to-consumer offerings.

Disney, whose transition to OTT is perhaps the most-anticipated in the industry, will be well represented. Disney evp, publishing and digital media Andrew Sugerman’s Wednesday afternoon appearance on the “State of the Stream” panel is a chance to glean more insight into the company’s plans for its supposed Netflix competitor (expected in 2019). Disney ABC Television Group pres Ben Sherwood is also slated to discuss streaming during a “headliner conversation” Wednesday morning.

Also on Wednesday, Discovery pres/CEO David Zaslav will participate in a “Future of Video” panel alongside A+E Networks pres/CEO Nancy Dubuc, YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl and Comcast Cable pres of advertising Marcien Jenckes, among others. Zaslav, who will likely address the company’s pending merger with Scripps Networks, has been vocal about what he perceives to be a lack of quality virtual MVPD options in the US market. Fox, Scripps, Turner, Starz and NBCU are among the other programming groups represented in this year’s lineup. Digital players like Amazon, Hulu and Facebook —all of whom have multibillion-dollar content budgets this year—are also sending execs to discuss the OTT landscape. In addition to streaming video, attendees can expect to hear plenty about emerging technologies like 5G, the Internet of Things and AI.

The broadcast industry will have a revelatory moment Tuesday when the Advanced Television Systems Committee hosts a ceremony commemorating the first complete set of standards for ATSC 3.0 deployment. ATSC pres Mark Richer, CTA pres/CEO Gary Shapiro and NAB pres/CEO Gordon Smith will lead the celebration surrounding the hotly anticipated advancement. On the show floor, Comcast is focusing its efforts this year on its home automation business as one of the featured exhibitors in the Smart Home Marketplace. Turner is the presenting sponsor of the CES Sports Zone, a 4,900-square-foot installment at the Sands. Scripps will host tech consultant Shelly Palmer’s annual “Best of CES This Year” address in its invitation-only space just off the show floor. Palmer will also interview the Property Brothers of HGTV fame about home technology.

On the regulatory front, FCC chmn Ajit Pai withdrew from his highly anticipated appearance in the wake of his rollback of net neutrality. Still, a session featuring three FCC commissioners—Republicans Brendan Carr and Mike O’Rielly alongside Democrat Mignon Clyburn—could produce fireworks of its own. Clyburn has been vocal about her disdain for the FCC nixing net neutrality. FTC commish Terrell McSweeny and NTIA asst secretary David Redl are also slated to sit on the panel moderated by CTA vp, regulatory affairs Julie Kearney. Other hot regulatory topics will likely include spectrum allocation, infrastructure regulations, 5G deployment practices and IoT. Check back with Cablefax throughout the week for dispatches from CES.

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Internet Governance Outlook 2018: Preparing for Cyberwar or Promoting Cyber Détente?

By Wolfgang Kleinwächter

In 2018, Internet Governance will be one of the top priorities in the geo-strategic battles among big powers. In today’s world, every global conflict has an Internet-related component. There is no international security without cybersecurity. The world economy is a digital economy. And human rights are relevant offline as well as online. It is impossible to decouple cyberspace from the conflicts of the real world.

20 years ago, Internet governance was a technical issue with political implications. Today, it is a political issue with a technical component. This shift is challenging the institutional balance within the global Internet Governance ecosystem. Intergovernmental networks like G20, G7 and BRICS or organizations like WTO, ILO and NATO, which in the past had only little to do with Internet Governance, are now becoming key players. This does not mean that technical organizations like ICANN, IETF, ISOC, RIRs, W3C, IEEE, 3GPP, etc. will lose their roles — on the contrary, the whole process gets more complex. And the re-balancing of power within the Internet Governance Ecosystem leads to a growing need for enhanced cooperation among governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, among code-makers and law-makers, both nationally and globally.

2018 will see more political, economic and cultural conflicts in cyberspace than ever before. Whether those conflicts will escalate into something like a global cyberwar or whether the Internet community will be strong enough to stop such an escalation and to turn the confrontational trends into a cyber detente, is undecided. Probably, 2018 will become another year in transition.

Big Cyberpowers Relationships

The relationship between the two cyber-superpowers — China and US — is complicated. On the one hand, both sides have declared to cooperate to enhance cybersecurity. They have reaffirmed their 2015 commitment to stop economic espionage online. And during the two 2017 meetings between president Trump and president Xi (in Florida and Bejing), cyber was defined as a space for dialogue. In October 2017, the first “US-China Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Dialogue” took place in Washington.

On the other hand, both sides see themselves more as adversaries and competitors in cyberspace. State-to-State cyberespionage continues. There are fundamental differences if it comes to issues like attribution, hacking back, human rights and international institutional mechanisms. And we will see probably an extension of the US-Chinese cyberconflicts into the digital economy. So far the Silicon Valley-based AMAFAGs (Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet’s Google) dominated the digital western world. Their Chinese competitors — the BATs (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) — became international giants thanks to a huge domestic market with 800 million Internet users. But now, Chinese corporations are going beyond the great firewall (see Alibaba’s opening of a European Hub in Belgrad) and the US companies want to have more from the Chinese markets (see Apple’s Tim Cooks speech in Wuzhen in December 2017). And there will be a growing battle for the next billion Internet users, which will come from the developing world. Recently, the New York Times reported about a clash between Alibaba and Amazon in Singapore. Will Google clash with Baidu in Africa? Or Facebook with Tencent in Latin America?

Russia does not have such a strong digital economy, but it has advanced capacities to organize hidden cyberattacks with global impacts. It is a little bit like in the 1960s, when the Soviet economy was lacking behind, but its military was equal with the West.

Europe, another big cyberpower, has lost the battle for search engines and social networks already twenty years ago when projects like Quero or StudiVZ died. Europe is now trying to leapfrog into the digital platform economy via pushing industry 4.0, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Europeans are also playing the card of the “rule of law” within the global internet battlefields. Decisions made by the European Council on data protection (GDPR) or the European Court of Justice on the right to be forgotten made clear, that if somebody wants to turn cyberspace into a lawless zone, a strong European reaction is for sure. And don’t forget, the European market has around 500 million Internet users.

For many years, Brazil was emerging as the cyberpower, representing developing countries. With a fast-growing domestic digital economy, Net Mundial in 2014 and the “Marco Civil,” Brazil moved into a global leadership position. But the political turmoil in this Latin American country has reduced its role and India, another BRICS country, is now the strongest voice, fighting for the rights of the disconnected. India hosted the Global Conference on Cyberspace (GCCS) in 2017 and India’s Prime minister Modi was very convinced that the “Digital India” project will push the South Asian country into the club of the global cyber-superpowers.

Unilateralism vs. Multilateral/Multistakholderism

For years the global Internet Governance discussion was overshadowed by the “Multilateralism vs. Multistakeholderism” syndrome. Some groups presented this as an ideological conflict of “governmental control vs. private sector domination”, while others (including this author) argued, that there is no contradiction between the two concepts. The intergovernmental, multilateral treaty system will not disappear in the years ahead, but more and more embedded into a multistakeholder environment where non-governmental stakeholders with their resources, knowledge, and engagement make additional contributions to develop and stabilize cyberspace. The challenge is how to share policy development as well as decision making among state and non-state actors.

But in 2018 we see now a new conceptual conflict: “Unilateralism vs. Multilateral/Multistakholderism”. There is a lot of lip service for enhanced multistakeholder and intergovernmental cooperation in cyberspace. But as soon as concrete proposals are on the table, the political will of the cyber-superpowers to enter into multilateral or multistakeholder arrangements, is going down. The US “America First” or the Chinese “Cybersovereignty” see the cyberworld through national and unilateral lenses. They are not based on the philosophy of “sharing” as laid down in the WSIS definition of Internet Governance. This reduces options for global arrangements and fair compromises among different partners with different interests.

The failure of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) in the field of cybersecurity in June 2017 as well as the inability of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to draft an universal framework for global digital trade in December 2017 indicated, that the road back to constructive multilateral negotiations on Internet-related public policy issues, based on the outcome of the 2005 UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), will be a long one.

The US government prefers now “bilaterals” or some regional arrangements with “like-minded countries,” which do not have a problem with “America First.” The Chinese invitation to participate in the “digital one belt and one road” project is based on the acceptance of the “Chinese Dream” as the starting point. And there is nearly zero political will to build bridges over the troubled cyberwar.

However, regardless of this confrontational big-power re-positioning, the dynamics inside the Internet Governance Ecosystem will push for a further deepening of multistakeholder procedures. One interesting observation in 2017 was, that governments, which previously did not like the multistakeholder approach, recognized, that the involvement of non-governmental stakeholders in Internet-related policy making is not such a bad thing. Even the five BRICS countries stated in their Xiamen-Declaration (September 2017): “We advocate also for an open, non-fragmented and secure Internet, and reaffirm that the Internet is a global resource and that States should participate on an equal footing in its evolution and functioning, taking into account the need to involve relevant stakeholders in their respective roles and responsibilities.”

This statement is interesting because it could mark the end of the senseless “Governments vs. Private Sector” debate. The issue is not anymore who should sit on the policy development and decision-making tables, but how the various stakeholders are “seated” in those processes.

There is no agreed definition on “multistakeholderism.” We have the WSIS definition from 2005 which introduced the concept of the “respective roles and responsibilities” for the various stakeholders and the philosophy of “sharing principles, norms, and decision-making procedures.” We have the NetMundial Declaration from 2014 which defines key elements of multistakeholder processes as bottom up, openness, transparency, inclusiveness and human rights-based. In other words, we have some general guidelines for a “multi-stakeholder approach,” but we do not have a pre-defined single “multistakeholder model.”

So far, we have seen the emergence of two different multistakeholder models: The “consultative model” and the “collaborative model.”

In the “consultative model,” governments “consult” with non-governmental stakeholders, but the final decision making remains in their hands. The WSIS+10 process from 2015 is a good illustration that such an approach can produce meaningful results. The risk is that governments just pay “lip service” to multistakeholderism when they invite non-governmental players to consultation, but ignore their advice if it comes to decisions. There is no mechanism on how non-governmental advice is handled in intergovernmental processes.

The “collaborative model” goes one step further. In this model, state and non-state actors are operating on an equal footing. The process of policy development is bottom-up, open and transparent. The outcome is rough consensus, where accountability is integrated into the checks and balances of the created mechanisms. Such a model is based on mutual trust. It is based on an understanding, that in an interdependent and interconnected world every player knows what she/he has to do. It is based on the “do not harm” principle and the philosophy of “sharing.” The adoption of the Universal Declaration of Internet Governance principles by the Net Mundial conference in 2014 and the completion of ICANN’s IANA transition from 2016 are two good examples that such a model works. It is complex and not easy to explain to outsiders. But it can produce sustainable outcomes.

Cybersecurity, Digital Trade, and Human Rights: The three baskets of cyberspace

As mentioned above, for many years, the Internet Governance agenda was dominated by the controversy how to manage critical technical Internet resources. It culminated in the battle around the IANA transition, which started in 2013 and was completed in 2016. Not everybody was happy with the outcome. But so far, the new mechanisms with the “empowered community” are working quite well.

One consequence of this “cooling down” of an overheated politicization of the management of technical resources is that ICANN is not anymore in the headlines. Headlines are made now by Internet-related public policy issues. But this shift in public awareness does not change the fact that Internet-related public policy issues are connected to the underlying technology. Without a functioning public core of the Internet, which includes a functioning DNS, IP address, and server system, as well as Internet protocols, no policy in the field of cybersecurity, digital economy or human rights, will work.

So what are the main issue in the three cyberbaskets in 2018?

Basket 1: Cybersecurity

Will we see more cyberattacks in 2018? Probably yes. Will we have a cyberwar in 2018? Probably not. One reason being that nobody has a definition of what a cyberwar is.

It is meanwhile recognized that a military cyberattack against the critical infrastructure of a country could have disastrous consequences, ruin a national economy and put a democratic society into total chaos. The window of vulnerability of a network society is growing with the level of connectivity in a country. However international lawyers in the GGE could not agree what a cyberattack is and whether such an attack would trigger Article 51 of the UN Charter — the right to self-defense. Some argue that “if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it is a duck” and so if a cyberattack creates dramatic damages, it is a cyberwar.

But it is not so easy. A cyberwar could be a hybrid process, very decentralized and with different layers executed not only by military troops but also by non-state proxies or “patriotic citizens.” And its target would not be primarily “death and destruction,” as we know it from conventional wars, but “chaos and collapse” of institutions and processes. Problematic is also the huge imbalance between offense and defense in cyber. It is cheap to attack, but expensive to defend. This also makes the difference to a nuclear war scenario. In the nuclear age, there was a balance of power among the big players with a “perverse safeguard,” called “Mutual Assured Destruction” (MAD). Such a MAD does not exist in cyberspace.

Nevertheless, what we will see in 2018 is ongoing to be military preparation for worst-case scenarios. We will see more “cybertroops” in national armies, more cyberwar exercises, more “tests” of military hard- and software and probably a hidden cyber arms race — in particular with “Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems” (LAWS) and incalculable consequences for all sides. And we will probably see smaller attacks designed as “tests,” something like a “cold proxy cyberwar.” Undersea cables could be the first target. None of the big powers have the interest to start a process which could go out of control. But testing the capacities of adversaries is imaginable, even if this will have a high-risk factor.

On the other hand, we will see growing political efforts to reduce the risks of a cyberwar, to introduce confidence-building measures and norms for good state behavior in cyberspace and to get the hidden cyberarms race under control. The UN General Assembly will discuss how to continue with the work, done so far by the GGE. There will be discussions for a moratorium to stop the further development of LAWS. And there will be growing pressure by non-state stakeholders, to stabilize and demilitarize cyberspace.

Microsoft’s proposal for a Digital Geneva Convention is now on the table. It has provoked controversial discussions, and it remains to be seen how such an idea can be turned into a concrete political project. Elon Musk’s proposal to ban killer robots goes in the same direction. Both initiatives signal that the private sector has no interest to be pulled into political power games, which could lead to a cyberwar.

Another concrete project open for discussion is the proposed norm to protect the public core of the Internet made by the Global Commission on Stability in Cyberspace (GCSC). Today’s Internet is so important for the daily life that an attack on its basic functioning could damage a society. The GCSC proposal says: “State and non-state actors should not conduct or knowingly allow activity that intentionally and substantially damages the general availability or integrity of the public core of the Internet.” By giving the “public core of the Internet” a special status, the proposed norm would allow treating attacks against the basic functioning of the Internet as something like a “crime against humanity.”

Next, to the protection of the public core of the Internet, there is need to enhance special protection for the electric power systems, for transportation and financial services as well as electoral procedures. There are a lot of common interests even among adversaries. What is missing at the moment is the political will to translate those common interests into arrangements which will benefit all sides.

Furthermore, we can also expect a continuing growth and sophistication of organized and individual cybercrime and cyberterrorism. Also here, it is in the interest of all states to unite their capacities to fight against the “bad guys” — the criminals, vandals, hate preachers, pedophiles, terrorists — on the Internet.

In 2017 we have seen new forms of multistakeholder cooperation between governments, Interpol, Europol, the private sector, technical experts and others to combat cybercrime. This will continue. And we will see also more national legislation.

Whether we will also see progress with a universal international legal instrument against cybercrime, remains to be seen. The Budapest Convention has now nearly 70 signatories. Russia, which does not like Article 31 of the Budapest Convention, is proposing another treaty based on the “Minsk Convention.” In other words, even in an area where we have common interests of nearly all players, it is difficult to find a global consensus.

Basket 2: Digital Economy

The digital economy is now on nearly every national political agenda. During the German G20 presidency there was a special meeting of the ministers for the digital economy, linked to a multistakeholder conference with high-level representatives from the private sector, the technical community and civil society (Düsseldorf, April 2017). A similar twin-meeting was arranged under the Italian G7 presidency (Torino, September 2017). Both meetings adopted documents which underlined the interests of governments to broaden and deepen collaboration on nearly all aspects of the digital economy. Interestingly, both the G7 and the G20 documents underlined also the importance of the multistakeholder approach to Internet Governance.

The G20 adopted already under the Chinese presidency in 2016 a “G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative” which was reconfirmed under the German G20 presidency. But so far, only a little concrete projects came out. It is now in the hands of the Argentinian G20 presidency to push for the next steps. Another special meeting of the G20 ministers for the digital economy is scheduled for Salta, in August 2018.

But also the G7 has produced more words than facts. It remains to be seen how the proposed “G7 multistakeholder dialogue on artificial intelligence” will be organized under the Canadian G7 presidency.

Certainly, every country will benefit from broadband deployment, digital skills, and eCommerce. But like in the field of cybersecurity, the political will to connect the world and to bridge the digital divide reaches its limits, if the protection of national interests is seen as more important that contributions to the common good.

The recent 11th WTO Ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires in December 2017 was a good illustration, what paper commitments mean if it comes to concrete projects. In the G20 meeting in Düsseldorf (April 2017) the G20 ministers agreed to “engage constructively in WTO discussions relating to E-commerce.” But the “constructive engagement” was not strong enough to avoid a split of the WTO. Efforts to set up a central e-commerce negotiating forum within the WTO failed. 70 of the 164 WTO members have now agreed to start separate negotiations in the first quarter of 2018. Nearly 100 WTO members, including G20 members China, India, and Indonesia, disagreed. They want to include eCommerce into the existing multilateral talks of the Doha-Round. But this was rejected by the new WTO “coalition among like-minded countries.” What does this mean? A fragmentation of digital trade, which will trigger a fragmentation of the Internet?

By the way, there are a lot of concerns whether the WTO is the right forum to discuss digital trade. Many NGOs reject fundamentally a WTO role for Internet Governance. They fear that WTO Internet rules could undermine existing arrangements for privacy, consumer protection and freedom of expression on the Internet. Internet and trade negotiators represent two totally different political cultures. Trade is negotiated behind closed doors among governments. The Internet is negotiated in a bottom-up, open and transparent process among all involved stakeholders. How to bridge such a fundamental gap?

Interestingly, as a side event during the WTO Ministerial in Buenos Aires, another public-private partnership project under the title “Enabling eCommerce” emerged. Alibaba’s Jack Ma, who has been pushing for two years for an “Electronic World Trade Forum” (eWTF), entered into an arrangement with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the WTO to establish a platform which will bring together leading voices from governments, business and other stakeholders to begin a high-level conversation on e-commerce policies and practices that can benefit micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Jack Ma argued that intergovernmental processes, as with the WTO negotiations, are too slow to react to a fast-changing trade environment and give big business priority by ignoring small businesses, young people, and developing countries. “The problem with globalization is that its benefits have not been made available to all,” said Jack Ma in Buenos Aires. “We cannot stop globalization; we must improve it.”

The first round of discussion for the “Enabling eCommerce” project will take place in January 2018 in Davos. Is this a door-opener for a multistakeholder approach to digital trade? How NGOs, consumer protection, and civil society organizations will become involved? And how governments, including the Chinese government, will react if this new project bypasses intergovernmental trade negotiations?

The digital economy is full of potential conflicts. One key issue is taxation. Another is anti-trust legislation. And new problems will emerge with IoT and AI. At its “Digital Summit” in Tallin in September 2017, the EU has indicated that it will have a closer look into those issues. The risk is high that a new wave of protectionism will overshadow the development of the digital economy.

This is related also to the future of work. Nobody knows how many jobs will be replaced by robots and algorithms in the coming years. In Cancun in June 2016, the OECD adopted an eSkills and eJobs program. Now the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva has established another “Global Commission on the Future of Work.” This commission is chaired by Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius, and by the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. The Commission will produce an independent report on how to achieve a future of work that provides decent and sustainable work opportunities for all. This report will be submitted to the centenary session of the International Labour Conference in 2019. 2018 will be a year of discussion.

Basket 3: Human Rights

As the New Mundial Declaration from 2014 has reaffirmed, Internet Governance has to be based on the respect of human rights. There is no need to invent “new human rights.” But there is a need to analyze the implications of new technological development for the existing human rights. This is relevant in particular for the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy.

The good thing is that for both rights, the UN Human Rights Council has appointed Special Rapporteurs, who are functioning as watchdogs, produce critical reports to the UN General Assembly and make own proposal, how to strengthen the protection of human rights in cyberspace.

David Kaye, the special rapporteur for freedom of expression, is warning for a growing censorship on the Internet. In 2017 there were more than 70 countries where the Internet was censored or totally blocked. But it is not only governmental censorship which is growing. Some governments have started to adopt legislation which delegates duties to remove illegal and harmful content from social networks to private sector corporations. This has consequences for freedom of expression and can undermine established legal procedures, where independent courts make final decisions which content is legal or illegal. Germany has already adopted such a law, the “Netzdurchleitungsgesetz/NetzDG”. The European Commission will consider, whether there should be a legally binding directive for all its 27 member states. On the other side, opponents of such an approach have announced, that they will bring the adopted laws to the European Court of Justice.

A similar controversial discussion was started by the Special Rapporteur on Privacy in the Digital Age, Joseph Cannataci, on Surveillance. In his report to the 72nd UN General Assembly from November 2017, he has identified “a vacuum in international law” about surveillance in cyberspace. His proposal includes the option of a legally binding instrument. He does not deny the need for surveillance as a tool to fight against cybercrime and to protect national security. However, such measures have to include checks and balances. “Prior authorization of surveillance and the subsequent oversight of surveillance activities is a key part of the rules, safeguards, and remedies needed by a democratic society in order to preserve its defining freedoms.” Cannataci will table the first draft before spring 2018. He has the support of many stakeholders, in particular from civil society. But there is also a substantial number of governments, which are not amused about the activities of the special rapporteur.

Basket 4: Technology

As said above, the big debate about the IANA transition is over. But this does not mean, that there are no controversies anymore at the technical layer of the Internet. And it is not only IoT and AI which raises new problems with political implications. One can not exclude that some groups have the interest to politicize the technical debate, to challenge the “rough consensus and running code” philosophy and to use technology to push for national political or economic interests.

This raises questions such as how the next generation of Internet protocols will be defined? How code makers in the IETF or the IEEE will make sure new generation of services and applications will remain technically neutral? What about new Internet identifier system which would complement (or substitute?) existing systems like the DNS?

What does the Russian announcement mean that it will have its own root server system until August 2018? What are the consequences of the FCC decision to terminate network neutrality within the United States? Will 2018 strengthen the “One world and one Internet” concept based on global interoperability? Will we move into a scenario of a “federated Internet” as Eli Noam from Columbia University has proposed already years ago? Or will 2018 see the first steps towards Internet fragmentation?

Calendar of events

This long list of issues will be discussed by dozens of meetings and conferences in 2018. It is meanwhile extremely difficult to keep an overview of the Internet Governance “Calendar of Events.”

On the intergovernmental level, there will be the ministerial and summit meetings of the G20 (in Argentina), the G7 (in Canada) and the BRICS (in South Africa). In fall of 2018, the 73rd UN General Assembly will discuss cybersecurity, Internet for development and human rights. It will also discuss the report of the UNCSTD Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC) and controversial proposals as new legal instruments or new institutional mechanisms. The ITU will have its next Plenipotentiary Conference in Dubai in November 2018. Internet-related public policy issues are high on the agenda of other UN Specialized Agencies like UNESCO, WTO, ILO, WIPO, UNCTAD, and others. The intergovernmental Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) under its new German presidency will draft a number of statements for human rights based cyberpolicy with a high-level conference in Berlin in Fall 2018. And the Chinese government will organize another “World Internet Conference” (WIC) in Wuzhen in November 2018.

On the non-governmental level, we will see more engagement from the World Economic Forum (Davos, January 2018) and the Munich Security Conference (Munich, February 2018). End of February 2018 there will be the big “Internet & Jurisdiction” conference in Ottawa. Meetings of the Global Commission for Stability in Cyberspace are scheduled for Lille (January 2018) and Bratislava (May 2018). There will be nearly 100 national and regional Internet Governance Fora, including EURODIG in Tbilisi in June 2018. ICANN and IETF will have their three annual meetings (ICANN in Puerto Rico, Panama & Barcelona and IETF in London, Montreal, and Asia) and there are numerous academic, technical or business meetings every month in nearly every corner of the globe. It is “Internet Governance around the clock.”

To have such an extended dialogue on Internet issues is a good thing. The problem is that the majority of the meetings listed above are very specialized meetings for narrowly defined constituencies. Those constituencies have been sitting for years in their own silos, and they do not look beyond the horizon of their narrowly defined agenda. And this is the problem.

Like on the Internet, where every computer is connected to every computer, in Internet policy, every Internet problem is connected to any other Internet problem. Measures to strengthen cybersecurity as the adoption of new laws have economic implications, will affect digital trade, and touch individual human rights as freedom of expression or privacy. And it also goes the other way around: measures to strengthen human rights will affect the digital economy and cybersecurity. What is needed here is a holistic approach which takes into consideration all aspects, including unintended side effects. But unfortunately, the existing Internet negotiations mechanisms — with the exception of Internet Governance Forum (IGF) — does not provide such a broad and inclusive approach.

As long as the constituencies will remain in their silos, progress will be limited. And if this “silo approach” is mixed with political unwillingness to enter into multistakeholder arrangements, not much can be expected from 2018.

Stabilize the Canoe

Last year I finished my Internet Governance Outlook for 2017 with a reference to a lecture that I had the privilege of listening to when I was a student. The professor spoke about “Seven Jumps in the History of Mankind”. He said that the “7th jump” will bring mankind into the information age. He had no clue, what this meant in detail, but he gave us a good recommendation. “Look,” he said, “one can compare our situation with a small group which is sitting in a canoe and moving towards a big waterfall. What should they do?” And with a smile on his face, he finished his lecture with a good conclusion: “Don’t leave the boat! Don’t fight the waterfall. Stabilize the canoe.” Nothing to add in 2018.

Written by Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Professor Emeritus at the University of Aarhus

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Bsquare partners with Amazon QuickSight and Microsoft Power BI to help drive and share industrial IoT data visualisations

By Zenobia Hegde

Bsquare, a provider of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions, announced new DataV software integrations with Amazon QuickSight and Microsoft‘s Power BI that allow industrial organisations to quickly create and share powerful new cross-system interactive data visualisations and reports.

Customers can now leverage these popular reporting platforms to take connected device information from within DataV and combine it with other enterprise system data to create new data views that can be critical for business success.

“Data generated from connected equipment is allowing industrial companies to make quicker and more accurate decisions about their business,” said Dave McCarthy, senior director, products at Bsquare.

“The ability to quickly create new visualisations of that information by combining it with other data – and easily sharing the results with others in the organisation – is critical to achieving that goal. DataV currently offers native reporting based on the functionality within our apps. By providing an open standard connection to tools from third party vendors like Amazon and Microsoft, we’re helping customers extend the value they can get out of their IIoT data sets.”

With connected endpoints in businesses poised to grow from 3 billion in 2017 to 7.5 billion by 2020, being able to capture device data and turn it into actionable intelligence is fundamentally changing how industrial organisations operate. From predicting equipment failures to better utilisation of assets, DataV already helps organisations drive powerful business outcomes from connected device data.

These new integrations help extend the functionality of DataV so customers can build even more powerful cross-system visualisations and reports. Teams can create custom visualisations or select from a list of pre-built reports that map to the apps available in DataV.

DataV enables industrial organisations, such as those in manufacturing, transportation, and oil and gas industries to use data generated by connected devices to make smarter operational decisions.

DataV IoT applications and platform help businesses translate insights generated by industrial assets into critical operational improvements, such as better managing devices, increasing production volume, or reducing operating costs. Visualisation tools are a critical component to realising these and other benefits from IIoT.

Amazon QuickSight is a fast, cloud-powered business analytics service that makes it easy to build visualisations, perform ad-hoc analysis, and quickly get business insights from data.

Power BI from Microsoft is a suite of business analytics tools that enable organisations to connect to hundreds of data sources, simplify data prep and drive analysis. Rich, custom visualisations can be viewed from browsers or mobile devices. DataV also integrates with the Tableau visual analytics platform.

To learn more about how DataV is driving powerful business outcomes from IIoT, click here.

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Mobile QR code coupon redemptions to surge, surpassing 5.3 bn by 2022, says Juniper Research

By Zenobia Hegde

A new study from Juniper Research has found that the number of QR code coupons redeemed via mobile will reach 5.3 billion by 2022, up from an estimated 1.3 billion in 2017.

The new research, Mobile & Online Coupons: Leading Vendors, Technologies & Market Forecasts 2017-2022 finds that the use of QR codes to deliver coupons and discount offers will increase substantially, as in-built QR functionality on mobile devices drives usage, with Apple leading the way.

The second coming of QR codes

Recent changes by Apple, to include QR code reader functionality as part of the camera application on iPhone devices, has lead Juniper to revise upwards our mobile coupon forecasts. Juniper forecasts that over 1 billion mobile devices will access coupons through QR codes by 2022.

Research author Lauren Foye explained: “Apple’s addition of QR code reading facilities directly addresses a major barrier for use in Western markets. The lack of an in-built reader had been a hindrance, with consumers needing to download a separate QR code scanner app”.

Juniper believes retailers are set to take advantage of an increasingly receptive audience for QR codes. For example, US retailer Target announced a QR code-based payments system to scan offers directly to their device stored payment cards, which can then be scanned at checkout for instant payment.

New technologies set to boost loyalty

In addition, the research found that mobile enabled loyalty cards will double, with nearly 4 billion cards set to be active by 2022, up from 2 billion in 2017. Growth will be aided by digitalisation of offers, alongside newer, innovative technologies being applied by retailers.

The research also found chatbots and voice assistants are major driving factors in delivering consumer loyalty, with these programmes aiding in delivering recommended offers and incentives, as well as addressing any customer queries. However, teething problems such as misunderstood queries or incorrectly recorded information risks alienating users.

The whitepaper, Coupons ~ 3 New Technologies Set to Energise Loyalty, is available to download from the Juniper Research website together with details of the new research and interactive dataset.

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.

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