Geneva Digital Watch newsletter

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The latest issue of the GIP Digital Watch newsletter covering April 2020 includes:

  • An overview of digital policy trends in April: tackling misinformation and protecting media freedom in a time of crisis; privacy in the spotlight - from data hacks to data tracing apps; and digital policy discussions moving online.
  • A mapping of countries that have introduced or are planning to introduce contact tracing apps to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and a look at the privacy implications of such apps.
  • A digital take on the Earth Day, celebrated online on 22 April. 
  • The most prominent issues over the past month; key policy events held online by Geneva-based organisations; and a calendar of upcoming events in May.
  • A crossword revealing some of the main developments that have brought digital rights into focus in recent months.

The Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is a monthly newsletter, published by the Geneva Internet Platform/DiploFoundation, as part of the GIP Digital Watch initiative, which includes a round-up of developments for each month, interviews with prominent Internet governance experts, features and articles on various digital policy areas, and a just-for-fun section. The newsletter complements the GIP Digital Watch observatory and the monthly GIP briefings on Internet governance.

The newsletter was created by the GIP and DiploFoundation in 2015 with the aim of providing digital policy practitioners a regular round-up of global developments, and analysis on the most topical issues of the month. Updates on Geneva events and upcoming global events aim to help practitioners keep track of the events that are likely to have an impact on digital policy in one way or another. These aims are achieved by analysing and providing context to the large amount of developments that take place every month. The newsletter is in line with the GIP and Diplo's mission to build capacity among stakeholders, especially those who are unrepresented or have limited resources.

The newsletter is published every last day of the month. Subscribe below to receive notifications about new issues of the newsletter, and get in touch if you are interested in developing a regional version.

 

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Archive of issues

Issue 48, March 2020: An overview of the profound and cross-cutting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on multiple areas of digital policy. An editorial titles 'Preparing for the "day after"': The COVID-19 crisis is a stress-test for the Internet and its governance. Can it pave the way for a strengthened digital governance space? Also included: a data anlaysis on how COVID-19 featured among the digital policy updates covered in the Digital Watch observatory in March; and a concise guide on how to plan and run online meetings effectively.

Issue 47, February 2020: An overview of trends in February 2020: developments in EU digital policy, the interplay between health and digital technologies, and international discussions on cybersecurity. A summary of the OEWG discussions on responsible state behaviour in cyberspace. An analysis of the role of digital tech and policy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. A look at the European Commission's policy documents describing plans towards developing European excellence and trust in AI and the data economy. This issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in French.

 

Issue 46, January 2020: An overview of trends in January 2020: the decade of action - optimising the interplay between natural and digital ecosystems; cybercrime resolution negotiations; and the increasing interest of regulators and banks in digital currencies. The .org sale: an overview of its main elements and the controversy surrounding it. A data analysis on Uber: where is it banned and what is the status of its drivers around the world? Also included are: a dictionary of digital keywords for the 2020s; a review of policy discussions in Geneva in January; the calendar of upcoming events in February, and a crossword to test your knowledge on digital policy terms. This issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in French.

Issue 45, November & December 2019: An overview of trends in November and December 2019: discussions on cyber issues continue at the UN; Internet companies take new measures to address online misinformation and deepfakes; the data breach landscape of 2019; a cover story on Berlin 2019: The dawn of a new IGF?; and the prominent digital issues in November and december. Also included are: a review of policy discussions in Geneva during the two months; the calendar of upcoming events in January, and GIP Digital Watch’s revised version of It’s the end of the year and we know it. This issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in French.

Issue 44, October 2019: Our special coverage on the digital policy priorities of the new European Commission in the next five years. What will this mean for the world? An overview of trends in October: Governments want backdoor access to data; facial recognition technology faces more tests; Facebook’s Libra is under scrutiny. The most prominent issues were: sustainable development, security, e-commerce and the Internet economy, digital rights, jurisdiction, and new technologies. A review of policy discussions in Geneva during October, and the calendar of upcoming events in November. Plus: The 14th Internet Governance Forum in Berlin: What's new? The October issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in French.

Issue 43, September 2019: An overview of trends in September: New rules are issued on the status of gig workers; Libra is facing opposition; and digital identity programmes are taking off. A review of the main digital policy developments in September. Global IG architecture; security; e-commerce and the Internet economy; and, digital rights were the most prominent issues. In focus: Big tech companies under investigation by antitrust authorities over market dominance. Our cover story: World leaders attending the General Debate of the UN General Assembly addressed technology-related topics, but in-depth reflections were largely absent. A review of policy discussions in Geneva during September, the calendar of upcoming events in October, and a guide on what to expect during the WTO Public Forum 2019. The September issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in French.

Issue 42, July and August 2019: An overview of trends in July and August included privacy investigations on the rise; Internet access disrupted in many regions; and, AI developments continue at full speed. A review of the main digital policy developments showed that sustainable development, security; e-commerce and the Internet economy; digital rights; jurisdiction & legal issues; and new technologies were prominent issues. Also included in this issue is an analysis of the implications of the use of facial recognition technologies, and feature on digital governance: in an increasingly digitalised world, who and how should respond to calls for solutions to digital policy challenges? An analysis on Internet shutdowns in July and August is followed by a review of policy discussions in Geneva during July and August, the calendar of upcoming events in September, and a crossword puzzle on national artificial intelligence (AI) strategies. The July and August issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in French.

Issue 41, June 2019: An overview of trends in June: Facebook’s plans cryptocurrency ‘Libra’, online rental business coming under fire and a renewed push to tax digital giants; a review of the main digital policy developments in June, A feature on Facebook’s recently announced cryptocurrency Libra; a summary of the three proposed methods of  mechanisms for global digital cooperation, as recommended by the UN High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation; the calendar of upcoming events in July and August; a mid-year reflection on digital policy trends. The June issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in French.

Issue 40, May 2019: An overview of trends in May: the Huawei controversy rages on, the fight against violent extremism is in the spotlight, and facial recognition technology raises alarms. A review of the main digital policy developments in May which show that security; e-commerce and the Internet economy; digital rights; and new technologies were prominent issues in May. An analysis of how the latest US Executive Order added new dimensions to the Huawei controversy; a feature on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics as a potential solution to the ageing world; a data analysis section on court cases relating to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) since it entered into force; and, the calendar of upcoming events in June are also included. The May issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in French and Bahasa Indonesian.

Issue 39, April 2019: An overview of the top digital trends, including: misinformation as a concern in upcoming elections; new data breaches causing more pressure on companies; and, digital health in focus; and a review of main digital policy developments in April, which shows that: security; e-commerce and Internet economy; digital rights; jurisdiction and legal issues; and, new technologies were prominent issues. Also included are an analysis of the controversy over 5G products; a data analysis section shedding light on national artificial intelligence (AI) strategies, and the calendar of upcoming events in May. The April issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in French and German.

Issue 38, February/March 2019: An overview of the top digital policy trends, including: efforts to curb the spread of harmful content intensifying; old concerns and new policy initiatives in cybersecurity; the Internet economy in focus again. Also included are an analysis of the new Copyright Directive approved by the European Parliament; an in-depth view of artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives launched in the past few months; the Internet Governance Barometer for February and March; a review of the main digital-policy-related events that were held in International Geneva during February and March; and an overview of the main global digital policy events in May.

Issue 37, January 2019: An overview of top ten digital policy predictions for 2019; an analysis of two groups created by UN General Assembly to explore responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, proposed by Russia and USA; the main findings of our mapping of cryptocurrency and crypto-assets regulations; the Internet Governance Barometer for January; a review of the main digital policy events that were held in Geneva during January and an overview of the main digital policy events in 2019. The January issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in French and German.

Issue 36, November 2018:  An abundance of new cybersecurity declarations and resolutions; calls for ethical considerations in development of artificial intelligence systems; the gig economy in focus again; an in-depth analysis of digital identity issues; an analysis of the ‘Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace’; the Internet Governance Barometer for November, which shows that global IG architecture, security, digital rights, jurisdiction and legal issues, and new technologies were prominent issues in November; and a review of the main digital policy-related events that were held in International Geneva during the past month. The November issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in French, German and Bahasa Indonesian.

Issue 35, October 2018: An overview of the top digital policy trends in October included the continuation of data breaches and tech giants facing tougher backlash; a new digital services tax announced in the United Kingdom (UK); a possible change in applying antitrust rules, in order to protect competition per se. Also included are an in-depth analysis of Blockchain’s (in)compatibility with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); an analysis of new resolutions on cybersecurity issues introduced by US and Russia respectively in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly; the Internet Governance Barometer showing prominent issues in October; main digital-policy-related events that were held in International Geneva during the past month; and an overview of the Geneva Internet Platform’s (GIP) activities during the 13th Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The October issue is now available in FrenchGerman and Bahasa Indonesian.

Issue 34, September 2018: An overview of the top digital policy trends in September included countries stepping up their cyber offensive capabilities; data localisation discussions intensifying again, particularly in India; and an analysis of countries’ priorities on digital policy, as stated by heads of states during the General Debate at the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly. Also included was an in-depth analysis of the main positions in data governance debates: the free flow of data and the localisation of data; the Internet Governance Barometer showing prominent issues in September; main digital-policy-related events that were held in International Geneva during the past month. The September issue is also available in FrenchGermanBahasa Indonesian.

Issue 33, August 2018: An overview of the top digital policy trends in July and August included the development of new policy initiatives discussing the digital future, such as the UN High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation; points discussed at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and data governance issues being as the fore. Also included in this issue: a summary of the proceedings of the second meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE); a short examination of the economic impact of data centres; a brief overview of the revised taxonomy of digital policy used by DiploFoundation; the Internet Governance Barometer showing prominent issues in July and August; a review of the main digital-policy-related events that were held in Geneva during July and August. The August issue is available in FrenchGermanPortuguese and Bahasa Indonesian.

Issue 32, June 2018: The June issue contained a mid-year review, which analysed ten major trends in digital policy in the first six months of 2018; the trends include developments related to the GDPR, artificial intelligence, digital trade and the Internet economy, cybersecurity geopolitics, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the role of courts as makers of digital rules, content policy, ICANN, encryption, and net neutrality. Also in this issue are an analysis of arguments for and against Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive; a look at how ICANN has been working to bring its policies in line with GDPR, especially regarding its WHOIS system and the handling of personal data of domain name registrants; the emergence of ‘tech’ as an increasingly dominant prefix or descriptor in describing digital-related issues; the Internet Governance Barometer for June, which shows global IG architecture, digital rights,  jurisdiction and legal issue as well as new technologies being among the most prominent issues this month; a review of the main digital-policy-related events that were held in Geneva during the past month. The June issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in FrenchGerman and Portuguese.

Issue 31, May 2018:  An overview of the top digital policy trends in May included the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect, triggering an eleventh-hour rush for companies and organisations to update their privacy policies; the scrutiny of Facebook practices continuing, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with members of the European Parliament, and artificial intelligence developments being prominent again; an overview of the main points that Facebook’s CEO touched on during his meeting with leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament, among them; a look at inclusive finance and its digital policy implications; a crossword to test your knowledge on some of the main provisions of the EU GDPR; the Internet Governance Barometer for May, which shows the Internet economy, digital rights, and new technologies being among the most prominent issues this month; a review of the main digital-policy-related events that were held in International Geneva during the past month. The May issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in FrenchGermanPortuguese and Bahasa Indonesian.

An overview of the top digital policy trends in January included Internet companies’ behaviour under scrutiny, governments exerting more pressure on companies to remove illegal content, and new legal measures planned to tackle fake news. Also in this issue: a round-up of the main developments that shaped digital policy in 2017; an overview of top 10 digital policy predictions for 2018; a look at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), where world leaders reflected, among others, on the need to embrace technological progress in an inclusive and human-centric manner; the January Internet Governance Barometer, which shows that security, the Internet economy, and net neutrality were among the most prominent issues; and a review of the main digital policy events that were held in International Geneva during the past month, such as the various working groups of the International Telecommunication Union and the CSTD Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation. 

Issue 30, April 2018: The main digital policy trends in April included increasing scrutiny for the tech industry, a Cybersecurity Tech Accord, and a busy month for e-commerce. Also in this issue: a round-up of the discussions held at the UNCTAD E-Commerce Week, where participants explored opportunities and challenges of the evolving digital economy; a summary of the main issues addressed by the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS), at its recent meeting; a look at how advancements in the field of digital health carry implications for digital policy; the Internet Governance Barometer for April; and a review of the main digital-policy-related events that were held in International Geneva during the past month. The April issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in FrenchGermanPortuguese, and Bahasa Indonesian.

Issue 29, March 2018: An overview of the top digital policy trends in March included increasing scrutiny on Facebook and other Internet companies, taxation in the digital economy continuing to be in focus, and autonomous car accident amplifying concerns over safety and security issues. Also included: an analysis of the Cambridge Analytica case and the digital policy implications of its Facebook data modeling practices; an overview of the discussions held at this year’s WSIS Forum on the role of new technologies in achieving sustainable development; the Internet Governance Barometer for March, which shows the Internet economy, digital rights, legal issues, and new technologies being the most prominent issues this month; and a review of the main digital-policy-related events that were held in International Geneva during the past month, including the UN Human Rights Council, the Big Data conference, the IGF Open Consultations. The March issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is also available in FrenchGermanPortuguese, and Bahasa Indonesian.

Issue 28, February 2018: The top digital policy trends in February included renewed calls for cyber norms, experts assessing the GDPR-readiness of companies and countries, and details on proposed EU tax reforms emerging. Also included in this issue: an analysis of the implications and reactions to the US Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act); a round-up of the main digital policy developments of February; a review of policy discussions in Geneva during February. The February issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in French, Spanish, and Bahasa Indonesian. Download your copy!

Issue 26, November 2017: The top digital policy trends in November included the ongoing search for cyber-norms at international level, new data breaches and cyber vulnerabilities raising questions about disclosure obligations, and courts continuing to shape the applicability of digital policies across different jurisdictions, and rifts appearing in e-commerce negotiations ahead of the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization. Also included: an analysis of the possible roll back of the US net neutrality rules; an overview of the main issue raised during the debates of the Group of Governmental Experts on lethal autonomous weapons systems; a round-up of the main digital policy updates of November; and a review of the main digital policy events held in International Geneva during the past month. The November issue of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is now available in FrenchSpanish, and Bahasa Indonesian. Download your copy!

Issue 25, October 2017: An overview of the top digital policy trends in October included courts revisiting privacy-related issues, governments increasingly focusing on artificial intelligence and considering the legal status of robots, and new indications that automation will affect jobs and employment. Also included: a look at the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the integration of human rights into business practices; an overview of some of the positions of World Trade Organization member states on whether the WTO should negotiate new e-commerce rules; a list of five steps to help Internet governance stakeholders get ready for the 12h IGF meeting; a round-up of the main digital policy updates of October; and a review of the main digital policy events that were held in International Geneva during the past month. The October issue of the Geneva Digital Watch is now available in SpanishFrench, and Bahasa Indonesian. Download your copy!

Issue 24, September 2017: The top digital policy trends in September included proposals from European countries to change the rules regarding the taxation of Internet companies, continuous developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), increased governmental pressures on technology companies to remove extremist content, bans on Initial Coin Offerings in China, and new bans on Uber services. Also in this issue: an analysis of new tax rules proposals made by European countries, which would see Internet companies taxed on their turnover (as opposed to profit), and where they generate revenues (as opposed to where they are registered); an overview of the main digital policy issues brought up by UN member states during the annual debate marking the start of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly; a round-up of the main digital policy updates of September; and a review of the main digital policy events held in International Geneva during the past month. The September issue of the Geneva Digital Watch is also available in FrenchSpanish, and Bahasa Indonesian. Download your copy!

Issue 23, August 2017: An overview of the top trends in July and August included developments in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics picking up pace globally; extremist content remaining a cause of concern; countries banning Virtual Private Networks; and Uber suspended in more countries. Also included: an analysis of the debate about the right to be forgotten, as France asks the Court of Justice of the European Union for clarifications on the territorial scope of the right; a look at the Internet Court opened by China; an analysis of the implications of unprecedented growth of major Internet companies; a round-up of the main digital policy updates of July and August; and a review of the main digital policy events that were held in International Geneva during the past two months. The newsletter is also available in  FrenchSpanish, and Bahasa Indonesian. The Brazilian version in Portuguese, published in collaboration with the Centre for Technology and Society of the Getulio Vargas Foundation, is also available.

Issue 22, June 2017: The top trends in June, including new cyber-norms proposed by the private sector; governments renewing calls for more regulation of the Internet and more responsibility from the part of the private sector; court ruling placing digital legacies in focus; and widespread disruptions in Internet access. Also included: an analysis of the last meeting of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (UN GGE) and its inability to reach consensus over a final report; a two-page special on artificial intelligence (AI) and its applications and implications; a round-up of the main digital policy updates of the month; and a review of the main digital policy events in International Geneva in June. The newsletter is now available in French and in Bahasa Indonesian.