Autumn 2012 Issue 39
Special Focus |  Policy and Legislation |  e-Government |  e-Commerce |  e-Society |  e-Security |  ICT Development

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¡¡ UN Public Service Day: S. Korea to Receive E-Govt Awards
ASIA: Public Sector Most Targeted by Cyber Attacks: Report
EUROPE: IT and eGovernment Experts Say That Governments That Embrace Open Data Will Also Switch to Open Source
Integrating Government in the Pacific Islands
AUSTRALIA: Establishes New Centre for Govt Innovation
INDIA: New IT Policy Designed to Promote e-Service Delivery
KENYA: E-government to Boost Accountability - Minister
PHILIPPINES: President Signs Data Privacy Act
PAKISTAN: New e-Governance Initiative
SINGAPORE: Planning ICT Roadmap, Identifies 9 Key 'Themes'
U. S.: Digital Strategy Sets Stage for Mobile Explosion
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¡¡ Free Cyberspace: Netizens Propose New Internet Freedom Declaration
Transform, Innovate, and Connect: A New Strategy for Information and Communication Technology
AFRICA: Congo - Becoming an ICT Hub for Central Africa
EUROPE: Poland to Create Internet Hate Speech Guidelines
Russian Parliament Approves Internet Censorship Law
Internet Law Takes Effect
U. K.: "Green" I.C.T. Strategy of the Government Saves 232,000 Tons of Carbon Emissions in One Year
A New Guide to Online Behavioral Advertising Unveiled in the UK
LATIN AMERICA: Internet Regulation and the Need for "Human Rights Impact Assessments" (HRIA) - A Proposal for Debate
NORTH AMERICA: Antigua - Government, Digicel Announce Major ICT Project
U. S.: Digital Strategy Sets Stage for Mobile Explosion
White House Issues Guidance on Modular IT Development
Five Ways New York City Is Changing Its Broadband Policy
Cybersecurity Amendments Would Modernize 25-Year-Old Privacy Law
Current Laws Miss Key Points in Protecting Data
House Unanimously Approves U.N. Internet Resolution
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¡¡ CHINA: To Support Geoinformation Industry
JAPAN: FY2012 Project to Dispatch "Regional Computerization Advisors"
Results of ICT Policy Dialogue with Singapore
International Standardization of "Specification of DC Power Feeding System Interface"
Approval of Establishment Plans for Specified Base Stations for Propagation of 3.9G Mobile Communications System
Measures to Be Taken for Safe Use of Smart Phones
SOUTH KOREA: Seoul Launches Location-based Complaint App
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¡¡ MYANMAR: Reforming Telco Policy
MALAYSIA: Targeting US$9.9 Bil in ICT Investment by 2020
PHILIPPINES: President Signs Data Privacy Act
SINGAPORE: Law Ministry Forms Two Sub-Committees to Recommend IP Strategies
Singapore Appoints Govt Communications Chief
Singapore Plans ICT Roadmap, Identifies 9 Key 'Themes'
Smart Thailand: An All-Encompassing ICT Masterplan
ICT Ministry Expands Free Wi-Fi Project
Thailand Targets 200,000 Free Wi-Fi Hotspots in 2012
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¡¡ INDIA: BMC e-Governance Project to Start in July
SAP India Inks MOU for Cloud Based e-Governance Project in Meghalaya
Maharashtra Govt and CDAC Join Hands to Promote e-Governance
New IT Policy Designed to Promote e-Service Delivery
PAKISTAN: New e-Governance Initiative
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¡¡ AZERBAIJAN: Communication Ministry Prepares Proposals to Reduce Customs Duties for High-Tech Products
Azerbaijan Plans to Increase Income on ICT Sector to $9 Bln by 2020
Azerbaijani Radio Frequencies Department Conducts Quality Analysis of TV and Radio Programmes
Digital Data Base and 3D-Model of Plan for Centre of Baku Centre Completed
Azerbaijan Signs Agreement on Insurance of First Telecommunications Satellite
Azerbaijan Plans to Open New TV Channel
Azerbaijan Begins to Establish Cadastre Data Base of Real Estate in Regions
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¡¡ AUSTRALIA: Victorian Government Revamps ICT Strategy to Rectify "Labor's Disastrous Legacy"
Australian State Government Unveils US$1.5 Billion eHealth Agenda
Australia Passes New E-Health Law
Gov't Plans Regulation to Make Networks More Secure
NBN's Updated Operating Plan to Be Released This Week
Aus Tightens E-Health Privacy Laws
NEW ZEALAND: Govt Approves First Electronic Game Degrees
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Plans for House to Get New IT System
Have Your Say in Developing Global Telecoms Regulations
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¡¡ Effective ICT Governance Is Key to Public Service Reform
AFRICA: Ghana - Government to Use ICT to Engage Youth in Decision Making
Kenya: E-government to Boost Accountability - Minister
ARAB STATES: UAE - Dubai eGovernment Briefs Team on Emirate's eTransformation
Zain Bahrain Users Can Pay Bills via e-Government Portal
Israel Among World Leaders in e-Government
Saudi e-Government Initiative Gets Major Boost
EUROPE: IT and eGovernment Experts Say That Governments That Embrace Open Data Will Also Switch to Open Source
Bulgaria: eGovernment Costing Further BGN 12 Million
Russia: Putin Decrees to Set Up Department for IT, e-Democracy
Swaziland: SD Working Towards Developing e-Government System
NORTH AMERICA: U.S. - The Administration's IT Management Reform Agenda - Progress at the Department of Commerce
Texting Government - Narrowing the Digital Divide
70 Government Entities Commit to Paperless Legislative Workflows
Report - Feds to Automate Collection of Telework Data
4 Big Cities Launch Shared Data Platform
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¡¡ CHINA: Equipping Government Agencies with Genuine Software
Online Simulation Training System Boosts PLA Navy to Upgrade Combat Power
JAPAN: Official Announcement of Quarterly Data on Telecommunications Service Contract Number and Market Share
SOUTH KOREA: Korean District Finalises Advanced E-govt Strategy
UN Public Service Day: Korea to Receive E-govt Awards
S. Korea Again Cited by U.N. for Electronic Gov't System
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¡¡ INDONESIA: Launching Geoportal for Disaster Mitigation
MALAYSIA: Police Upgrade Command & Control System
SINGAPORE: Creating New Information and Communications Ministry
THAILAND: Revamping Intra-Governmental e-Transaction System
VIETNAM: Online Dialogue Centres on Power Development
Government Work Goes Online
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¡¡ INDIA: SIDCO Takes Measures to Improve e-Governance
Recognising Excellence in e-Governance in Madhya Pradesh
Govt. Should Use Available Technology to Prevent Blackouts, Opines Nasscom
Connect with the President Directly via Website
Govt Launches National Automatic Identification System
e-Governance Portal Set to Be Unveiled in Lagos
SRI LANKA: IT Savvy Officers, Need of the Hour - Naveen
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¡¡ ARMENIA: IT Field to Receive $24 Million Loans
AZERBAIJAN: State Statistical Committee Starts to Provide E-services
Azerbaijani State Social Protection Fund's Integration into E-government Underway in Accordance with Schedule
Insurer Database Integrated into Information System of Azerbaijani Central Bank
Patent Governance System Automated in Azerbaijan
Introducing E-Services Is Requirement of Azerbaijan's Economic Development
Presentation of E-Government Portal to Be Held in Azerbaijan in Autumn
TAJIKISTAN: Internet Access to Tajikistan's Leading News Agency Cut Off Again
NGOs Call on Tajik Authorities to Unblock Asia-Plus Website
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¡¡ AUSTRALIA: State Government Overhauls ICT Procurement Programme
AUSTRALIA: State Government of Victoria Builds Business Case for Cloud Services
Australia Establishes New Centre for Govt Innovation
Australia State Dept Puts ERP on Cloud
Australia Council Modernises Information Management Systems
TONGA: Govt Aims to Pick Up Multi-Million Bonanza in Communications Revenue
Integrating Government in the Pacific Islands
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¡¡ Global: B2C E-Commerce Sales
World ICT Market to Grow to $3.62 Trillion Per Annum in 2012: Gartner
Global Online Ad Market Grows 12.1 % in Q1: Report
AFRICA: Nigeria - Openmedia Links Transition on ICT Solutions
ASIA: Leading Online Bookings with 70.3 Per Cent
Asia-Pacific Online Payment Method Market Dominated by Credit Cards
EUROPE: Czechs Launch First Auction of 4G Mobile Frequencies
Estonians Have Become More Active Online Shoppers
99.3% Lithuanian Companies Used Broadband Internet in Early 2012
NORTH AMERICA: Canada - IDC: Offshoring IT Keeps Firms Competitive
New Awards to Reward Innovation, Boost E-commerce
US Mobile Operators Look for Revenue Gains
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¡¡ CHINA: Disabled Enjoy E-commerce Boom
Suning Yigou Aims for 10-fold Online Retail Rise by 2020
Apple Faces New Legal Challenge in China
Huawei and Gulf Telcos Seek Network Servicing
Taobao Sellers Ahead of the Game with iPhone 5
Shanghai Ranks No.1 in Online Shopping
Apple, Samsung Aquare Off in Patent Battle for Tech Supremacy
IT Hiring Spree
Lenovo to Form Joint Venture with EMC
Lenovo Puts Out Leaner, Faster Laptop
Sohu Income Drops Due to Fast-rising Expenses
JAPAN: Authorization for Changes of Agreement Clause Concerning Telegram Services of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation
SOUTH KOREA: Samsung to Build New Chip Line
Samsung Electronics Still Undervalued: Report by Kim Young-gyo
Samsung Electronics Launches DDR4-based 16-gigabyte Server Modules
Korean Tech Firms, Carmakers to Perform Well in H2: Data
S. Korea's IT Exports Drop 1.6 Pct in July
Samsung Keeps Top Spot in Global Flat TV Market
Korea Takes Bigger Share in TV Market
S. Korean Mobile Messengers Vying for Southeast Asian Market
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¡¡ INDONESIA: Lack of Spectrum Sharing Threatens to Slow 3G, Digital TV Growth
SINGAPORE: Roll-Out of 4G Networks to Spur More Mobile Internet Technology
THAILAND: ICT Firms Back Pilot Tablet Project for Secondary Students
Thailand to Beef Up Toll Auto-payment
Thailand: October Date Confirmed for 3G Auction
VIET NAM: Firms Look to E-commerce to Boost Trade
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¡¡ INDIA: P Chidambaram May Lead EGoM on Telecom
IT Firms to Support Govt's Proposed RTI Project
M.P. Govt to Provide Land to IT Cos on 99-Year Lease
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¡¡ AZERBAIJAN: Cash Payments to Be Limited
Azerbaijan IT Market Survives Global Crisis Relatively Painlessly
High Growth Rates of the IT Sector Continue in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani Mobile Operator Invests $80 Mln in Network Expansion
Potential of E-Commerce in Azerbaijan Is Much Higher Than Existing Volume
Azerbaijan Launches E-payment of Compulsory Social Insurance Contributions
Azerbaijani Unibank Launches Loan Repayments via Its ATMs
E-payment of Fees for Transactions on Securities Started in Azerbaijan
Customs Payments in Azerbaijan Almost Completely Transferred to e-Form
Volume of E-Trades with Foreign Currency Decreases by 14 Percent in Azerbaijan
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¡¡ AUSTRALIA: Spends US$475 Mil on Unified Communications Services
Australia Targets US$2 Bn in ICT Cost Savings
Australia Boosts Investment in Health Informatics
Australia E-Tax Returns Reach Record Highs
Mobile Devices Key to Meeting Consumer Expectations - Says Australian Banking Lobby
Aussie Businesses Snare IT Budget Windfall
Australia Broadband Faces Budget Blow-Out
Survey Says: SMEs Becoming Less Proactive Online
NEW ZEALAND: Studies Show Economy Gains from the Internet
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¡¡ Broadband Access 'Must Expand to Include Poor'
AFRICA: Mobile Phone Boom in Developing World Could Boost E-Learning
Ghana: e-Government Network to Connect Public Schools
Zimbabwean ICT Minister: 1,000 Schools Will Have E-Learning Courses by 2013
ARAB STATES: UAE - E-Mail Is Most Preferred Channel to Deal with Govt
EUROPE: Moldova - Cloud Service Connecting Different Devices
NORTH AMERICA: Canada - Ontario Seeks Public Cloud Provider for Web Workloads
Canada Post Poised to Roll Out Digital Mailbox System
U.S.: Feds Look to Cut Prescription Drug Abuse with Health IT
The Gender Gap in Mobile and Internet Access in the Developing World
California County Tries to Roll Out Wireless Broadband to Farms
FCC Report: Broadband Health Care Networks Improve Quality of Care for Rural Americans, Reduce Costs and Help Save Lives
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¡¡ CHINA: Smartphones Beat TV for 54% of Chinese Users
Social, Digital Marketing Spending to Rise Significantly
High Hopes for Mobile Payment
China's Online Video Portals Asked to Filter Content
Wi-Fi Upgrade to Cover Major Public Areas
No Notable Revenue from Weibo
JAPAN: NHK's "Business to Provide the Public with Live Relay Videos of Some Sports pertaining to the London Olympic Games Through the Internet"
Start of Receipt of Third Applications for "Project to Promote Computerization in Disaster Regions" in Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Measures
Status of Fixed Terminal System Transmission Line Facilities in the End of FY2011
SOUTH KOREA: Promoting E-learning System for Women's Career Development
Stronger Online Game Curfew for Youth to Take Effect in July
Self-publishing Set to Turn New Page in E-books
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¡¡ INDONESIA: To Further Develop Integrated Transport System
Social Networks Wildly Popular in Indonesia, Among Those Able to Log on
MALAYSIA: MCMC Aims to Add at Least 800 More Community Broadband Centres in Sabah
PHILIPPINES: Filipinos Collaborate Online in Flood Evacuation Efforts
Philippines Has 9.5m Twitter Users
The Philippines Embarks on "One Map" Journey
SINGAPORE: Trials Real Time Bus Condition Update
Singapore's National TV to Go Digital from End of 2013
SINGAPORE: MICA Minister Urges Netizens to Develop Netiquette
Singapore: Mobile Library Carts Introduced to Provide Jobs for Older Job Seekers
THAILAND: GPS Devices in Public Transport Might Cut Road Deaths: Minister
Thai University Launches E-bookstore
Thailand Connects Remote Communities via 'Smart Box'
Thailand to Apply RFID in Traffic Control
THAILAND: Offering Faster Check-in Facility
Thailand to Introduce Water-User Service on G-Cloud
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¡¡ INDIA: Public Sector Banks Must Shift to e-Payments: Finance Ministry
E-Payment Facility for Vehicles Launched in Bihar
HC to Hold e-Court Conference Today
Civic Problems Can Be Registered on BMTF Website
ITC Launches Interactive Mobile Telephony for Tobacco Farmers
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¡¡ AZERBAIJAN: CIS Countries Interested in Azerbaijan's Experience in Registration of Mobile Phones' IMEI-Codes
E-text Books to Become Prevalent in Azerbaijani Secondary Schools
Nar Mobile Supports Education Sphere
Azerbaijani Tourists Will Be Able to Use New Mobile Website of Airline Flydubai
Nar Mobile Implements Social Projects on Eve of Ramadan Holiday
Google Chrome Becomes Azerbaijan's Most Popular Browser
KAZAKHSTAN: Launching Digital Broadcasting System
UZBEKISTAN: 376 Colleges and Lyceums and 2,154 Schools Equipped Computer Labs and Multi-Media Technology in 2011
Uzbekistan to Open Two New National Television Channels
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¡¡ AUSTRALIA: WA Boosts Mobile Broadband Services
Australia Boosts Consumer Protection for Mobile Services
Australian Regulator to Release 100 Million New Phone Numbers
Health Mapping Study to Improve Cardiac Care Access in AUS
Australian Hospital Fast-Tracks Support for BYOD
NEW ZEALAND: On 'Front Foot' with Cloud Code of Practice
NZ Part of IT Skills Shortage Danger, Says Joyce
NZ Disputes Tribunal Applications to Go Online
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¡¡ New Report: Mobile Technologies Put Users' Security at Risk
ASIA: Public Sector Most Targeted by Cyber Attacks: Report
EUROPE: Cybercrime - Citizens Concerned by Security of Personal Information and Online Payments
NORTH AMERICA: Canada - IBM: Mobile Security No Concern to Most Canadians
Canada: Data Lost or Breached at 82.5 Per Cent of Government IT Systems
Amid Mounting Pressure, Canada's Wireless Industry Vows to Fight 'iCrime'
Costa Rica: Cybercrime Law Threatens Internet Freedom
U.S.: Security Is Fundamental to Continued Adoption of Mobile Innovations
Understanding America's Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative
Pentagon to Step Up Mobile Device Security
President Calls for Better Cybersecurity Coordination
Cyberattacks on Critical Infrastructure Increase 17-fold, Says NSA Chief
Cybersecurity Tops Federal IT Priorities List
Report: Obama Mulls Executive Order on Cybersecurity
National Public Safety Network Begins to Take Shape
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¡¡ CHINA: To Include Fingerprints in Citizens' ID
Guangzhou Webcasts Legislative Meeting
SOUTH KOREA: District Implements Integrated Security Centre
Police Arrest Two in KT Data Leak Case
Communications Watchdog Tightens Personal Data Protection
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¡¡ PHILIPPINES: Cyber Warfare National Security Concern
PH Favorite Playground for Cybercriminals
SINGAPORE: Especially Vulnerable to Cyber Threats
Increased Connectivity Pose Risks, Challenges Over Personal Data Control
Singapore Marks Cyber Security Awareness Day
NCPC, Microsoft Warn of Rising Phone Scams
VIETNAM: Government to Provide 150,000 Digital Signatures by 2015
Local Customs in Vietnam Adopt Digital Signatures
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¡¡ INDIA: SEBI Board May Approve e-IPO, Safety Net Mechanism This Week
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¡¡ AZERBAIJAN: Adopting New Standards for Information Security
ITU Proposes Azerbaijan to Submit Convention on Global Information Security for Discussion in UN
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¡¡ AUSTRALIA: Telco Security Tightened
NEW ZEALAND: First Cyber Security Awareness Week Launched
NEW ZEALAND: Internet Benefits from Technical Security Deployment
Cooperation Against Cybercrime
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¡¡ The Internet and Mobile Phones in the Service of the Revolution
UN Public Service Day: S. Korea to Receive E-Govt Awards
Rio+20 Recognizes Essential Role of ICT and Broadband Networks as Catalyst for Sustainable Development
International Bandwidth Demand Grows 45 Percent
75% of People in the World Have Access to Mobile Phones - World Bank
'Mobile Revolution' Changing the World
World Bank Group Announces New Focus on Using ICT for Greater Development Impact
AFRICA: Internet Society's African Peering and Interconnection Forum Provides Opportunities for Regional Internet Growth
Angola Among ICT Fastest Growing Countries
ARAB STATES: GCC Leads in E-readiness - UN Report
ASIA: APEC Ministers - Promoting Inclusive, Secure ICT Development to Build More Prosperous Digital Economies
Boost ICT to Drive New Growth - APEC
EUROPE: Latvia to Invest LVL 22 Mln in Broadband Development
LATIN AMERICA: Cuba Govt Says Intranet, Mobile Phone Use on the Rise
NORTH AMERICA: U.S. - 10 Big Predictions About Big Data
From Developing the World to Developing the Web, and Back Around Again
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¡¡ CHINA: Select Cities to Pilot 4G by Year End
Smart Phone Makers to Roll Out 4G Models Next Year
Mobile Web User Base Tops PC Surfers
iPad Takes Over 70 Pct of China's Tablet PC Sales
China Mobile Taps iFlytek to Challenge Apple's Siri
City Vows to Invest More in R&D, Tech Innovation
JAPAN: Awards for Central Memorial Ceremony of FY2012 "Radio Day and Info-Communications Promotion Month"
Results of Public Appeal for Research & Development Subjects for FY2012 Related to "Strategic Information and Communications R&D Promotion Programme (SCOPE)"
SOUTH KOREA: High-Speed Wireless Internet Penetration Tops 100 Pct
Science Panel Seeks Larger Budget for Space Program, R&D
Global LTE Subscribers to Top 50 mln This Year: Report
Scientists Develop Fast Recharging Material for Lithium-ion Batteries
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¡¡ SINGAPORE: Stepping Up Geospatial Capacity Building
Jakarta Most Active Twitter City, S'pore No. 11: Study
THAILAND: Boost Seen from Switch to Digital TV
VIETNAM: Conducting Comprehensive Assessment of Govt Websites
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¡¡ INDIA: Workshop on 'e-Governance & Electronic Service Delivery' Conducted at Chandigarh
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¡¡ AZERBAIJAN: Cloud Technology to Be Widely Used
Azerbaijan to Invest $342 Million in Broadband Internet
Investment in Azerbaijan's ICT Projected at $3-4 Bln
Revenues of ICT Sector Increases by Almost 20 Per Cent in Azerbaijan
TURKMENISTAN: To Host International Telecoms & IT Conference
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¡¡ AUSTRALIA: A World Leader in Combating Spam, Says ACMA
Cloud over Certification for Cloud Computing Vendors to Clear by 2014
NEW ZEALAND: Ranked in Top Ten for Wireless Uptake
Finalists Announced in 2012 Australia and NZ Internet Awards
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Info 'Super Highway' Launched

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UN Public Service Day: S. Korea to Receive E-Govt Awards

South Korea will receive e-government awards for first place in three categories at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the 25th of June.

In the recently released E-Government Survey published by the UN, the country topped the Asian charts in e-government, shared first place with the Netherlands in "e-participation", and came out on top in the general global category for e-government. Speaking on Korea's adoption of citizen inclusion in providing "customer-oriented" e-Government services, Alexei Tikhomirov, Acting Head of The United Nations Project Office on Governance, said that "the country has excelled in providing horizontal and vertical e-Government linkages among various institutions and nodal points, creating enhanced opportunities for greater participation and social inclusiveness." The top ten places in the global e-government rankings were dominated by Europe and North America, with Singapore being the sole other Asian representative, at tenth place. Korea will receive the award as a part of the United Nations Public Service Day celebration, which will see 44 public service organisations gathered from 29 countries to participate in the United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) ceremony. The awards are meant to highlight excellence in public service and recognise the officials, organisations and countries that have been responsible for outstanding standards of public service globally. According to the official press release, the e-Government Special Award acknowledges recipients for: "establishing robust telecommunications infrastructure; investing in the development of human capital the usage of e-Government facilities; providing exceptional e-services; and making e-content available on a continuous basis." Korea will also receive awards in the areas of anti-corruption, gender mainstreaming and science and technology, on the day.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/18/2012

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ASIA: Public Sector Most Targeted by Cyber Attacks: Report

The July 2012 Symantec Intelligence Report has revealed that the public sector is the most targeted industry by phishing activity in July, with one in 113.3 emails comprising a phishing attack; one in 85.3 emails being blocked as malicious. The Education sector was the most spammed industry sector in July, with a spam rate of 70.3 per cent compared to 69 per cent of spam rate for the Automotive sector. The report also showed that Saudi Arabia is the most spammed country in July, with a spam rate of 79 per cent, compared to 68.5 per cent in the UK. In East Asia, Hong Kong ranks the most spammed country with 67 per cent of email was blocked as spam, followed by 66.6 per cent in Singapore, and 64.1 per cent in Japan. Phishing activity in Australia accounted for one in 752.1 emails, one in 2,241.4 in Hong Kong, one in 7,448.8, and one in 3,450.6 in Japan and Singapore respectively. From the same report, Olympic scam spam rate has increased steadily before doubling from May to late July, when the Games began. Attackers used Olympic themed hashtags on twitter to spread malicious code, bundling threats with popular Olympic-themed Android apps, and creating spam and phishing scams that pretend to be contests sponsored by credit card companies. There have also been instances of spammers attempting to trick users into downloading malware. According to Akamai's Q1 2012 State of the Internet report, the most frequent origins of attack traffic were from the Asia Pacific/Oceania region. In the first quarter of 2012, more than 42 per cent of observed attack traffic originated in the Asia Pacific/Oceania region while Europe originated about 35 per cent, North and South America with a combined of 21 per cent, and just under 1.5 per cent from Africa.

Attack Traffic and Top Ports Attacked
According to the Akamai report report, there was quarterly growth in the percentage of observed attack traffic from China (16 per cent and number one on the top 10), the US (11 per cent), Russia (7 per cent), Turkey (5.7 percent), Romania (3 per cent), and Germany (1.9 per cent). However, there were percentages drop relative to the prior quater in Taiway (3 per cent), South Korean (4.3 per cent), and Brazil (4 per cent).

Global Average and Peak Connection Speeds
When it comes to average connection speeds, all of the top 10 countries experienced positive year-over-year changes in average connection speeds. Globally, a total of 125 countries experienced year-over-year increases and only 10 countries that qualified for inclusion saw declines in connection speeds. The global average connection speed in the first quarter was 2.6 Mbps. South Korea (15.7 Mbps) featured the fastest average connection speed. Countries/regions rounding out the top 5 included Japan (10.9 Mbps), Hong Kong (9.3 Mbps), the Netherlands (8.8 Mbps) and Latvia (8.8 Mbps). Year-over-year, the global average peak connection speed increased by 25 percent, and increases were also seen across all of the top 10 countries. Globally, nearly 130 qualifying countries saw year-over-year increases in average connection speeds, ranging from 3.8 percent growth in Pakistan (to 5.9 Mbps) to a 213 percent jump in Libya (to 3.8 Mbps). In summary, the top three countries in the Asia Pacific region with the highest average connection speeds and a high level of broadband connectivity are South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong - still holding steady from the last report. China still remains the top attack traffic source with 16 per cent of observed traffic in total; Other countries in Asia that generated attack traffic are Taiwan (#5), South Korea (#6), and India (#9). South Korea had the highest level of high broadband adoption at 53 per cent and the highest average connection speed at 15.7 Mbps, while Hong Kong recorded the highest average peak connection speed at 49.3 Mbps.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/15/2012

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EUROPE: IT and eGovernment Experts Say That Governments That Embrace Open Data Will Also Switch to Open Source

Public administrations that grasp the benefits of making their data publicly available will increase their use of free and open source since open data and open source face comparable threats like initial lack of support and a fear for the impact on organizations, according to a number of experts in open data. "Using proprietary tools for open data is not as useful as using open source", says Jeanne Holm from Data.Gov, the open government initiative of the US government. "Open source makes it easier for organisations, even those without many funds, to start working on sets of government data. This type of software gathers the intelligence of the whole community", she adds. Holm was one of the keynote speakers at the Semantic Interoperability Conference 2012, which took place in Brussels on 18 June 2012. "I'm a fan of open source, so a little biased. But this type of software gives governments a way to modernise their IT systems, without falling out of time as they would with proprietary software." Holm also says that public administrations do no longer consider open source to be controversial. "Not all of them see the benefits yet. Open source takes them away from their comfort zone." A similar explanation is offered by Julia Glidden, eGovernment expert and Managing Director of a UK-based IT company. IT departments can come up a million excuses for not using open source, she says. "They can point to robustness, security and other technical limitations." Glidden says that the switch to open source in governments is largely a matter of change management. He goes on to say that open source threatens the career structures of IT staffers. It changes the relationships they have with the big IT-vendors and impacts the large budgets they enjoy. "They see open source in terms of risks to their careers, their sense of place in the organisation. It is safe to stay with what they know." She confirms the same is true for open data. "They fear, for instance, that if the data is abused, they will lose their job", she adds. "On the plus side, public administrations can now find help in the market to use open source", says Glidden. It has reached a critical acceptance threshold. There are suppliers, there are service providers. That is not yet the case for open data. There is a need for consultancies to help them with the mental change of approach that is needed for this kind of information sharing." Glidden concludes that open data and open source are mutually reinforcing. "Closed government is dead, it is just a matter of time. They will move to open source, they will move to open data". Katleen Janssen, a legal researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT at the Catholic University of Leuven is less sure of the link between open data and open source. "If open data becomes part of the philosophy of the public administrations, they will also move to open source. If open data is something they do because everybody else is, or because they are forced to, the effect will be limited." Both Glidden and Janssen spoke at the Open Data Day organised by the government of the Flanders region in Brussels on 15 June 2012.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 07/30/2012

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Integrating Government in the Pacific Islands

"We're all fine here. Thank you, Mr Prime Minister", said David Tovovour, the Assistant Secretary General of Tafea, one of the six provinces that make up the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Tovovour was speaking by videoconference from Isangel on the island of Tanna, 225km south of Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila on Efate island, where the Prime Minister was standing. The occasion was Vanuatu's celebration of the 2012 World Telecommunications and Information Society Day. That simple demonstration to the Prime Minister and to the public showed just how far the Government of Vanuatu has come in a few short years with respect to investment in, and deployment of information and communications technology (ICT). In 2008, the Government signed a loan agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China to finance the "E-Government Project". The focus of the project was the development and commissioning of an SDH microwave and VSAT transmission network connecting Port Vila with the provincial capitals on five other islands, along with a fibre-optic network linking all Government agencies to each other and to a centralised data centre. The planned data centre would be equipped with a full complement of servers, data communications equipment, and software to support a full-featured MPLS network.

At the time of the loan agreement, the project drew considerable criticism from the business community and the general public. No detailed financial or feasibility analysis was conducted, nor was the network design based on any comprehensive analysis of the Government's true requirements. In short, it did not seem to present a sound basis for a major investment. However, it could be argued that had the project been dependent on such pre-requisites, it might never have happened! Instead the network was completed and commissioned in early 2011. Vanuatu now boasts arguably the best government communications infrastructure in the Pacific Islands. All the Government agencies in Port Vila and Luganville on Espiritu Santo, the second largest urban centre, and all the Provincial headquarters in the outer islands enjoy high speed broadband connectivity. All of the Government's voice and data traffic is fully converged on digital IP technology. Although the name implies something more, the "E-Government Project" was focused solely on communications infrastructure. Very little consideration was given to what would be done with the network once it was built. Yes, it would mean improved communications capability and substantial savings on telecommunications and travel costs, but not nearly enough financial return for such a large investment. How was this asset going to pay for itself?

The answer is "public value". Many now accept the idea that return on e-government investment is measured in terms of public value, which goes far beyond just financial return to include social and political value as well. Better health care and better education are sometimes difficult to reflect in financial terms, but no one can argue that they are not valuable for society. Healthier, better educated people are usually happier people. In a democracy, when people are happy with the government, they tend to keep the politicians in office, hence the political value. So it is certainly in government's interest to perform well. However, simply having network infrastructure in place doesn't result in better performance, which requires effective systems and applications running on the network to support service delivery and agency functions. As Vanuatu's network was nearing completion, the Government and its development partners shifted their focus to the required applications. Consulting assistance was brought in to conduct a requirements analysis across the entire government and to design appropriate application architecture. But right from the beginning, it was clear that there were other key components missing as well. There was no strategic plan or overarching framework to guide the development and management of ICT across the government. Even more importantly, there was no institution in place to lead the effort. So while analysing and defining the requirements, an overall strategy and institutional structure had to be developed as well. Thus the Vanuatu Integrated Government Initiative, or iGov, was born.

This is the first time the Vanuatu Government has undertaken a comprehensive investment programme and set of activities aimed at improvements across the board. There have been numerous projects and programmes targeting specific sectors or agencies, but all have been vertically-oriented. The iGov Initiative has a horizontal focus on the deployment of technology and management of information that will improve services and operations in every agency and increase the productivity of every Government employee. In November 2011 the Council of Ministers approved the Strategic Plan for the iGov Initiative. Central to the plan was the establishment of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, or OGCIO, within the Prime Minister's Office. In May 2012, the Public Service Commission formally approved the OGCIO structure and appointed Fred Samuel as the Government CIO reporting directly to the Prime Minister, yet another critical milestone that elevates Vanuatu to a best practice example of government ICT leadership. The iGov Initiative is now being rolled out with the key management elements in place: an overarching framework, a strategic plan, and a dedicated lead agency. The near-term activities are focused on three objectives: the maintenance and stability of the network and data centre infrastructure, the development of the application platforms, and the development of the capacity within the OGCIO and across the government for ICT operations and management. Indeed there was much to celebrate in Vanuatu on the 2012 World Telecommunications and Information Society Day. That short, crystal clear videoconference between the Prime Minister and the Tafea Assistant Secretary General, who were literally oceans apart, signals just the beginning of an ICT-driven government transformation that promises to deliver value to, and improve the lives of everyone in Vanuatu.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/10/2012

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AUSTRALIA: Establishes New Centre for Govt Innovation

The government of Australia has launched a cross-agency initiative to "help the Australian Public Service (APS) better respond to the challenges of the 21st century and inspire creativity and innovation through collaboration across government departments". The initiative saw the establishment of Centre for Excellence in Public Sector Design; Jane Treadwell, Editor-at-large of FutureGov and former CIO of the government of State of Victoria, was appointed CEO of the Centre through a public service process. Treadwell's previous roles also included senior consultant to the World Bank and Deputy CEO for Business Transformation at Centrelink, the one-stop service-provisioning agency under the Department of Human Services. "She is eminently qualified and has the right skills for establishing this initiative and she has a keen understanding of the value of collaborative innovation in the APS," said Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation Kate Lundy, who added that the new initiative would assist the public sector meet challenges and find new ways of working to deliver better outcomes for all Australians.


From http://www.futuregov.asia 06/27/2012

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INDIA: New IT Policy Designed to Promote e-Service Delivery

The forthcoming IT policy of the Kerala government will give stress upon e-services delivery to citizens as one of the focused areas. Principal Secretary (Information Technology) P. H. Kurian told a Central team visiting the State to review implementation of e-governance programmes that a futuristic, integrated service delivery framework had been chalked out by the Kerala State IT Mission. It envisaged a single identity for citizens to log in to a State portal to access the services. A detailed, long-term plan is under preparation now in consultation with all departments, focussing on high volume. The Central team, led by Sathya Narayana, Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, reviewed the progress of various e-governance initiatives undertaken by the State, particularly the e-district programme and the State Service Delivery Gateway programme. The team held discussions with the chief secretary and other government secretaries on the integrated e-governance delivery services to be rolled out in the State. An official release said that the team had expressed satisfaction about the progress of various programmes and had explored the possibility of replicating some of the successful e-models of Kerala such as the e-literacy programme, common service centres and e-district programme in other States. e-district is a State Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan. It seeks to provide integrated, seamless and online delivery of citizen services at the district-level through automation of work flow, back-end digitisation, integration and process redesign. This project targeted high volume services delivered at the district-level and to undertake back-end computerisation to enable the delivery of citizen services through Akshaya centres. The state government has implemented the pilot phase of e-district project in Kannur and Palakad and delivery of 23 revenue certificates have been made online. An estimated eight lakh e-applications have been processed during the pilot run and certificates issued in 80 per cent of the cases. The e-district services are proposed to be rolled out to rest of Kerala in a year's time. The State Service Delivery Gateway project was formulated under the National E-governance Plan to fulfil the vision of integrating all services across departments and provide the same through common service centres and State portals.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 08/20/2012

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KENYA: E-government to Boost Accountability - Minister

The Government has expressed satisfaction over progress in adoption and use of e-government. Public Service Minister, Dalmas Otieno, underscored the need for e-governance. "Adoption of e-government as a service delivery enabler has the potential to improve accountability. Kenya has continued to make significant progress in improving public services through online delivery, adoption of electronic procurement of goods and services and practise of e-governance aimed at enhancing public participation in decision making," said the minister. The minister said demands for accountability in public service agencies have been driven by the need for policy makers, elected leaders and other public servants to fulfil obligations and mandates associated with sustainable management of public affairs. "Good governance involves ethical notions related to moral integrity and trust and whereas these values must be earned, it is prudent and conventional to legislate for accountability frameworks," observed the Minister when he officiated the opening of this years Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya (ICPSK) 16th annual International Conference in Kwale County. It was themed, "Governance Perspective in Harnessing Natural Resources for Development." Otieno said the new Constitution provides for necessary accountability measures, and the establishment of relevant institutions of governance that make it it possible to hold public officials to account for their actions. ICPSK National chairperson, Ms Catherine Musakali said the theme has been selected due to recent developments including oil discoveries in Turkana and coal in Eastern provinces respectively. She said many challenges have arisen due to poor governance. Standard Group's Assistant Director Legal, Human Resource Services, Nelly Matheka is among key speakers expected to deliver speech on "Enhancing Governance, Ethical Practices, and Role of the Media".


From http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/ 08/09/2012

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PHILIPPINES: President Signs Data Privacy Act

MANILA, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) - Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed the "Data Privacy Act of 2012" which aims to protect individual personal information gathered by the government and the private sector. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said Thursday that Aquino inked Republic Act No. 10173, otherwise known as the Data Privacy Act on Aug. 15 this year. The new law provides for the creation of the National Privacy Commission, which will monitor and ensure compliance of the country with international standards set for data protection. Among the functions of the commission include receiving of complaints, instituting investigations, facilitating or enabling settlement of complaints through the use of alternative dispute resolution processes, adjudicate, award indemnity on matters affecting any personal information, preparing reports on disposition of complaints and resolution of any investigation it initiates, and, in cases it deems appropriate, publicize any such report. The national government will provide the commission with an initial appropriation of 20 million pesos (462,962 U.S. dollars).


From http://news.xinhuanet.com/ 08/23/2012

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PAKISTAN: New e-Governance Initiative

Sindh Minister for Information Technology, Muhammad Raza Haroon, said that Civil Registration Management System (CRMS) will help the government plan and implement e-Governance in the country efficiently. He was addressing as chief guest at a seminar on CRMS which was arranged by National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) at a local hotel. While lauding the role of NADRA, the Minister said that with the technical support of the Authority regarding training of local governments a catalyst change in the society is expected. On the occasion, Director General NADRA, Zahid Hussain, said regarding CRMS the negotiations are under way to operationalize 345 union councils across the country. The minister informed that there are 6,550 union councils/TMAs/Cantonment boards in the country, out of which 6,205 are operational. He said that the current project of NADRA with the help of UNFPA will support CRMS in the rural areas of the country where performance is comparatively low. He said that this short term project meant for seven months will be transformed into a long term programme for five years. He told the gathering that teams of CRMS Directorate are working day and night in coordination with UNFPA to develop a comprehensive strategy for the implementation of the project throughout Pakistan. In the first stage of AWP Annual work plan, successful training/workshop activities have been conducted in the rural areas of Sindh including Badin, MirpurKhas and Hyderabad with the cooperation of respective local governments. It was stated that NADRA started CRMS as a pilot project in Lahore in 2004 with collaboration of the then local government.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 07/06/2012

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SINGAPORE: Planning ICT Roadmap, Identifies 9 Key 'Themes'

Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), in consultation with industry technologists, business leaders and other stakeholders, has identified nine key themes that will shape ICT development in the coming three to five years. The 2012 Roadmap - now in its sixth edition - identifies Cloud Computing, Big Data, User Interface, Communications of the Future, Cyber Security, Social Media, ICT and Sustainability, The 'Internet of Things', and the New Digital Economy as the nine points of focus that will drive ICT development in the immediate future. At the Infocomm Technology Roadmap 2012 Symposium, IDA CEO Ronnie Tay explained that "these roadmaps aim to help the industry and vertical sectors stay abreast of global ICT trends and developments." "This infocomm technology roadmap therefore seeks to identify infocomm technology trends that have the potential to impact and even disrupt our lives, and the opportunities that the public and private sectors can leverage," he added, addressing delegates from government and industry.

Meanwhile, IDA CTO Leong Mun Yuen urged the attendees to participate in "co-creation" by providing input on the technologies identified, as the IDA sought to "tap on the invaluable industry insights, experiences and feedback from the community to improve the roadmap and develop a shared technology vision." This public feedback to refine the Roadmap further is being sought on the official website until September 2012, after which the revised roadmap will be compiled and made available online. The Symposium divided the nine themes into three tracks that had threads in common, and potential technologies for development in each of the nine sectors were charted according to their immediate (less than three years), mid-term (three to five years) and long-term (over five years) relevance. For example, Quantum Computing was identified as one of the long-term innovation prospects in the Big Data theme, while predictive and in-memory analytics were highlighted as immediate prospects. Christopher Sia, Assistant Manager, Technology & Planning Group, IDA, identified retail, transport and health IT as the three sectors in which management of big data would prove crucial.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/23/2012

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U. S.: Digital Strategy Sets Stage for Mobile Explosion

The Office of Management and Budget finally released its long-awaited digital strategy on May 23, and the analysis began almost immediately. Although the plan was primarily about mobility and specifically about getting government information to the public via mobile devices, it included a lot more. Formally titled "Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People," the strategy focuses on three objectives: Enable citizens and the growing mobile workforce to access high-quality digital government information and services anywhere, anytime, on any device. Institute an information-centric model for interoperability and openness to deliver better digital government services at a lower cost. Update and implement policies to buy and manage devices, applications and data in smart, secure and affordable ways. Alex Howard, writing at O'Reilly Radar, traced the strategy's development from former Federal CIO Vivek Kundra and former chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra to their successors - Steven VanRoekel and Todd Park, respectively. Although the plan is ambitious, its potential for being funded is uncertain, Howard wrote. "Big visions matter, in terms of inspiring the country to action or a historic course, from building transcontinental railroads to sending men to the moon to starting up a new government agency," Howard wrote. "Implementing against that vision, however, in a time of great budget pressure, increased demands for government services online and falling trust in institutions is just as important."

The Telework Exchange, in an unbylined news update posted to its site, called attention to the fact that the plan highlights the importance of agencies being open and interoperable by asking them to develop IT infrastructures and adopt technologies that will empower the practice of access anywhere, anytime, on any device. "Telework has a natural connection to achieving these goals and can easily be leveraged to support the provisions in the strategy that ask agencies to expand their mobile capabilities and establish secure mobile device management practices," the Telework Exchange article states. At NextGov, Aliya Sternstein noted the plan's emphasis on security, saying it "attaches the word 'secure' to almost every activity description. A graphic visualizing the flow of digital services under the plan titles its foundational layer, 'Security and Privacy.'" At the same time, the strategy acknowledges that the goal of openness might compete with the need for security. "To address the conflict between transparency and security, the blueprint calls for partitioning sensitive information prior to transmission by, among other things, requiring strong identity verification," Sternstein wrote. The plan gives the departments of Defense and Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology responsibility for developing standards for expanding the secure use of mobile and wireless devices. Those agencies have a year to develop a set of requirements. Although the plan clocks in at a streamlined 36 pages, it gives agencies a lot to do on several fronts in the coming months, and they will likely take a variety of routes to get there.

Milestones along the way
The strategy's list of milestones includes directives for the General Services Administration to establish a Digital Services Innovation Center and for OMB to convene a Digital Services Advisory Group within a month of the strategy's release. Those organizations will then take on roles of their own in moving the plan forward. Here are some selected milestones from the strategy, along with the responsible entity and time frame. All agencies: Ensure that new IT systems follow the strategy's open-data, content and Web application programming interface policy; 12 months. All agencies: Engage with customers to identify at least two existing major customer-facing services that contain high-value data or content as first-move candidates to make compliant with new open-data, content and Web API policy; three months. GSA: Expand Data.gov to include a catalog that centrally aggregates Web APIs posted on agency/developer pages; 12 months. Digital Services Advisory Group/CIO Council: Release governmentwide bring-your-own-device guidelines based on lessons learned from successful pilot programs at federal agencies; three months. Digital Services Innovation Center/CIO Council: Launch a shared mobile application development program; 12 months.


From http://fcw.com/ 06/01/2012

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Free Cyberspace: Netizens Propose New Internet Freedom Declaration

A number of international organizations such as Amnesty International, Mozilla, Hackers and Founders have signed the Internet Freedom Declaration, a document that calls for, among other things, Internet openness, access and privacy. Today, 35 percent of the world's population is online. The Internet is an integral part of society and has affected almost every aspect of our cultures and lives. But what many fear is that with the introduction of new regulations, the most open and some say democratic form of communication available today will become a fragmented ghost of its former free self. That's why back in January millions came together to protest the Protect IP and Stop Online Piracy Acts (PIPA and SOPA). The two bills never made it past US Congress after over 100,000 websites and 7 million users signed petitions, organized blackouts and used every available means to demonstrate the acts' faults. While no one disputes the need for some control over the information available online, what most people are concerned about is how the proposals - SOPA, PIPA and the most recent additions, ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) and CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) - basically spell out the end of online freedom. That's why a group of more than 100 organizations, businesses and individuals put the declaration online, even creating a special subreddit on Reddit.com in the hopes of sparking a global discussion. The goal of the declaration, according to some of those who have signed it, is to achieve broader public support and understanding of Internet freedom principles, not merely to avoid mishaps like SOPA in Congress. Josh Levy, an Internet campaign director from the Free Press, says "what's great about this is that while we all have our different needs and strategies and desires, we've come together around what we understand to be our ultimate goals." The groups involved in creating the declaration have different policy objectives, and will continue to pursue them in their own ways but Free Press plans to enlist the public to support the declaration's principles. Its goal, Levy says, is not to get a new law passed around the declaration, but to mobilize people and thus engage policymakers on Internet freedom issues.


From http://www.rt.com/ 07/02/2012

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Transform, Innovate, and Connect: A New Strategy for Information and Communication Technology

A dramatic increase in use of mobile phones and the Internet; plunging prices of computing and mobile internet devices; the increasing prevalence of social media: these are some of the rapid changes seen in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector over the last decade. The World Bank Group's new strategy for the ICT sector for the period 2012-2015 reflects this new context. It aims to help developing countries use ICT to transform delivery of basic services, drive innovations and productivity gains, and improve competitiveness. "Information and communication technologies can help reduce poverty, boost economic growth, and improve accountability and governance," explains World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte.

Three Priority Areas
The new strategy emphasizes the transformative potential of ICT - in areas such as accountability, energy, and health - while maintaining a steady focus on ICT-enabled innovation and ICT infrastructure. Bank Group support will be directed to three priority areas:
Transformation: Making development more open and accountable, for instance, by facilitating citizen feedback to governments and service providers; and improving delivery of services, such as education, health, and financial services.
Innovation: Developing competitive IT-based service industries and fostering ICT innovation across the economy - with a focus on job creation, especially for women and youth.
Connectivity: Leveraging private investments to help scale up affordable access to broadband - including for women, disabled citizens, disadvantaged communities, and people living in remote and rural areas. "The World Bank Group's new strategy will help our client countries take advantage of the opportunities that ICT offers across all sectors of the economy, drawing on our unique expertise in public-private partnerships in the ICT sector."

Working with client countries
The new strategy builds on the Bank Group's experience working with client countries on ICT sector reforms, infrastructure development, and electronic government: Over the 2000s, Bank support for ICT sector reforms helped attract an estimated $30 billion in private investment for mobile network infrastructure in the least developed countries. The IFC's $2.3 billion in telecommunications infrastructure investments and MIGA's $550 million in political risk guarantees also supported private investment in mobile service providers in difficult and high-risk environments. Bank Group support for ICT applications has grown rapidly over the last decade, and over 70 percent of the 1,700 projects in the Bank's active portfolio now have ICT components. Since 2007, the Bank Group has intensified its support for public-private partnerships for broadband and high-speed Internet, helping bring down retail prices and increasing the take-up of services, in some instances by a factor of 10. Stakeholders from 17 low- and middle-income countries and four OECD countries provided inputs for the new strategy through a series of face-to-face and online consultations. The document also draws on a review by the Bank Group's Independent Evaluation Group. For Rashad-Rudolf Kaldany, IFC Vice President for Global Industries, "The Strategy recognizes the vital role of the private sector in improving access to information infrastructure and services in developing countries." He explains that "IFC works with the private sector as an advisor, financier, and standard setter to help unlock the potential of ICT for development." Jose Luis Irigoyen, the World Bank's Director for Transport, Water, and Information and Communication Technologies, underlines how "ICT offers new tools to directly address poverty by providing access to information, contributing to pro-poor market developments such as microfinance and mobile money, and equalizing opportunities in rural areas."

Collaborating across the Bank Group
Under the new strategy, the World Bank, IFC, and MIGA will work together to assist countries in unlocking the opportunities offered by ICT. For instance, the World Bank will provide support for appropriate policy, legal, and regulatory frameworks, as well as catalytic investment in ICT backbone infrastructure; IFC will provide financing and advisory services to mobile operators; and MIGA will provide guarantees to support the roll-out of telecommunications networks and services. "MIGA has contributed to the rapid growth of access to ICT services in emerging countries by mitigating the political risk of investments," says Michel Wormser, MIGA's Vice President and COO. He adds that, "Under the new WBG strategy, MIGA will make available its insurance capacity to further accelerate ICT investments in higher-risk countries, notably fragile and post-conflict countries, where ICT will be key to growth, job creation, sharing of knowledge, and governance." The ICT strategy will adopt a new approach to implementation, including country diagnostics to help prioritize Bank Group interventions at the country level and leverage more partnerships with external sources of expertise. A results-based framework will be used to track progress.


From http://web.worldbank.org/ 07/25/2012

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AFRICA: Congo - Becoming an ICT Hub for Central Africa

Congo has made great strides in the area of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) since the armed conflict in the country ended in 1997. It enjoys a relatively sophisticated and well-regulated telecommunications network, with strong and legitimate competition in place between the four main operators: Airtel, MTN, Warid and Azur, which has seen prices more than halve since 2008. Mobile phone penetration is now at 90 percent and the ICT sector is modernizing at a rapid pace. President Denis Sassou N'Guesso's administration is keen for the country to become an ICT hub for the region, and as such, has implemented far-reaching changes to bring the country up to world-class standards. To improve connectivity, the World Bank has assured the financing and interconnection of fiber optic cables regionally and inter-regionally to connect Congo to its neighbors. This, the administration's largest project to date, has been made possible thanks to the technological back up of the Chinese Huawei Technologies and Alcatel Shangha Bell. Working jointly with the World Bank, the republic has invested heavily in the Central Africa Backbone, which, at a cost of $55 million, will link up every part of the country, and ultimately connect Congo to its border neighbors, and the rest of the continent. "The urban networks in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire are already 70 percent connected," says Minister of Post, Telecommunications and Technologies, Thierry Moungalla. "We hope to commercialize the network by the end of 2012 and provide it to the whole population by 2015."

Innovation nation
Congo is something of an ICT pioneer. As Minister Moungalla pointed out, it was the first country in Central Africa to implement the 3rd-Generation network. "By 2015, every service provider will give up the second generation to switch entirely to 3G, which will become the basic standard," Moungalla said. "There is an urgent need now to develop 3G-related technologies and other services. Azur, for example, is offering a Triple Play service that combines the Internet, TV and mobile phone." Moungalla is determined to secure Congo's smooth entrance into the Information Society, and has earmarked the installment of a fast, reliable and cost-effective Internet connection as an immediate priority. This will eventually lead to universal access for the existing online administration system/e-government project. "A reliable Internet connection will provide a faster and more efficient service for citizens, as for someone living in an isolated zone in the country, it can require a few days of travel to get a birth certificate or any official document from the civil state," Moungalla said. "Another positive impact to this will be the safety of the national archives, which are currently still kept on hard copies and thus subject to deterioration." The minister is overseeing a strategy to encourage the digital economy, in the provision of e-government, e-commerce, e-learning and e-health. "To ensure a safe and reliable system, we are working with international partners Microsoft for the software and Ericsson for the training," Moungalla said. "The sector is booming and offering many investment opportunities. Return on investments for incoming telecommunications service providers are guaranteed in Congo."

Ericsson partners Congo
Present in 52 African countries, ICT giant Ericsson started its operations in Congo in 2006 through a partnership with South Africa's MTN. At the time, MTN set up the Ericsson Network, installing the Swedish company's equipment within its own system. Neels Van Niekerk, program and country manager, who has been overseeing operations at Ericsson Congo since that time, said: "Our main activity is serving our current customers: MTN, Airtel and Azur. Our priority is keeping our business partners happy and expanding in terms of network capacity and coverage within the region. Current network expansion and improving capacity are our priorities. "The training initiative that we proposed to the government in the technology sector is to help establish technical training facilities. The idea is to support the government in the training of students in this field. We cann't deny the fact it has been quite difficult to find trained people here, especially technicians in the telecoms industry. "Even though people have basic schooling there is a huge skills gap to address. Congolese people are generally literate and fast learners, but we need to establish the infrastructure that will allow them to learn. There is a huge need for technical training, especially within our operations." Being an English-speaking company in a Francophone country also presents its challenges. "It becomes more difficult outside the main city and we are trying to appoint French employees to make it easier," Van Niekerk said. "Language can be a barrier, but there are always ways around it."

A hub for the region
With its unique geographical location and the current Inter cabling to Pointe Noire through the Central African Backbone, the telecoms chief believes Congo is on the right track in its mission to become a regional hub. "Communications have improved significantly over the last five years; the quality is better and the general environment has improved. I have had a very positive experience working here," Van Niekerk said. "I am South African, so I appreciate the safety aspect, and I can wholeheartedly invite anyone interested in joining us; it is a very pleasant experience. "I am sure that by 2015, there will be a big difference in the level of technology and skilled people. It will obviously continue beyond that."

Postal services
The government has also been busy setting up a State postal network. A new postal distribution center was opened in October 2011, which marked a real step forward for a country where private carriers have been the preferred-and in some cases, the only option. "This inauguration was a major event and is very symbolic," Minister Moungalla said. Companies and individuals can benefit from postal boxes now that mail is distributed. Furthermore, the Postal Bank, another of the Ministry's priorities, will be service imminently. The government is keen to facilitate credit access and a partnership with the Central Bank has been finalized in order to offer secured financial transactions. "In fact, the postal system is rising from the ashes. The PIDEP (Programme d'Intgration et de Dveloppement du Peuple Pygme) program, which encourages the integration of pygmies into the community, in partnership with the UN, will bring financial commitments in order to develop post offices across the country, especially in rural zones. "The government is keen to rebuild a social link with its people through the postal service."


From http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/ 06/30/2012

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EUROPE: Poland to Create Internet Hate Speech Guidelines

Poland's attorney general has promised guidelines regarding the accountability of those who express hate speech on the internet. photo: sxc.huAndrzej Seremet's pledge was prompted by a letter addressed to him by progressive Catholic weekly Tygodnik Powszechny, former contributors of which include the late Nobel Prize laureate Czeslaw Milosz and Pope John Paul II. The initial letter called on the attorney general "to take action, as well as statutory initiatives, which will finally put an end to the sense of total impunity, or even actual consent on the part of state institutions to the fact that racial and religious hatred, slander and libellous language are used on the Polish internet." In a reply published on the attorney general's official web site, Seremet has pledged to release guidelines regarding hate speech on the net, but he argued that the weekly is "wrong in thinking that the internet is terra incognita, and that no one is interested in chasing crimes committed there that are motivated by racial, ethnic or religious hatred." The attorney general pointed out that as regards cases from the year 2011, of the 323 relating to hate speech on the internet, only two were discontinued. Seremet noted that under certain circumstances, it is possible to prosecute not only the authors of outbursts of hate speech, but also the content managers or owners of web sites. Poland's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Radoslaw Sikorski, has himself brought cases against Polish media outlets (Wprost, Fakt and Puls Biznesu), after internet users uploaded anti-semitic comments beneath articles, some attacking he and his American-born wife, the journalist and writer Anne Applebaum. One case, involving weekly Wprost, was settled this March with the publication accepting responsibility for the comments and apologizing to Sikorski. However, in a separate instance this May, the Warsaw District Prosecutor's Office called off an investigation, stating that there was not sufficient public interest in the case. Spokesman for the Prosecutor's Office Dariusz Slepokura argued that Sikorski could initiate a private lawsuit. After an appeal, the suspension of the case is now being reviewed by a Warsaw regional court (Warszawa-Srodmiescie).


From http://www.thenews.pl/ 08/09/2012

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Russian Parliament Approves Internet Censorship Law

MOSCOW - Russia's parliament approved an Internet censorship law Wednesday that critics said would allow authorities to close unwanted websites, and it moved to reintroduce slander as a criminal offense, in a series of measures criticized by opposition activists. Backers of the Internet law, including the majority United Russia party, say it is designed to crack down on child pornography. They also say it could be used to block sites that promote drug use or urge people to commit suicide. Critics say the law, which allows law enforcement authorities to blacklist websites and block them from the Internet, targets opposition activists and parties. The bill needs to be signed by President Vladimir Putin before it can become law in November. Wikipedia on Tuesday closed its Russian language website in protest at the law. Lawmakers removed a clause relating to protection from "harmful information" from an initial draft, which would have made it even easier to blacklist websites. Parliament also approved the first reading of a bill drastically increasing sentences for slander which, activists charged, would enable Putin to crack down on the opposition. The proposed law would increase slander fines from the current maximum of $90 to $15,000, or five years in prison, the Interfax news agency reported. The law would make slander a criminal offense again, less than a year after then-President Dmitry Medvedev removed it from the criminal code. On Friday, parliament is to consider a third bill, under which nongovernmental organizations funded from abroad would have to identify themselves as "foreign agents."


From http://www.i-policy.org/ 07/12/2012

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Internet Law Takes Effect

A law creating a "website blacklist" and forcing Internet companies to block banned content came into effect Monday, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, the government's official publication, reported. Under the law, Internet service providers will be forced to disable access to content that the government believes shows child pornography, solicits children for porn, encourages drug use, promotes suicide or distributes content that is illegal under Russian law. Some observers have interpreted the new requirements as an attempt to introduce Chinese-style Internet censorship amid a crackdown on the opposition that included new restrictions on public rallies and nongovernmental organizations and criminal penalties for libel. The law has also been criticized because it does not make clear how much of an Internet publication - individual web pages or whole Internet domain names - will be blocked once content is blacklisted.


From http://www.themoscowtimes.com/ 07/31/2012

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U. K.: "Green" I.C.T. Strategy of the Government Saves 232,000 Tons of Carbon Emissions in One Year

Energy efficient and "green" information and communications technology practices of the British government avoided an estimated 232,000 tons of carbon emissions and saved about lb1.26 million ($1.95 million) in costs in one year, according to the first annual progress report on the I.C.T. strategy from the cabinet office. The Greening Government: ICT Strategy was initiated to urge the ministerial departments to reduce waste and integrate green principles and practices in the I.C.T. operations. I.C.T. is a major consumer of energy and resources, said chair Jennifer Rigby of the Green I.C.T. Delivery Unit or G.D.U. the implementing division for the strategy. "It also offers the opportunity to create greener business processes overall and to transform organizations. With costs continually rising and our dependence on ICT increasing, the need for us to adopt smarter, greener working practices, and to procure and operate shared services while eliminating I.C.T. duplication and waste, becomes ever more important." The update showed that out of the more than 20 departments, around 12 have made an assessment on how they are working on the green I.C.T. strategy. Among them are the three of the largest sectors such as the Department for Work and Pension, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and the Ministry of Defence, which is the biggest energy consumer of the governmental I.C.T. "Embedding and adopting green I.C.T. principles and practices are fundamental to achieving a low carbon, cost-effective I.C.T. estate," said Andy Nelson, government chief information officer.

The G.D.U. has plans to include energy performance of data centers in the strategy. There 10 departments that consumes an estimated 1.87 power usage effectiveness for their data centers, relatively higher than the government's target of 1.5. These 10 departmental centers accounts for about 101,000 tons of carbon emissions and lb17.5 million of energy costs. The first annual progress report on the green I.C.T. scheme will be the baseline of the G.D.U. in its execution for the coming years. The G.D.U. said it will continue to review and refresh the direction of the green I.C.T. scheme providing more transparency in carbon emissions and associated costs. "The journey towards our Green ICT vision has begun and we have made significant progress already. We will now build on this solid foundation and through strong governance deliver on our green I.C.T. commitments."


From http://www.ecoseed.org/ 07/11/2012

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A New Guide to Online Behavioral Advertising Unveiled in the UK

The Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) has taken an initiative to explain how online behavioral advertising works and the steps consumers can take to protect their privacy on the Internet. The plan is to inform consumers about ads displayed on websites based on their previous web browsing behavior - known as 'behavioural' or 'interest based advertising'. The move marks the re-launch of the UK version of the consumer website - Your Online Choices - following the roll-out of the website to 28 European countries and 22 different European languages. The re-launch of the website is a prelude to a cross-industry pan-European consumer advertising campaign later this year to help people understand online advertising. The European advertising industry has developed a set of good practice principles that businesses should follow. This good practice is based upon businesses being transparent about the information that is collected and used for this purpose and seeks to provide you with control. The revamped UK version of the website features new videos showing how behavioral advertising works as well as how online advertising is delivered to websites, and also features improved information about the types of companies involved as well as controls allowing users to turn off each individual business, or turn off all of them with one click. The initiative follows a recent study carried out by IAB UK and ValueClick which showed that the majority of UK consumers acknowledged the importance and role of relevant advertising in helping fund online content and services, but expressed a need to know more and have greater control over how information is collected and used in this process.


From http://www.dailydealmedia.com/ 07/28/2012

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LATIN AMERICA: Internet Regulation and the Need for "Human Rights Impact Assessments" (HRIA) - A Proposal for Debate

A recent study from the Initiative for Freedom of Expression Online - iLEI by its Spanish acronym - from the Center for the Study of Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (CELE) analyzed the growing interest on the part of governments in the region in monitoring the Internet. This interest often turns into regulatory proposals that, despite the good intentions on which they are based, result in negative consequences in those cases that are approved and implemented, specifically when it comes to fundamental rights like privacy and freedom of expression. To avoid this, we propose the need to carry out a human rights impact assessment (HRIA) as an initial step before introducing formal proposals for bills or administrative regulations. In large part, we approached the iLEI study after learning about several legislative proposals in Argentina that were designed to create mechanisms for online content monitoring or detection. In that study we concluded that content monitoring, particularly in the way that it was proposed in some of the legislative proposals, puts citizens´ fundamental rights at risk and threatens to dismantle the open and pluralist digital environment we know. In the study we included a general overview of Internet architecture and an analysis of the concept of network control, emphasizing intermediaries and the use of technologies such as deep packet inspection (DPI). We presented both topics (architecture and control), if even simply and briefly, because we observed in many of the legislative proposals we analyzed that the lawmakers or regulatory entities that were proposing the laws didn't seem to have good information about these technical questions.

To fill this gap, we recommended that bills that seek to establish mechanisms to monitor content on the Internet begin with a HRIA. We also recommended that the results of the impact assessment be included explicitly in the presentation of motives for the initiative. The idea to carry out these types of impact assessments is not new, and certainly not when it comes to dealing with issues that are technically complex. Since the beginning of the 1970s for those public policies that could have a negative impact on the environment, there has been regulatory legislation in the United States that requires the federal government to evaluate the environmental impact of its decisions and the decisions of the states and private contractors that are financed by the federal government or with which the federal government is involved. The European Union has made these environmental impact assessments obligatory since the mid 1980s for both public and private projects that could have a significant impact on the environment. Impact studies are already required in many places for projects that could affect privacy. These studies, known as "privacy impact assessments" (PIA) have been identified as obligatory in different government offices in the United Kingdom. In fact, the Information Commissioner´s office has prepared several guides on how assessments should be carried out. In conclusion, the need to have impact assessments before implementing public policies has been underway for many years. Because of this, our proposal is to learn from these cases and the benefits that have come from impact assessments to be able to demand them for those public policies related to Internet, particularly when it comes to proposals for mechanisms for monitoring online content. In this way, there would be a sort of "self control" of legislators and regulatory bodies: before any kind of proposal is made, it would be important to have a HRIA made by experts or specialized bodies.


From http://www.i-policy.org/ 07/30/2012

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NORTH AMERICA: Antigua - Government, Digicel Announce Major ICT Project

The government of Antigua and Barbuda has launched a multimillion-dollar Government-Assisted Technology Endeavour (GATE) project in partnership with regional telecoms operator Digicel Group, in a bid to drive the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the country. The Caribbean Journal writes that the project will focus on improving the nation's broadband internet connectivity, along with a focus on 'stimulating growth in innovation, entrepreneurship, job creation and sustainability'. As part of the plan, the government and Digicel hope to deploy fourth-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile technology, with Antiguan minister Dr Edmond Mansoor calling GATE a 'bold step forward' in preparing the country for the next two decades. The journal notes that the GATE project has four primary components: an ICT Cadet Programme, which has already launched (in June this year), aimed at targeting school leavers to prepare them for the work environment; plans to improve internet connectivity and technology in the classroom, including using 4G LTE broadband connectivity; a plan to LTE connectivity for Antigua's government; and the creation of a multi-purpose ICT training facility and special needs resource centre in the Michael's Mount area of Antigua. The ICT facility will be built by Digicel on state-owned lands, according to the government.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 07/16/2012

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U. S.: Digital Strategy Sets Stage for Mobile Explosion

The Office of Management and Budget finally released its long-awaited digital strategy on May 23, and the analysis began almost immediately. Although the plan was primarily about mobility and specifically about getting government information to the public via mobile devices, it included a lot more. Formally titled "Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People," the strategy focuses on three objectives: Enable citizens and the growing mobile workforce to access high-quality digital government information and services anywhere, anytime, on any device. Institute an information-centric model for interoperability and openness to deliver better digital government services at a lower cost. Update and implement policies to buy and manage devices, applications and data in smart, secure and affordable ways. Alex Howard, writing at O'Reilly Radar, traced the strategy's development from former Federal CIO Vivek Kundra and former chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra to their successors - Steven VanRoekel and Todd Park, respectively. Although the plan is ambitious, its potential for being funded is uncertain, Howard wrote. "Big visions matter, in terms of inspiring the country to action or a historic course, from building transcontinental railroads to sending men to the moon to starting up a new government agency," Howard wrote. "Implementing against that vision, however, in a time of great budget pressure, increased demands for government services online and falling trust in institutions is just as important."

The Telework Exchange, in an unbylined news update posted to its site, called attention to the fact that the plan highlights the importance of agencies being open and interoperable by asking them to develop IT infrastructures and adopt technologies that will empower the practice of access anywhere, anytime, on any device. "Telework has a natural connection to achieving these goals and can easily be leveraged to support the provisions in the strategy that ask agencies to expand their mobile capabilities and establish secure mobile device management practices," the Telework Exchange article states. At NextGov, Aliya Sternstein noted the plan's emphasis on security, saying it "attaches the word 'secure' to almost every activity description. A graphic visualizing the flow of digital services under the plan titles its foundational layer, 'Security and Privacy.'" At the same time, the strategy acknowledges that the goal of openness might compete with the need for security. "To address the conflict between transparency and security, the blueprint calls for partitioning sensitive information prior to transmission by, among other things, requiring strong identity verification," Sternstein wrote. The plan gives the departments of Defense and Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology responsibility for developing standards for expanding the secure use of mobile and wireless devices. Those agencies have a year to develop a set of requirements. Although the plan clocks in at a streamlined 36 pages, it gives agencies a lot to do on several fronts in the coming months, and they will likely take a variety of routes to get there.

Milestones along the way
The strategy's list of milestones includes directives for the General Services Administration to establish a Digital Services Innovation Center and for OMB to convene a Digital Services Advisory Group within a month of the strategy's release. Those organizations will then take on roles of their own in moving the plan forward. Here are some selected milestones from the strategy, along with the responsible entity and time frame. All agencies: Ensure that new IT systems follow the strategy's open-data, content and Web application programming interface policy; 12 months. All agencies: Engage with customers to identify at least two existing major customer-facing services that contain high-value data or content as first-move candidates to make compliant with new open-data, content and Web API policy; three months. GSA: Expand Data.gov to include a catalog that centrally aggregates Web APIs posted on agency/developer pages; 12 months. Digital Services Advisory Group/CIO Council: Release governmentwide bring-your-own-device guidelines based on lessons learned from successful pilot programs at federal agencies; three months. Digital Services Innovation Center/CIO Council: Launch a shared mobile application development program; 12 months.


From http://fcw.com/ 06/01/2012

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White House Issues Guidance on Modular IT Development

The White House issued new guidance Thursday that focuses on replacing the multiyear "grand design" approach that agencies typically use to implement large information technology projects with a more incremental model. The Contracting Guidance to Support Modular Development springs from the 18-month-old 25-Pont Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT Management. Points 14 and 15 of the plan aim to "identify IT acquisition best practices" and "issue contracting guidance and templates to support modular development." The grand design approach to IT contracts "is grounded in the common notion that responsible development necessitates a full detailing of requirements before work can start," the guidance said. "Although a seemingly reasonable assumption, practical evidence and private sector experience has shown that large and complex IT implementations often encounter cost and schedule overruns, as the painstaking process of requirements gathering too frequently takes years to complete." During that substantial lag time, project developers can lose sight of what their agency customers actually want and technology itself might progress so rapidly that the product itself is outdated, the guidance said. The Agriculture Department took a modular approach when it contracted for new software to monitor grantee performance, according to a blog post introducing the new 25-page guidance from federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel and Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Joe Jordan. The department "broke its software investment into individual projects, the first of which was to develop a management evaluation tool for the Women, Infants and Children Program," the officials wrote. "It then divided this project into activities, beginning with the design of the tool. USDA structured its contract so that customers could give feedback as the contractor developed iterations of the software. These cycles of information gathering and customer feedback, combined with a manageable project size, helped USDA to successfully deploy its management tool within a year after the contract was awarded - cutting delivery time for end users in half and avoiding the inefficiency of costly rework." The officials added, "Equally important, USDA put itself in a position where it can quickly expand the capability of the tool in a matter of months to meet the requirements of other programs, and has already done just this for the Summer Food Service Program and financial management reviews."


From http://www.nextgov.com/ 06/15/2012

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Five Ways New York City Is Changing Its Broadband Policy

In a broad announcement today first unveiled by New York City Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel, city officials rolled out a series of initiatives designed to widen the availability of broadband Internet access in the city. The policy of local, state and federal politicians towards developing and managing Internet infrastructure is sure to become more and more important as what we have ages and ever more commerce moves online. A recent report by my old colleagues at the Center for an Urban Future pegged New York City as a leader in technology-industry growth but cited problems with broadband adoption as a key stumbling block. As metropolitan areas across the country look for solutions to generate economic growth in the face of a still-dismal business climate, the ability of Internet-powered businesses to accumulate capital and create job markets is surely attractive. But many people in the country - us included - have pointed out a mix of political, regulatory and economic problems that leave it uncertain if American cities like New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston can retain their lead when it comes to innovative industries.

The situation is particularly ironic for New York given that a primary hub for transcontinental Internet traffic lies in the city's TriBeCa neighborhood in lower Manhattan. Coming just weeks after that report, these initiatives appear to be targeted pretty squarely at creating a climate in New York where businesses can get quick and easy access to broadband Internet - perhaps even if they're in a place where individual buildings aren't yet connected to high-speed lines. The city has included an effort to bridge the "digital divide" in this release - a "competition to develop mobile applications that will help City residents access workforce development opportunities, jobs listings and worker support programs such as childcare, healthcare and transportation." In short, a way around the access to high-speed Internet, through a laptop, that low-income New Yorkers may not have. Another initiative, which calls forth shades of the Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Map, calls for the creation of an online map to document the state of Internet access in the city. The map will pull from a mix of public sources, data the city has or plans to get, and crowdsourced information about service quality. But the main event in the release today is a plan to work with Time Warner Cable to fast-track bringing fiber-optic connections to small and medium-sized businesses that can demonstrate a need.

The initiatives that resulted from these conversations will be implemented over the course of the next several months, and include:
•ConnectNYC: a competition to build out fiber connectivity for commercial and industrial buildings across the five boroughs. While the wiring of certain previously-underserved areas, like the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is now underway, through ConnectNYC, the City will assist small and medium-sized businesses, including industrial businesses, in unwired or underwired buildings to apply for free fast-track wiring. Companies would apply through a competitive process that will make awards based on a demonstration of how additional connectivity would help them grow their business. The City is currently in advanced discussions with Time Warner Cable about partnering on this exciting program, which could help achieve the goal of wiring several hundred additional buildings in the City for high-speed internet. Time Warner has already made a substantial investment through its Business Class division in deploying fiber optics to many commercial districts in New York City. An announcement of a final agreement is anticipated the coming weeks that would ultimately lead to this shared goal.

•WiredNYC: a building certification program that will evaluate the broadband infrastructure of New York City buildings in order to encourage and accelerate deployment of leading broadband technologies. This program will create transparency about broadband infrastructure in the commercial real estate market, giving businesses information about a building's connectivity when choosing where to locate, and allowing landlords to market their buildings' assets and compete for tenants. This program, and the associated grading standards, will be structured in partnership with both the real estate industry - represented by Rudin Management, Jared Kushner, and others - as well as the tech sector. WiredNYC will have a goal of cataloguing and ranking more than 300 commercial office buildings totaling more than 16 million square feet in the next two years.

•NYC Broadband Connect Map: building upon the success of the Made in New York Digital Jobs Map recently released by Mayor Bloomberg and Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne, the NYC Broadband Connect map will fill knowledge gaps in the market. The Broadband Connect map will be a crowd-sourced, dynamic website in which businesses can learn about connectivity availability and capabilities in a given building or neighborhood. The map will incorporate multiple sources of data, such as the WiredNYC grades and information from several NYC fiber providers who are partnering with the City, including Optical Communications Group (OCG), Reliance Globalcom, Zayo and RCN. Finally, the most important source of information will be from businesses around the City that will share details on their current service, as well as the type of service they would ideally like to have in their buildings - allowing the City's broadband companies to understand where the demand for service exists. This new resource for businesses will be launched by the end of 2012 by NYCEDC.

•Broadband Express: the City, under the leadership of Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway and Citywide Chief Information and Innovation Officer Rahul Merchant, will, working in partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation, begin a process of simplifying operational issues as well as regulatory hurdles for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The City will immediately identify a City point-person for ISP street operations permitting as well as other related issues. This position will help ensure that businesses get the service they need when they need it, and the City will soon begin to commit to processing all standard broadband-related street operations permits within two business days, on average, and gather data in order to be held accountable. This program could ultimately facilitate nearly 25,000 broadband-related permits in the next two years alone. In addition to immediately focusing on permitting, the City will also begin to explore the streamlining of additional broadband connectivity regulatory issues for ISPs in the future.

•CitizenConnect: Building on the work that the City is already doing to target the "Digital Divide", including the expansion of more than 100 free public computing centers across the five boroughs and the securing of tens of millions in federal Recovery Act monies to increase broadband access for public school students and families, NYCEDC and DoITT, in partnership with Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), Human Resources Administration (HRA), and the Department of Small Business Services (SBS), will create a competition to develop mobile applications that will help City residents access workforce development opportunities, jobs listings and worker support programs such as childcare, healthcare and transportation. These services typically require a computer or laptop, which many low-income City residents do not have access to in their homes. While residents seeking jobs can currently use computers at public computing centers across the five boroughs, including any one of the City's 15 Workforce1 Centers, providing these unconnected communities with access to services via available mobile platforms - which have much higher penetration throughout the City than other forms of technology - will better connect the City and community based organizations and the services they provide to their clients. Working closely with the tech sector, this competition will bring together service delivery organizations as well as developers to brainstorm challenges and develop prototype solutions that will assist residents and increased economic opportunities.


From http://techpresident.com/ 06/21/2012

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Cybersecurity Amendments Would Modernize 25-Year-Old Privacy Law

Two amendments to the Senate cybersecurity bill now being debated would require government agents to get a warrant before reading a person's email or secretly tracking someone through their mobile phone. The amendments, if adopted, would be a huge privacy gain and address a long-standing civil liberties goal of modernizing the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the 25-year old law setting rules for when government agents can access our electronic communications and other private data. The amendments, one from Senator Leahy and another from Senator Wyden, would implement reforms sought by a diverse coalition from across the political spectrum. Supporters include AT&T, Google, the ACLU, Americans for Tax Reform, EFF, and IBM, among others. Including these reforms in the Cybersecurity Act is appropriate: the information sharing, monitoring and countermeasures provisions of the bill all effectively amend ECPA and the Wiretap Act, permitting companies to share user information notwithstanding privacy protections in those laws. Congress should strengthen the underlying laws to counterbalance these changes.

ECPA Reform Is Long Overdue
The amendments respond to the dramatic technological changes in the 25 years since ECPA became law. Digital communications services are now ubiquitous in modern life. The government has a huge appetite for the data generated when we use the Internet and our mobile phones. Last year, government agencies made over 1.3 million demands for text messages, location data and other information about mobile subscribers alone. ECPA was forward-looking when adopted. Court decisions of this outdated law now create a crazy patchwork of rules for government collection of communications and location data. This lack of clarity serves no one. It confuses users and law enforcement, as well as the companies in the middle that have to respond to government demands while protecting users. One federal appeals court has held part of the statute unconstitutional.

Leahy Amendment
The Leahy amendment requires government agents to get a search warrant, based on probable cause, before they are allowed access to the content of users' private communications or documents stored "in the cloud," except in some circumstances. Americans today routinely use some sort of electronic communication for confidential correspondence ranging from business deals to personal letters. Most people save their emails indefinitely, with much of the data stored on the computers of communications service providers. Tens if not hundreds of millions of people store calendars, draft documents, private photos and videos online. Senator Leahy's amendment would eliminate the outdated rule in ECPA that permits the government read someone's stored documents and email without a warrant. The Leahy amendment also would cure a constitutional defect in ECPA. In December 2010, the Sixth Circuit ruled in U.S. v. Warshak that the provision of ECPA allowing the government to access email over 180 days old with a subpoena is unconstitutional. In response, many providers - including providers in other court circuits - now require a warrant before granting law enforcement access to communications content. By requiring warrants for content, Senator Leahy's amendment would make the law clearly constitutional and put companies and prosecutors back on firm legal footing. The amendment also modifies the Video Privacy Protection Act to make it easier for online video services to get consent from consumers to share data about movie rentals. A similar tweak was adopted last year in the House of Representatives. A diverse coalition of groups and companies supports the Leahy amendment.

Wyden Amendment
The cell phones that we carry with us all the time are tracking devices. Even when no call is being made, mobile devices placed in pockets, purses and on night stands constantly signal their location to service providers. The government is increasingly collecting location data from service providers in order to track citizens. GPS is only a part of this invasive surveillance: data indicating which cell towers a device is near at any given time can be readily available to the government. Senator Wyden's amendment would require a warrant if the government wants to track someone using that person's mobile phone, except in emergencies or when a person calls 911. The amendment mirrors the GPS Act introduced in both the House and the Senate by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, introduced last year. Under Wyden's amendment, the government would need a court-approved warrant, based on probable cause, to obtain information about a person's location that is generated by use of a mobile device such as a cell phone. Similar to Senator Leahy's amendment, Wyden's location amendment would replace complex and constitutionally-suspect rules with a clear warrant requirement. Senator Wyden's location tracking amendment would also implement a reform supported by companies, trade associations, and groups from across the political spectrum.


From https://www.cdt.org/ 08/01/2012

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Current Laws Miss Key Points in Protecting Data

Current federal privacy laws fail to protect sensitive information and need amendments to keep pace with the evolving technology landscape, according to the Government Accountability Office. The public sector consistently uses IT to collect, store and transmit personal information on individuals. But recently lawmakers and privacy advocates have raised the alarm that existing legislation for protecting that data may no longer be enough. What adds to the problem is agencies' reliance on IT, which can put sensitive personal information at risk for leaks or misuse. "While bringing significant benefits, this dependence on IT can also create vulnerabilities that can result in, among other things, the compromise of sensitive personal information through inappropriate use, modification or disclosure," Gregory Wilshusen, GAO's director of information security issues, testified before two Senate committees July 31. Currently, the Privacy Act of 1974 and parts of the E-Government Act of 2002 govern federal collection or use of personally identifiable information. However, these laws only provide minimum requirements for agencies and don't always protect PII and how it's used and collected, Wilshusen said in his testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Technological advances also add to the need for revamped legislation. While the Privacy Act applies to personal information residing on government systems, agencies' use of commercial Web 2.0 tools prompt the question whether the law protects data gathered and stored by third parties.

GAO has made suggestions to Congress to consider revising both acts that deal with how government agencies handle personal information. Wilshusen said updated legislation need to include all PII collected, used and maintained by the federal government. Amendments should also address setting requirements to ensure the collection and use of PII is limited to a stated purpose. Additionally, modified legislation should include additional mechanisms for notifying citizens about privacy protections by revising requirements for how public notices are made available. Currently, agencies have to post a notice in the Federal Register about data collection but some have questioned whether this is the most appropriate medium to notify citizens. Another key element of protecting personal information is preventing data breaches, Wilshusen noted. Over the past six years, cases involving leaked or compromised sensitive data reported by federal agencies to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team increased nearly 680 percent. "Incidents such as these illustrate that sensitive personally identifiable information remains at risk and that improved protections are needed to ensure the privacy of information collected by the government," Wilshusen said. In a 2006 report, GAO noted data breaches could be reduced by limiting how much data is collected and the number of individuals who have access to it. Technological measures such as encryption also helped in preventing incidents, as did adoption of a holistic security program.

However, while agencies can continue taking steps to prevent data breaches, incidents will continue to occur "and when they do it is critical that proper response policies and procedures be in place," Wilshusen said. Daniel Castro, senior analyst at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, told FCW he agreed the systems of record definition in the Privacy Act should be revised to cover PII and that privacy notices could be better structured and published more clearly on a website rather than in the Federal Register. "I have some concerns with the recommendation to set more limits on the use of data," he said. "These types of restrictions may impede beneficial uses of information. Instead, more transparency and accountability would protect individual privacy while promoting innovation." Castro also noted the GAO testimony didn't include the Electronic Communications Privacy Act , which governs how law enforcement can access private communications. "This is another area that should be updated," he added.


From http://fcw.com/ 08/02/2012

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House Unanimously Approves U.N. Internet Resolution

The House voted unanimously on Thursday to approve a resolution aimed at preventing any efforts to hand the United Nations more power to oversee the Internet. The resolution had previously cleared the House Energy and Commerce Committee with a unanimous vote. Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., championed the resolution, which was sparked by concerns that some countries may try to use international telecommunications negotiations in December to increase the role that the U.N. plays in global Internet governance. "In many ways, this is a first-of-its-kind referendum on the future of the Internet," Bono Mack said in a statement. "Today's unanimous vote sends a clear and unmistakable message: the American people want to keep the Internet free from government control and prevent Russia, China and other nations from succeeding in giving the U.N. unprecedented power over Web content and infrastructure." The U.N. agency involved with telecommunications denies there are any efforts to increase Internet regulation, but U.S. officials aren't taking any chances. Besides the congressional efforts, the Obama administration has said it is working to prevent any increased U.N. Internet regulation.


From http://www.nextgov.com/ 08/03/2012

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CHINA: To Support Geoinformation Industry

China is expected to introduce policies in August that will give preferential treatment to the geoinformation industry, which is predicted to produce 1 trillion yuan ($157 billion) worth of goods and services by 2020, said an industry source. The policies, which are likely to be issued by the State Council this month, will call for the use of tax cuts and other measures to support the industry, according to Cao Hongjie, vice-president of Beijing UniStrong Science & Technology Co Ltd, a Chinese maker of navigation products. The polices are aimed at making the geoinformation industry - which offers a range of products and services related to surveying, mapping and navigation - one of China's strategic emerging industries, Wang Chunfeng, deputy director-general of the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation, said last month. "Apart from the preferential policies, the government will also be increasingly open with its geographical data, which is important to the development of the industry," Cao said, citing talks he has had with administration officials. China, the second-largest economy in the world, has been working harder to transform its mode of economic growth. To that end, it is paying particular attention to seven industries that rely more on the use of knowledge and technology than on labor and resources - energy-saving and environmental protection, information technology, biology, advanced-equipment manufacturing, new energy, new materials and new-energy vehicles.

The country's geoinformation industry reported that it produced 150 billion yuan worth of goods and services last year, an amount up 50 percent year-on-year, according to the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation. Even so, it didn't come into existence in China until the 1990s and is still much smaller than many other industries in the country. The software industry, which is also receiving government support, had 1.8 trillion yuan in output in 2011.Chinese companies in the geoinformation industry are small and find it difficult to compete in global markets, wrote Xu Yongqing, deputy director of Development and Research Center of the administration, in an earlier report. They also do not offer a variety of products and are relatively ineffective marketers, Xu said. Even so, companies in the industry now have a variety of opportunities they can take advantage of, such as China's adoption of the navigation satellite system Beidou. "The navigation market stemming from the Beidou system will grow quickly and is expected to offer 100 billion yuan worth of opportunities," said Han Xingnan, an analyst with Guolian Securities, in a research note.The industries that are expected to undergo the quickest expansions are the national defense, transport, surveying, telecommunications and electrical power industries, he added. China plans to have more than 30 satellites that use the Beidou system by 2020, up from the current 13, enabling it to provide more accurate data and services.


From http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/ 08/01/2012

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JAPAN: FY2012 Project to Dispatch "Regional Computerization Advisors"

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) dispatches capable "Regional Computerization Advisors" with knowledge and expertise in this field to regions that are ambitiously working to achieve regional vitalization through ICT. In this fiscal year, 72 personnel and 1 organization actively working with citizens and advanced cities, towns and villages have been appointed as FY2012 "Regional Computerization Advisors." The MIC has started to accept applications for dispatch from June 18 (Mon), and it is officially announced herein.

1.About "Regional Computerization Advisors"
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) appoints experts who have knowledge and expertise in regional computerization through university-based research activities and regional business/NPO activities, specific work at local public bodies, and so on.

2.Requests for dispatch of "Regional Computerization Advisors"
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) is dispatching Regional Computerization Advisors based on requests from local public bodies as part of a survey of the state of human support for regional computerization.
Regional Computerization Advisors with knowledge and expertise in this field will give advice based on actual regional circumstances in the form of seminars and individual suggestions from a technical point of view, etc.

For in-depth dispatch requirements and procedure, etc., please contact The Association for Promotion of Public Local Information and Communication (APPLIC), which is the organization implementing this project.


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 06/18/2012

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Results of ICT Policy Dialogue with Singapore

On June 20, 2012, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) and the Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore held the first high-level policy dialogue (in Singapore) to exchange opinions on a wide range of policy issues from a perspective of reinforcing cooperative relations between Japan and Singapore in the field of ICT. In addition, on the same day, the both government agencies signed a memorandum stating the reinforcement of comprehensive cooperative relations before the policy dialogue.

1. Date of policy dialogue: June 20 (Wed), 2012

2. Place of policy dialogue: Singapore (Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore)

3. Major attendees
(1) Japan (MIC): Mr. Tetsuo Yamakawa, Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination (International Affairs), Mr. Hironobu Yumoto, Director of the International Cooperation Division, Global ICT Strategy Bureau, et al.
(2) Singapore (Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore): Mr. Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive, et al.

4. Major results
- The two countries exchanged opinions on advanced use and utilization of ICT in the fields of medical care and education, switching over to IPv6, cooperation for realization of the ASEAN Smart Network Initiative, efforts at APEC and policy issues related to the Internet.
- As a result, the two countries agreed to continue to exchange information and opinions on efforts to be made in the future and to work together to address common policy issues faced by the two countries including at places of international discussion.
- The two countries have decided to hold the next policy dialogue in Japan and to separately arrange details such as its schedule and minute.

5. Outline of memorandum
- The policy dialogue will be held on a regular basis.
- The relationship of the private sector of the two countries will be developed and reinforced in the field of ICT.
- Cooperation by the participation of speakers in major workshops, etc. held in the both countries

6. Others
- The network session was held with the participation of ICT companies of Japan and Singapore to promote exchanges along with this policy dialogue in view of partnership of those companies.


From http://www.soumu.go.jpl 06/21/2012

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International Standardization of "Specification of DC Power Feeding System Interface"

On May 29, 2012, the "specification of DC power feeding system interface (L.1200)" which has been deliberated on at the ITU-T (Telecommunication Standardization Sector, International Telecommunication Union) and led discussions based on a proposal made by Japan has become an ITU-T recommendation.

1.Background, etc.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has actively promoted "Green of ICT" and "Green by ICT" with a view to solving environmental problems by the use and utilization of ICT. The "specification of DC power feeding system interface" which includes the results of the demonstration experiments conducted by the MIC as an effort for Green of ICT was approved as ITU-T Recommendation L.1200 on May 29, 2012, and it was officially announced on June 22, 2012.

2.Outline of recommendation
This recommendation prescribes interfaces such as voltage required when the traditional AC feeding system is switched over to the high-voltage DC feeding system and a grounding method for safely operation of this system, as this high-voltage DC feeding system is effective as a means for reducing the power consumption of buildings and data centers of telecommunications carriers.In general, electricity is supplied on AC from electric power companies. However, as the inside of batteries and ICT equipment operates on DC, it is necessary to convert from AC to DC and from DC to AC. The power consumption can be reduced by cutting loss of conversion.The MIC conducted the demonstration experiments focusing on measures for energy saving and resource saving by high-voltage DC feeding and verified its effectiveness with a view to reducing the power consumption in buildings and data centers of telecommunications carriers. A proposal including their results made by Japan is reflected in the recommendation.

3.Future plans
In addition to this recommendation, the ITU-T SG5 WP3 (ICTs and Climate Change) examines the reduction of environmental load by the use and utilization of ICT. Japan will actively contribute to international standardization in this field.


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 06/25/2012

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Approval of Establishment Plans for Specified Base Stations for Propagation of 3.9G Mobile Communications System

In response to the inquiry to the Radio Regulatory Council (Chairman: Tadaaki Maeda, Advisor to Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.) concerning an approval of the establishment plans for specified base stations for propagation of 3.9G mobile communications systems, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) received a report on June 27, 2012 which states that the original plan was appropriate.

1.Outline
The MIC began to receiving applications for approval of establishment plans for specified base stations for propagation of 3.9G mobile communications systems from April 17 to May 25, 2012, and applications were submitted.The MIC has examined these applications based on Article 27-13, Paragraph 4 of the Radio Act (Act No. 131 of 1950) and the examination standards prescribed in the guiding principle for establishment. As the result of making an inquiry on an approval of the three applications for establishment plans to the Radio Regulatory Council, the MIC received a report stating the original plan was appropriate.

2.Future plans
The MIC approves the three establishment plans applied as follows by assigning their frequencies based on the report submitted by the Radio Regulatory Council.
- eAccess Ltd.: 793MHz ¡« 803MHz
- NTT DOCOMO, INC.: 783MHz ¡« 793MHz
- KDDI CORPORATION / Okinawa Cellular Telephone Company: 773MHz ¡« 783MHz


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 06/27/2012

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Measures to Be Taken for Safe Use of Smart Phones

Official announcement of final report from the "Study Group on Information Security Issues of Smartphone and Cloud Computing" The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) officially announces a final report from the "Study Group on Information Security Issues of Smartphone and Cloud Computing" (Chairman: YAMAGUCHI Suguru, Professor at Nara Institute of Science and Technology).

1.Background
The MIC has held the "Study Group on Information Security Issues of Smartphone and Cloud Computing" for the purpose of extracting issues concerning information security in the use of smartphones and cloud services using smartphones, and it deliberates on measures to be taken for constructing an environment for the safe and secure use of smartphones. The MIC has compiled a final report based on the discussion in the past at the Research Society and the results of the appeal for opinions, and it is officially announced herein.
Related reports and documents
- "Smart Phone and Cloud Security Research Society" to be Initiated (October 11, 2011)
- Publication of Interim Report from "Smart Phone and Cloud Security Research Society" (December 19, 2011)
- Appeal for Opinions on Draft Final Report from "Smart Phone and Cloud Security Research Society" (April 27, 2012)
- Conference materials


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 06/29/2012

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SOUTH KOREA: Seoul Launches Location-based Complaint App

The app, which is aptly called the "Seoul Smart Complaint Centre" app, was developed by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and has been designed to map the reported location and allow photos of the location to be attached and submitted via smart phone. According to an official statement, complaints registered through the "Seoul Smart Complaint Centre" app are immediately transferred to the '120 Dasan Call Center' and are then directed to the appropriate city service. Furthermore, citizens would be able to now the progress of their complaints through their smart phones in real time, and an SMS is promptly sent to the user to inform them in detail of every step of the complaint resolution procedure. The citizen generated data collected through the "Seoul Smart Complaint Centre" app will serve as a valuable reference to be used in future municipal decisions. Frequent complaints in different regions will be collated and used to inform local government operations. The Seoul Metropolitan Government is planning to link the newly-introduced application to the 'citizen complaint reporting' web page on its "Seoul GIS Portal ", which has been active since 20 March 2012.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/07/2012

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MYANMAR: Reforming Telco Policy

Following the country's open policy, Myanmar has started to reform its telecommunication policy to liberalise the communication networks in the move to provide citizen a mobile and internet access and motivate international investment. "We have started working on a reform plan to provide telecommunication services to the people at an international standard and at a lower price," Thein Tun, Myanmar's Post and Telecommunication Minister spoke at the Parliament last week. The government called for consultants to help organise the country's planned telecoms bidding process that would open its nascent market with huge growth potential to foreign investors. Myanmar has installed its W-CDMA network since 2008, but only small numbers of users from the army has maximised this facility. For citizen in Myanmar - one of the poorest countries in the world, the mobile devices are very expensive, the allocation of mobile numbers were strictly controlled and internet access is mainly preserved only for urban elite.

This reform came as a major opportunity for international firms to provide telecommunication and mobile phones to those without them - an estimated of 96 per cent of the country's near 60 million population declared to have no mobile phone. The government plans to increase mobile penetration by 50 percent by 2015. Tun said that state-owned telephone operator Myanma Posts and Telecommunications, and Internet provider Yatanarpon Teleport planned to partner with both local and foreign investors that have experience in international telecommunication services, in preparation for a tender process. "After the talk between consultancy groups and officials, we will continue our reform process of telecommunication service by calling an international tender," he inserted and added that the ministry was also planning to issue a new communications law.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/18/2012

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MALAYSIA: Targeting US$9.9 Bil in ICT Investment by 2020

Under the "Digital Malaysia" initiative, the government hopes to generate RM31.2 billion (US$9.9 billion) in investment through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) schemes and create 160,000 ICT jobs by 2020. The CEO of Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), Badlisham Ghazali, added that the home-grown ICT industry is expected to contribute 17 per cent - amounting to US$93.2 billion - to the nation's income by the same year. The MDeC is the agency that oversees and directs ICT initiatives in Malaysia under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). Ghazali said that eight major projects are currently being rolled out in a bid to make Malaysia a regional hub for ICT development, with more on the way. These projects are:

1. the Asian e-fulfilment hub, expected to create 1,622 jobs and eventually contribute US$90 million to the economy;
2. e-payment services for SMEs and microenterprises, expected to create 2,000 jobs and contribute US$1.6 billion to the economy;
3. shared cloud enterprise services;
4. microsourcing for income generation;
5. needs-based deployment of societal programmes to community;
6. on-demand customised online education;
7. growing the embedded systems industry; and
8. a mobile digital wallet.

"Today, Malaysia enjoys a strong ICT foundation but a holistic digital initiative is still needed to ensure the nation is able to advance further," said Ghazali at a media conference, where these figures were announced.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/12/2012

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PHILIPPINES: President Signs Data Privacy Act

MANILA, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) - Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed the "Data Privacy Act of 2012" which aims to protect individual personal information gathered by the government and the private sector. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said Thursday that Aquino inked Republic Act No. 10173, otherwise known as the Data Privacy Act on Aug. 15 this year. The new law provides for the creation of the National Privacy Commission, which will monitor and ensure compliance of the country with international standards set for data protection. Among the functions of the commission include receiving of complaints, instituting investigations, facilitating or enabling settlement of complaints through the use of alternative dispute resolution processes, adjudicate, award indemnity on matters affecting any personal information, preparing reports on disposition of complaints and resolution of any investigation it initiates, and, in cases it deems appropriate, publicize any such report. The national government will provide the commission with an initial appropriation of 20 million pesos (462,962 U.S. dollars).


From http://news.xinhuanet.com/ 08/23/2012

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SINGAPORE: Law Ministry Forms Two Sub-Committees to Recommend IP Strategies

SINGAPORE: The Law Ministry has set up two sub-committees to recommend strategies to develop Singapore as an intellectual property (IP) hub. The two sub-committees will support the steering committee which was formed earlier. The IP steering committee, chaired by Mr Teo Ming Kian, Chairman of MediaCorp, will formulate the IP Hub Master Plan to guide Singapore's development as an IP hub. The two sub-committees will focus on developing a vibrant marketplace for IP transaction and commercialisation, and building world-class IP capabilities and infrastructure. The first sub-committee, co-chaired by Mr Magnus Bocker, Singapore Exchange CEO and Mr Viktor Cheng, Deputy Chief Executive (Infrastructure and Capability Development Group / Corporate Services Group), Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. Its term of reference include coming up with strategies to build a vibrant marketplace in Asia for the transaction and commercialisation of IP and facilitate and encourage greater IP exploitation by companies.

The second sub-committee is co-chaired by Dr Stanley Lai, head of Intellectual Property Practice at law firm Allen & Gledhill and Ms Danielle Yeow, Deputy Chief Executive (Registries Group / Legal Policy & International Affairs Department), Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. It aims to recommend ways to expand and deepen the expertise of Singapore's IP professionals and practitioners in strategic areas of the IP services sector. It will also explore how to enhance Singapore's IP infrastructure, including dispute resolution capabilities, to facilitate the protection and registration of IP in global markets, as well as promote excellence in IP research and thought leadership. The steering committee is calling for feedback and suggestions from IP owners, practitioners and the industry. You can send your feedback to the Law Ministry by 31 August via email MLAW_Consultation@mlaw.gov.sg or by post/fax to:
Intellectual Property Policy Division
Ministry of Law
100 High Street
#08-02, The Treasury
Singapore 179434
Fax: 6332 8842

The steering committee aims to finalise and submit its recommendations to the government by early 2013.


From http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ 06/04/2012

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Singapore Appoints Govt Communications Chief

Singapore's Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts (MICA) has appointed Janadas Devan as the Chief of Government Communications, reporting directly to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry. Devan will start serving as the highest officer in charge of public sector information services on 1 July 2012.In this role, he will coordinate communications work throughout the government, lead a team of around 180 officers in different government agencies and statutory boards, and improve the public sector communications network. A major role of the portfolio is to communicate with the public about government policies and plans, therefore helping achieve good governance. After the General Elections in May last year, during which the ruling People's Action Party recorded the lowest percentage of votes in history, the government has come out with multiple measures to revamp the way it communicates with the public. Before the appointment, the 58 year old was the associate editor of the Straits Times, a daily newspaper where he spent 15 years. Last year, Devan was appointed as the Director of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), a post that he will continue to hold concurrently with the Communications portfolio. IPS is an academic think tank affiliated to National University of Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/28/2012

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Singapore Plans ICT Roadmap, Identifies 9 Key 'Themes'

Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), in consultation with industry technologists, business leaders and other stakeholders, has identified nine key themes that will shape ICT development in the coming three to five years. The 2012 Roadmap - now in its sixth edition - identifies Cloud Computing, Big Data, User Interface, Communications of the Future, Cyber Security, Social Media, ICT and Sustainability, The 'Internet of Things', and the New Digital Economy as the nine points of focus that will drive ICT development in the immediate future. At the Infocomm Technology Roadmap 2012 Symposium, IDA CEO Ronnie Tay explained that "these roadmaps aim to help the industry and vertical sectors stay abreast of global ICT trends and developments." "This infocomm technology roadmap therefore seeks to identify infocomm technology trends that have the potential to impact and even disrupt our lives, and the opportunities that the public and private sectors can leverage," he added, addressing delegates from government and industry.

Meanwhile, IDA CTO Leong Mun Yuen urged the attendees to participate in "co-creation" by providing input on the technologies identified, as the IDA sought to "tap on the invaluable industry insights, experiences and feedback from the community to improve the roadmap and develop a shared technology vision." This public feedback to refine the Roadmap further is being sought on the official website until September 2012, after which the revised roadmap will be compiled and made available online. The Symposium divided the nine themes into three tracks that had threads in common, and potential technologies for development in each of the nine sectors were charted according to their immediate (less than three years), mid-term (three to five years) and long-term (over five years) relevance. For example, Quantum Computing was identified as one of the long-term innovation prospects in the Big Data theme, while predictive and in-memory analytics were highlighted as immediate prospects. Christopher Sia, Assistant Manager, Technology & Planning Group, IDA, identified retail, transport and health IT as the three sectors in which management of big data would prove crucial.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/23/2012

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Smart Thailand: An All-Encompassing ICT Masterplan

FutureGov Forum Thailand kicked off this morning (on the 20th of June) with 150 civil servants participating in the event at Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. Dr Sak Segkhoonthod, President and CEO of Electronic Government Agency, delivered the opening keynote and revealed Thailand's ICT master plan "Smart Thailand" and how ICT can answer the public sector's need to deliver sustainable growth. "Smart Thailand regards ICT as an important driver towards a stronger economy, social equality, and environmental friendliness," said Dr Segkhoonthod. He added that government agencies these days need to innovate their services with a focus on citizen-centric development, increased transparency, and sustainable improvement in ICT.

According to him, to create a sustainable IT ecosystem, the organisations need to start with the basics of IT architecture, and establish common standards. "We need to look at electronic government as one operation because we cannot break down the IT system into separate pieces or sections," he said. Talking about how Thai citizens will benefit from the Smart Thailand project, he said that they will be knowledgeable, have sustainable growth of economy and greater social equality. "Our tablet project is a good example of how one can bring about great ICT development," he said, referring to the country's One Tablet Per Child (OTPC) project, in which the Thai government is importing and giving away up to one million tablets to first grade students countrywide. "The government's tablets will bring a network connection to 30,000 schools countrywide, and more software will be developed to serve the demand of e-content," he revealed.

According to him, the OTPC will bridge the digital divide and improve equality in access to technology for people nationwide. "This is the starting point in creating opportunity for remote schools and students - think about people who have never put their hands on a tablet," he said. Apart from that, Smart Thailand will provide internet connection to 76 provinces countrywide, all 10,000 local communities, 15,000 hospitals, and 70 per cent of poor farmers. Further, the roll-out of 3G this October will be a key driver to improve the government's ICT infrastructure. The action plan can be broken down into three, five and ten years phases, he added. "The government's three main strategies are to establish common infrastructure, capability, and standards of practice," he declared.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/20/2012

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ICT Ministry Expands Free Wi-Fi Project

The Information and Communications Technology Ministry will expand its free Wi-Fi project to 200,000 access points nationwide by the end of this year, up from around 76,000 points. The ministry has joined with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and six telecom operators to implement the service expansion. It kicked off the project last year as part of the government's policy to promote equal Internet broadband access among Thais. ICT minister Anudith Nakornthap said the ministry and the NBTC would work more closely in supporting the government's ICT policies. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the ICT is the key to enhancing the country's competitiveness and could be adapted to provide various public services. She made the remark while presiding over the opening ceremony of the four-day Bangkok International ICT Expo 2012 fair yesterday at Impact Muang Thong Thani. The premier also asked NBTC commissioners during her visit to its booth at the fair when it will auction the much-needed 2.1GHz spectrum and where the proceeds from the auction would be spent. NBTC vice chairman Settapong Malisuwan told her that the auction would take place in October and that all the proceeds would be transferred to the state coffers.


From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ 08/04/2012

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Thailand Targets 200,000 Free Wi-Fi Hotspots in 2012

The information and Communications Technology Ministry (MICT) will increase free Wi-Fi access points to 200,000 locations across the country by the end of this year, up from around 76,000 points. The expansion of up to 100,000 access points will be achieved by end of this month, said ICT Minister Gp Capt Anudith Nakornthap on August 4. Speaking at the government's weekly TV programme "Yingluck Government Meets the People" that 10,000 access points had been made available countrywide already. Up to 250,000 points will be introduced by the first or second quarter of 2013. The average speed is two megabits per second, he said. Thai citizens can search for "ICT Free Hotspot", and register using their name and ID card numbers to obtain passwords for internet use. The government's free Wi-Fi will be located mainly at state universities, government offices, state hospitals, police stations, post offices, airports, bus terminals, ICT learning centres, BTS Skytrain, petrol stations, and main tourist attraction. The MICT will implement this service expansion in partnership with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and six major telecom operators, said ICT Minister Gp Capt Anudith Nakornthap. "The NBTC would work more closely in supporting the government's ICT policies," he added. Prior to the MICT promoting equal access to internet broadband among Thais, there were only 12 per cent of Thai citizens had access to the Internet. Currently, thirty per cent or equal to 20 million people could access the internet as private and state enterprise sectors have expanded the Internet network, according to him. "The government targeted to increase the figure to 80 per cent in 2015," he said, and urging The free Wi-Fi project was key part of helping prepare infrastructure in the country for the Asean Economic Community.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/07/2012

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INDIA: BMC e-Governance Project to Start in July

Matters,Technology Municipal Administrative System (MAS), an e-governance project will get functional from July this year. The project is being implemented under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission(JNNURM). Termed as business process re-engineering system, it is aimed at improving services of the civic body such as facilitating online payments of property taxes, water cess, registration of birth and death and building permissions. Besides, people can register complaints online and there will be a grievances redressal cell to look into the complaints. The BMC is also developing 103 centres to promote use of online service where common man would also be provided technical staff to help them use the service. The centers include 70 ward offices, 14 zonal offices and 19 other BMC offices.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 06/25/2012

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SAP India Inks MOU for Cloud Based e-Governance Project in Meghalaya

In a major e-governance initiate, SAP India has inked MOU with Indian Institute of Management-Shillong (IIM) to initiate cloud based e-governance project in Meghalaya. Centre for Development of the North Eastern Region (CEDNER), which is IIM Shillong's wing will partner with SAP India in this project. IIM Shiilong will provide the advisory support. This project is a CSR initiative of the SAP India where citizen charter including details of citizens, village headman will be available. This project will also enable project monitoring including roads, wells and maintenance of accounts. The initiative will bring attempt to being the benefit of technology to the local people without any cost.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 07/05/2012

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Maharashtra Govt and CDAC Join Hands to Promote e-Governance

In an effort to boost its e-governance initiative, the Maharashtra government will set up a Centre of Excellence for Marathi in technical collaboration with city-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC). The proposed Centre will assist the Directorate of Information Technology (DIT) of the state government in international consortia and other standardisation bodies so that Marathi language gets its rightful place in national and international scenario, according to some officials. They were of the opinion that adding this activity will ensure interoperability between most of the applications across various platforms. The Centre will evolve guidelines for creation of knowledge repository of various resources available in Marathi such as dictionaries, e-books, audio and interactive books and assist DIT in development of Marathi lexicons and standardised dictionaries and terminologies that can be used for e-governance applications. Scope of work proposed to be undertaken by the COE for Marathi will also include training to government employees, testing and benchmarking the products and services and applications. The Memorandum of Understanding between C-DAC (Gist) and Maharashtra government's DIT will be valid for a minimum of three years and can be extended further on mutually agreed terms. Two members of the C-DAC team from Pune will be stationed at DIT, Mumbai and will be responsible for gathering IT related requirements for the state government and will also assist the developers for implementation of Marathi language tools, technologies and solutions.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 07/14/2012

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New IT Policy Designed to Promote e-Service Delivery

The forthcoming IT policy of the Kerala government will give stress upon e-services delivery to citizens as one of the focused areas. Principal Secretary (Information Technology) P. H. Kurian told a Central team visiting the State to review implementation of e-governance programmes that a futuristic, integrated service delivery framework had been chalked out by the Kerala State IT Mission. It envisaged a single identity for citizens to log in to a State portal to access the services. A detailed, long-term plan is under preparation now in consultation with all departments, focussing on high volume. The Central team, led by Sathya Narayana, Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, reviewed the progress of various e-governance initiatives undertaken by the State, particularly the e-district programme and the State Service Delivery Gateway programme. The team held discussions with the chief secretary and other government secretaries on the integrated e-governance delivery services to be rolled out in the State. An official release said that the team had expressed satisfaction about the progress of various programmes and had explored the possibility of replicating some of the successful e-models of Kerala such as the e-literacy programme, common service centres and e-district programme in other States. e-district is a State Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan. It seeks to provide integrated, seamless and online delivery of citizen services at the district-level through automation of work flow, back-end digitisation, integration and process redesign. This project targeted high volume services delivered at the district-level and to undertake back-end computerisation to enable the delivery of citizen services through Akshaya centres. The state government has implemented the pilot phase of e-district project in Kannur and Palakad and delivery of 23 revenue certificates have been made online. An estimated eight lakh e-applications have been processed during the pilot run and certificates issued in 80 per cent of the cases. The e-district services are proposed to be rolled out to rest of Kerala in a year's time. The State Service Delivery Gateway project was formulated under the National E-governance Plan to fulfil the vision of integrating all services across departments and provide the same through common service centres and State portals.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 08/20/2012

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PAKISTAN: New e-Governance Initiative

Sindh Minister for Information Technology, Muhammad Raza Haroon, said that Civil Registration Management System (CRMS) will help the government plan and implement e-Governance in the country efficiently. He was addressing as chief guest at a seminar on CRMS which was arranged by National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) at a local hotel. While lauding the role of NADRA, the Minister said that with the technical support of the Authority regarding training of local governments a catalyst change in the society is expected. On the occasion, Director General NADRA, Zahid Hussain, said regarding CRMS the negotiations are under way to operationalize 345 union councils across the country. The minister informed that there are 6,550 union councils/TMAs/Cantonment boards in the country, out of which 6,205 are operational. He said that the current project of NADRA with the help of UNFPA will support CRMS in the rural areas of the country where performance is comparatively low. He said that this short term project meant for seven months will be transformed into a long term programme for five years. He told the gathering that teams of CRMS Directorate are working day and night in coordination with UNFPA to develop a comprehensive strategy for the implementation of the project throughout Pakistan. In the first stage of AWP Annual work plan, successful training/workshop activities have been conducted in the rural areas of Sindh including Badin, MirpurKhas and Hyderabad with the cooperation of respective local governments. It was stated that NADRA started CRMS as a pilot project in Lahore in 2004 with collaboration of the then local government.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 07/06/2012

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AZERBAIJAN: Communication Ministry Prepares Proposals to Reduce Customs Duties for High-Tech Products

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of Azerbaijan is preparing proposals to reduce customs duties on imported components for high technology products, Azerbaijani Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ali Abbasov said at a meeting on Tuesday, held jointly with the ruling New Azerbaijan party. The minister said the duty for computers imported into the country is three per cent, while that for the production of their components is 10-15 per cent of their cost. Abbasov noted that despite the dynamic development of ICT sector in Azerbaijan, export of products significantly lags behind imports. "In connection with the dynamic growth of the automation process of various state agencies we are observing a high level of imports into the country of high-tech products," Abbasov said. In addition, the optimisation of the tax legislation in this sphere and presence of preferential loan resources are necessary to develop the ICT sector in Azerbaijan and increase its competitiveness. Azerbaijan is implementing a project of to create a fund to support ICT which will ensure opportunity of issuance to companies of loans and grants. Creation of a Fund will allow local companies to get both monetary and fiscal benefits, Abbasov said.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/20/2012

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Azerbaijan Plans to Increase Income on ICT Sector to $9 Bln by 2020

The Azerbaijani Communications and IT Ministry plans to increase its income in the ICT sector to $8-9 billion in 2020, an article published in the official press today reported quoting Communications and IT Minister Ali Abbasov. The minister said that the income obtained from the sector amounted to 1.3 billion manat ($ 1.7 billion) in 2011. The volume of the country's GDP amounted to 50 billion manat in 2011. Bringing this figure to 100 billion manat is one of the main goals for the next 8-10 years. "According to the calculations, average annual growth of the country's gross domestic product must hit 6-6.5 percent to achieve these goals," the minister said. "It is necessary to increase the volume of the ICT sector by 4.5-5 times in the next 10 years for the ICT sector, which is one of the priority areas, to contribute to the general development of the country's economy." The average annual growth of the ICT sector in Azerbaijan during 2004-2011 was about 25-30 percent, the minister said. The figure was 14 percent due to instability in the world financial markets in 2009. The growth of the sector amounted to 13 percent in 2011. It is necessary to keep the pace of average annual growth of this sector in the range 16-18 percent to achieve the ministry's objectives to increase the income of the ICT sector, he said.


From http://en.trend.az/ 07/03/2012

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Azerbaijani Radio Frequencies Department Conducts Quality Analysis of TV and Radio Programmes

Specialists of the radio monitoring office of the State Radio Frequency Department of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan conducted an analysis of the quality of broadcast of TV and radio programmes from Baku's TV tower, the department said on Wednesday. The test works by measuring the level of electromagnetic influence of the signal and was held in the city of Sumgait and residential areas of Bilga, Mashtaga, Bina, Mardakan, Zagulba, Zykh, Shuvalan, Alat, Gobustan, Primorsk, Taghiyev, Piralllahi and Gilazi in the Khizi region. The radio monitoring office of the State Radio Frequency Department conducted measurement work in 72 points. In these residential areas radio monitoring experts analysed the tension of electromagnetic fields of radio programmes broadcast on the FM range. At the regional level, measuring work to identify the quality of broadcast of TV and FMchannels was held in 25 areas. On TV broadcasting there were 712 measurement operations in 52 points, on the Radio - 545 measuring works in 51 points. Radiuses of coverage of the digital TV transmitters DVB-T were determined.


From http://en.trend.az/ 07/04/2012

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Digital Data Base and 3D-Model of Plan for Centre of Baku Centre Completed

The State City Building and Architecture Committee of Azerbaijan has completed the development of a digital data base and the 3D-model of the plan for the centre of Baku, the committee said. Estimated project cost is 395,000 manat. State Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning of Azerbaijan has now submitted it for approval to the head of the capital's executive power. This detailed plan of the capital covers the period up to 2030. It covers an area of approximately 1500 hectares from the Amay shopping centre to National Flag Square on the horizontal and from Seaside Boulevard to Bakikhanov Street on the vertical. In addition Baku State Design Institute which is the project's coordinator completed the work on the study of the area collecting preliminary data. The plan covers 11 districts of Baku, Sumgait and the Absheron region and includes Khirdalan - a total area of 280,000 hectares. In general, the State Design Institute Bakıdövlətlayihə has carried out the work worth 616.600 manat, Azerbaijani State Design Institute Azərmemarlayihə - 349.300 manat and Azerbaijani Construction and Architectural Research Institute - 408.800 manat during the first half of the year.


From http://en.trend.az/ 07/24/2012

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Azerbaijan Signs Agreement on Insurance of First Telecommunications Satellite

JSC Azerkosmos signed an agreement with the British insurance broker Marsh on insurance of Azerbaijan's first telecommunication satellite Azerspace-1, JSC Azerkosmos told Trend on Thursday. The contract was signed for a year and envisages defrayal of all costs in case of any accidents that will allow JSC Azerkosmos to continue work within satellite program Azerspace-1 at the expense of insurance indemnities. Azerbaijan's first telecommunication satellite (Azerspace-1) will be delivered to the Kourou spaceport in late 2012, and its launch is scheduled for early 2013. The French Arianspace will send the satellite into orbit. Azerspace's manufacturer is Orbital Sciences Corporation. An orbital position of 46 degrees east longitude has been leased from Malaysian satellite operator MEASAT.


From http://en.trend.az/ 08/09/2012

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Azerbaijan Plans to Open New TV Channel

Azerbaijan plans to open a new channel, designed for our compatriots abroad. It will be possible to watch the new channel in any country in the world, the working group on preparation of the State Program On the use of Azerbaijani language in the context of globalization, in accordance with the requirements of time and the development of linguistics in the country told Trend. "Our compatriots living abroad will be able to get information about Azerbaijan from a single channel. Regardless of where they live, they will be well aware of the compatriots living in other countries," the working group said. The Working Group also proposed changes to the theme and direction of transmission, broadcasted from Azerbaijan, improve their quality and organization of lessons on broadcasted TV channels. In addition, the opening of Azerbaijani schools in areas where Azerbaijanis live abroad is included in the plans of the working group. President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree On the State program on the use of Azerbaijani language in the context of globalization, in accordance with the requirements of time and the development of linguistics in the country on May 23, 2012.


From http://en.trend.az/ 08/10/2012

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Azerbaijan Begins to Establish Cadastre Data Base of Real Estate in Regions

Center for cadastre and technical inventory of real property under the State Committee for Property Affairs of Azerbaijan has determined the winners of tenders for the establishment of an electronic database of inventory data on real property, state-owned and located in regions of the country, the committee said on Wednesday. The first tender involves the creation of a database of real estate in Tovuz, Agstafa, Gazakh and Dashkesan areas, the second - in Masalli, Jalilabad, Yardimli, Bilasuvar and Neftchala regions. Planimetr-85 and AzLANDKAD-XXI won the tender. The Centre has signed the relevant contracts with them.


From http://en.trend.az/ 08/15/2012

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AUSTRALIA: Victorian Government Revamps ICT Strategy to Rectify "Labor's Disastrous Legacy"

The Victorian Coalition Government has started work on a whole of government information and communication technology (ICT) strategy, made necessary it says to "rectify Labor's disastrous ICT legacy." Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips has established the Victorian Information and Communications Technology Advisory Committee (VICTAC) to provide advice on the development of the strategy. It includes both industry and government representatives, and is chaired by former South Australian CIO, Grantly Mailes. "The committee will provide a practical, forward-looking approach to the development and use of ICT by government," Rich-Phillips said. According to Rich-Phillips "The previous Labor Government adopted a piecemeal approach to ICT that saw at least $1.44b of taxpayers' money wasted in cost blowouts on projects like HealthSMART, myki and the LEAP database." Mr Rich-Phillips said.

The Auditor-General this week tabled a report in Parliament that, according to Rich-Phillips, "found that whole of government frameworks have not kept pace with the increasingly central role of ICT in service delivery." He said: "The whole of government ICT strategy we are developing will help to align processes across departments and set the clear lines of governance, accountability and direction that were clearly absent under Labor. "We have also established high risk, high value guidelines to apply extra scrutiny and rigour to all ICT projects and we are overhauling the way government procures ICT services."


From http://www.itwire.com/ 06/21/2012

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Australian State Government Unveils US$1.5 Billion eHealth Agenda

The government of New South Wales, Australia, has unveiled a US$1.5 billion (AUD$1.5 billion) eHealth agenda to deliver 21st century healthcare across the state. This initiative, spearheaded by NSW Health, is supported by a raft of technology investments over 10 years - taking the state into the forefront of healthcare reforms. The state government's spending agenda was outlined at an inaugural FutureGov Forum NSW (21st June) by the Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner. Minister Skinner told delegates the state is fast-tracking improvements to healthcare - while tapping into the latest technology. Better healthcare services are supported by smart apps, tablets, digital imaging, and voice recognition technology, among other platforms. The state government is investing in electronic medication and records management systems, clinical information management systems, and tele-health services that connect patients in regional and rural areas. These initiatives reflect a commitment to integrating technology with improvements to healthcare, Minister Skinner said.

Major technology projects include a US$170 million (AUD$170 million) investment in an electronic medications management system. This platform will help prevent errors, while reducing adverse effects from drugs. A US$85 million (AUD$85 million) electronic medical records system is streamlining patient tracking, clinical documentation, scheduling and reporting across wide-ranging clinical specialities. The state government is allocating US$43 million (AUD$43 million) on clinical information management systems. These systems offer a single point to collate data for clinicians in intensive care units. "Evidence shows clinical safety risks can be reduced or even eliminated by integrating patient diagnostic, medication and medical history into a single, accessible electronic record," Minister Skinner said. She noted that technology does not substitute for high-quality care provided by clinicians. "Rather it enhances it. Providing those same clinicians with the modern tools and information they need, when they need it, enables them to achieve so much more for their patients."

Among recent projects, smart apps and tablets are being used to provide instant access to clinical research and digital medical libraries. This real-time access is streamlining information-sharing between clinicians. Telehealth services connect patients across rural and regional NSW. These services offer "face-to-face" access to specialist care across capital cities and internationally. Voice recognition technology has freed up clinicians' time in emergency departments. This technology is helping clinicians focus on more immediate patient care. In other areas, healthcare practitioners are tapping into instant digital imaging technology. These images can be reviewed and reported by specialist doctors before patients return to their wards. Digital imaging technology has slashed the waiting time for results - while delivering speedier treatment. Electronic health record-keeping trials are underway. These trials, when fully operational, will revolutionise the speed and accuracy with which medical information is shared between hospital wards, patients and GPs.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/22/2012

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Australia Passes New E-Health Law

Australia's widely-debated personally-controlled e-Health record (PCEHR) system has passed both Houses of Parliament - with e-Health services to become available from 1st July 2012. This PCEHR legislation clears the way to roll out Australia's e-Health programme. This programme, and related laws, will operate concurrently with Commonwealth, state and territory privacy laws. Initially, consumers can register for the e-Health system using a dedicated 1800 number. An on-line registration website is being finalised by the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, enabling citizens to register on-line through a dedicated portal. The PCEHR reforms agenda will save the Australian Government and related agencies US$11.5 billion (AUD$11.5 billion) over 15 years. These savings stem from expanded use of health information management systems, on-line registration capabilities, improved information-sharing between healthcare providers, and consolidated patient record-keeping programmes.

The PCEHR legislation clarifies guidelines about who can enter health information and who can read or change this information. Among these guidelines, patients can access their own e-Health record. They can also track who else has accessed their record. Patients can upgrade their privacy settings to suit personal needs. But only doctors, or other health professionals, will be allowed to create medical notes on a patient's file. Patients can add notes about their general health, but not be able make medical notes. The PCEHR offers an opt-in system, although it remain unclear how this opt-in system will work. The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) is the "managing agent" for Australia's PCEHR programme on behalf of the Department of Health and Ageing. Recently, NEHTA signed up aged care software vendors on its e-Health Panel. This Expression of Interest panel enables vendors to provide software solutions to aged care providers. These providers include operators managing residential aged care facilities and community care services.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/27/2012

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Gov't Plans Regulation to Make Networks More Secure

The Federal Government is proposing to regulate to ensure that telco networks are more resistant to attacks from cyber criminals and terrorists. The proposal is one of a raft of ideas in a discussion paper issued to kick off a parliamentary enquiry into proposed changes to the telecommunications interception regime, telecommunications sector security and government intelligence agency legislation. The enquiry is being undertaken by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. Among other things "The Committee will consult on measures to address security risks posed to the telecommunications sector, and whether the Government needs to institute obligations on the Australian telecommunications industry to protect their networks from unauthorised interference." According to the enquiry's terms of reference, the Government is seeking the committees' views on amending the Telecommunications Act to address security and resilience risks posed to the telecommunications sector.

This would be achieved by instituting obligations on the telecommunications industry to protect their networks from unauthorised interference and to provide Government with information on significant business and procurement decisions and network designs. The Government would also be given power to direct telcos to mitigate and remediate security risks, with the telcos bearing the cost of doing so. There would be enforcement powers and pecuniary penalties for failure to comply with any new legislation. The Government view, as set out in the discussion paper, is that the industry is not fully cognisant of the security risks, and that action is needed urgently. "Government is concerned that the telecommunications industry is not fully informed about national security risks and is therefore not equipped to respond adequately to these risks," it says. "Australia is at a critical stage of telecommunications infrastructure development driven by the NBN's construction. Delaying action to make [carriers and carriage service providers] aware of managing national security risks will complicate long term management decisions made on the design and procurement of major telecommunications infrastructure, with potential negative impacts on national security."

The Government is proposing a framework for ensuring compliance to any new regime that would require telcos "to be able to demonstrate competent supervision and effective controls over their networks." Such an approach would focus on the ability of a telco to manage the security of its infrastructure and the information held on it. Under such a regime the Government would provide guidance to assist industry to understand and meet its obligation, and would inform telcos how they can maintain competent supervision and effective control over their networks. "Provision of general security advice, briefings and the development of guidance would be intended to be an ongoing, iterative process conducted in cooperation with industry, which would reflect evolving technologies and markets," the paper says. Whatever new security obligations are put in place they would apply to existing and new infrastructure and the Government "recognises that it would need to work closely with industry to ensure that there is a reasonable transition period," the paper says. Furthermore "Government recognises that a regulatory framework would include a cost to industry, which may increase prices for consumers and it is working to understand these costs through targeted consultation." The committee is now accepting submissions and will hold public hearings on dates and in locations yet to be determined. Submissions are due by 6 August.


From http://www.itwire.com/ 07/10/2012

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NBN's Updated Operating Plan to Be Released This Week

The Government is expected to release the NBN's operating plan later this week, which is expected to detail the extent of delays in its rollout, update figures on the takeup of services and revise financial forecasts. A widely expected delay of nine months, due to the protracted negotiations with Telstra of about the same period will be included. This latest operating plan comes at a time when Telstra shares are trading at a 4 year high, reaching $4 on Monday this week. Analysts suggest this is due to greater regulatory certainty, its guarantee of $11B for the soon-to-be retired copper network and its role in the NBN. "I'm not going to pre-empt the release later this week but I think there's a very pleasing story to come from that," Senator Conroy said on ABC Television. He said the NBN had locked in a range of contracts including construction over the next two years. "The key that Australians need to understand is this has always been a nine- to ten-year project ... to do over 12 million homes," he said.

"This is not a quick fix for one election, it is about building a piece of infrastructure that will serve out country for the next 30 to 40 years and ensure that we're in a position that the future needs of Australia's telecommunications users is able to cope with what the world is doing with broadband." The NBN is designed to provide high-speed broadband delivered by fibre to 93 per cent of premises, with the remainder getting fixed wireless or satellite services. In parrying questions related to the Opposition's objections to the NBN (and suggesting it ought to have been built by the private sector), Sen. Conroy pointed out that prior to the announcement of the NBN, no commercial provider had proposed a nation-wide solution, instead wishing to implement only the most profitable pieces. The NBN, on the other hand would offer a single price service no matter where a user was on the network, or by what means they connected.


From http://www.itwire.com/ 07/31/2012

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Aus Tightens E-Health Privacy Laws

Medical and healthcare records to be managed under the Australian government's Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) programme will be protected under new privacy safeguards that are being rolled out nationally. These safeguards expand the powers of the Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, to more closely monitor the way in which patient records are accessed, shared and stored by medical practitioners, healthcare staff, and technology solutions providers. Privacy Commissioner Pilgrim says Australia's eHealth reforms lay the foundations for major improvements to how healthcare services are delivered nationally. Under privacy controls, consumers are in control of how their medical information is handled. "They need to make sure they understand how to protect their personal and health information, and how this is collected, used and disclosed."

Consumers can decide which healthcare providers can see their records, and the type of information that is uploaded, and or accessed by a third party. Healthcare providers participating in Australia's eHealth record-keeping regime must fully understand their obligations under privacy and other data protection laws, Commissioner Pilgrim adds. These laws impose new obligations in addition to existing obligations under Australia's Privacy Act 1988. "Healthcare providers' obligations include not collecting more information from a patient's eHealth record than is necessary, and making sure their staff are trained in how to handle eHealth records correctly." Under expanded powers, the Privacy Commissioner can seek civil penalties and accept enforceable undertakings from health providers that fail to protect consumer information. Privacy safeguards are incorporated into Australia's PCEHR legislation. This law streamlines the way in which patients' medical history and records can be shared across the healthcare sector.

Australia's high-profile PECHR programme became operational during 1st July 2012. This programme is being administered by the Canberra-based National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA). The PCEHR roll-out supports a raft of reforms that will modernise Australia's healthcare service delivery effort, including record-keeping and improved information-sharing. Upgraded technology systems will deliver real-time access to patient information by integrating dispersed computer systems, networks and other infrastructure. Medical history will be stored and shared through a network of connected systems. This history consolidates key health information from a number of technology systems, while presenting data as a single view. Information in a PCEHR system can be accessed by patients and their authorised healthcare providers. The Australian government is now racing to close privacy loopholes, together with State and Territory governments.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/06/2012

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NEW ZEALAND: Govt Approves First Electronic Game Degrees

Fresh on the heels of a national game industry conference in the weekend, approval has been granted for New Zealand's first ever game development degrees. The NZQA has given the green light for Auckland's Media Design School to run two degrees aimed at supplying the country's thriving games industry with new talent. From August, aspiring developers and designers will be able to study Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Game Art) and Bachelor of Software Engineering (Game Programming) degrees. Offering world-class degrees in a high growth digital sector is a natural and exciting progression, said Media Design School CEO Frances Valintine. "The New Zealand game industry is growing due to the global demand for game content across all platforms - console, mobile, PC and online." Valintine said projected future demand for game programmers and artists exceeds the level of qualified graduates entering the sector each year.

Few industries offer the job security and level of salary that game graduates receive, she said. The degrees have been developed with input from local and international game studios and will offer students projects designed to replicate the studio environment. According to a survey by the New Zealand Game Development Association (NZDGA), the local games industry grew 46 per cent, or by 114 jobs, last year and there are now about 450 full-time game development jobs in the country. Over 200 industry players attended New Zealand's second ever game developer conference in Auckland on Saturday. The first conference, named Fuse, was held in 2004 at Otago University. It is a great time to consider a career in games, said NZDGA chair Stephen Knightly.

"Video games are high-tech, creative, digital exports - exactly the kind of products New Zealand wants to export more of." Knightly said game development skills are highly transferable to other areas of the digital sector, such as web design, advertising and animation. As part of its Bachelor of Computing, Communications and Technology Degree, the Waiariki Institute of Technology was granted approval in December last year to run a Game Development Major. The course will have its first graduates at the end of this year. The Media Design School has been running a Graduate Diploma of Game Development since 2004.


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/ 05/22/2012

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PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Plans for House to Get New IT System

THE installation of a state-of-the-art integrated government information system is among capital works programmes in the pipeline for Parliament. Installation of new security surveillance cameras, plus the building of a new D-wing building are in the plan. But all this is subject to funding. Adviser to the Clerk to Parliament David Wambi told the media last Friday of the plans when explaining some of the projects the government ought to consider seriously. Wambi said the IT system was important as it would make communication between members and recording of important parliament documents easier. "The concerns of the building are not new concerns because they have been there for a long time," he said. The national parliament building is almost 30 years old and Wambi said since it was opened in 1984, "no effort has been made by any successive governments to provide funding for maintenance and upkeep of the house". "Some 15 years ago when the now Member for Rigo Ano Pala was clerk of parliament, he commissioned an engineering firm to undertake a full maintenance audit," he said. He said the study found major deficiencies and made recommendations for a complete overhaul of the place. Among the many recommendations, it urged urgent maintenance of the lifts, the cooling system (air conditioning) and external refurbishments, which were estimated to cost K65 million.


From http://www.thenational.com.pg/ 08/20/2012

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Have Your Say in Developing Global Telecoms Regulations

For the first time, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is inviting the general public to input contributions to its upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12). WCIT-12 will be held in Dubai in December 2012 and according to the ITU, will be "a landmark global treaty-making conference that will define the general principles for the provision and operation of international telecommunications networks around the world." It is being held to revise the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) that define the general principles for the provision and operation of international telecommunications. The current regulations date from 1988: they were finalised at the World Administrative Telegraph and Telephone Conference (WATTC 88) in Melbourne. The web site set up to receive public consultation opens today. It is the result of a decision by ITU Council in July to make a draft of the principal input document to the WCIT-12 conference publicly accessible, and to establish a website where all stakeholders could express their views and opinions on the content of that document or any other matter related to WCIT. The ITU says: "There is no restriction on the number of contributions any party may make, and contributions may be either nominative or anonymous." The site will remain open until 3 November. Inputs will then be made available to the ITU's 193 member states, which "have been urged to consider and take account of submitted content in their preparations for WCIT-1," ITU says.


From http://www.itwire.com/ 08/16/2012

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Effective ICT Governance Is Key to Public Service Reform

Planting the Flag: pocket guide 2 - governance is the second of six guides to the strategic capabilities required for public service reform. Written for CIOs, Heads of ICT and senior ICT managers, this guide explains that ICT governance manages behaviours and decision-making within the information and technology function. It assigns responsibilities, sets overall strategy and decides upon policies and standards. Its prime focus must be on information, with technology recognised simply as a tool for storing, manipulating and transmitting this prime asset. ICT governance, says the guide, is about the proper use of resources - crucial at a time when these are scarce - but also because of the role it can play in transforming organisations. It must involve the whole organisation, not just the ICT function: the responsibilities of exploiting information assets and deploying technology must be shared across all functions, which must take responsibility for these decision and not abdicate them to ICT. The document lays out six critical steps to establishing and operating effective governance arrangements are described in the guide:
¡¤ Understanding how governance works
¡¤ Defining the scope
¡¤ Designing the governance arrangements
¡¤ Implementing the arrangements
¡¤ Agreeing the responsibilities
¡¤ Ensuring successful governance
The guide is aimed at helping senior ICT managers persuade top decision makers in the public sector organisations to establish rigorous information management and technology governance arrangements, with active participation from senior colleagues.


From http://www.egovmonitor.com/ 07/12/2012

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AFRICA: Ghana - Government to Use ICT to Engage Youth in Decision Making

Accra , Aug. 17, GNA - Mr Clement Kofi Humado, Minister of Youth and Sports, on Friday said plans were underway to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to create an electronic platform to engage the youth in the decision making process of the country. He said policy issues pertaining to the youth would be made available on the National Youth Authority website to be debated on by the youth and come out with recommendations which would be forwarded to Parliament for consideration. Mr Humado announced this when Mr Seth Oteng, Executive Director of Youth Bridge Foundation, and some African youth delegates paid a courtesy call on him in Accra. The delegation presented a communique of the just-ended African Youth and Governance Conference (AYGC) which was attended by delegates from 31 African Countries in Accra. The Sector Minister noted that youths at the district levels would not be left out as they would also be part of the deliberations through the District Assemblies, after which a report would be submitted to the national level. He assured the delegation of government's commitment to ensuring that the recommendations were considered in programmes for the youth. Mr Oteng said the conference urged African Governments to create an enabling environment to promote partnerships for job creation. He stressed the need for governments to develop models to attract the youth to agri-business and increasingly invest in the agriculture sector which had the potential of employing many people. Professor N'Dri Assie-Lumumba Patron, AYG Conference Initiator and Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Sciences, Cornell University, expressed appreciation to government for its contribution towards the conference. She urged government to continue to empower the youth in the country, adding; "dealing with issues relating to the youth is dealing with issues of development".


From http://www.allghananews.com/ 08/17/2012

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Kenya: E-government to Boost Accountability - Minister

The Government has expressed satisfaction over progress in adoption and use of e-government. Public Service Minister, Dalmas Otieno, underscored the need for e-governance. "Adoption of e-government as a service delivery enabler has the potential to improve accountability. Kenya has continued to make significant progress in improving public services through online delivery, adoption of electronic procurement of goods and services and practise of e-governance aimed at enhancing public participation in decision making," said the minister. The minister said demands for accountability in public service agencies have been driven by the need for policy makers, elected leaders and other public servants to fulfil obligations and mandates associated with sustainable management of public affairs. "Good governance involves ethical notions related to moral integrity and trust and whereas these values must be earned, it is prudent and conventional to legislate for accountability frameworks," observed the Minister when he officiated the opening of this years Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya (ICPSK) 16th annual International Conference in Kwale County. It was themed, "Governance Perspective in Harnessing Natural Resources for Development." Otieno said the new Constitution provides for necessary accountability measures, and the establishment of relevant institutions of governance that make it it possible to hold public officials to account for their actions. ICPSK National chairperson, Ms Catherine Musakali said the theme has been selected due to recent developments including oil discoveries in Turkana and coal in Eastern provinces respectively. She said many challenges have arisen due to poor governance. Standard Group's Assistant Director Legal, Human Resource Services, Nelly Matheka is among key speakers expected to deliver speech on "Enhancing Governance, Ethical Practices, and Role of the Media".


From http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/ 08/09/2012

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ARAB STATES: UAE - Dubai eGovernment Briefs Team on Emirate's eTransformation

DUBAI: A delegation from Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) paid a visit to Dubai eGovernment Department (DeG) headquartered at Dubai Ruler's Court to share strategic experiences and work together for the future growth and sustainability of Dubai. The DSCE delegation, headed by Neijib Zaafrani, DSCE secretary general and CEO, was received by Wesam Lootah, DeG acting director general, Sumaia Khalifa Bin Hammad, director of Communication & Business Development Department at DeG, and a DeG IT team. Zaafrani demonstrated the DSCE's strategy for devising policies in new energy areas such as solar energy and establishing a framework for energy governance. Welcoming the delegation, Lootah said: "We are happy to host the delegation of the Supreme Council of Energy and through meetings such as these to bolster our partnerships with government authorities and provide our experience and shared eServices to them to help consolidate Dubai's position as a leading hub in the knowledge-based economy." Lootah gave a presentation on Dubai eGovernment Department, including its shared services for all Dubai government entities, thereby contributing to establishing a knowledge-based economy in an environment that ensures sustainable development for the Emirate of Dubai. This was followed by a presentation by Bin Hammad who also demonstrated how electronic payments and mobile technology contribute to energy consumption and reduced carbon emissions. She also asked DSCE to benefit from the services offered by DeG for government authorities since that is the role for which Dubai eGovernment was established. The visiting delegation from DSCE appreciated Dubai eGovernment's support and praised its contribution in spurring Dubai's eTransformation and successfully overcoming various challenges to achieve common objectives and goals for building a knowledge-based economy in Dubai.


From http://gulftoday.ae/ 07/11/2012

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Zain Bahrain Users Can Pay Bills via e-Government Portal

Bahrain's eGovernment Authority (eGA) has partnered with Zain Bahrain to launch eServices for Zain subscribers. By visiting the government portal www.bahrain.bh, Zain subscribers can benefit from a range of services such as viewing and/or paying their bills, or recharging their balance, a statement from an official said. This initiative falls under the government's plans for citizens and residents to be able to pay their monthly bills through one electronic page. The eGA said it is keen to provide and optimise effective, high-quality and comprehensive services for the community. It also aims to increase opportunities for partnerships with the private sector, improve cooperation between institutions and achieve better results.


From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 08/16/2012

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Israel Among World Leaders in e-Government

Israel is one of the world's leading nations in the field of online government services, a UN report said. Israel ranked 16 in a recent United Nations survey of e-Government services and "available government" features. The report, which surveys 150 nations around the world annually, also gave an especially high mark to the government's online portal "Gov.il," lauding it as "Very well organized." The report also ranked Israel as the fourth-leading country in e-participation projects, a ranking gauging public participation in online government ventures. The UN General Assembly held a special awards ceremony on Monday, in which Israel was honored with an international award for improved online services. Minister of Government Services Michael Eitan (Likud) accepted the award on Jerusalem's behalf: "These things affect our positioning vis-¨¤-vis other nations. If we don't constantly check ourselves we'll have no way of knowing what our strengths and weaknesses are. "This kind of survey helps us better ourselves. It's always very nice to receive praises and commendations but our true goal is to improve the services we offer the public." The "Gov.co.il" project is part of the Treasury's Accessible Government venture, formed following the Knesset's decision to promote open government policies and governmental transparency. Accessible Government's latest venture is "data.gov.il" - a portal meant to ease public access to government databases. Israel will send a delegation to an international UN conference on the subject in the coming weeks.


From http://www.ynetnews.com/ 06/27/2012

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Saudi e-Government Initiative Gets Major Boost

The drive toward e-governance for Saudi Arabia, which is now benefiting both public and private sectors alike, received a major boost from the Saudi government after the e-government program "Yesser" launched its second edition of the Saudi e-Government Achievement Award (Enjaz). The award will serve as a major tool to encourage, inspire and value government agencies' efforts for advancing e-government services in the Kingdom. "The award is designed to value efforts made by government agencies to support the keen interest of the Kingdom's wise leadership in providing better and more customer friendly e-services to individuals and businesses," said Ali bin Saleh Al-Soma, Yesser chief. The Enjaz provides a platform for acknowledging the competency of businesses that provide e-services and for promoting cooperation between governmental agencies to ensure high quality e-services to citizens, expatriates and business organizations. The award contributes to developing tangible performance improvements within government agencies, highlights their outstanding achievements while strengthening the concept of the "electronic environment" by contributing to the welfare of Saudi society. The award's objective is to motivate government agencies to deliver better and more customer-friendly services to individuals. Referring to the details of the award, Al-Soma said "The award will highlight winning agencies as model examples that utilize ICT technology to deliver better services to customers and support them as a 'Saudi reference for e-services.' " The award is divided into seven categories. The first category is "Serving People Better" in which the award recognizes those government entities that have used ICT to provide and improve governmental services, transactions and interactions with citizens and residents.

The second category is "Promoting Economy," which recognizes those government entities that use ICT for improved services, transactions and interactions between the government and private sectors. The third category falls under the title "Working Across Agencies" (government to government). This award will be given to those government agencies that distinguish themselves in using ICT to provide e-services to other governmental agencies. The fourth category will be awarded for "e-Leadership," which will be given to the top three positions in the "e-Transformation Measurement," which is implemented by Yesser each year. The fifth category will be given for "Community e-Participation," which will recognize those government entities that consider and use suggestions and recommendations by the consumers (public, private or government) through ICT tools during the development of policies and regulations. The sixth category is for those which offer "Services through Smart Devices." This award recognizes government entities providing access to government information or services through smart devices or mobile applications. The last award will be given under the title called "e-Participation." It is open to the public for contributing creative and innovative ideas which may improve the quality of government e-services. It is important to note that this is the second edition of the Enjaz award. The first edition of Enjaz had more than 150 projects from government agencies and individuals with rich ideas and contents. A total of 15 government agencies won awards in the government-related categories and three individual competitors also won in the e-Participation category.


From http://www.i-policy.org/ 07/15/2012

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EUROPE: IT and eGovernment Experts Say That Governments That Embrace Open Data Will Also Switch to Open Source

Public administrations that grasp the benefits of making their data publicly available will increase their use of free and open source since open data and open source face comparable threats like initial lack of support and a fear for the impact on organizations, according to a number of experts in open data. "Using proprietary tools for open data is not as useful as using open source", says Jeanne Holm from Data.Gov, the open government initiative of the US government. "Open source makes it easier for organisations, even those without many funds, to start working on sets of government data. This type of software gathers the intelligence of the whole community", she adds. Holm was one of the keynote speakers at the Semantic Interoperability Conference 2012, which took place in Brussels on 18 June 2012. "I'm a fan of open source, so a little biased. But this type of software gives governments a way to modernise their IT systems, without falling out of time as they would with proprietary software." Holm also says that public administrations do no longer consider open source to be controversial. "Not all of them see the benefits yet. Open source takes them away from their comfort zone." A similar explanation is offered by Julia Glidden, eGovernment expert and Managing Director of a UK-based IT company. IT departments can come up a million excuses for not using open source, she says. "They can point to robustness, security and other technical limitations." Glidden says that the switch to open source in governments is largely a matter of change management. He goes on to say that open source threatens the career structures of IT staffers. It changes the relationships they have with the big IT-vendors and impacts the large budgets they enjoy. "They see open source in terms of risks to their careers, their sense of place in the organisation. It is safe to stay with what they know." She confirms the same is true for open data. "They fear, for instance, that if the data is abused, they will lose their job", she adds. "On the plus side, public administrations can now find help in the market to use open source", says Glidden. It has reached a critical acceptance threshold. There are suppliers, there are service providers. That is not yet the case for open data. There is a need for consultancies to help them with the mental change of approach that is needed for this kind of information sharing." Glidden concludes that open data and open source are mutually reinforcing. "Closed government is dead, it is just a matter of time. They will move to open source, they will move to open data".Katleen Janssen, a legal researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT at the Catholic University of Leuven is less sure of the link between open data and open source. "If open data becomes part of the philosophy of the public administrations, they will also move to open source. If open data is something they do because everybody else is, or because they are forced to, the effect will be limited." Both Glidden and Janssen spoke at the Open Data Day organised by the government of the Flanders region in Brussels on 15 June 2012.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 07/30/2012

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Bulgaria: eGovernment Costing Further BGN 12 Million

According to Bulgarian government's plans, citizens should be able to take advantage of the so called eGovernment services starting from March 2013, Banker weekly reports. A total of 14 companies have applied to implement one or more of the eight lots of the public procurement on eGovernment. The whole process will cost some BGN 12 million. The winners of half of the lots are already known since only one company applied for them. Thus, Borica Bankservice will definitely be responsible for the creation of a public register for consumer e-Identity and of a model for the first e-card with an integrated chip, which should supersede id cards currently in use.


From http://www.focus-fen.net/ 07/21/2012

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Russia: Putin Decrees to Set Up Department for IT, e-Democracy

MOSCOW, June 30 (Itar-Tass) - President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on setting up a presidential department for using information technology and developing electronic democracy, the Kremlin press service reported on Saturday. In order to ensure the activity of the president of the Russian Federation for developing information technology the decree is enacted "to set up a department for using information technology and developing electronic democracy within the presidential administration".


From http://www.itar-tass.com/ 06/30/2012

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Swaziland: SD Working Towards Developing e-Government System

SWAZILAND Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA) acting Chief Executive Officer Muzikayise Dube says the country is working towards developing an e-government system through which the delivery of public services could be made more efficient and effective. He said the system would improve management and sharing of important information and would also facilitate business within the public as well as the private sector. Dube said Swaziland would work on this project alongside the Investor Roadmap 2012. He was speaking during a workshop themed 'Improving the business environment in Swaziland'. "It's important for Swaziland to significantly improve its business and investment climate. The country has to create a new business conducive environment in order to attract and sustain both local and foreign direct investment (FDI). There is now an urgent need for creation of employment and for business development," he said. Dube said there were a number of factors which had been standing in the way of business development in Swaziland and these included outdated or cumbersome legislation and regulations as well as overlap and duplication in different institutions. He said other factors were poor coordination and attitude when dealing with businesses and preparedness and role of each partner. Dube said there were also challenges in the allocation of resources towards employment creation, thus a framework was developed with special focus on the creation of jobs as well as economic growth. He said an Investor Roadmap was also developed by SIPA and partners in 2005, reviewed in 2009 and further reviewed in 2012. "This instrument has been received very well by many and there is hope of making a difference. "Recent reports by the different implementing teams augur well for future good progress.

We have actually identified the legislations, as well as regulations, which present challenges to the establishment and development of businesses. "With the progress being made in the implementation of the Investor Roadmap, the various duplications and overlap among the different agencies shall be addressed and dealt with," he said. 'Govt e-regulations promote good governance' UNITED Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Business Facilitation Programme Coordinator Julien Bornon says e-regulations by governments help in promoting good governance by increasing the awareness of administrative rules and procedures. He said as a result, conditions for balanced dialogue between the users of the public service and civil servants would be established. "The 'e-regulations' system, developed by UNCTAD, allows local governments to present administrative procedures online. "For the time being, it is mainly used to present investment procedures but it can be applied to any administrative process. The e-regulations system is about business facilitation, simplification of procedures, e-government. Procedures are detailed step by step from the user's point of view," he said. Bornon said for each step, the system showed what was expected at the end of the step, who were the civil servants in charge, the forms and other documents required, the cost if any, the processing time, legal justification of the step and ways of complaints and recourse in case of disagreement. He said the information would be certified by the entities in charge of each step. Bornon said each country's database was managed separately and could be updated online by the public offices in charge of each step.

Adding, he said the system was multilingual. He said the e-regulations system was being implemented in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Mali, Morocco, Nicaragua, Viet Nam, Rwanda, Senegal, and Cameroon. Adding, he said all national systems could be seen online, although some of them were not public yet. "The objective of the e-regulations system is four-fold: providing full transparency on rules and procedures by offering online detailed, practical and up-to-date descriptions of the steps they have to go through, seen from the users' point of view. Making it easier for governments to simplify procedures by allowing easy identification of unnecessary steps," he said. Bornon said the system would help in promoting good governance by increasing the awareness of administrative rules and procedures. He said in the medium term, it would set a basis for regional/international harmonisation of rules by facilitating comparisons among countries.


From http://www.i-policy.org/ 07/12/2012

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NORTH AMERICA: U.S. - The Administration's IT Management Reform Agenda - Progress at the Department of Commerce

With the upcoming anniversary of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB's) IT management reform agenda, I thought I would take an opportunity to provide an update on progress made at the Department of Commerce (DOC). Migrations to the cloud within DOC are taking place across different scales of implementation. On the smaller end, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is using software-as-a-service to implement the bureau's Project Management Program. This effort will provide a centralized project and portfolio management system that meets the project management planning, execution, control, and reporting needs of NTIA project managers, investment managers, functional managers, and the NTIA Chief Information Office (CIO). This will enhance the capabilities not only of program management staff, but will provide support to enterprise architecture, capital planning, and governance functions within NTIA. Elsewhere within DOC, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has moved to the cloud for enterprise email, calendar, and collaboration services. This service is providing cost effective, reliable enterprise email, calendar and collaboration with full mobile device email and calendar synchronization, a cloud-based collaboration application suite, as well as mobile device management. The unified messaging infrastructure has expanded services, replaced multiple independently managed in-house email and calendaring solutions within NOAA, and consolidated the contracting associated with these services. Finally, in a public-facing implementation, the Census Bureau is using cloud computing technology to front the Census Bureau's 2010 Census website, provide a more cost-effective and reliable delivery of its web content and services to its employees and the public. The Census Bureau turned to public cloud technologies to extend the capabilities of its Web infrastructure. This will enable the successful, reliable delivery of all content associated with the Bureau's 2010 Decennial Census website, including video, no matter how large the audience, while providing the additional benefit of protection against distributed denial of service attacks.

The Department has also effectively integrated the TechStat process - a technical review aimed at troubleshooting high risk investments - into our IT investment review process and the oversight and risk management functions provided by the Department's Office of the CIO. Since the publication of OMB's IT management reform agenda, DOC has held several TechStat reviews, focusing on the Department's highest risk investments. Commerce was among the first agency to conduct a bureau-level TechStat review back in June of 2011, and is currently planning a second one. Following the example implemented by the Department of Energy, this bureau TechStat will be focused not on a high-risk project but to advance the process of portfolio rationalization across multiple IT investments within the bureau. One can think of various elements of OMB's IT management reform agenda - data center consolidation, moving to the cloud, consolidation of commodity IT purchasing, and shared services - as all being different facets of the broader concept of portfolio management. Commerce will soon be issuing an IT Portfolio Management Policy aimed at strengthening IT management authorities within the Department in order to enable more effective management of the portfolio (in reality, the portfolio of portfolios) that constitute DOC's $2.3 billion in annual IT spending. The policy will reshape how IT is managed from an enterprise architecture perspective, how spending is approved and how oversight of major IT investments is conducted, and will enable greater consolidation of commodity IT purchasing, contracting, infrastructure, and services through an increased use of shared service models within and across bureaus. As always, it is important to note that IT does not exist for its own sake, but rather to enable the essential missions and programs provided by government Departments and agencies. With the current fiscal outlook for government IT spending and recent guidance from OMB to cut IT spending in future years, these efforts will enable DOC to identify opportunities for efficiencies, enhancing services, and improving the quality of customer service. The DOC IT community is aggressively pursuing a number of such opportunities, realizing that every dollar squeezed out of inefficiencies will help preserve our key programs and enable the Department to deliver on our priorities.


From http://www.cio.gov/ 06/04/2012

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Texting Government - Narrowing the Digital Divide

Philadelphia 2035 is a comprehensive plan now in development to plot the future of America's fifth largest city. Led by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC), the project's success hinges on maximizing citizen participation. City officials are charged with casting as wide a net as possible to encourage stakeholders to weigh in about the direction of their city. Clint Randall, Healthy Communities coordinator for the PCPC, explained in an interview with Government Technology that while traditional public forums generate some detailed feedback, it's typically from a limited number of constituents. "Customarily speaking, the primary tool for outreach is simply to hold public meetings, but there are clear limitations to that," he said. Input generated from public meetings comes from a select group with the time and resources to attend. They can also be expensive to plan and conduct. Enter San Francisco-based Code for America, the nonprofit group that places fellows in yearlong assignments working with selected U.S. cities to develop innovative programs in service of local communities. Alex Yule is on the team of Code for America developers assigned to Philadelphia in 2012. After spending time in the City of Brotherly Love this past February, meeting with many government, nonprofit and civic groups, Yule and his team came up with a unique idea to help encourage citizen engagement in the municipal planning process. "They were looking for a way to gather more, broader data about how people interacted with and saw the future of their city," said Yule. Research on the people of Philadelphia suggested text messaging might be a viable way to bridge the digital divide and get a broader base of citizen feedback in specific neighborhoods. According to Code for America, more than 40 percent of Philly residents don't have access to high-speed Internet at home. But they cite CDC research revealing that more than 90 percent of city households have cellphones with text-messaging capability. "We really wanted to use text messaging as sort of the lowest common denominator to reach the broadest possible group of Philadelphians," said Yule.

City Planning by Text Message
June 1 marked the launch of Textizen, Philadelphia's answer to narrowing the digital divide. Neighborhood-specific questions are posed via colorful posters in public places like bus shelters, along with instructions as to how citizens can make their voices heard. The PCPC is currently seeking input to revise two of the 18 district plans within the city. In the densely populated central district, people can text in views about the city's recreation sites. Two separate questions are being asked in an effort to gather input that will help direct continued investment in the area, a haven for young families. A question on public transit is out for response in Philadelphia's lower northeast district. An area noted for its lack of viable public transportation, residents are weighing in via text on whether they would utilize rapid transit if it were built along the area's main thoroughfare. And the responses are pouring in. Officials report that several dozen texts came in just the first few days, with marketing limited to the PCPC's Facebook and Twitter followers, along with the posters in the community. "We're getting responses from people that actually live in these harder to reach areas to show that it [rapid transit] is not just a high level policy idea coming out of city hall," Randall said. Given that this is a new platform, administrators are very curious to see how much input Textizen will generate. They are optimistic that they will receive at least several hundred responses during the month-long pilot program. "This is just part of our agency trying to modernize how it engages with its constituents," Randall said. If these positive projections about Textizen ring true, the texting platform will be used for the city's remaining district plans as well. Yule reports that since the program's launch in Philadelphia, more than 50 inquiries have come in from other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and citizens, seeing uses for the platform in their respective communities. "By using text messaging, we're able to lower the bar to citizen participation that is so vital to our democracy," Yule concluded.


From http://www.govtech.com/ 06/08/2012

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70 Government Entities Commit to Paperless Legislative Workflows

For several years local and state governments have been taking strides to go green. These measures have included paperless offices, energy efficient architecture and conservation campaigns aimed at the public. Several agencies, for example, have moved into Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified facilities that adhere to strict environmental design standards outlined by the U.S. Green Building Council. A similar idea is being applied to the problem of wasteful paper-based workflows. Granicus, a cloud technologies company that focuses on government transparency, announced last month the launch of its nationwide Government Go Green Project - promoting environmental sustainability in government by reducing paper consumption through the use of iPads and other technologies that eliminate paper waste. The company says that more than 70 government entities - most of them local governments - have signed on to the nonbinding pledge. It's readily apparent that it's in the company's business interest for governments to move to paperless solutions. But only some of the Go Green pledgers are customers of the company, according to Granicus. Several county or city clerks have left a comment on the program's Facebook page, indicating support for their government. All the agencies that pledged already have a project in place to go green or they were in the process of implementing one, according to the company. The full list of pledging governments is posted here.

According to Tom Spengler, CEO and co-founder of Granicus, a survey the company conducted revealed that nearly 1.5 billion sheets of paper are used in local government legislative processes each year. "It's just amazing how much paper [government agencies] use, and so we decided that we would not only try to continue pushing for green products, but help them move to a paperless process - especially around their public meetings," Spengler said. Multnomah County, Ore., joined the Go Green project and has already started to reduce its paper usage by uploading board meeting packets on iPads instead of printing them on paper. Lynda Grow, the county board clerk, said the board packets "were gobbling up reams and reams and reams of paper." The county stopped printing board meeting packets in April 2011. The county uses the Granicus software to upload that material to the iPads. Grow said the county overall is now saving $40,000 a year on paper. Eliminating all paper-based processes may not be an easy feat for some government agencies. Spengler said governments do know there's much room for improvement. But challenges may arise, he conceded. "Sometimes it hard because you have an elected official - or two, or three or five - who just doesn't want to give up their paper," Spengler said. "And as a staff member, it's hard to tell your elected official, 'No, we're going green, and you're not going to get paper anymore.'"


From http://www.govtech.com/ 07/06/2012

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Report - Feds to Automate Collection of Telework Data

Federal News Radio reported that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is moving away from manual collection of data that's used for annual reporting on teleworking done by federal government employees. The collection of time and attendance statistics will be automated to improve data quality. A test pilot before the OPM's next telework report to Congress will be held, with a governmentwide implementation projected for summer 2014, reported Federal News Radio. The OPM said teleworking in the federal government might be overestimated because some agencies report the number of teleworking agreements, not actual teleworking. The office's annual report to Congress said one-fourth of the eligible federal workforce has worked outside the office at least one day per week. According to the OPM, "roughly 10 percent of eligible employees engaged in routine telework during calendar year 2009 while approximately 21 percent of telework eligible employees participated in routine telework in September of 2011." The automation of data collection is part of a larger OPM effort. The federal government is urging managers not to resist allowing employees to work remotely, and encouraging judging performance based on results rather than on attendance. The change in how data is collected could change the management style of the affected agencies, said Justin Johnson, the OPM's deputy chief of staff, reported Federal News Radio. Managers may use new information to make decisions that lead down different paths.


From http://www.govtech.com/ 07/12/2012

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4 Big Cities Launch Shared Data Platform

The Twitterverse was abuzz Wednesday, Aug. 1, about a new layer of data from local governments being added to the federal government's open data portal, Data.gov. Cities.data.gov now features data sets from four of America's largest cities - Chicago, Seattle, New York and San Francisco. While the site specifies that local government data sets aren't subject to federal data policies, the idea is that comparative data from different levels of government can be useful in informing the work of software developers. Civic hackathons and other organized efforts are using open data from government agencies to drive tech-based improvements that are helping improve the quality of life in local communities. Cities.data.gov is the first major endeavor of the G7 (Group of 7), big city CIOs who are informally collaborating on issues of mutual concern. Their shared interest and leadership in open data propelled this concept of a multi-jurisdictional clearinghouse of public data sets to the top of the group's priority list. G7 member Jon Walton, CIO of San Francisco, expressed a sentiment that seems to be catching on in government. "I think open data is bigger than any one city. Cities.data.gov represents an example of cities moving beyond doing data just for their city or just for their jurisdiction and starting to share data on a unified platform." This shared platform going live represents a soft launch that includes data from four of the G7 members - San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and New York. An internal pledge with the full support of the G7 promises that this achievement, while significant, is just the beginning. Walton and other G7 members at different stages of their open data journey hope this important first step will motivate other government leaders to publish their local data sets.

Walton estimates that San Francisco has about 90 percent of its data sets on Cities.data.gov so far, and efforts are ongoing to add remaining information. In fact, the city intends to first publish new data sets to the shared portal, and transition it to be its main open data repository. Transparency gains by the federal government, as evidenced by sites like Usaspending.gov and Data.gov, are encouraging governments at all levels to open up data for the public good. The multi-jurisdictional nature of the data on Cities.data.gov site could help further break down compartmentalized public-sector thinking, helping erase distinctions between government entities that are far less relevant to the public. Standardized formats are not required to post data to the Cities.data.gov, but as Walton explained, when jurisdictions start to collaborate on shared issues, some standardization will occur in order to maximize the usefulness of the data. "I think it's really going to open people's eyes to the power of data and what we can all do with it," he explained. "If we get people out of these silos, and we start sharing it, the development community, the public, the government itself, we're going to see more and more benefits over time."


From http://www.govtech.com/ 08/01/2012

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CHINA: Equipping Government Agencies with Genuine Software

BEIJING - A senior copyright official announced on Tuesday that China has completed the second phase of a national anti-piracy campaign on the software used by government agencies. The first two stages covered inspection and correction of improper use of software in national authorities and provincial governments, said Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of the National Copyright Administration, at a press conference. According to Yan, more than 1 billion yuan (156.9 million US dollars) was spent on 158,823 operating system licenses, 506,693 copies of office software, plus anti-virus and other special-purpose software during the campaign, which finished at the end of June. Yan highlighted that foreign software providers received equal treatment during the procurement with no preference given to domestic companies. It turned out that Chinese and foreign companies took similar shares in the project.
With regards to operation systems, foreign companies have a notable larger market share, while Chinese domestic firms took about two-thirds of the office applications but still earned less than their foreign counterparts due to lower pricing, explained Yan. Centralized procurement of general software was also adopted in the drive, which has enabled government agencies to get licenses at a 30 to 50-percent discount, said Li Baorong, deputy head of the Government Offices Administration of the State Council.

Inspection and license procurements at city and county levels are scheduled to conclude at the end of 2013.To date, 159 cities and 594 counties of China's 500 cities and 2,800 counties have gone through the compliance inspection process and undergone corrective procedures, said Yan. Yan also noted other obstacles in implementing the remaining part of the project in terms of insufficient institutional build-up. Many local government officials are not aware of the importance of intellectual property rights (IPRs), while it is difficult to monitor software licenses after installation, said Yan. However, the copyright chief remained confident about the campaign's success, and the country's potential to come up with a sustainable mechanism for anti-piracy work, including financial support, assets management for intangible goods, auditing and inspections. The anti-piracy campaign means a lot to the environment of IPRs protection and brought a huge market opportunity for both domestic and foreign companies, said Yan, adding that enhancing IPRs protection is a decision made not only to fulfil international obligations but also suits China's transformation into a innovation-driven country. Yan also reiterated that foreign software companies are encouraged to sell their products in China and are protected under Chinese law. The gross income of China's software sector topped 1.8 trillion yuan in 2011, accounting about 15 percent of the global market.


From http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/ 07/18/2012

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Online Simulation Training System Boosts PLA Navy to Upgrade Combat Power

"Torpedoes are found in direction xx at distance xx." Upon docking at a naval port from its drill mission, the missile destroyer Haikou of a destroyer flotilla under the South China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) received the circular on "enemy" situation from the online simulation training system on July 17, 2012.After seeing two torpedo loci quickly approaching the warship on the screen, Shao Shuguang, commander of the "Haikou" warship, commanded the warship to maneuver at high speed and ordered to cast underwater sound jammer for interference. The torpedo loci on the screen were soon deviated from the ship's sailing direction. The "blue side" of this online simulation training is the experts of an experimental area of the PLA Navy located more than one thousand kilometers away. According to Chen Yueqi, commander of the destroyer flotilla who is also on the scene, the online training has become a strong means for the destroyer flotilla to speed up its transformation of the combat-power generating mode. At the interval of the confrontation, Wei Fangyuan, commander of the Ship-to-Air Missile Element of the Haikou warship, said: "This modern remote off-site network simulation training system can freely build various types of realistic battlefield environments, which not only allows the officers and men to feel the actual-combat atmosphere, but also tempers the commander's command quality."


From http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/ 08/08/2012

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JAPAN: Official Announcement of Quarterly Data on Telecommunications Service Contract Number and Market Share

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has compiled the number of telecommunications service contracts and the market share of FY2011 Q4 (as of the end of March 2012) based on reports, etc. from telecommunications carriers pursuant to the provisions of the Rules for Reporting on Telecommunications Business (Ministerial Ordinance of MPT No. 46 of 1988), and they are officially announced herein (*1).

Major points

1.Fixed communications
(1) The number of subscriber telephone contracts (subscriber telephones of NTT East and West, as well as direct-access telephones, 0ABJ-IP and CATV telephones) has been on a downward trend, now standing at 56.91 million (a decrease of 0.1% over the previous quarter). The subscriber telephone market share of NTT East and West also continues to decrease, now standing at 79.2% (a decrease of 0.4 points over the previous quarter).
(2) The number of IP telephone numbers continues to increase, now standing at 28.48 million (an increase of 2.6% over the previous quarter). Among these, the number of 0ABJ-IP telephone numbers continues to increase and now stands at 20.96 million (an increase of 3.9% over the previous quarter). The market share of the number of 0ABJ-IP telephone numbers of NTT East and West continues to decrease and stands at 65.5% (a decrease of 0.3 points over the previous quarter), while that of KDDI continues to increase up to 19.1% (an increase of 0.9 points over the previous quarter). Also, the number of 050-IP telephone numbers continues to decrease and now stands at 7.53 million (a decrease of 0.9% over the previous quarter). The market share of the number of 050-IP telephone numbers of NTT Communications has been on an upward trend and stands at 39.4% (an increase of 0.4 points over the previous quarter), while that of Softbank BB continues to down to 39.6% (a decrease of 0.4 points over the previous quarter).

2.Mobile communications
The number of mobile communications contracts (including MVNO) continues to increase, now standing at 132.76 million (an increase of 2.2% over the previous quarter). The number of mobile phone contracts continues to increase, rising to 128.20 million (an increase of 2.1% over the previous quarter). Also, the number of PHS contracts continues to increase and has now reached 4.56 million (an increase of 5.8% over the previous quarter). The market share of mobile phone and PHS contracts of NTT DoCoMo continues to decrease, standing at 45.3% (a decrease of 0.6 points over the previous quarter), there is little change in the market share of KDDI 26.4% (no change over the previous quarter), while that of Softbank Mobile increased to 21.8% (an increase of 0.4 points over the previous quarter). The number of MVNO contracts increased to 4.84 million (an increase of 9.0% over the previous quarter).

3.Internet connections
(1) The number of broadband service (*2) contracts continues to increase, now standing at 39.528 million (an increase of 4.8% over the previous quarter).
(2) The number of 3.9G mobile telephone packet communication service contracts is drastically increasing up to 2.297 million (approximately 2 times more than the previous quarter).
(3) The number of BWA contracts is drastically increasing, having risen to 2.304 million (an increase of 35.8% over the previous quarter).
(4) Although the number of FTTH contracts continues to increase, now standing at 22.303 million, the growth rate is slowing down (an increase of 1.8% over the previous quarter). The FTTH market share of NTT East and West accounts for 74.2% (a decrease of 0.2 points over the previous quarter), that of electrical power system business operators remains roughly flat at 9.0% (a decrease of 0.1% over the previous quarter), while that of KDDI increased to 9.5% (an increase of 0.3 points over the previous quarter).
(5) The number of DSL contracts continues to decrease, falling to 6.705 million (a decrease of 5.0% over the previous quarter). There is little change in terms of the market share, leader Softbank BB stayed at 38.8% (no change over the previous quarter) while the share of second-place NTT East and West is 34.6% (a decrease of 0.1 points from the previous quarter).
(6) The number of FTTH contracts across all prefectures is increasing, while in all prefectures the number of DSL contract is decreasing.

*1 The MIC has evaluated competition in the telecommunications business field since FY 2003 and officially announced quarterly data on the status of competition based on information gathered from business carriers as part of the evaluation.
*2 Broadband services FTTH access services, DSL access services, CATV access services, FWA access services, BWA access services, and 3.9G mobile telephone packetcommunication access services.
FTTH access services Access services connecting to networks by optical fiber lines (including VDSL, etc. using telephone lines in some apartment buildings, etc.). DSL access services Access services (ADSL, etc.) connecting to networks by telephone lines (metal lines) CATV access services Access services connecting to networks by cable television lines. FWA access services Access services for wireless network connections of fixed user terminals. BWA access services Access services connecting to networks by broadband wireless access systems using 2.5GHz band (WiMAX, etc.). 3.9G mobile telephone packetcommunication access services Access services connecting to networks by3.9G mobile communications systems (LTE) using mobile telephones, etc. Previous Reports ("Quarterly Data on Telecommunications Service Contract Numbers and Market Share Published")
- Quarterly Data on Telecommunications Service Contract Numbers and Market Share Published (FY 2011 Q3 (End of December 2011)) (report published March 28, 2012)
- Quarterly Data on Telecommunications Service Contract Numbers and Market Share Published (FY 2011 Q2 (End of September 2011)) (report published December 16, 2011)


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 06/22/2012

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SOUTH KOREA: Korean District Finalises Advanced E-govt Strategy

With US$20 million budget, Gangnam District Office in Seoul is implementing 66 projects in four areas: improving residents' quality of life; boosting local economy; providing service focused on participation and communication; and establishing a u-City. "Gangnam's e-government began in 1995 by setting up a computer room and LAN network. Since then it has received local and international recognition, winning many awards and serving as a benchmark for government innovation," said Shin Yeon-hee, Mayor of Gangnam District Office. Gangnam authorities have just established a city surveillance system. A district-wide broadband network was introduced last year.

"The broadband has reduced the ever-increasing administrative work and the CCTV circuit rental fee, while improving the communication", explained Ms Shin. Among this the upcoming projects, there are: internet phone system, integrated server virtualisation for data processing, and enhanced security solution that will not only improve work efficiency and residents' satisfaction but also form the foundation of better e-government and information protection. The district plans to complete them by 2014. Gangnam is one of 25 district governments in Seoul, South Korea. A relatively young part of the city, it urbanised quickly and became one of the most prosperous and wealthy areas.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 05/30/2012

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UN Public Service Day: Korea to Receive E-govt Awards

In the recently released E-Government Survey published by the UN, the country topped the Asian charts in e-government, shared first place with the Netherlands in "e-participation", and came out on top in the general global category for e-government. Speaking on Korea's adoption of citizen inclusion in providing "customer-oriented" e-Government services, Alexei Tikhomirov, Acting Head of The United Nations Project Office on Governance, said that "the country has excelled in providing horizontal and vertical e-Government linkages among various institutions and nodal points, creating enhanced opportunities for greater participation and social inclusiveness." The top ten places in the global e-government rankings were dominated by Europe and North America, with Singapore being the sole other Asian representative, at tenth place.

Korea will receive the award as a part of the United Nations Public Service Day celebration, which will see 44 public service organisations gathered from 29 countries to participate in the United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) ceremony. The awards are meant to highlight excellence in public service and recognise the officials, organisations and countries that have been responsible for outstanding standards of public service globally. According to the official press release, the e-Government Special Award acknowledges recipients for: "establishing robust telecommunications infrastructure; investing in the development of human capital the usage of e-Government facilities; providing exceptional e-services; and making e-content available on a continuous basis." Korea will also receive awards in the areas of anti-corruption, gender mainstreaming and science and technology, on the day.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/13/2012

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S. Korea Again Cited by U.N. for Electronic Gov't System

South Korea won a global grand prize from the United Nations on Tuesday over its electronic government system for the second straight time, the latest sign of Seoul's top status in electronic public administration systems. Maeng Hyung-kyu, minister of public administration and security, received the honor at the U.N. General Assembly Hall in New York.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 06/25/2012

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INDONESIA: Launching Geoportal for Disaster Mitigation

The Geospatial Information Agency, formerly known as the National Coordinating Agency for Surveys and Mapping or BAKOSURTANAL, launched an interactive map called "Ina-GeoPortal" which aims to assist public sector organisations in their disaster mitigation and environmental conservation efforts. The Ina-GeoPortal will give government agencies and the general public real time access to authoritative spatial information on areas that are prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. According to a report from the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Indonesia is vulnerable to natural disasters such as tsunami, landslide, earthquake and flood. Out of the 4408 natural disasters that have occurred over the past years in Indonesia around 70 have been caused by earthquakes, two by tsunami, 24 by volcanic eruptions, and 470 have been brought about by landslide events. With the Ina-GeoPortal in place, first responders and decision makers in government agencies will be able to plan, organise and coordinate emergency response activities in an integrated manger. The information available in the portal will heighten their overall situational awareness enabling them to arrive at well informed decisions during such critical times. The portal uses the same system as Google maps but has more accurate coordinates and content which is provided by various government agencies. In addition, it can be linked to the US Geological Survey so that users can view historical data on earthquakes that occurred in Indonesia. Ina-GeoPortal is part of Indonesia's National Spatial Data Infrastructure. It was introduced in 2011 as tool that would help disseminate geospatial information between agencies to reduce duplication, improve data quality and save production costs.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/31/2012

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MALAYSIA: Police Upgrade Command & Control System

The Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) are planning to upgrade and expand the use of its Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Integration (C4i) System. The system, which was first introduced in 2002, has been 'proved effective in combating crimes and managing crisis', according to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar. The system has been used only in Klang Valley, a densely-populated area which includes the federal capital Kuala Lumpur. The control centre of the police, after the implementation, cut down police response time from 15 minutes to 5.7 minutes. Omar said if the application for RM1.5 million (US$475 million) budget is approved, PDRM will start rolling out the C4i system nationwide next year. "Today, the PDRM, with the cooperation from the Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic Systems (MIMOS), will upgrade the system further to ease the discharge of policing duties," Omar commented. PDRM and MIMOS have signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Tuesday, under which MIMOS will take up the role of consultant for the police in the system upgrade. Omar revealed that among the budget applied, RM8 million (US$2.5 million) will be used to upgrade the system in the Klang Valley, allowing immediate decision to be taken based on crime index analysis, crime mapping and database information. C4i received global recognition through Connected Government Award of FutureGov Awards 2008.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/18/2012

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SINGAPORE: Creating New Information and Communications Ministry

On 1 November 2012, Singapore will reshuffle its cabinet and rename the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) to Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI). According to a press release from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's Office, the MCI will "oversee the development of the infocomm technology, media and design sectors; the national and public libraries; as well as Government's information and public communications policies." Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, the current Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, is set to head MCI as the Minister for Communications and Information. Meanwhile, REACH (reaching everyone for active citizenry@ home) - the government body in charge of citizen engagement - will move its operations from the Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports (MCYS) to the newly-formed MCI. REACH was set up in 2006 as a way for the government to move beyond simple feedback gathering and is now responsible for engaging with the citizenry using social media technology and other forms of e-engagement. Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority, the statutory board that oversees all ICT affairs for the country, will also fall under the scope of MCI. The press release explains that the reorganisation "will enable the Government to focus more sharply on communication and information". A new ministry - the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) - will be established to take over MICA's current responsibilities in the area of arts, heritage and national resilience functions. The reason for this shuffle is that "Singapore is in a new phase of development" and the redistribution and re-focusing of ministerial workload will "improve public communications and engagement" for an "increasingly diverse society in the age of social media and rapid technological progress", according to the press release.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/01/2012

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THAILAND: Revamping Intra-Governmental e-Transaction System

The Comptroller General's Department (CGD) in Thailand has recently implemented a new government electronic transaction system to provide better and faster financial service to local administrations countrywide. Complaints were received over delays in revenue allocation from the central government to local administrations, and the government could not trace the cause of the delay because of the number of agencies involved in and the complexity of the transaction process. The CGD then decided to leverage the capability of Government Fiscal Management Information System (GFMIS) and developed a project called "Be Fast to Local Government" to solve the issues with hold-ups. "Be Fast to Local Government" can accelerate the e-transaction process to allocate revenue from tax collection to local administrations nationwide. This has transformed the entire government's e-transaction process from one-to-one transaction to one-to-multiple receivers at the same time. The new system facilitates e-transactions with all 7,853 local administrations nationwide at once, within 1.5 hours. The new system is slated to help the Revenue Department save transaction cost per unit, and reduce administration process at all levels. More importantly, the Local Administrations can be confident of receiving the money faster, resulting in them being able to plan their expenditure more efficiently. The "Be Fast to Local Government" project won the Thailand Public Service Awards organised by Ministry of Finance (MOF) in Thailand this year. The award is one of several annual MOF Innovation Awards to encourage agencies under the MOF to innovate to leverage its services.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/17/2012

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VIETNAM: Online Dialogue Centres on Power Development

HA NOI - The Ministry of Industry and Trade saw capital shortage to be the major difficulty the power sector encountered during implementation of the National Power Development Master Plan for 2011-20 (with a view to 2030). Deputy Minister Hoang Quoc Vuong, Deputy General Director of Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) Duong Quang Thanh and Deputy Director of the Ministry of Finance's Department of Investment Phan Ngoc Quang joined an online dialogue via the Government's e-portal yesterday morning.­ "Great efforts are required to achieve the goals set out in the National Power Development Master Plan (PDP 7)," Vuong said. The PDP 7 was approved by the Prime Minister last July. Under the plan, the power sector is expected to reach an output of about 330-360 billion kWh by 2020, and 700-800 billion kWh by 2030.

During the period to 2030, a total of US$110 billion is needed to build power plants, transformer stations and transmission lines. However, Viet Nam could only meet a maximum of 70-80 per cent of needed capital for power development, said Quang, with the rest expected to be drawn from outside investors. "Capital shortage would continue to be a headache during economic recession and low growth," he added. Currently, EVN could meet only 60 per cent of the VND500 trillion ($23.9 billion) needed for power investment to 2015. In 2012 alone, there was a shortage of VND8.9 trillion ($424 million) to invest in southern projects. Capital shortage resulted in the slow implementation of electricity projects, Vuong said, adding, "If the problem was not tackled fully, it would be hard to achieve the goals." He pointed out that with a reasonable power price policy, more investors from the private sector and foreign countries would pour money in because they saw profits.

In addition, the sector would try its best to form a competitive power market as soon as possible. As scheduled in the Prime Minister's Decision No 26, the power generation market would be launched at the beginning of next month followed by the wholesale market in 2014-22 and the retail market after 2022. Regarding transparency in power pricing, Vuong said annual financial reports from EVN were carefully audited and checked by relevant ministries, influencing power price adjustments. According to Thanh, by 2020, thermoelectric plants would generate 60 per cent of output. The sector would import coal from 2016 when the domestic source will no longer be enough for power generation. On a query about power saving, he said transmission systems would be upgraded in an effort to reduce power loss from 9.5 per cent in 2011 to 7 per cent by 2015. Under the PDP 7, priority would be given to developing renewable energies with the contribution of 4.5 per cent of total electricity output in 2020 and 6 per cent in 2030. In addition, the new kinds of power plant would also be constructed in Viet Nam, including pumped-storage facilities, the first of which was expected in 2019, and a nuclear power plant (after 2020), Vuong said. - VNS


From http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/ 06/29/2012

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Government Work Goes Online

HA NOI - Information technology and a high literacy rate were the keys to developing e-government, said Le Thanh Tam, CEO of IDG ASEAN at the 10th Viet Nam e-government symposium in the capital yesterday. Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan, who is head of the National Steering Committee on Information and Communication Technology, asked relevant bodies to develop a common database from provincial to central levels to serve the State administration. He said this would provide the public with better and more comprehensive information. Nhan also asked them to develop e-government infrastructure for a national standard database to help the nation enter a new stage in 2013, as requested by the Prime Minister. Nguyen Bac Son, Minister for Information and Communications, said this year marked rapid development and application of e-government and the use of IT in public administration.

According to an IDG report, 96.6 per cent of government bodies and 100 per cent of cities now have their own websites. Meanwhile, the Government has built a detailed action plan and set up national targets for building e-government. It aims to build the technical infrastructure for applying information technology in the operations of government bodies - and building a national information system for both people and enterprises. Tam from IDG ASEAN said Viet Nam was now rated 83rd in IT competency in the world from 105th in 2005. It was also in fourth position in the ASEAN region after Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. Dinh Duy Hoa, Director of Department of Public Administration Reform, Ministry of Home Affairs said that inspite of improvements, the Vietnamese administrative system lagged behind other regional countries and felt short of the expectation of the people and businesses. Huynh Thanh Dien, deputy chairman of the Nghe An People's Committee, told participants problems remained in the IT application of e-government in his central province. He said the awareness of State employees and leaders was poor. Dien said e-government was needed to effectively carry out work in many fields. He said this required the Government to outline a specific plan as well as developing a database and software for common use. - VNS


From http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/ 07/21/2012

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INDIA: SIDCO Takes Measures to Improve e-Governance

The Tamil Nadu Small Industries Development Corporation Limited familiarly known as SIDCO is taking measures to computerise its activities, a significant move to foster industrial development. It has also undertaken steps to ensure entrepreneurs filed their applications for allotment of plots online. Meanwhile, as per an instruction from the chief minister J. Jayalalithaa, it has been proposed to revamp the district industries centers in all the 32 districts by taking up appropriate civil works in various district headquarters. Further, the DIC would be provided with modern IT enabled communication facilities and those centers functioning from rental buildings would have their buildings. Realizing the importance of DIC, the chief minister had during a recent review meeting told the officials that these centers formed the bedrock of MSME promotion, and directed the officials to immediately strengthen, revivalist and transform the DECs to play a pro-active role for the benefit of the entrepreneurs. She had also ordered a sum of '50 crores to revamp the centres.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 06/25/2012

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Recognising Excellence in e-Governance in Madhya Pradesh

e-Governance,News Chief minister of Madhya Pradesh,Shivraj Singh Chouhan will distribute awards to the officers and institutions for their excellent performance in e-governance on July 10. This is the sixth edition of these awards instituted by Madhya Pradesh government. The awards will be given in eight categories. The eight categories include IT for messages, best application software, best use of mobile technology, best employer in IT, best innovation of technology in government functioning, best use of GIS, best use of GPR and IT person of the year. For the first seven categories, 40 nominations were received. The jury took decision after going through the presentations made by all the participants. The jury comprised NESCOM Senior Vice-President Rajiv Vaishnav, National Institute of Smart Governance Senior General Manager Piyush Gupta, e-Government magazine chief editor, Rajiv Bagga, chairman and convener CSE Nililant Award Vasudev Dehalkar and head of department in MANIT. Applications were not invited for the IT person of the year award. This award has been decided by the jury at its own by selecting a person of distinguished fame in Madhya Pradesh in IT sector. Rs. one lakh, citation and trophy will be given to each winner and citations and trophies as consolation prizes in each category.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 07/10/2012

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Govt. Should Use Available Technology to Prevent Blackouts, Opines Nasscom

India witnessed the world's largest blackout on Tuesday and the $100 billion Indian IT-BPO sector managed to keep the lights on, drawing power from diesel gensets and keeping the links on with clients in Europe and US. Image of India as the new destination for foreign investment got dented, as jittery clients starting calling IT providers back home, if they would be able to provide uninterrupted services. India runs IT operations for airlines, banks and rail services across world. A large amount of back office of City of London is outsourced to back offices in Gurgaon, Noida and Delhi. Indian companies also handle back offices for Eurostar, the official partner for rail for Olympics. "The blackout has impacted the perception of India at a country level. India's image has taken a beating," said Som Mittal, President for Nasscom, India's IT association. As images of traffic jams and shutdowns of railway services were splashed across news websites and TV channels, power grid failure, started trending on Twitter as one of the world's most tweeted topics. "Earlier power cuts and load shedding a a major problem were less known to clients. But with a massive blackout at a country level, India's power issues are now known to everyone. It can impact business perception," Mittal adds. Nasscom also said that India should use predictive technologies used in power grids to prevent such blackouts. "There are technologies available today and we hope government would start using them to prevent such incidents in future," said Mittal.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 08/03/2012

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Connect with the President Directly via Website

While the historical perspectives from the earlier websites have been retained, the re-designed website has some new features, which include direct connectivity from the website to social networking media of the President i.e. Facebook and You-Tube. These two features have been initiated after assumption of charge by the President Pranab Mukherjee. The new website also has a Video Gallery. Citizens can connect to the President directly by clicking the button 'Write to the President', which will take them directly to the helpline portal. Moreover, visuals have been conceptualized and made user friendly. Launching the website, Secretary to the President, Omita Paul expressed the hope that it would be a step forward to bring the President of India closer to the people. She also said that efforts would be made to ensure that the website is in line with the best global practices.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 08/04/2012

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Govt Launches National Automatic Identification System

As part of efforts to enhance maritime security, the Centre launched the Rs 132-crore National Automatic Identification System (NAIS), which will ensure effective search and co-ordination besides broadcasting warnings to merchant ships. Describing the project as the "most important component of coastal surveillance" by the Union Government, Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan said it would go a long way in enhancing safe navigation along the 7,500-km long Indian coastline. The minister informed that the NAIS is a set-up connecting 74 AIS sensors installed on lighthouses along the entire coastline. The system will be able to track vessels to a distance of 50 km from the coast. This is intended to help different users like DG Shipping, various ports, Navy and Coast Guard in tracking, surveillance, search and rescue and management of aid to navigation. AIS has provisions to track small fishing vessels with customised transponders which will be helpful during search and rescue operations. The Minister with two lakh fishing vessels in operation, his Ministry has approved a pilot project for Directorate General of Lighhouses and Lightships to provide transponders to 1000 such vessels off the Gujarat and Maharashtra coasts at an estimated cost of Rs six crore.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 08/06/2012

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e-Governance Portal Set to Be Unveiled in Lagos

Minister of Interior Abba Moro will unveil the e-governance portal, e-Citibiz, to stakeholders at a forum in Lagos soon. The initiative is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the Citizenship and Business Department of the ministry and Anchor Dataware Solutions (ADS), a group focused on the provision of world-class Information Communication and Technology (ICT) solutions. Speaking with reporters in his office in Abuja, ADS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Joel Adi said: "The project will revolutionise the way government business is conducted, improve commerce and industry, create jobs and accelerate the economic development of the country. "The portal will ensure an easy flow of data, integrate and automate the operations of the department and streamline its naturalisation, citizenship, marriage registry and expatriate quota management systems." "We are putting finishing touches to all installations for the success of the project and the actualisation of the government's goals."


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 08/08/2012

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SRI LANKA: IT Savvy Officers, Need of the Hour - Naveen

Sri Lanka needs well educated and IT savvy persons to work as officers in the public sector in the current development process. All officers working in the public sector should improve their IT skills to facilitate this process, Public Management Reforms Minister Naveen Dissanayake said. The whole world is being transformed with the introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ITC). Sri Lanka should also face this challenge in a successful manner to achieve the government's vision of making Sri Lanka the knowledge hub of Asia, he added. The minister was addressing SAARC's Annual Government Transformation Summit (FutureGov SAARC Summit-2012) in Colombo on Thursday. FutureGov SAARC Summit-2012 was organised by FutureGove Asia Pacific magazine along with the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA). The summit showcased new developments in the public sector service delivery from around the world and provided a platform for Sri Lankan public servants to meet and interact with national and international peers. "The government has implemented an islandwide development programme and spent a large sum on these programmes. Sri Lanka has to fulfill a number of goals to become a developed country. Promoting Information Technology culture in Sri Lanka will help meet the above aims efficiently," the minister said. The forum covered strategies on how to align technology investment with agency priorities to create infrastructure and establish an enabling environment to implement e-government services, thus, creating effective and efficient e-Governance. "This is the time to take Sri Lanka to the next level of ITC. The government needs to implement ITC in a very correct and effective manner," MP Harsha de Silva said participating in the VIP panel discussion at the FutureGov SAARC Summit-2012.


From http://www.dailynews.lk/ 07/22/2012

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ARMENIA: IT Field to Receive $24 Million Loans

The World Bank (WB) will grant $24 million loans to use it for the Armenian IT field, Armenian Minister of Economy Tigran Davtyan said at a meeting in Armenian City of Aghveran. The loan has already been confirmed by the WB. According to the Minister, it is the second loan for the IT field. The first loan in the amount of $5 million has mainly served for the establishment of the Enterprise Incubator Foundation. Davtyan also presented other sources of financing, except for loans. The field received $80 million annually from exhibitions, information materials, conference organization and participation. Besides, over $170 million is granted to Gyumri city techno-park. Moreover, tourism and IT get direct investments from the state budget. USAID also makes investments.


From http://news.am/ 07/01/2012

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AZERBAIJAN: State Statistical Committee Starts to Provide E-services

The State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan has begun to provide electronic services, announced on Friday head of the department of the Data Dissemination of State Committee on Statistics Mary Amirova said at the presentation of an interactive system for obtaining statistical data on Friday. Works are carried out in accordance with the decree of the President of Azerbaijan On some measures in the field of provision of electronic services by public authorities on May 23, 2011. Regulations for each e-service provided by the State Committee are approved and registered by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan. Currently, there are 7 electronic services provided by the State Committee. Services are available on the official website of the committee. "Using e-services, users can remotely apply to the Commission and get answers to their questions," Amirova said.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/08/2012

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Azerbaijani State Social Protection Fund's Integration into E-government Underway in Accordance with Schedule

The State Social Protection Fund (SSPF) of Azerbaijan has been working to integrate into the "e-government" in accordance with the schedule, SSPF Chairman Salim Muslimov told reporters on Wednesday. "We have connected our database to information system for identity card registration of the Interior Ministry," Muslimov said. He said the SSPF is currently placing its database on pensioners and citizens insured under compulsory state social insurance, on the e-government portal. "We need an automatic exchange of information with databases of following state agencies - Education Ministry, State Student Admission Commission, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, State Committee on Statistics, Ministry of Communications and IT, State Committee for Land and Cartography and other agencies," Muslimov said.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/27/2012

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Insurer Database Integrated into Information System of Azerbaijani Central Bank

The Azerbaijani State Social Protection Fund's account information database has been integrated into the KOMIS system (centralized information system for mass payments) under the Central Bank, chairman of the State Fund Salim Muslimov told reporters on Friday. "The State Fund and the Central Bank of Azerbaijan established a communication channel based on the AzDATACOM network," Muslimov said. "All transactions in the payment of state social insurance contributions in electronic form will be implemented through KOMIS, as well as other payments for public utilities." He said that in July, insurers will be able to provide statements for the first half and second quarter in electronic form. These activities are carried out to implement the orders for the payment of fees for services and other payments electronically in real time. Instructions are given within the decree of the President of the country dated May 23, 2011 "On some of the activities in the field of provision of electronic services by public authorities."


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/29/2012

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Patent Governance System Automated in Azerbaijan

The State Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Patents is conducting patent digitalization, e-governance application, and e-services for intellectual property rights registration and protection, the committee said on Monday. According to the information, the project is being carried out within the grant agreement on the intellectual property rights automation control system signed between the committee and the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry of the Republic of Korea on October 11, 2011. The Korean company Siriussoft corp. under the direction of the Agency for International Cooperation of Korea (KOICA) is working to establish an automated search system for intellectual property rights, electronic document, electronic publications, training center and other work. Part of the necessary equipment, computers and servers have already been purchased and installed in the committee. Using the system will expand scientific research, inventions, increase innovation products and develop the electronic technology market. The main purpose of the training center is to train specialists in the field of intellectual property, commissioners on patents and to inform public about the objects of intellectual property. The fees for acquiring the rights to intellectual property, expertise and other payments will be paid through electronic payment. In this regard, the contract was signed between the Examination of Industrial Property Center (AzPatent) Committee and "Golden Pay" company.


From http://en.trend.az/ 07/09/2012

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Introducing E-Services Is Requirement of Azerbaijan's Economic Development

The Azerbaijani Economic Development Ministry renders interactive e-services in seven directions and informative e-services in nine directions. Deputy Economic Development Minister Niyazi Safarov made this statement during a speech at an event on e-services in the
ministry's activity. "The ministry carries out systematic measures for introducing and expanding e-services, and is preparing the appropriate electronic support and the necessary legislative framework. Today, duties are paid in the online mode, and documents confirming these payments are also carried out in e-form," Safarov said. He said e-services are a requirement for the country. "The first half of the year was successful for Azerbaijan's economy despite the difficult global economic. The country's GDP grew by 1.5 percent, and the share of the private sector in the GDP exceeded 82 percent," Safarov said.


From http://en.trend.az/ 08/06/2012

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Presentation of E-Government Portal to Be Held in Azerbaijan in Autumn

Some 30 state agencies have been connected to Electronic government portal, Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technologies Elmir Velizade told reporters on Monday. "The official presentation of the portal is expected in autumn," Velizade said. He said the total number of electronic services centered on the portal and provided to government agencies is 124 units. "The number of state agencies connecting to the portal is increasing every day and the list of e-services is growing," Velizade said. Also, the deputy minister noted intensification of the process of the issuance of digital signature, which is now used by more than 40 enterprises, which greatly simplifies access to the e-government portal as well as the provision of electronic services by these structures. Digital signature can be obtained at all post offices and branches of Azerpost. The total number of digital signatures issued by the public and private companies and the population exceeds 2,000.


From http://en.trend.az/ 08/06/2012

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TAJIKISTAN: Internet Access to Tajikistan's Leading News Agency Cut Off Again

Tajik Internet providers blocked access to the Asia-Plus website on August 1 following order from the Communications Service under the Government of Tajikistan. Internet access to Asia-Plus has been cut off for the third time over the past two months. In its letter sent to local Internet providers Wednesday morning, the communications service agency again cited "technical reasons" for blocking access to Asia-Plus. "This confusion with blocking websites has been going on since July 24, when the government forces launched a special operation in Khorog," said representative of one of companies offering Internet services in Tajikistan. "Since that time, we have been receiving new addresses of websites to block nearly every day." Asia-Plus has decided not to conduct any negotiations with the communications service agency any more. "There is no point in conducting negotiations with the Communications Service head Beg Zuhurov. We intend to solve this issue at another level and in another format. Practice shows that negotiations have drawn blank. We earlier reached an agreement with Beg Zuhurov that they will inform use of blocking the site. However, they have never done this," said the Asia-Plus executive director Zebo Tadjibayeva. "As far as we know, only courts may decide whether websites can be blocked, not separate ministries. Besides, we are incurring both financial losses, because we cannot fulfill our obligations to customers and users in full, and moral losses, because such actions undermine our reputation. Moreover, the main thing is that blocking websites deprives citizens of their right to receive and impart information. This right is vested by the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan." Meanwhile, Internet access to Russian TV Channel Vesti has remained cut off for several days. Some of Tajik Internet providers have also blocked Lenta.ru, Ferghananews.com, and Pamir-vesti.ru. Besides, the Communications Service on July 26 asked Internet providers to block access to video sharing website YouTube.


From http://news.tj/ 08/03/2012

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NGOs Call on Tajik Authorities to Unblock Asia-Plus Website

Tajik civil society is seriously concerned over blocking Internet access to Tajikistan's leading independent news agency Asia-Plus that deprives citizens of their right to receive information. A joint statement released by the Association of Young Lawyers "Amparo," Bureau on Human Rights and Rule of Law (BHR), Human Rights Center, NGO Imran, NGO Spin Plus, NGO Note Bena, Center for Child's Rights, and Sughd Barristers' Association on August 4 notes that the website of the Asia-Plus news agency has been blocked three times in two months. Internet access to the Russian news sites (RIA-Novosti, Lenta.ru and Vesti.ru), video sharing website YouTube and two news portals specializing in Central Asia (Fergananews.com and Centrasia.ru) has also been cut off following an order by the Tajik communications service agency. Blocking news sites restricts population's opportunities to receive alternative information from other sources and leads to artificial aggravation of the situation and appearance of disagreeable rumors in society, the statement said. Tajik non-governmental organizations called on the authorities to unblock the Asia-Plus website and other international news portals and ensure the right of citizens to receive alternative information.


From http://news.tj/ 08/04/2012

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AUSTRALIA: State Government Overhauls ICT Procurement Programme

The State Government of Victoria, Australia, has moved to streamline its ICT procurement programme to open up competition for lucrative contracts, while creating a more transparent reporting regime. The Victorian State Government's ICT reforms agenda will see the scrapping of a controversial e-Services Panel, to be replaced by an e-Services Register. This new register, to be fully operational in 2013, will be mandated for use by all government departments and agencies. A register model offers a more effective mechanism for the Victorian Government to procure ICT services and solutions. Victorian Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips said this latest change was recommended by a high-level joint industry and government working party. This group was appointed last November to review the way the Victorian Government procured its ICT services. This working party was established after industry and government consultation highlighted a need to change the way ICT services were being sourced in the State of Victoria. "We have accepted the preferred option of the working party report and will consult with industry over the next few months on how this recommendation can best be implemented," Mr Rich-Phillips said.

Current suppliers are automatically eligible to join the e-Services Register. This register opens up competition, increases value for money, and enables the Victorian Government to consider new and innovative technology and services, Mr Rich-Phillips said. Earlier, concerns were raised about the Victorian Government's e-Services Panel. Among these, it was alleged that shelf companies with "self-written evaluations" were being accepted onto supplier panels. Agencies noted that they had insufficient information about companies on the procurement panel. Generalised contracts did not necessarily fit agencies' needs. There was little regard for privacy obligations. These concerns were highlighted in an "e-Services Government and Industry Working Party Report." Among its findings, this report cautioned that there were inadequate reference checks as part of the ICT panel selection process. Issues surfaced that government users were not contacted to discuss the track record of suppliers. Shelf companies were traced among panel members. "A one-size-fits-all contract is inadequate in some circumstances. For example, contracts relating to the provision of cloud services ought to include special protection for personal information," the working party report noted.

This report said an e-Services Panel search tool was inadequate. Categories did not align with areas of capabilities. There was insufficient information on companies' know-how and skills. The panel did not provide sufficient suppliers' reports. The performance feedback process was not optimal. A new e-Services Register seeks to address these ICT procurement concerns. This register aims to ensure that an application process is clear, simple and easy to operate. An application process is expected to be widely-accessible, secure, reliable and more readily-validated. Membership of this e-Services register is restricted to companies with demonstrated capabilities and financial stability.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/13/2012

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AUSTRALIA: State Government of Victoria Builds Business Case for Cloud Services

The State Government of Victoria is building the business case for cloud computing services, observing this platform offers substantially more savings compared to the traditional outsourcing model, according to Martin Hopley, CIO, Department of Treasury and Finance (Victoria). Mr Hopley was delivering a keynote address at an inaugural FutureGov Forum Victoria held in Melbourne (19th June). His presentation, Cloud Computing: another fad, or are we serious this time?" noted that agencies are motivated to use cloud services to benefit from economies of scale, while delivering cost savings. Cloud services can be paid like a utility and options and service levels can be adjusted on demand, Mr Hopley noted. This platform enables agencies to focus on service level agreements, while ensuring that vendor relationships are flexible, agile, and accommodate changing needs. Cloud services offer an alternative to traditional outsourcing: "Traditional outsourcing is negotiated upfront and can often be incorrectly scoped and costs underestimated."

Agencies' move to cloud services requires careful planning, including an information audit and classification of services. This planning should factor in "cloud-readiness," while examining services portfolios, and bringing people into the planning process, Mr Hopley noted. He said that the cloud computing and shared services models present new challenges. These include managing multiple vendor relationships, complex integration issues and preventing the loss of data. Social media, mobile communications, cloud computing and growth of data are the major "disruptive influences" on government, according to Chris Dowling, Chief Information Officer, Department of Premier and Cabinet (Victoria). Mr Dowling told delegates that agencies faced a complexity of demands. These included greater access to public information, managing privacy and security, and meeting ever-increasing demands by younger demographics for "instant responses" to information or services.

During a closing keynote, Paul O'Connor, Sector Director, Technology Review, Auditor-General's Office (Victoria), said agencies needed to "report meaningfully" on ICT performance and investment. He said financial accountability remained a real challenge for the Victorian Government. He noted that agencies needed to stop "fixating on technology and focusing on the outcomes." The concept of open government also needed closer scrutiny, Mr O'Connor observed. "The premise of opening up government does not necessarily mean meeting all of the demands from citizens. The challenge is putting a human face on public sector service delivery."


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/20/2012

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Australia Establishes New Centre for Govt Innovation

The government of Australia has launched a cross-agency initiative to "help the Australian Public Service (APS) better respond to the challenges of the 21st century and inspire creativity and innovation through collaboration across government departments". The initiative saw the establishment of Centre for Excellence in Public Sector Design; Jane Treadwell, Editor-at-large of FutureGov and former CIO of the government of State of Victoria, was appointed CEO of the Centre through a public service process. Treadwell's previous roles also included senior consultant to the World Bank and Deputy CEO for Business Transformation at Centrelink, the one-stop service-provisioning agency under the Department of Human Services. "She is eminently qualified and has the right skills for establishing this initiative and she has a keen understanding of the value of collaborative innovation in the APS," said Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation Kate Lundy, who added that the new initiative would assist the public sector meet challenges and find new ways of working to deliver better outcomes for all Australians.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/27/2012

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Australia State Dept Puts ERP on Cloud

The New South Wales Department of Trade and Investment is deploying a new cloud to deliver agency-wide savings across the State. This cloud deployment, utilising software-as-a-service (SaaS), will save the department and its 16 cluster agencies more than US$12.5 million (AUD$12.5 million) a year in operational costs. Portfolios managed by the department and its cluster agencies encompass trade and investment, business development, primary industries, food and water, mineral resources and energy, as well as tourism, hospitality and the arts. NSW Trade's chief information officer, David Kennedy, says that adopting world best-practice, cloud-based services will deliver substantial savings on hardware and associated costs. This roll-out also improves systems security. "It will enable us to implement the new SaaS model in a timeframe that addresses our business priorities. The SaaS model, compared to traditional on-premise Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems makes good business sense and represents the future." This new single integrated enterprise resource planning system will be the backbone for finance.

This includes budgeting, accounting, asset management and reporting. Purchasing, procurement, human resources and payroll management will also be supported by the cloud deployment. The project is being completed in two parts, with initial consolidation of the core (NSW Trade and Investment) department on to the platform by the end of this year. Other cluster agencies are expected to come on board by June 2013. The cloud project has been awarded to SAP Australia and New Zealand under a US$14.5 million (AUD$14.5 million) three-year contract. SAP will deliver a range of cloud solutions that utilise its Business ByDesign offerings. For SAP, the NSW Trade and Investment contract is the first cloud platform win in the Australian public sector. "This was a strategic deal both for NSW Trade and Investment and SAP," noted Andrew Barkla, president and managing director, SAP Australia. "By consolidating its ERP onto SAP's cloud platform, the department will realise the benefits and value that software-as-a-service delivers." SAP initially launched ByDesign in the US and Germans markets in 2007. The company had set a target of reaching 10,000 customers and US$1 billion (AUD$1 billion) in revenues by 2010.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/26/2012

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Australia Council Modernises Information Management Systems

Australia's largest local government council, Brisbane City Council, is spending US$353 million (AUD$353 million) on an integrated information management system to streamline service delivery for tax payers. This new Business and System Efficiency (BaSE) roll-out will help integrate 62 individual and outdated council systems into a single platform. This BaSE project will help manage council activities and information-sharing activities - from automating payroll systems to improving service delivery across the State. This council initiative underscores moves to streamline business processes through a better use of information management technologies, according to the council's Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk. The BaSE programme supports a "One Council" service delivery effort when dealing with tax payers and businesses. The city of Brisbane is supported by one the largest local government councils in Australia. This council brings together 26 wards and 27 councillor roles.

The council's current information management systems are outdated, notes Lord Mayor Quirk. "These need to be brought into the 21st century if we want to cement Brisbane's reputation as the economic powerhouse in the Asia-Pacific region." The BaSE rollout will support key activities by automating the council's core functions. Among the upgrades, this automation modernises payroll and HR functions. Plans are underway to create a single register of council assets, while managing workflow and resource allocation. The council plans to use mobile devices to log, track and manage repairs and other work in the field. This work include time-consuming road resurfacing, trimming trees, footpath repair, and removing graffiti in built-up areas. Brisbane City Council began extensive repair work after being hit by devastating floods in January 2011. This repair and restoration effort covers infrastructure, assets, transport, waterways, parks and community areas. The State's 2012 budget earlier earmarked US$3.11 billion (AUD$3.11 billion) on infrastructure investment for Brisbane City Council. Software for the council's BaSE system is being supplied by solutions provider, SAP. This roll-out will be implemented by systems integrator, Accenture.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/272012

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TONGA: Govt Aims to Pick Up Multi-Million Bonanza in Communications Revenue

Communications costs in Tonga are under pressure as the Tonga Government aims to collect more than $10 million pa'anga revenue from the communications and public enterprises sector in the current financial year. At least, that is according to the national budget statement for 2012-13, but this figure has been challenged by those who know the industry. The issue was raised by People's Representative 'Aisake Eke, during the budget debate in June. The former Secretary of Finance questioned why the new budget expected to collect $4 million from TCC and Digicel. He pointed out that during the first half of the 2011-12 financial year, the revenue collected from Tonga Communications Corporation and Digicel amounted to only $370,000. The $10 million was expected to come from the communications sector and public enterprises However, in the previous financial year, up to December 2011, government had collected only $700,000, and he said he did not think that the figures would add up at the end of the financial year.

The Minister of Finance, Hon. Lisiate 'Akolo, during the Budget debate, responded that with regards to the $4 million from TCC and Digicel, the collection was usually slow but they always managed to collect the estimated amount by the end of the financial year. In addition, they had advised both TCC and Digicel to charge yachts that use other frequencies for their telecommunications. Parliament passed the Budget in June with no changes to that figure. Fair trade policy Meanwhile, both TCC and Digicel are baffled with the thought that between them, the two companies have to pay government $4 million annually. When Matangi Tonga asked them why the Minister of Finance was telling parliament that they were slow in their payment of money due to government, spokesmen for both companies were baffled by the claims, and why the government thought that they would continue to pay government $4 million annually.

A spokesperson for TCC explained that in 2008 the government had introduced what was called a "Minimum Termination Rate" of 30 seniti for every international call that was coming into the country. "A caller would pay for their call overseas, then we charged .30 seniti to connect and complete the call in Tonga. The government then got 8 seniti and we got the rest, and so government was collecting an extra $4 million a year." International dispute But the fact that this extra charge made calls to Tonga more expensive was challenged. TCC said there was a marked drop in the number of calls to Tonga and a final blow to the scheme came after the Tonga government was challenged by the USA for infringing the fair trading policy of the WTO by putting extra charges on international calls to Tonga. The spokesman for the TCC said that following the WTO dispute, the Minimum Termination Rate scheme was gradually faded out, "and instead of government getting eight seniti a call they were getting four seniti, and eventually the MTR ended in 2011."

A Digicel spokesperson said as far as they were concerned they did not owe government any money and he did not want to comment. Ministry of Finance So has government readjusted the amount of revenue it expected to collect from the TCC and Digicel, since the MTR ended in 2011? 'Aholotu Palu, from the Ministry of Finance said that the estimated revenue for 2011-12 went down from $4 million to $3.6 million, and for 2012-13 it went down again to $3.5. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance has advised TCC and Digicel to charge yachts for using certain frequencies for their communications, and there was still a high hope for government to meet its estimated revenue collection of more than $10 million from the communications sector.


From http://www.e-pic.info/ 08/09/2012

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Integrating Government in the Pacific Islands

"We're all fine here. Thank you, Mr Prime Minister", said David Tovovour, the Assistant Secretary General of Tafea, one of the six provinces that make up the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Tovovour was speaking by videoconference from Isangel on the island of Tanna, 225km south of Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila on Efate island, where the Prime Minister was standing. The occasion was Vanuatu's celebration of the 2012 World Telecommunications and Information Society Day. That simple demonstration to the Prime Minister and to the public showed just how far the Government of Vanuatu has come in a few short years with respect to investment in, and deployment of information and communications technology (ICT). In 2008, the Government signed a loan agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China to finance the "E-Government Project". The focus of the project was the development and commissioning of an SDH microwave and VSAT transmission network connecting Port Vila with the provincial capitals on five other islands, along with a fibre-optic network linking all Government agencies to each other and to a centralised data centre. The planned data centre would be equipped with a full complement of servers, data communications equipment, and software to support a full-featured MPLS network.

At the time of the loan agreement, the project drew considerable criticism from the business community and the general public. No detailed financial or feasibility analysis was conducted, nor was the network design based on any comprehensive analysis of the Government's true requirements. In short, it did not seem to present a sound basis for a major investment. However, it could be argued that had the project been dependent on such pre-requisites, it might never have happened! Instead the network was completed and commissioned in early 2011. Vanuatu now boasts arguably the best government communications infrastructure in the Pacific Islands. All the Government agencies in Port Vila and Luganville on Espiritu Santo, the second largest urban centre, and all the Provincial headquarters in the outer islands enjoy high speed broadband connectivity. All of the Government's voice and data traffic is fully converged on digital IP technology. Although the name implies something more, the "E-Government Project" was focused solely on communications infrastructure. Very little consideration was given to what would be done with the network once it was built. Yes, it would mean improved communications capability and substantial savings on telecommunications and travel costs, but not nearly enough financial return for such a large investment. How was this asset going to pay for itself?

The answer is "public value". Many now accept the idea that return on e-government investment is measured in terms of public value, which goes far beyond just financial return to include social and political value as well. Better health care and better education are sometimes difficult to reflect in financial terms, but no one can argue that they are not valuable for society. Healthier, better educated people are usually happier people. In a democracy, when people are happy with the government, they tend to keep the politicians in office, hence the political value. So it is certainly in government's interest to perform well. However, simply having network infrastructure in place doesn't result in better performance, which requires effective systems and applications running on the network to support service delivery and agency functions. As Vanuatu's network was nearing completion, the Government and its development partners shifted their focus to the required applications. Consulting assistance was brought in to conduct a requirements analysis across the entire government and to design appropriate application architecture. But right from the beginning, it was clear that there were other key components missing as well. There was no strategic plan or overarching framework to guide the development and management of ICT across the government. Even more importantly, there was no institution in place to lead the effort. So while analysing and defining the requirements, an overall strategy and institutional structure had to be developed as well. Thus the Vanuatu Integrated Government Initiative, or iGov, was born.

This is the first time the Vanuatu Government has undertaken a comprehensive investment programme and set of activities aimed at improvements across the board. There have been numerous projects and programmes targeting specific sectors or agencies, but all have been vertically-oriented. The iGov Initiative has a horizontal focus on the deployment of technology and management of information that will improve services and operations in every agency and increase the productivity of every Government employee. In November 2011 the Council of Ministers approved the Strategic Plan for the iGov Initiative. Central to the plan was the establishment of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, or OGCIO, within the Prime Minister's Office. In May 2012, the Public Service Commission formally approved the OGCIO structure and appointed Fred Samuel as the Government CIO reporting directly to the Prime Minister, yet another critical milestone that elevates Vanuatu to a best practice example of government ICT leadership. The iGov Initiative is now being rolled out with the key management elements in place: an overarching framework, a strategic plan, and a dedicated lead agency. The near-term activities are focused on three objectives: the maintenance and stability of the network and data centre infrastructure, the development of the application platforms, and the development of the capacity within the OGCIO and across the government for ICT operations and management. Indeed there was much to celebrate in Vanuatu on the 2012 World Telecommunications and Information Society Day. That short, crystal clear videoconference between the Prime Minister and the Tafea Assistant Secretary General, who were literally oceans apart, signals just the beginning of an ICT-driven government transformation that promises to deliver value to, and improve the lives of everyone in Vanuatu.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/10/2012

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Global: B2C E-Commerce Sales

•According to IMRG, global B2C E-Commerce sales reached EUR 690 billion in 2011, representing an increase of approximately +20% compared to 2010.
•Furthermore, it is projected that the EUR 1 trillion mark will be reached in 2013. The leaders in B2C E-Commerce sales remain the US, the UK and Japan.

Latin America: Social Networking Usage
•More than 127 million Latin Americans aged 15 or older visited a social networking site in April 2012. The average visitor spent 7.5 hours on social networking during the month, according to ComScore.
•Facebook was the leading site with more than 100 million unique visitors in April 2012, followed by Twitter.com and Orkut.

Italy: B2C E-Commerce Development
•Despite the economic crisis, online sales in Italy increased significantly in 2011, and for 2012, a further growth is expected. B2C E-Commerce sales in Italy reached almost EUR 19 billion in 2011, according to Casaleggio Associati.
•Due to the fact that the Italian E-Commerce market is relatively young, much higher annual growth than in the mature markets Germany and the UK can be expected.

India: Investments in Online Retailers
•According to InsideRetail Asia, Russian investment company ru-Net will be the first foreign company to invest in Indian online retailing.
•The company will invest USD 17 million in BeStylish, an Indian online shopping site for footwear, and Freecultr, an online store for apparels.


From http://www.i-policy.org/ 06/22/2012

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World ICT Market to Grow to $3.62 Trillion Per Annum in 2012: Gartner

Worldwide Information and Communications Technology (ICT) spending is expected to reach $3.62 trillion per annum in 2012, according to new figures from market research firm Gartner. According to Gartner, the figures represent a 3% worldwide increase over 2011, despite global economic uncertainty. "While the challenges facing global economic growth persist - the eurozone crisis, weaker US recovery, a slowdown in China - the outlook has at least stabilised," said Gartner's vice president of research, Richard Gordon. "There has been little change in either business confidence or consumer sentiment in the past quarter, so the short-term outlook is for continued caution." According to the figures, telecommunications services including internet connections account for $US1.6 trillion of the spending, with an anticipated growth rate of 1.4%.In contrast, the $US377 billion telecommunications equipment market is anticipated to grow by 10.8%.The computer hardware ($US420 billion), enterprise software ($US281 billion) and IT services ($US864 billion) sectors are all anticipated to experience steady growth of between 2.3% and 4.3%.


From http://www.i-policy.org/ 07/11/2012

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Global Online Ad Market Grows 12.1 % in Q1: Report

The global market for Internet advertisements jumped 12.1 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, growing faster than traditional advertising channels, a report showed Thursday. The increase surpassed a 3.1 percent growth in the overall global advertising market as well as single-digit growth in other advertising channels such as TV, newspaper and radio, according to the quarterly report by the Nielsen Company. Spending on radio advertisements jumped 7.9 percent, while those on outdoor ads and film ads rose 6.4 and 4.1 percent each, it said. Dollars spent on ads in newspapers and on TV gained 3.1 and 2.8 percent, while those in magazines slumped 1.4 percent. TV ads were the market's cash cow, accounting for 61.9 percent of all advertisements, while Internet advertisements claimed 2.6 percent of the market. The report, meanwhile, showed that Internet ad growth in emerging markets eclipsed that in advanced economies. Spending on Internet ads surged 31.8 percent in South America and 35.2 percent in the Middle East and Africa, growing more than two times faster than 12.1 percent in Europe, according to the report.


From http://www.koreaherald.com/ 08/02/2012

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AFRICA: Nigeria - Openmedia Links Transition on ICT Solutions

An ICT Firm, Open Media Communications Has Exposed Cutting edge technology products from a US-based organization, Transition Networks to a select audience of chief information officers and procurement managers at a one-day seminar which held in Lagos last week. Open media is a service management and technology consulting firm with core competence in analyzing, advising, and providing solutions to business, operational, and ICT challenges of public and private sector organizations in order to enable them achieve set goals and objectives. At the seminar, Zak Admani, Regional Sales Manager (UK, Ireland & Africa) for Transition Networks walked his audience through a presentation featuring key products and services from Transition. According to him, his firm offers applications and products for industrial environments such as oil and gas, energy, utilities, transportation, and security solutions. From his presentation, Transition targets governments for solutions to challenges in the military arena, in city (urban) management, as well as broad options for state governments. Speaking further on burgeoning security needs and solutions from Transition, Admani said: "The world is becoming a terrible place - terrorism, bombings, killings, and people are afraid. You can actually make a lot of money out of peoples' fears." For governments, the key need these days seem to be in the area of information protection. Transition offers fibre optics cabling, which Transition, in a flier, says ensures superior data security.

"This is because copper cabling is easy to tap into without being detected by a network management application. Any attempt to tap into fibre cabling however would involve a link loss accompanied by traps that are sent by the network management system." Solutions in this area include fibre to the desk, PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) switches and media converters. These switches come with built-in fiber interfaces to manage powered devices - including IP video cameras, Voice-over-IP (VoIP) phones and wireless access points (WAPs). For transportation systems, ethernet is now being used "across a wide spectrum of transportation applications. Whether in trains, buses, ships or traffic control systems each application requires fast, efficient and robust operations in order to meet the performance expectations of that particular network. Communications uptime is of the utmost importance to ensure that safety and security of passengers and equipment are maintained." The above, and more, from Transition Networks is what Openmedia will be providing its clients through advisory and consultancy services over a wide range of management, telecommunications, and information technology requirements. Immediate past Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Dr Ernest Ndukwe is Chairman of the Openmedia Group.


From http://allafrica.com/ 08/15/2012

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ASIA: Leading Online Bookings with 70.3 Per Cent

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 (Bernama) - Based on a study surveyed by AsiaRooms.com and VisionOne UK, Asia had the highest proportion of 70.3 per cent of its respondents having gone online to book leisure and business accommodation. AsiaRooms.com is a leading online travel accommodation site based in Asia, offering an extensive and diverse range of accommodation options at exceptional value. VisionOne UK is a leading UK market research agency providing high-quality qualitative and quantitative survey research. The two surveyors said Asia travellers were least sensitive to cost with only 29 per cent of respondents in Asia citing cost savings as the key determinant influencing their online bookings. They said, in a statement, that Asia led spending with 65.5 index points versus 62.9 points in Latin America, 53.3 points in Europe and 49.3 points in the United States. "About 15,000 participants worldwide contributed to the index findings, comprising more than 500 respondents from 29 major travel markets worldwide, including the Americas, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and Oceania," they said.


From http://my.news.yahoo.com/ 07/20/2012

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Asia-Pacific Online Payment Method Market Dominated by Credit Cards

With the exception of China and Thailand, the Asia-Pacific online payment method market was dominated by credit cards in 2012. Nonetheless, many consumers in this region do not place their confidence in online payment methods due to safety concerns and mistrust of online retailers. Online shopping is becoming a growing trend in the Asia-Pacific region, with 63% of the population the shop online at least occasionally. Growth within the online payment methods market is being driven by factors such as high internet penetration levels, disposable income, and cultural factors. In Japan, every resident had on average more than six credit cards in 2011, which was the most popular online payment option there. Japan is the largest online shopping market in the Asia-Pacific region, which could have been one of the reasons for PayPal to enter the market via a joint venture with Japanese Softbank in May 2012. In 2011, credit cards represented the most used payment option in B2C E-Commerce in South Korea, reaching a share of more than 70%. This trend was similar in Australia, where payments of online purchases were dominated by paid credit cards or money transfer services such as PayPal. The Asia-Pacific online payment method market is set to expand rapidly over the coming years, driven by economic growth, with India and China set to lead the region. Internet usage is set to grow meaning in turn online payments will also increase.


From http://www.officialwire.com/ 08/17/2012

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EUROPE: Czechs Launch First Auction of 4G Mobile Frequencies

The Czech telecommunications watchdog CTU has launched its first auction of fourth generation mobile telephony frequencies, with a fourth mobile operator likely to enter the market, its website said on Friday. Ads by Google Brain Training Games - Improve memory and attention with scientific brain games. - www.lumosity.com "CTU has done its best for the auction to be transparent, professional, and to accelerate the development of new mobile high-speed broadband services," CTU head Pavel Dvorak said. Three frequencies were freed up after a successful switch from analogue to digital TV broadcasting, the watchdog said. The CTU is also considering selling a license to a fourth mobile operator with the launch of LTE (Long Term Evolution) fourth generation mobile networks on a market now dominated by Telefonica 02, T-Mobile and Vodafone. The deadline for bids is September 10, with winners to be picked early next year.


From http://phys.org/ 07/21/2012

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Estonians Have Become More Active Online Shoppers

Estonian residents have become more active online shoppers, Estonia's central bank Eesti Pank said in its fresh review. Starting from May 2012, Eesti Pank has been collecting and disclosing statistics on purchases made from the Internet. According to the information gathered, Estonian residents have bought goods and services online in the value of 126 million euros since May. The means of payment was either the Bank Link service or a bank card, writes LETA. 94% of domestic online shopping payments were made directly from the bank account using the Bank Link service. 87% of payments for internet purchases from other countries were made by bank cards. 51% of such payments were made by a credit card and 49% by a debit card with credit card functionality. Around half of those paying for their Internet purchases by a bank card used cards issued outside Estonia. According to Statistics Estonia, the number of online shoppers in Estonia has nearly tripled since 2005 (from 70,000 in 2005 to 210,000 in 2011). More than half (54%) of those buying from the Internet are women. About a third of online purchases are tickets to concerts, to the theatre, to the movies, etc., and travel and accommodation services also make up nearly a third. 26% are clothing and sports equipment and 15% are books, magazines and e-learning materials. According to end-2011 data of Eurostat, the share of online shoppers is about twice smaller in Estonia than in the European Union (16% and 34%, respectively). At the same time, the amount of Internet commerce consumers has increased by an average of 24% a year in Estonia (13% in the EU). Looking ahead, the number of online shoppers is likely to grow even more, since a 2011 survey by TNS Emor2 revealed that every fifth resident of Estonia was planning to make purchases from abroad. Eesti Pank's payment statistics show that an average of 763,000 card payments was made each day in the second quarter of 2012. Compared to the same time a year ago, the number of card payments has increased by 3% and the turnover by 12%, making up 2.3 billion euros in the second quarter.


From http://www.baltic-course.com/ 07/25/2012

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99.3% Lithuanian Companies Used Broadband Internet in Early 2012

Almost all manufacturing and service companies (99.7%) that had 10 or more employees used computers and the Internet in early 2012, says Statistics Lithuania based on the survey of Information Communications Technology (ICT) Usage in Enterprises. 99.3% of companies used broadband internet and more than half (53.8%) of all companies connected to the Internet via digital subscriber lines (DSL), 40.7% via Fiber optical communication lines and 32.9% used other fixed connections such as cable, leased line and others, writes LETA/ELTA. Wireless Internet access was used by 62.9% of companies. The majority (51.3%) used wireless broadband. 52.1% of companies used mobile network operators and 46.9% of them preferred portable computers while 39.2% other portable devices. 71.2% of manufacturing and service companies had the Internet web page or site in 2012 whereas in 2011 the rate was 67.7%.38.9% of enterprises presented the catalogues and price lists of their goods and services on their web page, 19.7% provided the opportunity to book, reserve or purchase products, 16% informed about job vacancies or provided the opportunity to apply for a job.


From http://www.baltic-course.com/ 07/26/2012

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NORTH AMERICA: Canada - IDC: Offshoring IT Keeps Firms Competitive

A shrinking, aging workforce is creating a demand for IT workers that can't be supplied domestically, says the vice-president of iGate Canada. When IT jobs move out of Canada, they often leave better ones behind, says an industry analyst. For the first time, IDC Canada says it has found that more than 50 per cent of the companies it surveyed are outsourcing over 10 per cent of their application and infrastructure support tasks, up from 45 per cent a year ago. Offshoring, which refers to hiring or contracting people for IT services abroad (as opposed to outsourcing in general, which is also done domestically) is a business worth between $2.5 and $3 billion in Canada, says Mark Schrutt, director of services and enterprise applications at IDC Canada Inc. It's certainly a strategy that's been proven to give bang for your buck. Offshoring to India is a prime example: a large workforce of highly skilled young IT professionals willing to work at a fraction of the cost of their Canadian counterparts makes it an ideal place to look for bargains. Offshoring really began to take off in the 1990s, fueled by the demand for large amounts of low-cost resources to do work that wasn't adding any value, says Jason Trussell, senior vice-president and Canadian regional manager at iGATE Inc., a major provider of outsourcing services worldwide. "But once people saw that they could get some of this remediation work done out of India then it transitioned into ongoing development, maintenance," he says. Trussell estimates that clients of his that outsource development and maintenance jobs to India save an average of 30 to 40 per cent compared to the cost of having these services performed domestically. The quality of the work, meanwhile, is "on par" with what the companies could expect within Canada, according to Schrutt.

However, says Trussell, offshoring these IT jobs isn't merely about saving money. Eventually, it's going to become a matter of economic necessity in Canada. "People are not going to go to an India, Mexico or China if there wasn't some financial benefit," says Trussell. "But the reason that they're going to those places isn't purely because of the financial benefit." Part of the reason is simply a shortage of IT professionals in Canada, he says. With a very low rate of unemployment in the industry, it's a seller's market. Not only is the workforce shrinking, but it's also getting older, he notes. Companies are "not going to be able to sustain that domestically and if they do, it's going to become very expensive," he says. Offshoring is a sometimes controversial subject within Canada, especially amid a shaky economic climate. However, Schrutt suggests that within the IT industry, outsourcing is filling a critical need to have many low-level IT roles filled. Sending these jobs abroad doesn't necessarily take work away from Canadians, he says, given that we're often unable or unwilling to do that work, or only willing to do it at prohibitive rates. "Companies just cannot get the right resources at the right time at the right cost," he says. And offshoring can ultimately create a new benefit for the economy, opening up new positions at home based on growth of the workforce abroad, Schrutt adds. "Outsourcing can help create opportunities that didn't exist before," says Trussell. Recruiting more bodies in another country can "upskill" Canadian IT workers, boosting them into higher level managerial positions, he says. "The jobs are slightly different than what they may have been before, but it actually is an economic addition, not necessarily a detractor from the economy and from the employment landscape." It's a feeling echoed by Schrutt. The demand for IT services is outpacing the supply, he says, meaning that organizations have to compete with one another for the cheapest manpower. "In that essence, if we're more competitive, more productive, have higher revenues at Canadian companies and higher margins, then we can expand and hire more people locally as well as abroad."


From http://www.itworldcanada.com/ 06/14/2012

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New Awards to Reward Innovation, Boost E-commerce

OTTAWA, July 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Canada Post today announced the launch of the Canada Post E-commerce Innovation Awards, a competition designed to recognize and reward successful innovation in e-commerce in Canada, and aiming to further boost the growing e-commerce sector. E-commerce retailers will compete in five categories for prize packages worth a total of $1 million. "For more than two centuries, Canada Post has been the largest enabler of remote trade and commerce and it is vital that we lead the way for the future," said Deepak Chopra, Canada Post President and CEO. "We hope these awards will inspire entrepreneurs to create a whole new e-economy for Canadians." As the country's home delivery company, Canada Post is the market-share leader in Canada's business-to-consumer (B2C) shipping market. An estimated $8 billion worth of physical goods is ordered online in Canada each year for residential deliveries, and that figure is forecasted to grow to more than $15 billion by 2016. Total expenditures on Canadian e-commerce business-to-consumer shipping services alone were more than $600 million in 2011. With the help of a blue-ribbon expert panel of judges, Canada Post will select the best entrants and announce the winners on October 16 in Toronto. Prize packages include a free shipping contract with Canada Post, a direct marketing mail campaign, advertising on Canada Post properties (online and on trucks and facilities). Total prizes are estimated at $1 million.

E-commerce retailers in Canada, large and small, who ship to Canadian consumers, are eligible and must submit their entries online by end of day Monday, August 20 to one of the following awards:
•Best Multi-channel Retailer of the Year (large and small businesses): Entrants must operate at least one bricks-and-mortar store open to the Canadian public and sell directly online.
•Best Online Retailer of the Year (large and small businesses): Entrants sell exclusively online.
•Best New E-business: Entrants must be up-and-comers who hung out their e-shingle in 2011 or the first six months of 2012.
•Outside the Box Achievement Award: Entrants must show groundbreaking efforts that succeeded.
•Consumer Champion Award: The winner will be chosen by Canadians in a month-long online voting poll.

"More and more Canadians are ordering goods online, making B2C the fastest growing sector in e-commerce or retail, but there is a lot of room for growth before Canadians close the gap between them and consumers in the U.S. or U.K.," added Chopra. "We know that there are still challenges for e-retailing in Canada and we think Canada Post can help by recognizing and promoting successes."


From http://finance.yahoo.com/ 07/12/2012

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US Mobile Operators Look for Revenue Gains

Taking the pulse: The U.S. wireless market continues to grow, but the ranks of the most lucrative subscribers - those who sign contracts - has stalled. Investors will be looking to see how well the industry manages to expand revenue and improve profits and margins amid tough competition for subscribers. Both AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless - a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone PLC - have raised wireless prices and started charging higher fees when customers upgrade to new phones. The increased prices and fees should help improve wireless-service margins. But an increase in data-traffic is forcing substantial capital investments. Wireless carriers are also taking their first steps to change the terms of smartphone deals that have mostly benefited phone makers like Apple Inc., a push that could leave consumers paying more for devices like the iPhone. Analysts have estimated wireless carriers shell out $400 for every iPhone sold.

Verizon Communications Inc. - reports July 19
Wall Street Expectations: Analysts forecast a profit of 64 cents a share on $28.54 billion in revenue, compared with 57 cents a share and $27.54 billion, respectively, a year earlier. Key Issues: The largest U.S. phone carrier has seen its revenue growth improve in recent quarters as the addition of Apple's iPhone helped Verizon Wireless to lure new subscribers from competitors. Verizon also saw increased gains for its FiOS Internet and television offerings during the first quarter. Last month, Verizon raised prices and increased the speeds for its FiOS Internet service, making data a bigger part of consumers' monthly bill by pegging the rate to the speed chosen by customers. The FiOS price increases came a week after Verizon Wireless unveiled new pricing for mobile plans that focused on subscribers' data usage and will raise prices for many users.

AT&T Inc. - reports July 24
Wall Street Expectations: Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently expected a profit of 63 cents a share on $31.85 billion in revenue, compared with 60 cents a share and $31.5 billion, respectively, a year earlier. Key Issues: AT&T added fewer contract wireless customers in the first quarter than it did in the three preceding periods as smartphone purchases slowed after customers rushed to buy new iPhone 4S in October. But the rate at which customers leave, known as churn, slowed. AT&T continues to shift its attention away from its traditional businesses - which are contracting as more consumers switch off their home phones in favor of mobile devices and wireless Internet - and is working to squeeze more revenue out of existing customers through new services and fees, such as device-upgrade levies.

Sprint Nextel Corp. - reports July 26
Wall Street Expectations: Analysts forecast a loss of 40 cents a share on $8.73 billion in revenue, compared with a per-share loss of 28 cents on revenue of $8.31 billion a year earlier. Key Issues: Sprint saw a rare gain in contract subscribers after adding the new iPhone 4S at the end of last year. But the company reverted to declining two-year contracts during the first quarter as sales of the popular smartphone slowed following the holiday season. Sprint also couldn't slow the rate at which customers left, due in part to its shutdown of the Nextel network. And the company continues to defend its deal with Apple to buy at least $15.5 billion worth of iPhones over the next several years. Sprint has said it was necessary in order to compete with larger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

MetroPCS Communications Inc. - reports July 26
Wall Street Expectations: Analysts forecast a profit of 21 cents a share on $1.26 billion in revenue, compared with 23 cents a share and $1.21 billion, respectively, a year earlier. Key Issues: The prepaid wireless-service provider's first-quarter earnings dropped a bigger-than-expected 63% as fewer subscriber additions exacerbated its increased spending to attract more customers. MetroPCS's costs per gross addition jumped 50% from a year earlier as more people upgraded from a feature phone to a smartphone at a higher promotional handset cost. But its customer-turnover rate was flat with the year ago and slowed from the fourth quarter.


From http://www.totaltele.com/ 07/12/2012

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CHINA: Disabled Enjoy E-commerce Boom

HANGZHOU, May 20 (Xinhua) - More and more physically disabled people in China have found ways to join the country's "get rich" rush, which could have left them behind if not for the Internet. According to sources with Taobao, the country's largest e-commerce platform, more than 30,000 disabled people across the country are managing online stores at Taobao.com. Gu Linglei is one such online store manager. The 28-year-old native of Hangzhou was blinded at birth, but he is no different from many others selling earphones and mobile phone top-up cards on the e-commerce platform. Gu has to rely on screen-reading software to communicate with customers, but business is brisk. To date, he has clinched about 4,000 deals online and his store is rated a "4-diamond" - a credit given to trust-worthy stores by Taobao. Gu said the business idea hit in 2009 when, aided by a screen reader, he started to feel comfortable with online shopping and wanted to "try something new," and maybe earn a living for himself. "I like the Internet because it is open, convenient, and equal for all," the young man said. Gu said the Internet's role as a great equalizer has been a blessing for him. "We have to admit that there is still discrimination against the disabled in getting a proper job. Sometimes we are being looked at differently," said blind Paralympic champion Yang Bozun. "The Internet, somehow, provides an easy solution."

Official statistics show that China currently has 85 million people with some form of disability. Last year, the government issued a five-year blueprint for improving the lives of the disabled, setting a target that the average disabled person could live a moderately wealthy life by 2015.Job creation is among the key efforts the government has pledged. In 2011, about 31,800 urban jobs were created for the disabled. While the government has been working hard to boost employment rates, the Internet is helping with striking efficiency. China has about 500 million Internet users, making it the world's largest Internet population, and the government expects trade on e-commerce platforms to hit 18 trillion yuan (2.86 trillion U.S. dollars) by 2015, compared to 4.5 trillion yuan in 2010.Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu on Sunday urged continuous efforts in helping the disabled live happy, dignified lives. Meng Hongwei, a farmer who uses a wheelchair, managed to sell thousands of heads of livestock online from his home village in Shandong Province. Last year, Meng was thrilled to get a business call from Dubai, asking him to send 500 cows and 3,000 sheep to the Persian Gulf.

"I need interpreters for my business now," said Meng, the first in his village to buy a computer and wire it to the Internet. "My fellow villagers thought I was crazy then. But without the Internet, I could hardly have as good of a life as I enjoy now." However, disabled people working behind computer screens are not just vendors. Taobao launched a job facilitation program for the disabled last year, offering call center jobs that allow the disabled to handle customer calls at home. There are also people who provide psychological counseling through the Internet and a telephone hotline. "An ordinary person may feel isolated from real life if they spend too much time online," Gu said. "But for us, the Internet opens a door, allowing us to get closer to real life."


From Xinhua News Agency 05/20/2012

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Suning Yigou Aims for 10-fold Online Retail Rise by 2020

SUNING Yigou, the online arm of the country's largest home appliances retailer, today signed a contract with more than 1,000 suppliers to increase its product inventory as it strives for a bigger share in the online retail sector. Yigou said it expects its online sales to grow 10 times to 300 billion yuan (US$47.6 billion) by 2020. Its online retail revenue is estimated at about 30 billion yuan this year. Yigou will allow its suppliers, including dealers of apparels, books and other consumer goods, to open stores on Suning.com and use Yigou's existing delivery and payment systems to save costs. Li Bin, executive vice president of Yigou, said Yigou will establish 60 regional logistics centers by 2015 to let online shoppers receive their goods faster. Yigou is a crucial platform for Suning to increase product categories beyond home appliances and electronics, said Suning vice chairman Sun Weimin. Suning currently has around 1,800 physical stores in the country and the number of offline pickup points will double by 2020, Li said.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 07/05/2012

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Apple Faces New Legal Challenge in China

A CHINESE technology firm has filed a legal challenge accusing US giant Apple of infringing its patented voice recognition software with its Siri function on the iPhone, the company said yesterday. The move comes days after Apple paid US$60 million to end a dispute over who could use the iPad name in China. Shanghai Zhizhen Network Technology Co Ltd patented its Xiao i Robot software in 2004, while Apple's Siri, which made its debut with the iPhone 4S last year, was first developed in 2007. The Chinese company's version operates in a similar way to Apple's personal assistant. Si Weijiang, a lawyer acting for the Shanghai-based firm, said it had tried to contact Apple two months ago over the alleged infringement but received no response. "We filed the lawsuit in late June to the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court," Si said. "The case is at the court-mediated stage."

"We mainly ask Apple to stop infringing on our patent and cover the court costs, but once the court confirms Apple has infringed on our patent, we will propose compensation," he added. The company's chairman, Yuan Hui, told the Apple Daily newspaper that the firm had 100 million users in China. "People feel that China has no innovation, that companies here just copy. But in fact, we are leaders in our field, and have created our own innovation," Yuan said. It added that Apple was also facing legal action from another Chinese company for allegedly infringing its "Snow Leopard" trademark. The High Court of the southern province of Guangdong said on Monday that Apple had paid US$60 million to settle a legal battle with Chinese computer maker Shenzhen Proview Technology over the iPad name.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 07/08/2012

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Huawei and Gulf Telcos Seek Network Servicing

CHINA'S Huawei Technologies is in talks with Gulf telcos Etisalat and Saudi Telecom to manage their fixed-line networks, an executive said, potentially cementing its leadership of a US$1 billion regional industry. Huawei, the world's No. 2 telecom gear maker, is in similar talks with several other Middle East operators, the executive said in e-mailed comments, but declined to name them, citing confidentiality agreements. "Huawei has strong partnerships with most regional operators and is constantly looking into ways of expanding these," said Xia Chaojie, vice-president for delivery and service, Huawei Middle East. "We see an opportunity to do this through moving towards new technologies and also looking at fixed-line managed services. Our teams have initiated talks with all our fixed network partners in the Middle East, including operators like Saudi Telecom and Etisalat."

Etisalat is a former monopoly in the United Arab Emirates, while managed services refer to telcos outsourcing network maintenance to a third party. The practice is very common in the Middle East, allowing operators to better focus on marketing and customer services to differentiate themselves from competitors. Outsourcing network maintenance also typically cuts telcos' operating costs by 13 to 20 percent, Xia said. He estimated the Middle East's managed services sector was worth US$1 billion last year, claiming Huawei's market share was 55 percent. He forecast sector revenue would grow 18 percent over the next two to three years. "In the Gulf we are providing or have provided managed services tie-ups with almost all of the major operators," he said.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 07/11/2012

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Taobao Sellers Ahead of the Game with iPhone 5

APPLE Inc's next-generation iPhone has not been released yet, but opportunistic sellers on China's largest e-commerce platform, Taobao, are already accepting pre-orders, complete with mock-up pictures and purported technical specifications. The hotly anticipated iPhone 5 is widely expected to be released sometime between August and October this year, although Apple has been tight-lipped about it. Sources have said the iPhone 5 would have a bigger screen than previous models, while Taiwan media reported the phone's voice recognition software, Siri, would have more powerful functions. Sellers on Taobao, a unit of Alibaba Group, are accepting orders for the iPhone 5, in some cases asking for a deposit of 1,000 yuan (US$157). One seller, "Dahai99888," who started accepting pre-orders this week, is asking for full payment upfront, a cool 6,999 yuan. Some Taobao sellers told reporters they planned to buy the iPhone 5 in Hong Kong or the United States and bring them to China's mainland. Apple products are often available in Hong Kong before they are released on the mainland. The sellers could not promise a specific delivery time.The pre-order activity comes despite mystery surrounding the iPhone 5 and highlights the intense demand for new Apple products in China.

Apple has not confirmed the specifications, details or price of the latest iPhone, but the Internet rumor mill has been in overdrive, churning out photo renderings and pictures of purported iPhone 5 engineering samples and speculating endlessly on its technical specifications and functions. Apple did not respond to requests for comment. "Demand is high. Yesterday someone just bought two phones. Altogether we have about two dozen orders," said one seller on Taobao who went by the nickname Xiaoyu. On Alibaba.com, the business-to-consumer platform of Alibaba Group, hard-shell cases and soft silicone cases for the iPhone 5 were peddled by sellers, most located in southern China. The majority of cases indicate an elongated iPhone 5 with some showing an earphone jack located at the bottom. One verified Alibaba.com seller "guaranteed" the cases were accurate, saying the company's boss received the dimensions from "certain channels." The sellers have been right before. In early 2011, cases for the yet-to-be-launched iPad 2 appeared on Alibaba.com, showing accurately the placement for a rear-facing camera.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 07/13/2012

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Shanghai Ranks No.1 in Online Shopping

SHANGHAI ranked first among domestic cities in terms of online shopping, according to a report released yesterday by Taobao, the country's largest online shopping website. The cities were ranked based on factors like economic conditions, population, consumer spending and income. The report divided 2,300 domestic cities into six levels with Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen belonging to first-tier cities, Taobao said. Shanghai has advanced hardware and software, as well as strong buying power, it said. Most mid-west cities belong to the fifth- or sixth-tier cities according to Taobao's ranking while coastal areas like Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces have a better online shopping environment. Higher dispensable incomes as well as better logistics networks created the gap between the coastal areas and less developed markets in the mid-west, the report said. Nearly 35 percent of Internet users have shopped on Taobao in the past year in first-tier cities while it drops to 23.4 percent in second-tier cities.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 07/18/2012

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Apple, Samsung Aquare Off in Patent Battle for Tech Supremacy

APPLE Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd take their battle for mobile supremacy to court today in one of the biggest-ever technology patent trials, a case with the potential to reshape a fast-evolving market they now dominate. The tech titans will lock horns in a US federal courtroom in San Jose, California, just miles from Apple's headquarters. The stakes are high, with Samsung facing potential US sales bans of its Galaxy smartphones and tablet computers. For Apple, it's a pivotal test of its worldwide patent litigation strategy. Both sides are seeking financial damages from the other. Samsung has rapidly overtaken Apple, creator of the iPhone and iPad, and Nokia to become the world's largest smartphone maker. Together, Apple and Samsung account for more than half of smartphone sales globally. Apple sued Samsung last year in San Jose, claiming its smartphones and tablets slavishly copied the iPhone and iPad. The South Korean company countersued. Since then, the two have expanded their fight to courtrooms in nearly a dozen other countries.

At this trial, Apple is seeking at least US$2.53 billion in damages, though US District Judge Lucy Koh could triple that figure if she finds Samsung willfully infringed Apple's patents. The dispute has reached deep into the tech sector, with companies including Microsoft Corp, IBM Corp, Nokia and Research in Motion Ltd filing court papers this week to try to keep their own patent licensing agreements from being disclosed during the trial. A loss for Samsung could lead to permanent sales bans against products including the flagship Galaxy S III phone, said Nick Rodelli, a lawyer for CFRA Research in Maryland. While the S III is not at issue in the trial, if Apple prevails the company could later ask Koh to block sales of that product.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 07/30/2012

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IT Hiring Spree

SHANGHAI'S information technology employees will hit 600,000 in 2015, almost double the current level, which will boost the IT revenue of the city, the local industry regulator said yesterday. By 2015, information technology service revenue will hit 600 billion yuan (US$95 billion) in the city, up 50 percent from 2011. It will account for 16 percent of the country's total IT revenue of 4 trillion yuan then, according to the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Information Technology.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 07/31/2012

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Lenovo to Form Joint Venture with EMC

LENOVO Group Ltd announced today that it will establish a joint venture with US-based storage product giant EMC, which is expected to help the world's second biggest personal computer maker expand into the higher-margin storage and server markets. As part of the agreement, Lenovo will resell machines made by EMC. The sales will initially be conducted in China before moving abroad, according to both sides' announcements. Lenovo will hold a 51 percent stake in the joint venture through contributing an undisclosed sum of cash and EMC will hold the remainder by injecting assets and resources, according to Lenovo, which declined to reveal detailed financial figures. "This cooperation is another step for use to adopt our PC Plus Strategy," said Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo's chairman, in a statement. "The sever and storage business will also improve our backdoor service level."


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 08/01/2012

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Lenovo Puts Out Leaner, Faster Laptop

LENOVO unveiled a lighter, quicker ThinkPad notebook computer yesterday to appeal to customers who like the convenience of tablets and smartphones. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon will go on sale later this month, the Chinese computer maker said. Lenovo Group acquired the ThinkPad brand with IBM Corp's personal computer unit in 2005. Lenovo passed Dell Inc last year to become the second-largest PC manufacturer after Hewlett-Packard Co. The latest ThinkPad has third-generation wireless connectivity and other features inspired by tablets and smartphones, said Dilip Bhatia, vice president of the ThinkPad business unit. He said it was in response to demands by customers who want a tablet's convenience but need a notebook's wider range of functions. "They want faster. They want thinner," Bhatia said. Lenovo shaved the laptop's weight to 1.3 kilograms from the 1.7 kilograms of last year's model, said Bhatia. He added it would have up to eight hours of battery life and the startup time was under 20 seconds.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 08/07/2012

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Sohu Income Drops Due to Fast-rising Expenses

CHINA'S leading Internet portal and online game operator Sohu.com Inc said profit dropped 75 percent in the second quarter due to rising operation costs and marketing expenses. Net income was down 75 percent from a year ago to US$11 million after deducting minority shareholders' interests, the company said in a stock exchange filing yesterday. Sales rose 28.8 percent from a year earlier to US$256 million. Revenue was generated from online advertising, online gaming and other value-added service sales. Operation costs increased 47.1 percent to US$113 million. The company has increased spending on online video content to attract viewers in order to catch up with rivals Tencent and iQiyi, Baidu's video arm.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 08/07/2012

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JAPAN: Authorization for Changes of Agreement Clause Concerning Telegram Services of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation

On June 29, 2012, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) authorized the changes of the telegram service agreement clause applied by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation (hereinafter "NTT East") and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation (hereinafter "NTT West").

1.Background
NTT East and NTT West applied for changes of the telegraph service agreement clause in order to transfer loans relating to telegram service charges to NTT Finance Corporation (hereinafter "NTT Finance") and to enable NTT Finance to charge the users for telegram service.

2.Others
This case was approved as a minor matter which does not require an inquiry to the Information and Communications and Posts Administrative Council based on the proviso of Article 94 of the Telecommunications Business Act (Act No.86 of 1984), etc. before the revision pursuant to the provision of Article 2 of the Act for Partial Revision of the Telecommunications Business Act and the Act Concerning Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, Etc. which shall remain in force pursuant to the provision of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of the Supplementary Provisions of the Telecommunications Business Act.


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 06/29/2012

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SOUTH KOREA: Samsung to Build New Chip Line

Samsung Electronics said Thursday it will invest 2.25 trillion won to build a new domestic chip-making line. It aims to boost its output for advanced mobile processors for use in tablets and smartphones. The world's biggest computer memory chip supplier said the new line, located in Hwaseong, Gyeeonggi Province, will go into operation in the latter half of next year in a statement. "The new chip-making facility will produce 12-inch-sized wafers by using highly-advanced 14- and 20-nanometer processing technology, " company spokesman Ken Noh said.

The new investment plan comes after Samsung shifted to profitable, less-volatile mobile processors. Unlike memory chips, which are used to read, write and store data, mobile processors are used to control entire computing systems. Samsung is currently supplying mobile processors to top technology giants such as iPhone maker Apple as well as using them in its own products. "The new chip line will help us produce valuable chips on a stable basis," said the spokesman. The company recently announced plans to build its first overseas flash chip memory plant in Xian, China. "Samsung will actively respond to the rising demand for high-end digital devices and will further strengthen supporting our existing customers," Samsung Electronics President Woo Nam-sung was quoted as saying in a statement.


From http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/ 06/07/2012

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Samsung Electronics Still Undervalued: Report by Kim Young-gyo

Samsung Electronics Co. is still undervalued in the stock market, a report said Wednesday, giving strong growth prospects on the South Korean tech giant. Credit Suisse said in a report that Samsung Electronics stocks are worth more, as the quality of the company's earnings growth remains intact.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 06/27/2012

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Samsung Electronics Launches DDR4-based 16-gigabyte Server Modules

Samsung Electronics Co., the world's top memory chipmaker, said Tuesday it has introduced 16-gigabyte (GB) double data rate-4 (DDR4) modules designed for large storage enterprise servers. Enterprise servers are servers optimized for corporate use and have large data storage systems.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 07/03/2012

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Korean Tech Firms, Carmakers to Perform Well in H2: Data

South Korean tech firms and automakers are widely expected to show robust performance in the second half despite headwinds from the persisting eurozone debt crisis, data showed Sunday. However, domestic-focused companies including retailers and mobile carriers are projected to suffer setbacks as consumer sentiment is expected to remain cool because of the economic slowdown, analysts say.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 07/29/2012

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S. Korea's IT Exports Drop 1.6 Pct in July

Exports by South Korea's information technology (IT) industry shrank in July from a year earlier, marking the fifth consecutive month of on-year decline, the government said Monday. The country's IT exports came to US$12.79 billion last month, down 1.6 percent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. The July figure also marks a drop from $12.9 billion in the previous month.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 08/13/2012

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Samsung Keeps Top Spot in Global Flat TV Market

Samsung Electronics Co. maintained its dominant position in the global flat-panel TV market in the second quarter of this year, but its share stayed below the 20-percent level, an international market researcher said Tuesday. According to market information provider iSupply, Samsung, the world's largest maker of TVs, accounted for 19.2 percent of all flat-panel TVs sold throughout the world in the April-June period.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 08/14/2012

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Korea Takes Bigger Share in TV Market

Korea has dominated the global TV market with its technology firms' share growing year after year over its Japanese and Chinese counterparts. DisplaySearch, a division of the NPD Group, said Korea took up 38.4 percent of global demand during the second quarter of this year, followed by 25.1 percent by Japan and 19.6 by China. "It's interesting to see that the gap with Korea and Japan has widened to 13.3 percent from 11.2 percent a quarter earlier and Korea is expected to maintain its lead in the sector as the nation is home to the world's top two TV makers in Samsung and LG Electronics," said the research firm, Sunday. Samsung was the world's biggest TV producer in the second quarter with a global market share of 28.5 percent in terms of revenue, according to DisplaySearch.

This is the 26th straight winning quarter, said Samsung spokesman Song Cheol-gyu, Sunday. The company is looking to secure its top position for the seventh straight year after it passed Sony of Japan as the top TV maker since 2006.Revenue during the April-June period was $6.97 billion, an increase of $1.08 billion from the previous quarter, while the Korean technology powerhouse sold 10.5 million flat-screen televisions that include liquid-crystal display (LCD) TVs and plasma sets during the quarter, the research firm said. "Since the third quarter of last year, Samsung has been sold over 10 million TVs quarterly. The rises both in shipments and revenue were due to our focus on high-end, premium sets, though the demand for televisions is still weak, in general," said the Samsung spokesman. While the growth of flat-screen TV sales seems to have plateaued in developed markets like the United States, DisplaySearch found that there are still plenty of cathode ray-tube (CRT) sets to be replaced in countries like China, Russia, Brazil and Mexico. Consumers in the United States may have started slowing down the process of replacing their old CRT televisions with fancy new flat-screens. But happily for TV manufacturers, there are still plenty of bulky cathode ray-tube sets to be replaced in emerging markets like China, Russia, Brazil and Mexico.LG Electronics has also benefited from the trend.

The runner-up firm raised both its revenue- and shipment-based profile. LG's global share was 15.2 percent during the latest quarter after quarterly revenue was $3.72 billion, an increase of $410 million from a quarterly earlier, according to DisplaySearch.It sold 6.81 million flat-screen TVs during the April-June period, for a 14.4 percent global share in terms of shipments. "LG Electronics is trying hard to see a quality-based growth, not quantity-driven expansion," said company spokesman Yoon Won-il. Brighter times by Korean TV makers contrasts the sluggish performances by their Japanese rivals. Once TV-titan Sony suffered a decline in quarterly revenue of more than $100 million to reach some $2 billion, and local rival Sharp also reported a drop in terms of revenue during the quarter as it fell $245 million to $1.22 billion. The other Japanese TV major Panasonic was the only one to increase quarterly revenue. "While developed markets may be flattening out, there's still plenty of growth potential overseas. The good news is that a large number of markets still have a long way to go toward replacing all CRTs with flat panel TVs, which should continue to sustain growth, but mostly in emerging markets," wrote Riddhi Patel, DisplaySearch's research director.


From http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/ 08/19/2012

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S. Korean Mobile Messengers Vying for Southeast Asian Market

Two South Korean mobile messenger services are competing to garner a bigger share in the Southeast Asian market, one of the fast-growing smartphone markets, officials said Tuesday. NHN Corp., the operator of South Korea's top Internet portal NHN Corp., said it has newly introduced "LINE," its flagship messenger service, for users of BlackBerry phones made by Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), following a similar move taken by Kakao Corp. that operates a namesake mobile messenger service.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 08/21/2012

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INDONESIA: Lack of Spectrum Sharing Threatens to Slow 3G, Digital TV Growth

The Jakarta Post reports that a lack of spectrum sharing between Indonesia's incumbent telecoms operators threatens to hinder the pace of rollout of digital TV and 3G in the country. The paper says that broadcasters and telcos alike are showing signs of unwillingness to share precious spectrum resources leading to a lack of capacity. Citing Ivan Cahya Permana, the head of service control systems at PT Telkomsel, the paper notes that the cellco says it needs more spectrum, given that the channels already allotted it have hit full capacity. Telkomsel currently provides voice, text and data services through two channels allocated to it by the government, but with more than 110 million subscribers, it needs more spectrum to support a push into the 3G realm. Ivan is keen for the state to allow it to use spectrum in the 700MHz band for 3G, which would allow its towers to provide wider coverage than the more commonly allocated 2100MHz band. However, the 700MHz spectrum band is currently assigned to TV stations in Indonesia for analogue broadcasts, and telcos are petitioning the government to assign a different part of the spectrum to broadcasters so they can expand their 3G services. Earlier, the state announced plans to rearrange spectrums for TV - as part of a digital switchover - by 2018. Ivan notes that by redistributing the TV broadcasters' spectrum, the leftover frequencies could be used to offer Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies too. Despite this call, the broadcasters are unwilling to rush headlong into DTT - citing costs as the primary reason.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 08/03/2012

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SINGAPORE: Roll-Out of 4G Networks to Spur More Mobile Internet Technology

SINGAPORE: Seven in 10 Singaporeans are mobile Internet users, according to mobile advertising technology company Smaato. With the roll-out of 4G networks this year, mobile data usage is set to further increase in the coming years. Using WhatsApp for instant messaging is fast replacing the traditional SMS. That's why telcos in Singapore are aiming to turn mobile data into a major revenue generator, in addition to traditional voice or SMS services. If someone just uses a smartphone to WhatsApp in groups and send and receive emails, he's part of the 90 per cent of subscribers SingTel said will be unaffected by the new data plans. But some experts forecast data usuage to increase when 4G or LTE is adopted, citing South Korea, where 3GB of data is being used every month. Experts said exclusive and attractive content, and the reliability of the mobile data network are key to retaining subscribers.

Marcus Tan, managing director (APAC), Smaato, said: "We are seeing a convergence of the traditional telco and media companies... coming together to be able to offer not just the connection but also the content. If I have content but have no way of distributing it to a consumer on the move, it's not going to work. If I have data connection but have no content, the consumer is not going to like it." SingTel recently announced that its new and recontracting subscribers of bundled data plans will no longer enjoy a cap of 12GB of data, save for its premium plan subscribers. Similarly, StarHub said it will remove its 12GB data cap for smartphone contracts "in the near future". M1 declined to reveal its plans. Bertrand Bidaud, managing vice president, SCP Strategy, Gartner Research, said: "The competitive landscape in Singapore is not quite well established and it doesn't seem like anyone of them wants to change the situation to disrupt the order too much." Still, with the roll-out of the 4G network and the introduction of more 4G smartphone models, market watchers expect telcos to explore more options to monetise this trend.


From http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ 06/14/2012

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THAILAND: ICT Firms Back Pilot Tablet Project for Secondary Students

The private sector has stepped in to help state secondary schools use tablet computers provided by the government more effectively. Several firms recently met with officials and teachers from more than 50 secondary schools in Bangkok to introduce software that can be used as teaching equipment and class management tools. The meeting kicked off a pilot project for distributing tablets among Mathayom 1 (Grade 7) students, and schools were given instruction on the technology offered by such companies as Intel, Google, Apple, HewlettPackard and Huawei. They also met with representatives from companies creating content for tablets such as Aksorn Charoen Tat ACT, with the aim of helping schools choose technology that is suitable for their needs. About 20 schools in every region are eligible to join the pilot project, said Olarn Chaipravat, adviser to Education Minister Suchart Tadathamrongvej and also chairman of the One Tablet Per Child policy committee.

However, a source engaged in the project said 10 eligible schools in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces would join the project, since their infrastructure is adequate, especially Internet access, while the Web connections at schools in other provinces might be too slow. Each school will mainly work with one company that provides hardware, software or content for tablets. So there will be different models of tablet use. Students will be given the devices in July. Assessments will be conducted in October and December. Assessment panels will look at conditions that lead to success at different schools, the source said. Olarn said: "Reports on tablet use at the pilot schools and assessments will be presented to the government and the prime minister before they make a decision on fullscale distribution for Mathayom 1. If assessment results show positive impacts and the companies are ready, the government will start the fullscale project.

"The delivery of tablets to Prathom 1 [Grade 1] just marks a beginning. The government is trying to expand tablet distribution to students at other levels of primary and secondary education. The expansion depends on readiness or preparedness of schools, teachers and parents." The source said the government wanted to hand out tablets to Mathayom 1 students in the next academic year if possible. Olarn said the specifications of tablets for Mathayom 1 students would be better than those for Prathom 1. For instance, they would have larger screens. Each Mathayom 1 tablet would cost about Bt3,000, while each Prathom 1 device costs about Bt2,400. "Private companies will be allowed to bid for sale of the tablets," he added. "As secondary education students need more difficult and complicated content than pupils in primary education, the Information and Communications Technology Ministry is providing infrastructure like WiFi so students at every school can access the Internet," he said.

The Innovation for Education Foundation is supporting the committee in running the pilot project. It is acting as the coordinator between the schools and the companies. It will also help train teachers on techniques of tablet use in class. Any schools need training can call the foundation at 02 440 0330. Olarn said the government had set up a centre that provides different educational applications created by private companies and teachers for download, and it will subsidise some download fees so teachers and students upcountry can also afford good applications. Tawan DhevaAksorn, president of Aksorn Charoen Tat ACT, said it had created more than 30,000 learning objects for tablets that cover content from kindergarten to secondary education. More than 100 schools showed interest in pioneering tablet use after it introduced the learning objects to them.


From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ 06/30/2012

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Thailand to Beef Up Toll Auto-payment

Following the popularity of 'Easy Pass' card- a pre-paid card for expressway users in Bangkok, Expressway and Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (ETA) under Ministry of Transport will purchase an additional of 70,000 cards this week, and build four more automatic toll booths on strategic highways. The ETA has also prepared THB 100 million (US$ 3.2 million) from the next fiscal budget to procure more cards and install six more automatic toll booths in 2013, said ETA Governor Aiyanat Tinapai. "Easy Pass scheme helps reduce traffic congestion at the toll booths, the queue has been shortened from one kilometre to 0.5 kilometre only, especially during rush hour," said Tinapai. ETA's Director of E-Business Services Division Thitipan Panichprasatsin said that the ETA has cancelled the deposit when people buying the cards since July 14, resulting in the drastic increase of demand. "Previously, about 300-400 units of Easy Pass cards were sold daily. Now we are selling 1400 -1500 per day," he added.

There are 450,000 Easy Card members now, and the increased usage of the cards is encouraged to help solve traffic problem, Panichprasatsin said. The ETA is testing high speed clearance at the automatic toll booths. The tryout speed is 50 kilometre per hour. Currently, vehicles have to reduce their speed to not greater than 30 kilometres per hour while passing through the booth. "We are carefully testing the high speed passage for safety before implementing it, as accident may easily occur when the cars pass through the narrow channels. If an accident really happens there, it will be severe," he added. The ETA is also seeking a collaboration to launch a common card to integrate Easy Pass and M-Pass to be a single system. M-Pass is a pre-paid card scheme used for motorways managed by Department of Highways, Ministry of Transport. "We are now studying the possibility and ways to merge the two systems especially that of the financial system," he said and explained that Easy Pass fee includes tax while M-pass is without tax. The ETA may invite the Comptroller General's Department to settle this issue before starting the new system.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/10/2012

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Thailand: October Date Confirmed for 3G Auction

Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has officially confirmed the schedule for holding the country's 2100MHz 3G mobile operating licence auction as 15-20 October 2012. The market's three private sector cellcos, Advanced Info Service (AIS), Digital Total Access Communication (DTAC) and True Move are expected to be the only participants, and are expected to each gain equal 2¡Á15MHz concessions at minimum bid prices.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 08/23/2012

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VIET NAM: Firms Look to E-commerce to Boost Trade

HCM CITY - e-Commerce is expected to help Viet Nam meet its export turnover target of more than US$110 billion this year, according to an official with the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce. Vo Tan Thanh, director of the chamber's HCM City branch, said e-commerce was considered the best option for import-export companies in terms of time and pricing power. Thanh spoke at an Open Sesame event held on Friday. At the event organised by the world's largest online B2B marketplace for global trade Alibaba.com and OSB Joint Stock Co, Thanh said e-commerce would become indispensable in the near future for businesses, allowing them to access customers more easily. Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have paid more attention to international trading activities, and increase exports instead of only focusing on domestic markets.

Viet Nam has a good foundation for e-commerce to develop. The country has currently more than 30 million internet users, accounting for 35 per cent of the population. Moreover, Viet Nam is one of the top countries in Asia that is developing rapid internet speed for information technology infrastructure. According to the global e-commerce platform Alibaba.com, Viet Nam is viewed as a country with great potential, having 210,000 registered members on its platform as of the first quarter of this year. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, total export turnover for the first six months of the year reached $ 53.1 billion. With rapid development of online trading in Viet Nam, the target is expected to be met. Thanh said that Business-2-Business (B2B) e-commerce floors had attracted many businesses from around the world, including those from Viet Nam.

Timothy Leung, deputy chairman of Alibaba.com Group's global business and development division, said that "by using e-commerce, enterprises are able to easily access new markets and customers. Online trading helps reduce transaction times and costs". There are 3,600-4,000 Vietnamese businesses per month that register on Alibaba.com. Vietnamese items that top the list for foreign viewers of the site are related to agriculture, food and beverage, and construction and property. US, China and India are among the buyers who have great demands to seek Vietnamese suppliers. This means that Vietnamese businesses will be able to gain a leg-up on e-commerce competition. Thanh said that e-commerce had opened up opportunities for businesses to contact partners around the world, and make it easier to seek new clients as international consumers tend to search for new supplies of goods.

He said that using e-commerce, businesses should be responsible and reliable in their trading, and answer buyers' inquiries as quickly as possible. Alibaba Group in collaboration with OSB Joint Stock Co and its partner VCCI have launched a project to help Vietnamese businesses intensify exports via e-commerce conducted nationwide from July to December. The project is expected to contribute to export growth of Viet Nam in the remaining six months and promote e-commerce development among the Vietnamese business community. The project targets supporting 500-600 local exporters with total sponsor value of VND21 billion ($1 million). It will give priority to exporters operating in key sectors such as agriculture, food, furniture, construction materials, minerals, chemicals, textiles and garments. The exporters will have an opportunity to join the world's largest online B2B marketplace, with 45 per cent discount on member registration fee for a Gold Supplier on Alibaba.com. They also will receive free training on e-commerce, and be able to meet large exporters to share experiences. - VNS


From http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/ 07/30/2012

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INDIA: P Chidambaram May Lead EGoM on Telecom

Home Minister P Chidambaram may head the Empowered Group of Ministers(EGoM) on the allocation of telecom spectrum, which was reconstituted today after Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar declined to head it. Official sources said Chidambaram's name tops the list of ministers who will be part of the EGoM from whose chairmanship Pawar recused earlier this week citing attempts to drag him into controversies. Defence Minister AK Antony, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, I&B Minister Ambika Soni, Law Minister Salman Khurshid, Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia continue to be members of the EGoM. Sources said no date for the meeting of the EGoM has been fixed yet. The EGoM in its last meeting on June 5 had finalised broad modalities for auction of spectrum including the schedule and the quantum of airwaves to be sold, but there was no decision on reserve price, terms of payment and annual spectrum usage charges. It was decided that 8-11 blocks of spectrum in the 1800 Mhz band, and 3-4 blocks in 800 MHz band, would be put up for sale. The government will conduct a simultaneous, multiple round ascending e-auction, details of which would be notified separately.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 07/07/2012

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IT Firms to Support Govt's Proposed RTI Project

Leading IT-based companies have queued up to bid for a government's proposed state-of-the-art call centre aimed at providing greater access to host of services under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Officials in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said many private firms have expressed interest in the proposal. Encouraged by the usage of the transparency law, the DoPT has proposed a RTI Call Centre and Portal Project to make the entire process of filing RTI applications and first appeals user friendly and transparent, and make it easier for the respective ministry or department to track the status of RTI applications through the portal. Representatives of over a dozen companies had attended a pre-bid conference organised by the DoPT last month to discuss matters related to the request for proposal document. As per the proposal, the selected agency will set up, operate and maintain an RTI call centre to facilitate voice calls, SMS and Inter-Voice Response System managed calls. It will also develop, implement and maintain an RTI portal, provisioning of data centre-disaster recovery services for hosting of the portal and training to government personnel.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 07/16/2012

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M.P. Govt to Provide Land to IT Cos on 99-Year Lease

With an aim to give impetus to the information technology industry, the Madhya Pradesh Government has decided to give land to IT companies on a 99-year lease period instead of the present 33 years. The state government has issued orders for making this amendment in the Information Technology policy, official sources said today. Now, land to industrial houses making investment in the state will be given on 99-year lease on case-to-case basis. There will also be a provision to renew lease further. The state Cabinet had taken a decision to this effect recently. Earlier, there was provision to provide land on 33-year lease. The amendment has been made in the concerning clause of Information Technology Policy, 2006. It will be applicable to all the leases given after implementation of the amendment.The amendment will lead to acceleration of the pace of construction work of SEZ at Indore, which is fast growing as an IT hub of the state. It will also be applicable to land allotted to Infosys, TCS and Suvi Ltd at SEZ, Indore.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 08/04/2012

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AZERBAIJAN: Cash Payments to Be Limited

The Azerbaijani government plans to introduce restrictions on the purchase-sale operations within one transaction and one month in cash to promote non-cash payments in the country. The draft amendments to the Tax Code will limit physical entities' cash transactions within one transaction at the level of 5,000 manat, and within a month - to the amount of 20,000 manat, a government source told Trend on Saturday. Increasing the volume of cashless payments is one of the main sources of significant expansion of tax base. So Azerbaijan intends to achieve the level of advanced European countries in this sphere in the near future. At present, the amount of restrictions is being debated as most people are not ready to work with the POS-terminals. Accordingly, the restrictions may have certain impact on the population.

The best variant for increasing interest in non-cash payments is the introduction of forced-restrictive measures in respect of trading facilities and service areas and incentives increasing the interest in making cashless payment in respect of the public. The Ministry of Taxes examines the world experience in using e-commerce in taxation. The inquiry was sent to the European Organization of Tax Administrations (IOTA). By examining European experience in the country's tax legislation, stimulating and administrative measures are planned to be held in this area. According to the Ministry of Taxes, the number of active POS-terminals in Azerbaijan is 30,940. More than 17,000 POS-terminals were installed and registered at 14,000 facilities in Baku from February to May 2012.

At present, about 30,940 active POS-terminals were installed at 26,443 facilities, of which 28,976 or 93.7 per cent in Baku. The process of installing POS-terminals in hotels, filling stations, centers of trade, leisure and entertainment, medical facilities has been completed. Moreover, the process of installing POS-terminals in the field of transport is underway. In particular, they were installed in more than 830 taxis. According to the ministry, the necessary infrastructure was created for non-cash payments in the country. In particular, there are 4.6 million plastic cards in circulation in the country. However, their use is inadequate.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/02/2012

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Azerbaijan IT Market Survives Global Crisis Relatively Painlessly

The information technology market of Azerbaijan has survived the global financial crisis much less painfully than in Kazakhstan, IDC manager for Central Asia & Azerbaijan Andrey Beklemishev told reporters Thursday. According to him, today the market as a whole has recovered and reached the volume of the pre-crisis period. "It is clear that the crisis will continue to disturb the whole world, but in general, we reached the figures of 2007 on turnover," Beklemishev said. Beklemishev considers a 25-30 per cent annual growth in the ICT sector of Azerbaijan as being a reality. "IT markets are growing much faster than GDP. If GDP growth slows or decreases, the IT markets react to it quickly. In Kazakhstan, for example, before the crisis we have seen an increase on average by 30 per cent. In 2008-2009, we saw the reduction of the IT market by 50 per cent, although the GDP didn't decrease. Economic growth continued by two or three per cent, but despite this, the IT market decreased," Beklemishev said. The markets of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, in his opinion, have much in common. "They are closely related to subsoil resources and above all, with oil," Beklemishev said.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/14/2012

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High Growth Rates of the IT Sector Continue in Azerbaijan

The sector of information and communication technologies in Azerbaijan demonstrates high rates of growth, IDC manager for Central Asia & Azerbaijan Andrey Beklemishev said on Thursday. He noted that according to the company's forecasts, these rates will continue in the future as large investments in this sector of the state are expected. "There are no figures on the Azerbaijani IT market. However if for example, one considers the figures for GDP and population of the country, the figures are quite good," Beklemishev said. He said official reports of IDC include only 'white' delivery. "When a company evaluates the IT markets as a whole, then the 'grey' delivery is also considered. If we talk about the market of Dubai, then if you calculate the number of deliveries of products in this country, it turns out to be a colossal figure. It is clear that Dubai does not consume so much and that part of the production goes into a 'grey' delivery," Beklemishev said.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/14/2012

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Azerbaijani Mobile Operator Invests $80 Mln in Network Expansion

Azerfon has invested $80 million in expanding its network in 2011, spokesman Farid Mammadov said at a press conference today. Mammadov said that the growth of the company's financial assets as of 2011 was 11 percent. The company is currently working to renew the base stations. The activity in this direction envisages implementing LTE network throughout the country.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/20/2012

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Potential of E-Commerce in Azerbaijan Is Much Higher Than Existing Volume

The monthly turnover of e-commerce in Azerbaijan can exceed half a billion manat, founder of Golden Pay Company Farid Ismailzade said at a seminar on 'Growth in non-cash payments and use of POS-terminals' on Thursday. "Today, the monthly turnover of electronic commerce in the country stands at two million manat. The population is mainly interested in the purchase of equipment and other goods, payment of utility structures, mobile operators, ISPs and so on through the Internet," Ismailzade said. He said a tax holiday for a specified period, for example five years which is widely used in the world, can promote development of this sector and the growth of e-commerce turnover. "In addition, there are some voids in the legislation governing this area. We are together with the ministries of economic development, communications and information technology and are preparing proposals to address them," Ismailzade said. Head of the main department of Tax Policy & Strategic Studies of the Ministry of Taxes Akif Musayev said the state is ready to take the necessary steps for the development of electronic commerce in the country. "The share of electronic commerce in general turnover in the world is large, for example, it is at the level of 67 per cent in Germany. In Azerbaijan, these figures are less, but this area is developing. The issues of informing and educating people are important," Musayev said.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/21/2012

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Azerbaijan Launches E-payment of Compulsory Social Insurance Contributions

The Azerbaijani State Social Protection Fund has started to receive payments on compulsory social insurance in electronic form, state fund chairman Salim Muslimov told journalists. "Insurers will be able to provide statements for the first half and second quarter of the year in an electronic form in July," Muslimov said. The software allows to carry out these operations in the on-line-mode. State Fund has received 6205 electronic applications on May 31 in order to provide electronic reporting. Electronic services of State Fund are also available on "e-government" site (ehdis.az). Muslimov said the State Fund signed an agreement with the Information Centre of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan, which enabled provide digital signature (EDS) to the employees of SSPF. At present, there are 442 digital signatures received by the employees of the State Fund.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/29/2012

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Azerbaijani Unibank Launches Loan Repayments via Its ATMs

Azerbaijani Unibank has launched a new service that consists of loan repayment via its ATMs, available for the all holders of plastic cards, the bank's press release says on Monday. "To repay a loan, one should only has to get his/her card registered using a special ATM menu and enter the code of the loan agreement with Unibank. The registration will be confirmed via an SMS sent to the client's mobile phone number and the blocking of AZN 1 in the subscriber balance. Then, the will be deducted from the client's card account monthly in strict accordance with the pertaining loan repayment schedule," the press release says. Every withdrawal will be reflected in the card balance immediately upon completion. Thanks to the new service, every client of Unibank can make a positive credit history because of the opportunity to repay outstanding credit debts at any time during the day without having to call at the branches of the Bank. It should be mentioned that such transactions cover all the kinds of cards issued by any bank in the country. No added fee is charged for repayment of loans using the ATMs of Unibank.


From http://en.trend.az/ 07/02/2012

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E-payment of Fees for Transactions on Securities Started in Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani State Securities Committee has established a system of automated electronic services and integrated it into the 'Electronic Government' (ehdis.az) portal, the committee said on Monday. The committee has ensured the paying of fees in e-form in real time, as well as security of transactions and individual data as continued operations to execute the presidential decree as of May 23, 2011 on .'Some measures in the sphere of rendering electronic government services', the report said. At present, about 30 Azerbaijani public institutions have joined it. The work on the integration of electronic services of several state agencies is underway. E-government is a key tool supporting the work with citizens and enterprises in the public and private sectors. A list of electronic services approved by the Cabinet of Ministers has been placed on the website. State bodies are ready to service the population at this portal with more than 80 e-services. Some of them are provided through a 'single window' principle. In future, the number of services on the portal will exceed 300 units. The portal is designed to reduce the number of citizens' documents due to the fact that different bodies will interact with each other in e-form. An e-digital signature is required to use the services.


From http://en.trend.az/ 07/02/2012

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Customs Payments in Azerbaijan Almost Completely Transferred to e-Form

The State Customs Committee in Azerbaijan has received 97 percent of the customs payments in electronic form. The Committee's Chairman Aydin Aliyev made this statement addressing the Cabinet of Ministers' meeting chaired by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev yesterday and dedicated to the socio-economic development in the first half of 2012 and the upcoming challenges. "Today, the receipt of customs payments through banks or plastic cards is arranged, and POS-terminals are installed in all customs offices or the branches of relevant banks have been opened," Aydin Aliyev said. He said customs service activity is transferred into single automated control system. "This system is one of the important steps to liberalize trade in the country, create favorable conditions for entrepreneurs," Aliyev added. He said the State Customs Committee continues to work on sharing information with other agencies in an electronic form and building a single network.


From http://en.trend.az/ 07/12/2012

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Volume of E-Trades with Foreign Currency Decreases by 14 Percent in Azerbaijan

The total volume of trades of currency section at Baku Interbank Currency Exchange (BBVB) in July on USD/AZN has made 68.583 million manat or $87.336 million, BBVB said on Friday. "In comparison with indicators of June in accounting month the total volume of trades in currency section has increased on 11.084 million manat or 14 percent," the statement said.

In total, 10 banks have taken part in the trades of currency section of the BBVB in July 2012. In accounting month in "Bourse E-System of Trades" (BEST) 44 trading sessions are conducted and 37 transactions are registered. The average daily turnover in "Bourse E-System of Trades" on USD/AZN reached approximately $3.97 million, then that the average volume of each transaction has made $2.36 million. It is necessary to note, that exchange rate of national currency on tool USD/AZN_TOD in accounting month has increased on 0,03 percent from 0.7850 to 0.7848 for $1. Thus the US dollar average rate in consideration to manat has made in July, 2012 - 0.7853 AZN for $1, against 0.7854 AZN following the June.


From http://en.trend.az/ 08/03/2012

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AUSTRALIA: Spends US$475 Mil on Unified Communications Services

The Australian Government has earmarked US$475 million (AUD$474 million) on unified communications to streamline service delivery for citizens nationally. This unified communications initiative, being managed by Australia's mega-agency, the Department of Human Services, will help consolidate 20 existing telecommunications contracts, while merging voice, mobile and data services across a single data network for the first time. As Australia's lead citizen service delivery agency, the Department of Human Services provides strategic policy advice to the Australian Government. This department also manages services and payments nationally, including Medicare, Centrelink, and Child Support. Combined, these services reach millions of Australians nationally. Nearly 98 per cent of Australians are registered with Medicare, while Centrelink currently has 7.1 million customers and Child Support has 1.4 million customers.

The department's unified communications project is one of the nation's largest telecommunications deals in recent years, according to the Minister for Human Services, Kim Carr. This project, just awarded to the Australian telco carrier Telstra, becomes fully operational in 18 months. When up-and-running, this unified communications roll-out will fast-track services to some of Australia's most disadvantaged citizens, while promoting the local industry and saving taxpayers millions of dollars. The department's existing network is being replaced with a collaborative backbone network that supports Internet Protocol (IP) telephony services, IP call-centre services and video conferencing for more than 40,000 staff nationally. Among the benefits, this roll-out will see fewer callers wait on hold, while helping remote communities get help more readily when disaster strikes. "This (project) is one of the department's biggest commercial deals," Minister Carr said. "It offers significant savings - consolidating 20 existing telecommunications contracts - and will well and truly bring the department into the 21st century, merging voice, mobile and data services across a single data network for the first time."

Using a single telco provider will enable the department to deliver innovations based on cutting-edge technology. These innovations encompass improved call-back capability and easier identification of callers. "Fewer citizens will have to wait on hold and more can get access to convenient self-service services whenever they wish," Minister Carr noted. He added that modernising service delivery technology will enable all calls, email, SMS and other multi-media contacts to be automatically distributed through a central system across the network to the right staff with the right skills to help. New and improved capabilities, such as voice recording, voice biometrics and video conferencing will help department staff interact with the community in more convenient ways. "It's not just about phone calls anymore," Minister Carr observed. "We live in a digital age and people expect to communicate with government through multiple channels, like mobile technology and social media. This deal will position the department to deliver exactly that."

Among the updates, a centralised scheduling system will be implemented to co-ordinate staff across the national IP network. This centralised network will help staff manage demand more effectively, especially during peak times. Last year, the department's centres answered more than 55 million calls; of these Centrelink recorded 37 million phone calls, including over 6.5 million SMS to customers. Additionally, Medicare fielded 15.2 million calls, and Child Support tackled 2.9 million calls nationwide. As an industry incentive, Telstra will use Australian-based expertise to implement and transition the department and related agencies to the new unified communications platform.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/26/2012

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Australia Targets US$2 Bn in ICT Cost Savings

The Australian Government is targeting US$2 billion (AUD$2 billion) in savings from a better use of ICT services - while using its purchasing power to negotiate terms and conditions with suppliers. These savings are outlined in a report released 13th July by the Minister for Finance, Penny Wong. The report, "Driving Efficiency in the Australian Government" canvasses a raft of cost controls over the next four years. These focus on more astute use of technology, while cutting down on duplication and operational overheads. New measures include the introduction of an integrated Parliamentary workflow management system, a "leaner" ICT network and communications backbone, and improved electronic record-keeping. Teleconferencing and video-conferencing will replace travel, enabling agencies to save on meetings and consultations. Government recruitment ads are being migrated on-line - helping defray the cost of using traditional print channels. Among recent allocations, the 2012-13 budget earmarks US$10 million (AUD$10 million) to develop an electronic Parliamentary workflow system. This system, when fully operational, will deliver savings of US$30 (AUD$30 million).

Presently, different agencies use different systems to manage briefings to ministers, responses to Parliamentary questions, and ministerial correspondence. Moreover, some agencies still use manual workflow systems. A modernised Parliamentary workflow system will deliver a single centrally-hosted solution across 41 key agencies that come under the Financial Management and Accountability Act. This integrated reporting system also slashes duplication, while improving workflow between agencies and ministerial offices. This system is being developed and hosted by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Funding for this project will be fully recovered from participating agencies. The Department of Finance and Deregulation will manage future governance arrangements to implement this system. Earlier cost-saving measures have included moving more government services on-line to save administrative overheads. These on-line services are making it easier for citizens to access healthcare, child support, and employment services, including those provided by Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support.

Centrelink is modernising its electronic document management system, as a result, cutting back on paper-based record-keeping and associated over-heads. Additionally, a "leaner ICT backbone" will reduce network management and communications overheads. Whole-of-government ICT cost reductions are being delivered by leveraging the size of the Australian Government to negotiate better terms for the supply of ICT goods and services. The emphasis is on identifying inefficient practices, while implementing change and sharing new ideas or approaches, Minister Wong says.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/13/2012

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Australia Boosts Investment in Health Informatics

Healthcare informatics will play a key role in delivering integrated patient care - with the Australian Government planning to use this platform to manage and share data across the healthcare system. In future, healthcare agencies and service delivery providers will increasingly use informatics to collect, analyse, and move data across different jurisdictions, according to Dr Michael Bainbridge, programme clinical lead, National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA). Dr Bainbridge, also adjunct professor, clinical informatics, University of British Columbia, was speaking at the industry's peak Health Informatics Conference (HIC 2012) in Sydney. He said paper-based record-keeping is seen as "public enemy number one." This regime is being replaced by informatics and electronic records to deliver modernised healthcare. Informatics offers a "cradle-to-grave" snapshot of patients, at the same time, supporting evidence-based policy and funding reforms for peak agencies like NEHTA. NEHTA is driving the Australian Government's high-profile US$233.7 million (AUD$233.7 million) Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) programme.

The three-year programme will deliver fully integrated e-health services nationally, while making better use of e-health data across agencies, hospitals, clinics and healthcare centres. Informatics offers a cost-effective platform to acquire, store, retrieve and use health and biomedicine information, noted Dr Bainbridge. He said nearly two terabytes of data is pumped out each day, per patient, at emergency wards. This data can reside in different places, in varied formats, while relying on sometimes incompatible technology. "With informatics, we're on a better trajectory to managing patient care. Patients are also taking ownership of their own data and medical records." Dr Bainbridge said a paternalist model of healthcare has shifted. This is being replaced by more precise and personalised information-exchange. "We're moving past incomprehensible medical forms toward empowering patients." Health informatics helps integrate all episodes of care, while improving productivity across the system, according to Mike Woods, deputy chair, Productivity Commission (Australian Government). Informatics offers cost-effective tools to empower consumers and care-givers, he said. This platform supports a cohesive and connected information base. It also improves operational performance, while helping medical staff evaluate, cost and forecast activities.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/02/2012

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Australia E-Tax Returns Reach Record Highs

The Australian Taxation Office's e-tax programme is marked by a high uptake of on-line responses. This week, more than one million people have registered to submit their tax returns electronically. These lodgements are saving time, and helping get refunds much faster. This latest tally is just over a month into tax time - marking a major milestone for electronic filling reforms, according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo. The ATO is responsible for collecting net tax of up to US$273 billion (AUD$273 billion) each year. "This latest milestone brings the total number of lodgments since the official launch of e-tax in 1999 to 18.5 million," Commissioner D'Ascenzo said. "The ATO is committed to making the lodgment of income tax returns fast and easy. This year, most Australian taxpayers who are expecting a refund and lodge electronically will have it in 12 business days or less."

As one of the largest information technology operations in the Australian Public Service, the ATO's operation is supported by an annual ICT budget of US$633.3 million (AUD$633.3 million). This agency employs more than 2,100 staff nationally. It also partners with external service providers to deliver and support over 750 networked systems. These systems are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, covering 61 sites nationally. Last year, 2.6 million self-preparers used e-tax to lodge their return with almost 74 per cent of them choosing to use an online pre-fill service. This service helps people complete their tax return by downloading information the ATO has received from employers, financial institutions, and government agencies. This information is pre-loaded against relevant questions in an e-tax form. A pre-fill option is saving time and helping ensure that a tax return is correct. "All people need to do then is check their information and add any missing details," Commissioner D'Ascenzo said.

Information available from the ATO's pre-fill service includes welfare payments, as well as pensions and allowances. This service also incorporates Medicare information, medical expenses and amounts being claimed through private health insurance policy and rebate details. The ATO's 2012-2015 "Online Strategy" factors in new areas of focus. These areas incorporate integrating pay-as-you-go and fringe benefits tax installments into a core information management system. The agency is also transitioning to a 'one client' register to support expanded online services. This register will help integrate data covering superannuation membership and change-of-contact details. Internet portals and gateways are also improving communication between the ATO and tax agents. This communication is speeding up responses to industry surveys and other information-gathering activities.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/03/ 2012

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Mobile Devices Key to Meeting Consumer Expectations - Says Australian Banking Lobby

Australia's banks must improve the speed of mobile device innovation and increase collaboration if they are to counter the inevitable onslaught from non-bank financial services companies, concludes an Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) report. "But customers are increasingly demanding that payment tools contain more value-added components such as financial dashboards, coupons, loyalty, invoices, and discounts," the paper found. "The mobile can deliver all of these expectations, and more: micro-payments, better control, immediacy, and better information" notes lead author, Patrick Crooks, who has successfully led some of the world's largest mobile banking projects. "The mobile revolution has opened the door for a myriad of non-bank players to deliver innovations quickly and with lower risk," says co-author Wayne Li, Senior Vice President and Country Head - Australia & New Zealand at Polaris Software Pty Ltd. "Mega brands such as Google and Apple are successfully turning business models upside-down in a number of industries - financial services will not be spared. All banks know that they need to innovate, but they operate in an environment that is actually detrimental to innovation itself."

The authors write that one of the problems is that larger banks attract greater regulatory and public scrutiny due to their significance to the economy and with the Global Financial Crisis being blamed on too much innovation, this scrutiny has intensified. "They have so much more to lose than new entrants - fear of failure understandably paralyses some organisations. It is extremely brave to radically redefine an existing business model - it's so much easier to tinker around the edges." The paper examines the impediments to fast innovation in large organisations, and finds that too many people, decision points, or technology integration points can all add to delays on a project. Counter-intuitively, increasing external touchpoints can actually increase innovation speed by increasing complementary innovation, using social media for immediate product feedback, and the new trend towards crowd-testing. Summing up, Mr Crooks writes: "When standing at the edge of the innovation "gene pool", executives now have to decide: Do we just dip our toes in the water, or do we jump right in?"


From http://www.cellular-news.com/ 08/06/2012

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Aussie Businesses Snare IT Budget Windfall

Medium-sized prize - but can it last?
Medium-sized Australian businesses raised their investment in hardware and software over the past year, but the cash is expected to dry up fast, according to the latest Sensis e-business report. About 345 businesses with between 20 and 200 employees took part in Sensis' latest survey. The lion's share - some 87 percent - had 100 employees or less. The survey revealed average actual dollar spending on hardware, software and systems maintenance. It also asked businesses to predict their spend for the coming year - providing a useful point-in-time comparison for spending sentiment. Medium-sized businesses had access to far better IT budgets for hardware and software in 2011 than they had factored in. The businesses spent an average of $49,800 on hardware in 2011. When asked in 2010 how much they thought they'd spend in 2011, expectations came to $42,800. Software spending by medium-sized businesses in 2011 came in at an average of $46,600, compared to expectations of $33,000. However, businesses did not appear to expect the money to last, with Sensis reporting that medium-sized businesses expected to spend $40,900 on hardware and another $40,900 on software in 2012. If the figures are accurate, they represent more pain for hardware vendors and a sharp turnaround in fortunes for software makers.

Back to 2008?
Spending in hardware and software peaked in the 2009 calendar year, according to an iTnews' analysis of previous Sensis surveys. Medium-sized businesses saw their hardware budget skyrocket on average from $37,000 in 2008 to $89,800 in 2009. Hardware spend has been in decline ever since - falling to $51,700 in 2010 and to $49,800 in 2011. If the 2012 predictions are accurate, spending will be closer to 2008 levels by the end of this year. Software spend has experienced greater fluctuation. It went from $30,900 in 2008 to $62,500 in 2009, free-falling to $29,400 in 2010 before rebounding to $46,600 in 2011. The cycle suggests that 2012 should experience a decline, and indeed that is expected. As with hardware, if the expectations are correct, this year's average software spend will come in at just above 2008 levels.

Maintenance cuts
Medium-sized businesses have shown a tendency to cut spending on maintenance and support for IT systems. When spending on hardware and software ballooned in 2009, maintenance costs came in at $92,400 on average. (It appears 2009 was the first time the Sensis survey tracked maintenance spend). Since that time, maintenance spending has been in a steady decline, ahead even of business expectations. In 2010, maintenance spend averaged $81,100 (prediction was $90,900). It fell to $63,100 in 2011 (on expectations of $75,800) and, if things go to plan this year, will come in at $57,200.


From http://www.itnews.com.au/ 08/08/2012

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Australia Broadband Faces Budget Blow-Out

The Australian Government's high-profile National Broadband Network (NBN) slated to deliver "fibre-to-every-home" is facing cost over-runs, amid mounting concerns about delivering this major project to time and budget. Revised figures indicate the government may need to inject an extra US$2.9 billion (AUD$2.9 billion) to off-set capital and operating costs. Original spending for this broadband roll-out was placed at US$36 billion (AUD$36 billion), while delivering high-bandwidth services to homes and businesses. The NBN will connect just 92,000 homes and offices to broadband services by June 2013, well below earlier projected forecasts. The June 2013 subscriber rate represents a 14 per cent uptake, compared with an earlier forecast connecting 566,000 users nationally. "Changes in the scope of the overall project required to be delivered by NBN Co have resulted in an increase in Capital Expenditure during the Construction period," notes a revised four-year corporate plan released 8th August by the NBN Co.

Sydney-based NBN Co is managing the roll-out of Australia's most ambitious telecommunications infrastructure project. This project is comparable in size and scope to building Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge. "The company expects to achieve an annual Internal rate of return of 7.1 per cent, a marginal increase on its original projection released 20 months ago before the full-scale rollout of the National Broadband Network had commenced," notes the NBN Co's corporate plan. Completion date for the NBN is being pushed back by six months to mid-2021. Opposition's shadow minister for communications and broadband, Malcolm Turnbull, has accused the Australian government of "hiding" the true original costs to build this national broadband network. "The government's strategy from the beginning has been to hide the true costs of the NBN and exempt it from parliamentary and public scrutiny," warned Turnbull. "This week's revised corporate plan will not be credible unless it owns up to the true overall cost of the project, and acknowledges the rollout delays and higher costs that are obvious to the community."

Despite the broader debate surrounding the NBN, this project is "on track" to meet its targets, according to the Federal minister for broadband and communications, Stephen Conroy. Additionally, Australian finance minister, Penny Wong, has noted the NBN will deliver a "solid return" for tax-payers. This project's focus should not just be on profits, but the value it will bring to businesses and families, she says. The NBN project is the poster-child of Australia's current Labor-led government. It was crafted, during an earlier election promise, to deliver affordable broadband to every home across cities, towns, and regional areas. The Labor government, under Prime Minister Julia Gillard, faces an election in the New Year. Industry observers note that Australia's widely-debated, and somewhat controversial, broadband project may be replaced by a more affordable blueprint, should the Opposition (Liberal Party) win government in 2013.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/09/2012

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Survey Says: SMEs Becoming Less Proactive Online

The latest MYOB Business Monitor report reveals "a significant decline" in SMEs' online business activity despite a increase in the incidence of web sites. MYOB's regular survey of SMEs has found that while the number of businesses with a web site has risen slightly from 36% in March to 38% in June, other types of online business activity has declined. In particular, social media activity has declined from 18% to 15% for Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and from 19% to 13% for LinkedIn. "The decline in popularity of online business activities was completely unexpected, particularly that of online marketing and social media," said MYOB CEO Tim Reed. "Many of these tools, such as a basic LinkedIn page, are free and can be used to raise the profile of a business and to communicate with customers."

He suggested that this decline could be the result of operators that are experiencing declining revenues (which outnumber those seeing rising revenue) focusing on other aspects of their businesses. The highest incidence of SMEs with web sites is in Queensland (47%) compared with 27% in Western Australia, whereas social media usage is highest in Victoria (19%) and lowest in New South Wales (12%). Curiously, online business activities such as placing orders, paying bills, accepting payments, using Skype or other VoIP services also fell between the two surveys. More than 1000 SME operators were surveyed for the Business Monitor.


From http://www.itwire.com/ 08/14/2012

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NEW ZEALAND: Studies Show Economy Gains from the Internet

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) today released two studies from Wellington consulting houses NZIER and Infometrics exploring the impact the Internet is having on New Zealand's economy. InternetNZ Chief Executive Vikram Kumar says the studies are the first careful look New Zealand experts have taken into how the Internet is changing the economy. They form an initial step towards strengthening InternetNZ's understanding of the subject: the studies raise questions as well as setting out initial thinking. "We asked Infometrics and NZIER to look at the Internet from an economist's point of view, and to explore the impact it has across the economy These studies do not look at the 'Internet economy' or the broadband market. They explore how the Internet can change everything," he says.

In taking an interest in the whole economy, InternetNZ was surprised to find that there are no previous studies from a New Zealand perspective that looked at the impact the Internet is having. Most studies look at the economic activity that faster broadband might spur, or the effects on particular sectors. The two reports (available at www.internetnz.net.nz/ecoresearch) provide a solid review of the international scholarship in this area, and advance important understanding of how the Internet, as an emerging general purpose technology, is changing things. The Infometrics paper discusses conceptual economic issues relating to the Internet. It focuses on the Internet's ability to better match production of goods and services with what people want, and lowering the cost of finding information. It also discusses the 'network externalities' emerging as more and more people gain access to the Internet.

Reviewing international studies for credibility, Infometrics estimates a probable existing economic impact of between 5 and 9 percent of GDP in developed economies, depending on Internet take up. There are further gains from improved consumer welfare that aren't captured in economic statistics. "NZIER's study shares the view that measuring economic impact is difficult due to the wide array of changes the Internet is inducing. They consider that a transport metaphor is useful for thinking about the Internet's impact on the economy, effectively reducing transport costs for New Zealand firms," says Kumar. "Both studies suggest that disruptive innovation has already happened and is likely to continue. The overall impact is improving productivity and the wellbeing of New Zealanders. Protecting and promoting the Internet will protect and promote New Zealand's economic future," he says.


From http://www.internetnz.net.nz/ 07/10/2012

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Broadband Access 'Must Expand to Include Poor'

Some may argue that the digital divide is dead, but a new gulf - the broadband divide - is impeding poor countries' efforts to develop sustainably, a meeting on the sidelines of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) heard this week. Mobile phone technology is now firmly established. In a world of seven billion people, six billion mobile phones are currently in use. But the broadband story is very different. Just four per cent of people in developing countries are subscribed to fixed broadband, compared with 25 per cent in developed countries. In 2010, just five per cent of people in the developing world could access broadband on their mobile phones, compared with 42 per cent in developed countries, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN agency specialising in information and communications technology (ICT) development. "Broadband is essential to fulfilling what has become a reality - that ICTs are fundamental to all three pillars of sustainable development [economic, social and environmental]," said Gary Fowlie, head of ITU's Liaison Office.

Science at Rio+20
Broadband is a telecommunications signal that uses a wide range of frequencies, allowing for larger data flows and thus high-speed internet access. Many developing countries currently lack either the necessary fibre-optic and wireless networks, or cannot afford access to international submarine cable and satellite services. Investing in broadband infrastructure would have spillover benefits for all pillars of sustainable development - for example, by spawning programmes in e-agriculture, e-health, and e-education - and would spur economic growth, said Fowlie. A ten per cent expansion of broadband networks could lead to a 1.38 per cent growth in GDP (gross domestic product) in low and middle income countries, reported the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, which was set up in 2010 by the ITU and UNESCO (the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). In advance of Rio+20, the commission presented a 'call to action' to include broadband as a sustainable development goal. But others argued this week that barriers to sustainable development would be better overcome by addressing the growing gap in knowledge regarding use of ICT services. Nitin Desai, former under-secretary-general in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, told the meeting that cultivating capacity to apply new and emerging technologies was critical to achieving desired sustainable development outcomes. This could be achieved through nurturing the capacity of end-users such as farmers, and of service-providers such as health professionals, he said. Nathaniel Manning, director of business development and strategy at Ushahidi, a Kenya-based non-profit technology company, said that poor communities were not yet using non-broadband mobile services to their full capacity. These services include Mxit, a social network based on mobile messaging developed in South Africa, and M-Farm, an SMS service enabling farmers in Kenya to access information on product retail prices.


From http://www.scidev.net/ 06/22/2012

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AFRICA: Mobile Phone Boom in Developing World Could Boost E-Learning

A study of young people in Ghana, Morocco, Uganda and Maharashtra aims to encourage networks to improve education through mobile technology.

Globalisation, as defined by the rich, is a very nice thing, the former US president Jimmy Carter once reflected. "You're talking about the internet, you're talking about cell phones, you're talking about computers," said Carter. "This doesn't affect two-thirds of the people in the world." That was in 2001; a lot has changed. In Kenya, mobile phones have become an integral part of cash transfer schemes, enabling poor people in urban areas to buy food. In remote rural areas of Peru, computers provided by the Euro-Solar programme are fuelling an appetite for learning among children. And the senior US political adviser Alec Ross - acknowledging the galvanising influence of social media on the Arab spring - has described the internet as "the Che Guevara of the 21st century". If the global spread of technology can do all this, what else might it achieve? Quite a lot, according to the authors of a report prepared by the GSMA mobile industry body and published to coincide with last week's eLearning Africa conference in Cotonou, Benin. Shaping the future - realising the potential of informal learning through mobile (pdf), explores mobile technology's potential to improve access to education for young people in developing countries. The study looks at Ghana, Morocco, Uganda and Maharashtra, in India, identifying young people's aspirations and priorities, exploring the education and employment challenges they face, and scrutinising their mobile phone use.

The endgame is to establish how the mobile industry and international development community can pool their expertise to create m-learning services that improve teaching and learning, and therefore promote long-term development. "It's a big step in the right direction in terms of putting the possibilities in front of the GSMA's members and raising awareness of the commercial and business opportunities education represents in the developing world," says John Traxler, professor of m-learning at the University of Wolverhampton in the UK. "Clearly it's a small sample, covering only four countries, so it's indicative rather than representative. But if the networks get the message, it's a valuable piece of work. Networks don't need to hear it's virtuous, they need to hear it's profitable - just enough to encourage them to get out there and do something." Mobile phones are increasingly ubiquitous in poor countries, which now account for four in every five connections worldwide (pdf). As Elsie Kanza, of the World Economic Forum, recently said: "Regardless of social class, almost everyone [in Africa] has a mobile phone, or two or three. Even in remote villages, mobile phones have replaced the bicycle or radio as prized assets." An obvious caveat is that voice-calls far outstrip data use in poor countries, which remain an emerging market for smartphones and other data-enabled devices. One reason is cost. A quarter of the young people surveyed - and almost half of those from Ghana - said a shortage of money was the biggest obstacle to accessing educational resources. Even so, the rapid spread of mobile technology offers clear possibilities for learning. Of the young people participating in the study who had accessed the internet, half had done so on a mobile device.

One female student from rural India told the GSMA researchers: "In class, I sometimes record the lectures on my phone so I can listen to them later in case I forget or don't understand. I can use the calculator to help me with my maths. My favourite subjects are maths, science, history and economics. If you could get these on your mobile it would be good." Enthusiasm for learning was a common thread in the feedback. Only family and health were felt to be of greater importance by the study's participants, 30% of whom said having a good career ranked higher among their priorities than marriage or home ownership. Despite this aspirational outlook, however, only a quarter said the classroom was their principal source of information and education. Friends and family were identified as more important by 41%, while 43% gleaned most of their knowledge from TV programmes. So can m-learning help? Yes, say the report's authors, who suggest that, by using the study's findings to tap into common interests among young mobile users, the reach and impact of educational material can be increased. Many of those surveyed used their devices to access music and sports content (49% and 24% respectively across the four areas studied); by bundling learning material with, say, football updates, the GSMA researchers believe technology can make a significant difference. Others, however, are sceptical. Some experts say there is little demonstrable evidence of m-learning's impact, suggesting it threatens to undermine traditional teaching methods and - by leaving those without access to devices at a disadvantage - reinforce inequality.

Traxler believes such arguments are misguided. "You don't have to pay for mobile technology, and it reaches the people you want to reach," he argues. "Computers, books, television sets and college buildings may be infinitely more respected, but people already have mobile phones - they buy them, pay for them, and carry them. So let's look at how the technology is representative of our society, and how we can use it, rather than worrying about the niceties of education." The report preaches a message Traxler has long championed, one he hopes will now trickle down not only to mobile networks and their commercial departments, but also to governments. "That's where the action needs to happen," he says. "We've had 10 years of relatively small-scale, short-term projects, and by their very nature I'm not sure how much they would really have told us, or how rigorous they were. "The case that needs to be made is about sustainability, scale, return on investment and impacting on government policies. If the GSMA can do a better job than the rest of us have done in the past 10 years, then good luck to them - and I think they probably will."


From http://www.guardian.co.uk/ 05/30/2012

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Ghana: e-Government Network to Connect Public Schools

The Deputy Minister of Communications, Mr Attuquaye Armah, says the e-Government network infrastructure will soon be put in place to ride on the national communication fibre backbone to connect all public and educational institutions and district assembles. The infrastructure, he said, would facilitate the provision of last mile solutions by the private sector to ensure a complete network infrastructure and provide adequate bandwidth capacity for e-services. To that end, he said, the ministry had developed an information technology and information management (IT/IM) scheme of service to assist the public service in attracting and retaining highly skilled IT/IM personnel to support the transformation in the government sector through the development and exploitation of information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The Minister noted that as a result of the above development, well trained IT professionals were needed in areas such as software engineering/programming/analysis, database administration, networking, e-commence, IT project management and internet application. Mr Armah made this known at the third Ghana Telecom University College (GTUC) congregation last Saturday in Accra. Out of the total of 253 students who graduated, 243 received either MSc or and MBA Degree in programmes including Supply Chain Management, Engineering and Management, Engineering Business Management, Finance, Management Information System, Oil and Gas Engineering Project Management Logistics and IT while 10 students received MSc in Telecom Management.

Speaking at the third GTUC congregation, Mr Armah, however, indicated that unlike years back when students who came out of school had jobs easily, that had changed currently because the number of students who graduated yearly far exceeded the number of job vacancies available and that had made the job market very competitive. It was for that change, he observed, that the Ministry had established the Ghana Multimedia Incubator Centre (GMIC) to promote innovation and entrepreneurship by providing a supportive and sharing environment to ICT business start-ups during initial stages of development to reduce the failure rate of such businesses. Mr Armah also urged students and educational institutions to collaborate with government to collectively take advantage of the opportunities that ICTs offered. He added that "this way, the government, students and educational institutions could contribute towards the socioeconomic development of the country." In his keynote address, the Rector of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Prof. Yaw Agyeman Badu, noted that if the technological or digital divide was not tackled as a matter of urgency, institutions would continue to miseducate the current and future generation of students. In that direction, he said, for Ghana to play a meaningful role in the global economy, it needed to place measures to integrate technology into the entire educational curriculum from primary to the tertiary level of education. In addition, Prof. Badu emphasised the need for the country to move rapidly to bridge the technological gap so that the country would truly use ICT to leverage the country' development process.


From http://www.ghana.gov.gh/ 07/12/2012

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Zimbabwean ICT Minister: 1,000 Schools Will Have E-Learning Courses by 2013

E-learning facilities will be rolled out to 1,000 schools in Zimbabwe by the end of the year, the country's minister of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Nelson Chamisa has said. Speaking to Techzim, the politician revealed this ambitious plan could significantly improve the educational outcomes of students. He revealed his long-term goal will be to have e-learning courses in the country's 8,000 schools by 2015. Techzim said it is "optimistic" about the scheme, but does not know where the money for these virtual learning environments will come from. Mr Chamisa stated ministers will monitor the first phase of the roll-out, before handing the reigns to schools and allowing them to take care of the facilities themselves, budgeting for the expense of online learning through their regular costs. The costs of this large-scale e-learning scheme will be "built into the schooling system" through school fees or the government, the minister continued. However, the publication argued more certainty will be required in the funding model going forward, predicting that Zimbabwe might have to "bring out the begging bowl" and approach international finance sources if families and the state cannot find the money for the project. The politician explained some of the costs involved in a nationwide online training scheme will include software, hardware and connectivity. Furthermore, solar power plants will have to be set up in regions without any electricity, he remarked. When online learning courses are widespread, children in the Zimbabwean countryside will have the same competitive advantages as those in Australia, Beijing and New York, Mr Chamisa argued. "We are moving from the traditional schools to the modern school," he declared. The politician has been a strong advocate of computing technology, telling the Zimbabwe ICT 2010 Achievers Awards that "ICTs are bound to play an increasingly prominent and pivotal role as a key enabler of renewed and sustainable growth".


From http://www.virtual-college.co.uk/ 07/19/2012

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ARAB STATES: UAE - E-Mail Is Most Preferred Channel to Deal with Govt

According to an online opinion poll conducted through the official portal of the UAE Government (government.ae), 66.5 per cent of the respondents prefer e-mail to other channels when dealing with government entities. The poll question asks participants, "How do you prefer to communicate with government entities?" The options to choose from are: e-mail, Go there personally, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, Forum, and Other. More than 2,100 people participated in the poll. Of them, 14 per cent prefer to visit the entity to complete their transactions, 12 per cent prefer to communicate through SMS, while only around six per cent prefer social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, discussion forums and similar channels. Commenting on the results of the poll, Salem Khamis Al Shair Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director-General for Information and eGovernment Sector, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), said the poll reflects only the opinions of the portal users and that it is not based on a scientific surveying methodology. Al Suwaidi noted that many people have reservations about using social media to contact the government especially when it comes to sharing personal data and transactions due to the lack of privacy on such tools compared to e-mails. However, Al Suwaidi stressed that it is necessary that government entities communicate with the public using all available channels including social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. "I would like to take this opportunity to stress on the importance of social media tools as new channels to communicate with the public. These channels should be added to the list of traditional means of communication with the public especially in dealing with complaints and enquiries," Al Suwaidi said. In 2011, the TRA issued the 'Guidelines for Social Media Usage for government entities in the UAE' document to provide entities in the UAE with policy guidelines on how to use social media tools in a responsible, safe and effective manner to communicate with the public and engage them in the decision making process. The official portal of the UAE Government (government.ae) adopts various channels to communicate with the public including social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Users can also communicate with the eGovernment through a discussion forum, a blog and an online chat service.


From http://www.khaleejtimes.com/ 06/28/2012

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EUROPE: Moldova - Cloud Service Connecting Different Devices

A new device-agnostic cloud communication service is being launched in Moldova by operator Moldcell. Known as Moldcell Comunic, the service is based on technology provided by unified communications firm CommuniGate Systems. Comunic is built using Pronto, a white-label Unified Communications application for desktop, web and mobile devices. The service enables users to store digital content, make calls and contact friends and relatives all within a single user-friendly application. Pronto enables users to share and communicate wherever they are, over any network, and is highly customisable, allowing network operators and service providers to create a wide variety of Cloud communication value added services for consumer and business subscribers under their own brand. "Using Pronto to combine SMS, HD Voice, email and instant messaging with file-sharing and social media, Moldcell are delivering a powerful suite for their customers to securely share and communicate when they want", said Jon Doyle, Vice President, CommuniGate Systems. "Comunic is a high-quality communication platform, which helps people to communicate in an easy, efficient and friendly way", stated Moldcell CEO, Chiril Gaburici.


From http://developingtelecoms.com/ 07/06/2012

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NORTH AMERICA: Canada - Ontario Seeks Public Cloud Provider for Web Workloads

The Ontario government next month will issue a request-for-proposal to make its most significant move yet into public cloud computing, according to its CIO of infrastructure technology services. Speaking at MISA's gathering of municipal chief information officers from across the country earlier this week, Marty Gallas said the Ontario Public Service (OPS) will be assessing the workloads on Web sites, with portals being the first candidates for cloud-based hosting. Late last year Ontario's top CIO, David Nicholl, told attendees at an ITAC event that the province, which is already a Salesforce.com customer, was considering greater use of the cloud for e-mail and other commodity services. This year's Drummond Report also suggested the OPS should further outsource some of its IT services to third-party providers. Gallas said Web workloads are a logical first choice because they are already public facing and don't contain personal information on citizens. The OPS also has extensive experience in working with third-party providers, he said. Compucom manages some servers today and Telus deals with some network services. "We need the capabilities and intel to make wise choices," he said. "And we'll need to develop innovative contracts that will give us the flexibility to make changes as needs change."

Like most of Canadian public sector, the OPS is conscious of the fact that citizens worry about information being hosted by third parties, particularly firms with headquarters in the U.S. that may be subject to the U.S. Patriot Act. There is already one Ontario provincial online application - for registering fishing licences - that runs out of the U.S., Gallas admitted, though hundreds of thousands of the names in the provider's database are American citizens who come to Canada to hunt or fish. There is some dispute among Canadian legal experts that the Patriot Act is a real concern, but Gallas said the OPS also has to be sensitive to the fact that giving workloads to a U.S. provider could raise questions about why the work isn't offered to local firms that create jobs in Ontario. "Google and Amazon are very competitive, but they don't do a lot in Canada," he said. Internally, Ontario has steadily been working on strategies that will reduce costs while providing efficiencies, Gallas said. This includes more than 500 boardrooms equipped with videoconferencing implemented by Telus. After many years, the OPS has also moved to one e-mail system from a high of 17, has virtualized some 1,500 servers and closed dozens of small data centres. Its most recently opened data centre, in Guelph, is poised to become a long-term home for its application portfolio and the OPS has migrated most of its software programs there from facilities in Toronto. For the last three years, the OPS has even created an internal consulting organization called IT Source, which provides internal expertise as an alternative to fee-based consultants. (By Shane Schick)


From http://www.itworldcanada.com/ 06/01/2012

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Canada Post Poised to Roll Out Digital Mailbox System

This ain't your grandma's Canada Post. The 249-year-old mail service is taking a giant leap into the digital age with its online address and identity authentication system. Canada Post is poised to unveil a digital mailbox system that could give every Canadian a secure and authenticated identity linked to their home address - and propel the 249-year-old institution into the digital age. The Crown corporation will officially launch a national rollout of the digital mailbox program in Ontario's Kitchener-Waterloo region sometime this summer, though it won't give an exact date at this point. What Canada Post will say at this point is that it's going digital or bust. "This is a shift of Canada Post digitally towards being an IT (services) provider but also an IT enabler when it comes to connecting business, consumers and government," said Kerry Munro, group president for digital delivery networks at Canada Post. The digital mailbox will be a focal point of the new e-services strategy. It will give Canadians a way to digitally authenticate their identity and link it to their physical address. The implications could be enormous: thousands of functions that require people to verify their identity and address on paper forms may soon be done online through the Canada Post Web site. The key is Canada Post's reputation as a two-and-a-half centuries old Crown corporation, which gives it a gateway to online authentication that would never be granted to any other private service provider, Munro said. It's the same reason all of Canada's major credit card, banking and utility companies have already granted Canada Post the ability to directly tie the existing ePost online bill notification service into their payment transaction systems, he added.

Munro's vision for Canada Post's e-evolution, if you will, entails taking its successful ePost service - which sends consumers online bill notifications for everything from hydro to credit card bills - and building it out to as an online portal where consumers can access government services, receive e-flyers from businesses, and have Web-based coupons or daily deals offers sent to their ePost inboxes. "ePost will shift to become more that digital platform that helps Canadians manage the business of their lives," said Munro, a former Yahoo Canada executive. Consumers will be able to use the basic digital mailbox service for free but businesses will be charged a fee to use it for online content or service delivery purposes, he said. Munro also plans to bring Canada Post into the mobile age by eventually releasing some of its e-services as apps. Canada Post has already opened its Digital Newsstand service, which allows consumers to subscribe to 5,500 online magazines from around the world. "We're extending our service proposition from what it was as a 249-year-old bricks-and-mortar organization to one that's an anywhere, any time (service)," Munro said. Various types of digital mailbox services are also available in Australia, Switzerland and the UK.


From http://www.itbusiness.ca/ 06/14/2012

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U.S.: Feds Look to Cut Prescription Drug Abuse with Health IT

The U.S. government is using Indiana and Ohio as test beds to determine the usefulness of health IT in the battle against prescription drug abuse. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology on Thursday, June 21, announced a pair of pilot programs that will improve real-time access to prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) for health-care providers. PDMPs are statewide electronic databases that contain drug prescribing and dispensing data submitted by doctors and pharmacies. "The overall goal of all our pilot tests is to give health-care providers the data that they need to make the best prescribing decisions that they can," said Kate Tipping, a policy analyst with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, in an email to Government Technology. "PDMP data is a valuable tool in combating prescription drug abuse, but it becomes even more valuable when it is integrated with providers' day-to-day workflows." Both pilot programs are being funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is managing the overall project in conjunction with SAMHSA, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Indiana's pilot project will center on emergency department staff viewing a patient's controlled substance history through the Regenstrief Medical Record System, a care management platform. The platform is used by Wishard Health Services, a community health system in Indianapolis, and other hospitals.

Tipping said the Indiana project is meant to demonstrate a "deep technical integration" with the Indiana Scheduled Prescription Electronic Collection and Tracking Program (INSPECT), using the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy's Prescription Monitoring Program InterConnect, an interstate hub that allows transfer of prescription monitoring program data across state lines to authorized users. "If we are successful there, others can follow, using our documentation as a guide," Tipping wrote, regarding Indiana. "Other hospitals can connect with the health information exchange (HIE), and other HIEs can connect with INSPECT to add PDMP access to their capabilities." Ohio's pilot is a little different. The state will test the impact of having a drug risk indicator embedded in electronic health records. The idea is to evaluate how that function affects clinical decision-making. The Springfield Center for Family Medicine, Eagle Software Corp., the state of Ohio and MITRE - a nonprofit that devotes its skill in IT and engineering to various sponsored projects - are partnering on the Ohio project. Tipping added that while the Ohio pilot program is integrating the Springfield Center for Family Medicine's electronic health record system with the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System, providers can still choose to access the prescription drug monitoring program using an existing Web user interface if they don't have an electronic health record.


From http://www.govtech.com/ 06/22/2012

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The Gender Gap in Mobile and Internet Access in the Developing World

We have seen evidence over and over again that investing in women and girls is one of the most direct and effective ways to produce economic and social progress. We have also seen how information and communication technologies (or ICT) have accelerated the pace of change by introducing efficiencies, opening new markets, and creating technology-related jobs. Now, imagine the tremendous possibilities that can arise from empowering women with ICT. The promise is real, though there are a number of challenges to navigate. One of the most challenging issues is gender inequity in the access to technology, whether that be a mobile phone or Internet connectivity. Closing the gender gap presents an enormous opportunity for economic development. The GSMA mWomen Program, launched by Secretary Clinton in October 2010, identified that women are 21% less likely than men to own a mobile phone in developing countries. mWomen aims to halve that gap in the next three years. The Internet is also out of reach for many women, who typically have more limited incomes and are unable to afford service costs, which can be prohibitively expensive in many low-income countries. Certainly, without access to technology, women will not be able to take advantage of the many potential benefits technology can enable for their individual and family's livelihood, education, and well-being - as a consequence, their contributions to economic and social progress will not be as significant. Beyond access, women face additional hurdles in effectively leveraging ICT. Cultural norms or overt discrimination can make it uncomfortable for a woman to visit a cyber cafe or unfeasible for her to purchase her own phone. Marketing or distributing services to women can be difficult if they have limited ability to travel or to interact with male distributors. Lower literacy rates among women make it more challenging to access many SMS services, web applications, or phone apps, all of which typically require the ability to read and enter information. And, lack of technical literacy, along with the motivation or interest to develop it, can also discourage women from leveraging ICT solutions. Ann Mei Chang serves as the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology for the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues.


From http://www.fcc.gov/ 07/23/2012

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California County Tries to Roll Out Wireless Broadband to Farms

With 15 million acres under cultivation and about $6 billion in farm product sales per year, California's Fresno County has some of the most productive agricultural land in the nation. The county sits in the San Joaquin Valley, which is responsible for more than half of California's agricultural production. The region's rich soil, abundant sun and Mediterranean climate mean that nearly 400 different types of crops are grown and harvested there - from oranges, pistachios, olives and alfalfa to peaches, tomatoes, almonds, cotton and broccoli. Though connecting all rural areas with broadband is a national priority, why would anyone get fired up about blanketing this particular region with wireless broadband? For Fresno CIO Carolyn Hogg, the answer has to do with olive trees as wireless subscribers, tracking tomatoes from vine to dinner plate, self-driving tractors, and agricultural research and education that could boost the state's economy and help feed the world. Hogg, along with a coalition of federal, state, private-sector and local interests, are working to secure high-speed wireless broadband to take the region's agriculture to the next level.

Population Growth and Demand
Although farmers have grown food and fodder for thousands of years without wireless broadband, times have changed. The world's population is expected to grow from 7 billion today to 9.3 billion in 2050, according to Robert Tse, a community planning and development specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). But the Earth has only 12 percent more arable land available for crop production. And, as millions of people in Asia enter the middle class, diet staples like rice are being replaced with fruits, vegetables and meat. The key to feeding this growing population is increased efficiency, bigger crop yields and new varieties of plants that resist diseases and pests. Tse forwarded the notion that agricultural productivity could double - and therein lies the opportunity for Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley's wireless vision. To that end, Fresno is one of six cities receiving assistance from the federal government's Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative (SC2), which is designed to help ramp up economic development by supporting community programs. To get things moving in this direction, Hogg and Fresno Information Services Manager Bryon Horn are co-chairs for the SC2 federal partnership and assembled a "consortium of consortiums" as Hogg termed it, which is composed of state government; the city of Fresno; the San Joaquin Valley Regional Broadband Consortium; private-sector agriculture and telecom companies; and representatives from the U.S. departments of Agriculture, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency. Hogg - who has a background in languages, business, banking and IT - said agriculture and technology are two of California's strongest sectors. And in Fresno, they're working to unite the two to enhance the region's productivity and profitability.

Sun and Water
The San Joaquin Valley has plenty of sun, so the only other necessity is water - something that's been a bit of an issue due to boron in groundwater and restrictions on and shortages of surface water, said John Horn, 75, Bryon's father, who has farmed in the region since the 1970s. The longstanding fight over water rights has left dead fruit trees and rich cropland lying fallow. But farmers are resourceful, and the effects of water shortages and restrictions are lessened with drip tape - a flat plastic soaker-hose-type device that's buried under plants and waters only the roots. Drip tape ultimately doubles the number of acres a farmer can irrigate with the same water allocation, said John Horn, so the efficiencies are significant. An even more efficient use of water, said Bryon Horn, is to put moisture sensors into the soil beneath individual trees, like olives and almonds, so that each tree gets exactly the right amount of moisture. But that requires something that the valley lacks: wireless connectivity. In fact, even commercial cellphone coverage in the area is spotty. Wireless technology also would allow farmers to incorporate GPS into their operations. Sub-inch GPS is used to guide tractors during planting; rows are then precisely spaced and arrow straight. Later, during cultivation, GPS steers the tractor exactly down those rows, so weeds are cut out while young plants only a few inches away are spared - and the tractor or cultivator is running much faster than with an operator steering and eyeballing the rows. Some harvesters are equipped with sensors that can locate and note sub-standard plants by GPS so that additional seed and fertilizer can be applied to that precise location during the next planting. Survey-grade GPS accuracy requires supplementary towers. The John Deere company has erected a number of those to cover part of the valley so this technology can be used for agriculture. Wireless also can help safeguard public health. In recent years, spinach and melons contaminated with E. coli and listeria sickened people nationwide. Before the offending farms were tracked down, millions of dollars of perfectly good produce were destroyed and their sales plummeted. Constant wireless monitoring of agriculture production and shipping would safeguard health and quickly track down any source of food contamination. Wireless sensors that can monitor contaminants in near real time are also under development.

Consortium Wireless Strategy
To make such technologies a reality, Hogg said the San Joaquin Valley Regional Broadband Consortium is working with all eight counties in the region "to put the pressure on the broadband vendors to come and build out in the rural underserved areas." But doing so has been difficult. The larger telcos, she said, are not interested, and a consultant representing smaller telecommunications companies told Hogg and other officials that the large telcos make it almost impossible to expand to underserved areas. To buy wholesale Internet access from AT&T in the Salinas area, the consultant said, costs $136 per megabit per month compared to 50 cents per megabit per month in the city of Sunnyvale. AT&T, in an email response, said the Internet service product that it sells to its wholesale customers in Sunnyvale is the same product it sells to its wholesale customers in Salinas. "A price difference could potentially occur due to either speed or distance. Price per [megabits per second] depends on what speed of Internet service is purchased. In general, higher-speed business-class products require fiber. If fiber isn't available nearby, a one-time cost would apply to enable construction to connect the locations." To help resolve those issues, Hogg said California Public Utility Commissioner Timothy Simon issued an RFP. The consortium is focusing on smaller telcos, and it has a California Advanced Services Fund infrastructure grant to assist with that. A group called Citris, made up of four University of California schools, is identifying locations where wireless broadband will have the most economic impact. Hogg and the coalition partners are now mapping towers and other infrastructure that could be used to help roll out wireless. The USDA's Tse says broadband is essential for rural economic development - as important as rural electrification in the 1930s. "The electric companies weren't going to come out and wire up the last farmhouse, it was too far away, the economics weren't there," he said. But the New Deal's Rural Electrification Program helped solve that. "Now, electricity is everywhere," he added. "So today's infrastructure piece that's needed is broadband in rural areas. That is a priority of USDA."


From http://www.govtech.com/ 07/30/2012

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FCC Report: Broadband Health Care Networks Improve Quality of Care for Rural Americans, Reduce Costs and Help Save Lives

Washington, D.C. - Broadband health care networks improve the quality and reduce the cost of delivering care in rural areas, according to a Federal Communications Commission staff report evaluating the Commission's Rural Health Care Pilot Program. The FCC staff report at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-1332A1.pdf details the benefits of the Pilot program, as well as the lessons learned from the Pilot, which supports 50 active projects in 38 states. The five largest projects are statewide networks in California, Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina and West Virginia, which are on target to connect over 800 health care providers. Broadband networks of rural and urban providers save lives by providing rural Americans with instant access to specialized services that are not available in rural areas, saving time that is critical in stroke care and other emergencies. High-speed broadband networks capable of supporting telemedicine and telehealth applications also provide rural patients access to more routine telehealth consultations with medical specialists, efficiently transit health records, and facilitate training of nurses and doctors. But rural health care providers operate on thin margins, and may not be able to afford broadband communications without assistance from the FCC's Rural Health Care program, the report says. The FCC launched the Pilot in 2006 to explore how best to help rural health care providers harness the power of broadband to improve care. A map at http://www.fcc.gov/maps/rural-health-care-pilot-program shows the location of the pilot projects and of the health care providers participating in each project. The experiences of those pilot projects are providing critical information to the FCC as it considers comprehensive reform of its Rural Health Care program. Some examples of benefits from the Pilot-funded networks include:

- Physicians in Bacon County, Georgia saved the life of a young stroke victim by using a telemedicine connection to a specialist in Savannah in order to administer clot-busting medication
- Remote psychiatric consultations for patients in rural South Carolina hospitals that lack staff psychiatrists speeds treatment and save days of waiting in expensive emergency rooms
- Hospitals in South Dakota's Heartland Unified Broadband Network have saved $1.2 million in expenses through electronic intensive care unit services, which reduce the number of days patients spend in ICU and the number of transfers to other hospitals.


From http://www.fcc.gov/ 08/13/2012

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CHINA: Smartphones Beat TV for 54% of Chinese Users

OVER half of Chinese smartphone owners would sooner give up TV than their mobile device, which represents a huge growth opportunity in the world's biggest phone market, according to a Google survey released yesterday. In the survey, 54 percent of consumers preferred mobile devices than watching TV, said Google which developed Android, the world's most popular smartphone system. About one-third of urban Chinese consumers are smartphone owners who mainly use them to do searches, surf the Internet, social networking, send e-mail and watch online video, according to the survey done by Google Inc and Ipsos Research. "It's safe to say that China's mobile revolution isn't coming - it's already here," Jason Spero, Google's head of global mobile solutions, said in the survey. China's smartphone user base accounts for 33 percent of the nation's total population, beating Germany's 29 percent but still behind the 44 percent in the US, according to the survey. The cheaper Android phones have also hastened the popularity of smartphones. The average price of an Android phone will fall to about 800 yuan (US$126) by the end of this year, said China Unicom and chip designer Qualcomm Inc.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 06/07/2012

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Social, Digital Marketing Spending to Rise Significantly

SPENDING on social and digital media marketing will reach an unprecedented scale among Asia-Pacific enterprises in 2012, according to a research report issued by IPSOS S.A. The Paris-based multinational market researcher said 80 percent of the companies they've surveyed will increase marketing spending this year, while social media, viral media and online advertising have increasing popularity among marketers. Companies tend to spend more on social media marketing and viral marketing to increase communication with their customers through websites. Sixty-five percent of the surveyed companies voted for more traffic on social network websites, and 61 percent planned to intensify viral marketing and online advertising. The report also noted that marketers preferred marketing activities via traditional terrestrial television and radio broadcasts over subscription-based television services. Traditional print media was deemed the least important medium, furthering a trend of rising demand in digital and media advertising and slumping ad demand in newspapers and magazines. Although IPSOS said social and viral media will be the most effective marketing channels in the next three years, Patrick Rona, president of Tribal DDB Asia-Pacific, a global specialist in interactive marketing, said the survey results are quite revealing. "We intuitively know that the conclusions reflect the consumer media and channel behavior precisely, but social media, viral media, mobile phone and online advertising are not the effective recipes, because we shall not stick to the rigid agenda of promotional activities and keep pushing messages to the customers. We must remain active and dynamic all the time."


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 06/13/2012

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High Hopes for Mobile Payment

MOBILE payment, with support from industry leaders like China Mobile, China Union Pay and MasterCard, is expected to become commercially mature in China during the second half of this year, Shanghai Daily learned at Mobile Asia Expo today. Mobile payment, which allows users to pay bills, buy film tickets and check bank balances directly on mobile devices, will greatly improve the user experience of more than 1 billion Chinese handset users and boost consumption, industry insiders said. China Mobile and China Unicom, the top two mobile carriers, both showcased mobile payment services and devices in their booth as Mobile Asia Expo opened on Wednesday in Shanghai. China Mobile, which paid 40 billion yuan (US$63 billion) to acquire a 20 percent stake in Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, has introduced phones with payment functions, which allow users to "purchase a cup of coffee through a swipe of the phone." The carrier also announced today it will support China Union Pay's mobile payment standard, which ended a long struggle between two sides. "The convergence of mobile operators and finance firms will create various revolutionary mobile payment applications in the near future," Xi Guohua, China Mobile's chairman, said during a forum at the expo.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 06//21/2012

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China's Online Video Portals Asked to Filter Content

China's industrial association for online video providers on Friday released a self-disciplinary convention on tightened content controls, days after the government issued a circular regarding the same issue. Contracting parties should examine videos before making them available, as well as create a "quick response mechanism," the convention says. It stresses content providers' social responsibilities and states that videos featuring content that is banned by law, harmful to minors or "contradicts social virtues and traditions" should not be made available. The convention also proposes penalties for violators, including warnings and publicization of the offenses. In a jointly-released circular, the State Internet Information Office and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television Monday urged online video content providers to closely examine their videos before making them available for viewing, stating that providers will be held responsible for the videos posted on their websites.


From http://www.china.org.cn/ 07/13/2012

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Wi-Fi Upgrade to Cover Major Public Areas

SHANGHAI will upgrade its Wi-Fi network with more hot spots and higher security levels as it seeks to establish itself as a "wireless city" under the city's 12th Five-Year (2011-2015) Plan. By 2013, Shanghai will have more than 22,000 Wi-Fi hot spots, covering all major public areas, according to the Shanghai Radio Administration Bureau. Wi-Fi networks allow people to access the Internet through mobile devices like mobile phones, tablet computers and laptops. Wi-Fi is faster than current 2G and 3G networks, which provide access to films and 3D games via handsets. "Shanghai will establish a full-range network for a wireless city, with an upgraded Wi-Fi network, besides 2G and 3G and coming 4G networks," said Sheng Feng, a bureau official.

Different strategies
Various carriers, including China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, have different strategies on Wi-Fi networks, based on their own market positions and technology adaptations, industry officials said. China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile carrier with 700 million subscribers, aims to use Wi-Fi network construction to improve the "user experience" before it upgrades to a 4G network in 2014.Compared with smaller rivals China Unicom and China Unicom, China Mobile's 3G technology TD-SCDMA (time division-synchronous code division multiple access) is less advanced. "China Mobile sees rising competition from both China Unicom and China Telecom," said Navin Killa, a Morgan Stanley analyst. To fight back, China Mobile is testing 4G networks in major cities, including Shanghai, Hangzhou and Beijing. But TD-LTE, as China Mobile's 4G network is known, is a "2014 event," according to Morgan Stanley. There are now around 6,000 China Mobile hot spots citywide serving up to 20 million mobile phone users. From 2012 to 2014, China Mobile will build 90,000 access points, according to Mao Weiliang, deputy general manager for data services of China Mobile's Shanghai branch. Each wireless hot spot required four to five access points on average. It means Shanghai Mobile will build at least an additional 20,000 Wi-Fi hot spots, triple the current number.

Good coverage
China Mobile's hot spots will cover sites such as high schools, universities, hospitals, transportation hubs, industrial parks, exhibition centers, office buildings, shopping malls and upmarket hotels, according to the carrier. China Unicom's Shanghai branch has also invested heavily in Wi-Fi network construction. Shanghai Unicom plans to establish up to an additional 7,000 Wi-Fi hot spots at airports, railway stations, universities, hotels and commercial buildings. That's up from 2,000 at present, according to Liu Xiansong, a Shanghai Unicom's marketing official. China Unicom uses 3G network WCDMA (wideband code division multiple access) technology, which is supported by most handsets, including iPhone and Samsung models. But the carrier also needs Wi-Fi to ease the great pressure of data consumption on its 3G network, industry insiders said. By the end of June, Shanghai Unicom had 1.18 million 3G handset users, who used 207 megabytes of bandwidth on average each month.

Data consumption
A monthly Internet data consumption of more than 200 megabytes is generally considered as the start of a rapid-growth period for mobile Internet development, according to international standards and overseas market experience, analysts said.The monthly data consumption of Chinese mobile phones jumped 50 percent year-on-year in the past few months, Xi Guohua, China Mobile's chairman, said during an industry conference last month. Another smaller player, China Telecom, plans to integrate its fixed-line and mobile businesses through Wi-Fi. As the country's No. 3 mobile carrier, China Telecom is the world's biggest fixed-line phone and broadband operator.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 07/13/2012

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No Notable Revenue from Weibo

SINA Corp, operator of the Chinese mainland's most popular microblogging service Weibo.com, does not expect significant income from the social media site, although advertising from the site has started to pay off. The advertising income from Weibo totaled about US$10 million in the second quarter, Sina CEO Charles Chao told a conference call with analysts after the earnings release. "We don't expect to generate significant operating profit in the second half of this year as we continue to invest in our Weibo platform," he said. Sina said earlier this year that it would invest about US$160 million in Weibo, including marketing expenses and spending on technology upgrade. Sina's revenue in the three months ended June 30 increased 10.7 percent to US$131.6 million, up from US$118.96 million in the same period a year ago.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 08/17/2012

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JAPAN: NHK's "Business to Provide the Public with Live Relay Videos of Some Sports pertaining to the London Olympic Games Through the Internet"

On June 13, 2012, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) submitted an inquiry to the Radio Regulatory Council (Chairman: Tadaaki Maeda, Adviser to Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.) concerning an authorization of the "business to provide the public with live relay videos of some sports pertaining to the London Olympic Games through the Internet" applied by NHK (President: Masayuki Matsumoto), and a report was received from the Council stating its approval. In response to this report, the MIC authorizes this matter as of June 13, 2012.On April 24, 2012, NHK has applied an authorization of the "business to provide the public with live relay videos of some sports pertaining to the London Olympic Games through the Internet" as a business prescribed in Article 20, Paragraph 2, Item (viii) of the Broadcast Act (Act No.132 of 1950) pursuant to the provision of Article 20, Paragraph 10 of said Act. The MIC has compiled its views on the application for authorization from NHK and held an appeal for opinions on it from May 3 to June 1, 2012. Then, the MIC submitted an inquiry to the Radio Regulatory Council on June 13, 2012 concerning its authorization as applied based on the results of the appeal for opinions, and a report was received from the Council stating its approval. In response to this report, the MIC authorizes this matter as of June 13, 2012.


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 06/13/2012

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Start of Receipt of Third Applications for "Project to Promote Computerization in Disaster Regions" in Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Measures

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has started to receive third applications for "Project Promoting Computerization in Disaster Region" (hereinafter "this project") related to the budget for FY2012 which provides partial subsidization to costs required for projects for use and utilization of information and communications technology (ICT) to efficiently and effectively solve issues of local public bodies in the disaster regions through the use and utilization of ICT with a view to accelerate reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and it is officially announced herein. On February 10, 2012, the Reconstruction Agency was launched. The Reconstruction Agency and Reconstruction Bureaus play a leading role in reconstruction so that recovery and reconstruction in the disaster regions would be further accelerated. To be specific, they receive requests from the disaster regions in an integrated manner and budget reconstruction projects collectively based on these requests. In addition, the Reconstruction Agency and Reconstruction Bureaus allocate budgets to related agencies and ministries after assigning specific amount to each project based on requests from the disaster regions when budgets are implemented. For these reasons, the Reconstruction Agency and Reconstruction Bureaus will be responsible for a series of procedures related to the allocation of budgets such as surveys on requests concerning this project budgeted collectively to the Reconstruction Agency so that requests from the disaster regions are smoothly consolidated.

1.Outline
(1) Groups targeted in this project
Special local public bodies (including special district authorities and wide area unions) and related bodies (hereinafter, "specific local public bodies, etc.") in Article 4, Clause 1 of the Law on Special Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Areas (Act No. 122 of 2011)
*Conditions may be attached to each individual subsidized project.
(2) Details of subsidized projects
This Project will subsidize the following projects, as established in Article 3, Clause 1 (1), (2), (4) and (6) A of the "Guidelines for issuance of subsidiary aid covering expenses in projects for beneficial use of information and communications technology", which promote reconstruction in the disaster region by supporting initiatives for efficient and effective solutions for challenges faced by specific local public bodies, etc. through beneficial use of information and communications technology (ICT).
A. Project for construction of basic medical information links in Tohoku region
B. Project to regenerate and reinforce regional ICT bonds
C.Project for construction of disaster information collaboration infrastructure (Project for construction of disaster-resilient information collaboration system)]
Note: In the cost of facilities in Appended Table of the guidelines for grant, (b) transmission line facilities, (d) wireless access equipment, (e) transmitting and receiving antenna, (f) transmitting and receiving equipment and (i) iron tower are excluded
D.¡¡Project for basic maintenance of broadband in disaster region

2. Submission of application documents
(1) Deadline for submissions
July 31 (Tue), 2012, 2:00PM

3. Related reports and records
- Now Accepting Applications for "Project Promoting Computerization in Disaster Region" in Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Measures (March 15, 2012)
- Start of receipt of second applications for "Project Promoting Computerization in Disaster Region" in Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Measures (Initial Budget for FY2012)


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 06/15/2012

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Status of Fixed Terminal System Transmission Line Facilities in the End of FY2011

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) received reports from telecommunications carriers on the installation status of fixed terminal system transmission line facilities* as of the end of FY2011 (end of March 2012) based on Article 3, Paragraph 1 of the Rules for Reporting on Telecommunications Business (Ministerial Ordinance of MPT No. 46 of 1988), and officially announces its aggregate results herein.*"Fixed terminal system transmission line facilities" refer to transmission line facilities such as telephone lines whose one end is connected to telecommunications facilities of users installed at a certain location

1.Purposes
The MIC obligates telecommunications carriers who are engaged in installation of fixed terminal system transmission line facilities to report the installation status as of the end of each fiscal year, no later than two months after the end of the fiscal year, based on Article 3, Paragraph 1 of the Rules for Reporting on Telecommunications Business. Lately, as reports on installation status as of the end of FY2011 (end of March 2012) have been submitted, the MIC officially announces the aggregate results herein. Please note that the number of lines has been retroactively revised as the MIC received reports on revised values of the number of lines as of the end of FY2010 from some telecommunications carriers (including data which was difficult to be accurately grasped as of the submission of FY2010 reports on the installation status of the stricken areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake).

2.Outline of results
The specific tendency of the installation status of fixed terminal system transmission line facilities as of the end of FY2011 (end of March 2012) are outlined below.
(1) The trend of the total number of lines is affected by the continuing decrease in metal lines, resulting in a decreased total number of subscriber lines (from 59.83 million lines at the end of FY2010 to 57.77 million lines at the end of FY2011). On the other hand, the number of optical fiber lines continues to increase and the percentage in subscriber lines is also rising (from 23.9% at the end of FY2010 to 27.8% at the end of FY2011 (up 3.9%)).
(2) The share of total subscriber lines secured by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation (hereinafter "NTT East and West") marks a slight decrease from the end of FY2010 (from 86.3% at the end of FY2010 to 85.3% at the end of FY 2011 (down 1.0%)) due to the influence of the increased number of optical fiber lines. On the other hand, the share of optical fiber lines secured by NTT East and West remains almost unchanged (from 77.2% at the end of FY2010 to 77.3% at the end of FY 2011 (up 0.1%)).
(3) The share of optical fiber lines in quantity by NTT East and West continues in general to be stronger in the East of Japan than in the West. However, in comparison with the end of FY2010, the share in Shimane, Ehime, Kumamoto and Oita prefectures has decreased by about 3~7% due to the influence of telecommunications carriers affiliated with electrical power companies, regional CATV businesses (local governments), etc.
(4) Continuing from the end of FY2010, NTT East and West have less than 50% share of optical fiber lines in Shiga prefecture (35.1%), Nara prefecture (43.7%) and Hyogo prefecture (48.8%).


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 06/27/2012

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SOUTH KOREA: Promoting E-learning System for Women's Career Development

"Stay-at-home mothers wishing to get a job and working mothers looking for better career opportunities never have enough time for self-development. They find a favorable option with Dream-wings which can be accessed anywhere and anytime", says Dr Cho Jung-ah, head of GWDC. Dream wings-supports women's career development, including finding a job or starting a new business. It started off in 2004 as a local website built for women living in Gyeonggi Province. Based on the research conducted by Samsung SDS, GWDC created a master plan offering e-learning services to women who have experienced an extensive period of career breaks. A year later, GWDC opened the online Gyeonggi Women Career Development Center, Korea's first-ever free e-learning service for women. It began to offer nation-wide services in 2011. This year, GWDC introduced a mobile version of the portal - Smart Dream-wings. Focused primarily on IT education, Dream-wings has expanded the scope of its services into total career development support by adding diagnostic services (e.g. competency diagnosis and employability diagnosis) and support for job placement and business start-up. The initiative is fully funded by the government.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/15/2012

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Stronger Online Game Curfew for Youth to Take Effect in July

An enhanced system for restricting minors' online gaming hours will take effect from next month, the culture ministry said Tuesday as it accelerates its bid to ease online addiction among young students. Under the selective online game shutdown system, parents can request that Internet gaming companies preset hours during which their children under the age of 18 can play games, the ministry said.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 06/26/2012

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Self-publishing Set to Turn New Page in E-books

Like many young girls in love with art, Chang Jae-yeon wanted to spend her life drawing pictures and telling stories. Like many typical South Korean parents with high fervor for education, her folks wanted Chang to study hard and enter one of the country's prestigious universities.She fulfilled their wish and rambled through some odd jobs but never gave up. In 2008, the 27-year-old called it quits and took off to Emeryville, California, the home of her dream workplace Pixar. Chang, carrying her portfolio, stood in front of the animation powerhouse for three days only to return home with sun burns and a bitter experience that the world pays no attention to a no-name artist.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 07/31/2012

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INDONESIA: To Further Develop Integrated Transport System

The Indonesian government intends to further develop an integrated intermodal transport system in several big cities to create efficiency in the transportation sector, which is expected to help spur economic growth, an official said here on Thursday. Transportation Deputy Minister Bambang Susantono said the government had picked several big cities in the country for the integration plans in the near future. "As an archipelagic country, intermodal connectivity becomes a very important thing to better transport both people and goods," said Bambang, quoted by the Jakarta Post. Indonesia has attempted to boost infrastructure, including transportation, to improve investment climate and economic efficiency. "Connection for various modes from railway to bus rapid transit system is clearly needed to create efficiency and boost the regional economy," he said. The government has targeted an economic growth average of 6.6 percent by 2014.


From http://news.xinhuanet.com/ 07/19/2012

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Social Networks Wildly Popular in Indonesia, Among Those Able to Log on

Indonesia is an emerging market seeing more investment and economic growth of late, making it a strong contender for a place alongside the BRIC countries. With a growing population that skews young, internet users have proven themselves especially eager to join social networks: Nearly nine out of every 10 internet users in the country will regularly use a social network this year - the highest penetration rate worldwide.

And advertisers trying to reach those social networkers will not have trouble finding them. They are highly concentrated on the world's largest social site: Between 2011 and 2014, Facebook will continue to account for approximately 94% of all social networkers in Indonesia.

A high number of users in Indonesia, as well as India, will make Asia-Pacific the top Facebook region this year. But Facebook's conspicuous absence from China will continue to drive down overall Facebook penetration in the region. Despite the positive social networking outlook in Indonesia, there is one glaring discrepancy in metrics: Reach is still limited by infrastructure realities within the country - only 21% of the broader population will use social networks this year. With a large population distributed across many islands, poor internet development has limited online access. Broadband will be available in only 1.5% of households this year, and that percentage will hold steady through 2016. The number of internet users will increase more rapidly in the next few years, however, which bodes well for social network adoption. Online penetration among the entire population will rise from 24% in 2012 to just under 40% in 2016. Mobile will play a large role in this transition. In 2016, 53% of mobile phone users will access the mobile internet. By 2014, nearly all internet users in Indonesia (95%) will use a social network at least once per month. The only obstacle in the way of a population intent on socializing online is getting internet access to the masses.


From http://www.emarketer.com/ 08/16/2012

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MALAYSIA: MCMC Aims to Add at Least 800 More Community Broadband Centres in Sabah

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has revealed that it expects at least 800 more villages in Sabah to benefit from free access to wireless internet services deployed as part of its National Broadband Plan (NBP). Further, the Borneo Post cited Bukhari Yahya, the MCMC's director for Sabah and Labuan as saying that he was confident the regulator could provide the facility to another 500 locations (on top of the other 800 to be rolled out) by the end of 2012, with the executive noting: 'With this facility, they (villagers) are able to access the borderless world for free and empower knowledge through use of ICT (Internet Communication Technology).' Meanwhile, Yayha said that alongside the wireless internet rollout initiative the MCMC is also upgrading its 3G technology and reception to rural areas and providing 28 more '1Malaysia Internet centres' (formerly known as community broadband centres [CBCs]) across Sabah. As noted in TeleGeography's GlobalComms Database, according to the MCMC's most recent data, the state has yet to achieve its rollout targets for rural infrastructure, and at the end of 2011 a total of 251 CBCs had been constructed, up from 240 a year earlier, with 176,508 registered members across them, while a further 121 mini-CBCs had also been rolled out across the nation.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 08/06/2012

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PHILIPPINES: Filipinos Collaborate Online in Flood Evacuation Efforts

In September 2009, Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) hit the Philippines, causing the worst flooding in more than 40 years in Metro Manila. Damages were estimated to be at $1.09 billion and about 747 fatalities were recorded. Now, three years later, the torrential rains that has been pounding Metro Manila and its nearby provinces since yesterday is now dubbed as "Ondoy 2", as the capital city now finds itself again submerged in chest-deep flood waters and many citizens stranded on the 2nd floor or the roof of their houses. With the crisis far from over, a group of twitter users proactively created a Googledoc spread sheet to help first responders facilitate evacuation efforts. The Googledoc "#rescuePH " allows users to report people who are in need of immediate evacuation or assistance. The document includes the following information: Timestamp (which indicates the time when the entry was made), address of persons who need to be evacuated, status of the rescue alert, contact information and the exact twitter message. In addition, the spreadsheet also contains emergency hotlines of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council. New entries are marked red, and users who input information are requested to update the status column to green when people are rescued. To date there are 250 entries. This initiative stems from the concept of turning crowdsourced data into actionable information. Through this initiative, first responders would be able to streamline their efforts in order to help victims get needed aid as soon as possible.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/07/2012

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Philippines Has 9.5m Twitter Users

9.5 million out of Twitter's 517 million users were from the Philippines. Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network | 10-08-12 comment. The Philippines has once again been recognised as one of the world's social media capitals, ranking 10th in the list of countries with the most number of users on website twitter.com. Data from social media monitor Semiocast showed that 9.5 million out of Twitter's 517 million users were from the Philippines, placing the country in the 10th spot in the worldwide rankings, trailing Spain but ahead of Turkey. The feat was achieved despite the fact that only 30 per cent of Filipinos have access to the Internet. The Filipino Internet user's affinity with social media was nowhere more evident than at the height of torrential rains that inundated most of Metro Manila this week.

"At the height of Tuesday's intense rain and flooding all over the country, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos trooped to Twitter to spread critical flood information, as well as to mobilize rescue and relief operations," Smart Communications, the country's leading mobile network, said in a statement. "Even as the torrential rains rendered several families stranded and helpless, with flooded homes and without electricity, we saw how people found their mobile phones-and mobile Internet-especially useful to stay connected," Smart chief wireless advisor Orlando Vea said. Smart said about 93.9 per cent of the country's Internet users were also active on social network facebook.com. Filipinos are able to access the Internet, Vea said, due to the availability of cheap mobile devices and affordable access rates.

"This is certainly good news, but, frankly, not really surprising. Filipinos have always been active in social media and we are increasingly using mobile phones to tweet or post on Facebook," he said. "With a strong and resilient network like Smart, you're sure to receive every tweet, every update, and you can rely on your network not dying out on you when you need connectivity the most," Vea said. The PLDT group, of which Smart is a part of, ended the first half of the year with 3.1 million Internet subscriptions.


From http://www.digitalone.com.sg/ 08/10/2012

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The Philippines Embarks on "One Map" Journey

The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) is embarking on a multiagency project that seeks to establish a web portal where users can have 24/7 access to geospatial information generated by various public sector organisations. The web portal, which is aptly called "The Philippine Geoportal", is the realisation of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. It stems from the "One Map" principle which is one set of consistent, multiscale basemaps that can be used for thematic mapping by many users working on Philippine geospatial data. Linda Papa, Deputy Administrator in NAMRIA told FutureGov that most of the wealth of information generated in various government agencies remains untapped or underutilised for decision making. "Information which is visually presented gives decision makers heightened situational awareness and helps users have greater appreciation and understanding of their value. What we are doing with the Philippine Geoportal is that we are integrating data from relevant government agencies and organisations to make geospatial data more meaningful and relevant," she says.

The project's key stakeholders are the National Government Agencies (NGA), Local Government Units (LGU), the academe and the general public. The stakeholders, especially those from NGA's and LGUs shall prepare the inventory, metadata, and the actual data of their organisation worth deploying on the web; develop the thematic layers and attributes associated to their agency using the standard multi-scale base map; and set-up a training program for participating agencies and other potential users to facilitate data integration and fusion To cite an example, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will add the national roads. LGUs will add the local roads, the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) will add their thematic maps on forestry, mines and environment. Meanwhile, Baranggays (villages) will add addresses to every building footprint based on a standard and the Bureau of Internal Revenue will tag buildings and associate the establishments that have been tax mapped. Papa reveals that since the project is still in its beta testing phase, the pilot area for the project will be in Metro Manila which would automatically make the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) a major stakeholder in the project.

"The project is progressing well as we certainly have the interest of our stakeholders and that there are no issues with regards to sharing of data." In order to keep the relationship with its stakeholders strong, NAMRIA is equipping them with resources such as the hardware, software and as well as the capacity building of each stakeholder's technical staff. The project is being funded through the e-Government fund and has a total budget of Php 600 million (USD 14 million) over a three-year implementation period. "The Philippine government has really prioritised right now the acquisition of data for the whole country so this 2012 we have been provided with funds and support to pursue this project," says Papa. She adds that at present, the agency is considering using cloud computing, crowd sourcing and mobile applications on the second phase of the geoportal.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/23/2012

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SINGAPORE: Trials Real Time Bus Condition Update

Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) is starting a project to offer users of bus services real time information on how crowded a bus service is. The trial, scheduled to take place over three months (July to September), will be conducted on five regular services, which were selected because of their high frequency and high volumes of commuters transported. LTA has invited regular users of these bus routes to participate in the pilot. The system is built using information from the electronic, contactless fare system that the country first introduced in 2000. As commuters re required to tap the card both when they board and when they get off the bus, LTA is able to tap on the real time data and convey the information using a system of three coloured bands: green for seats available, amber for standing space and red for crowded. The Authority says that no additional effort is required from commuters, and they are able to check the information through LTA's web site.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/12/2012

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Singapore's National TV to Go Digital from End of 2013

SINGAPORE, June 19 (Xinhua) - Singapore's Media Development Authority announced Tuesday that its free-to-air national TV is scheduled to go fully digital by the end of 2013. The city-state's national broadcaster MediaCorp will start to deliver its seven channels in digital formats and gradually switch from the present analogue signals. There will be a simulcast period for both digital and analogue free-to-air television signals to ensure all households to get accustomed to digital ones, which will be lasted to 2020, said Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore's Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts at the opening ceremony of Infocomm Media Business Exchange on Tuesday. "The world is switching from analogue to digital TV broadcasting as digital TV not only offers better image and sound quality, but also frees up scarce spectrum for other services, such as wireless broadband," said Yaacob. Singapore will complete the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting by 2020, which is also the agreed deadline by ASEAN countries to switch off the analogue signals. The Media Development Authority also said in Asia-Pacific region, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Korea are planning to go digital between 2012 and 2015, while Japan has already gone fully digital since last June. Singapore government had conducted a trail with MediaCorp and pay-TV operator StarHub last year to ensure whether the Digital Video Broadcasting Second Generation Terrestrial (DVB-T2) is suitable for deployment in Singapore. The Infocomm Media Business Exchange will last about four days, alongside with the CommunicAsia2012, the EnterpriseIT2012 and the BroadcastAsia2012 simultaneously. The tradeshows is said to have 53,000 attendees from over 100 countries and regions. There are also some famous communication enterprises from China, including Huawei and China Satellite Communications.


From http://news.xinhuanet.com/ 06/19/2012

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SINGAPORE: MICA Minister Urges Netizens to Develop Netiquette

SINGAPORE: Information, Communications and the Arts Minister, Yaacob Ibrahim, urged all netizens to come together to develop an internet code of conduct. Dr Yaacob was addressing more than 800 students from 50 secondary and post-secondary institutions at a dialogue. He said a code of conduct is meant to encourage civilised behaviour online. He also noted that unless there is a code of conduct, when something goes wrong there will be people asking the government to do something about it. Dr Yaacob said this is worse because having laws would stifle the internet. He added that a code of conduct would set the parameters for an honest, constructive and rational discussion. "If you think let's say a certain minister is lousy, that's an opinion, we won't go after you. "But if you say the minister is corrupt, you must back that with facts because that's an accusation, that's an allegation. "If you tell me I'm corrupt, I will tell you to justify it, if not I'll see you in court. How then can you say the same thing in the internet and get away with it? Cannot be. It's simple logic. But again, we're not interested in building this code of conduct from the top and then enforce it down. "We believe as netizens, all of us should come together and develop a code of conduct or what we call netiquette that we can all agree upon. It is supposed to be a bottom up process." The discussion centred around racial and religious harmony on social media. Some students asked how they can respond to or stop racism while others asked for the minister's opinion on how to better integrate foreigners into Singapore's society.


From http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ 07/28/2012

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Singapore: Mobile Library Carts Introduced to Provide Jobs for Older Job Seekers

SINGAPORE: Having mobile library carts to provide jobs for mature workers - that's the latest initiative by the North East Community Development Council and National Library Board (NLB). 59-year-old William Khoo is one resident in the North East district who has gone for the librarians-to-be briefings. He now mans one of the mobile carts, which holds some 100 adult and children's books in the four official languages. Khoo said: "I have learned a lot from NLB - how to borrow, how to check for the book, the barcode, and everything inside, so it can be done. I can introduce something to the people, (and) share with the people. I'm really very happy." The mobile cart job is aimed at giving older job seekers above the age of 40 in the North East district a six-month stint as a library assistant. During that time, the North East CDC will assist them in finding a permanent job. Mayor for North East District Teo Ser Luck said: "While this pushcart is still manual on the ground, what I hope to do is further computerise the process, so that the job seekers can also learn some computer skills. It will help them with a new skill set, most of the job seekers do not have this area of expertise." The mobile cart also aims to make borrowing of books more accessible to residents, especially when parents are waiting for children to finish classes at the community club. The initiative has been introduced at the Sengkang and Pasir Ris East Community Clubs (CC). The scheme started at Sengkang and Pasir Ris East CC in July. It will be rolled out to five other CCs namely Kaki Bukit CC, Serangoon CC, Tampines West CC, Tampines Changkat CC and Tampines CC in the North East district by September.


From http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ 07/28/2012

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THAILAND: GPS Devices in Public Transport Might Cut Road Deaths: Minister

The Transport Ministry has launched a study to see if installing global positioning systems (GPS) will help improve the public transport system. "We hope the GPS devices will boost safety, lower operation costs and raise satisfaction among the public," Deputy Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan said yesterday. According to him, the study will explore guidelines and measures on how best to use the GPS devices in public transport vehicles and those carrying hazardous substances. Chatchart expects the study to provide answers within four months. "GPS installation should also be able to cut down road accidents," Somchai Siriwattanachok, directorgeneral of the Land Transport Department, said confidently. King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi will be providing academic cooperation. Chatchart and Somchai were speaking at an event held to announce the launch of the study, which attracted about 250 participants from many relevant authorities, including bus service providers. Chatchart said that apart from installing GPS devices, public transport vehicles might also be required to have radiofrequency identification in the future. "This system will detect speeding," he said, adding that speeding was one of the leading causes of road accidents in addition to drivers falling asleep behind the wheel or driving recklessly.


From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ 06/07/2012

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Thai University Launches E-bookstore

Chulalongkorn University (CU) has launched an electronic bookstore on iOS and expected to release up to 1000 items in stock by the end of the year. "The eBook Store not only provides e-books to students and readers but will also be a gateway of writers and professors' knowledge for readers in terms of digital media and multimedia," Assoc Dr Danuja Kunpanitchakit, a vice president of CU said. The CU's e-Bookstore application will be based on iOS to empower students in accessing to knowledge and curricula via mobile devices such as tablets, according to her. The CU is the oldest university in Thailand, located in the heart of Bangkok. It plans to transform itself into a digital university within four years. Establishing the CU-eBook Store, the first of its kind, is a part of the initial transition to provide e-books and e-curricula to students and mobile users, she added. According to Kriengsak Hongsawek, a computer manager of the CU Book Centre, the e-Book Store currently offers about 500 items for download, of which 200 are free. The rest can be purchased at a saving of 20-30 per cent. The university also aimed to partner with leading publishing houses to offer up to 1,000 items by year-end. The app for Android users will be ready in a couple weeks. The Quick Response (QR) code technology is being deployed to make e-learning experience more convenient and easily accessible, he inserted.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/17/2012

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Thailand Connects Remote Communities via 'Smart Box'

Thailand's Electronic Government Agency (EGA) will introduce the 'Smart Box', an integrated device that provides connectivity and delivers government services through smart card authentication for remote communities. The Smart Box will enable remote villagers especially farmers to access real-time agricultural information. The streaming data will be customised to suit interest and benefit of people in particular provinces, areas, and types of cultivation. The information include weather forecast, and market price for rice, rubber, tapioca and etc. The EGA is preparing to launch the pilot project of Smart Box in Nakhon Nayok-a chosen province to be the first Smart Province of ICT Ministry. Apart from providing necessary agricultural information, the Smart Box will be able to read Smart ID Card and provide personal data and social welfare benefits attached to each citizen. The Smart Box has a similar shape to cable TV box, featuring pre-set Intranet connected to the Government Information Network (GIN), and wi-fi reception. Initially, it will be installed in the community ICT centres, houses of village chiefs or sub-district heads where there is fine connection of internet. The units of Smart Box will be ready for distribution in the next 3-4 months. The price per unit is between THB 3,000 - 4,000 (US$ 95-126) depending on the specification that the EGA will finalise.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/26/2012

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Thailand to Apply RFID in Traffic Control

Thailand's Ministry of Transport (MOT) decided yesterday to adopt Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to reduce speeding violations and enhance traffic safety. The RFID will transmit signal from speed cameras to the control rooms of the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT). The information of overspeed vehicles will be transferred and forwarded automatically to Highway Police's command and control centre for stoppin overspeed vehicles promptly, said Sorasak Saensombat, Deputy Permanent Secretary of MOT. The MOT expected to finish the RFID installation by end of this year. Apart from RFID technology, the MOT will also carpet main roads, highways, and motorways with speed camera detectors that would be able to detect all kinds of vehicles including personal cars, public buses, vans, and trucks to leverage its road safety system. Previously, public transport was not included in the overspeed monitoring scheme. The new cameras will be installed at every 20 kilometres and operate 24/7. The dummy cameras will also be installed alternately to alert speed motorists. Overspeed vehicles will be reported to Department of Land Transport to suspend the vehicle permit and reject the vehicle registration renewal. "We will finalise the total units of speed camera detectors and budget required by end of July, and the project can start within two months," he said. According to Saensombat, the MOT will initially seek budget from Road Safety Fund, and Inter City Motorway Division, Department of Highways. Also, the Ministry has agreed with Royal Thai Police to share 20% of the traffic violation fine in order to fund this project and buy more speed camera detectors to cover more areas as well as to cover the maintenance cost.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/27/2012

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THAILAND: Offering Faster Check-in Facility

Electronic boarding pass service will increase convenience for passengers. Thai Airways International (THAI) passengers will no longer have to endure long queues at the check-in counter, thanks to the Mobile Boarding Pass service which allows customers to check in at domestic airports and also at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Chiang Mai International Airport and Phuket International Airport. THAI vice president Saroj Yuttatri said that with the new service, the firm aims to reduce the check-in-counter processes, increase passenger convenience, and also protect the environment. The passengers can avail of the new service via mobile phones or tablet browsers, mobile application, mobile game, and iPad application.

The Mobile Boarding Pass or Mobile 2D barcode Boarding Pass is an electronic boarding pass that THAI will send to passengers on their mobile device. There is also another option to speed up passenger check-in via http://m.thaiairways.com. Passengers will be able to complete their check-in by using the booking code and even change their seats. They can get Mobile Boarding Pass via Multimedia Message Service (MMS) at a service fee of Bt6 per mobile boarding pass or MMS. The new services will not only allow passengers to check-in by themselves but also allow the family or even a secretary to reserve a ticket and check-in for the passenger by revealing the passenger's mobile number to the mobile boarding pass system. The system then will send a 2D barcode boarding pass to the passenger automatically.

Passengers with baggage can go to the check-in bag drop counter at the airport to load their baggage and then go to immigration without showing their ticket. They will only have to show their mobile phone display. He said the service can be accessed by mobile phones that support multimedia messaging service based on iOS, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian platforms. In cases where there is a problem with a passenger's cellphone such as it has run out of battery, it is lost or is unable to receive the mobile boarding pass, the passenger can contact the check-in agent at the counter, present an ID card and inform about the flight, destination or booking code to be reissued their original boarding pass. In the cases of passengers who have already passed through the security check-in point, they should contact the gate agent at the boarding gate or lounge agent, then present the ID card and inform your flight, destination or booking code to the agent. The passenger's full record will then be printed and provided to the passenger instead of the original boarding pass.


From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ 08/03/2012

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Thailand to Introduce Water-User Service on G-Cloud

Provincial Waterworks Authority of Thailand (PWA) will launch a new e-service for water users to access real time water consumption expenses on the Government Cloud. The PWA last week signed a MOU with the Electronic Government Agency (EGA), a G-Cloud provider, to launch the PWA's "Water-user Service Programme" - a web based service that would allow water users to access and calculate real-time water consumption expenses. "This programme will provide sustainable benefit to the water users as well as they can continue to benefit from the further e-services that the PWA will leverage in the near future," said the EGA's President and CEO Dr Sak Segkhoonthod. At the same time, this solution will help the PWA to reduce its service cost, he added. Besides, the PWA will also leverage shared data of citizen identification information provided by Provincial Administration Department (PAD) on the G-Cloud centre. "The water consumption information will be linked directly with the user database, in which it would allow the two sets of data to be transferred between them easily," he explained and added that: "This flexibility and integration of data would bring a lot of beneficial prospects to both citizens and public sector." The Water-user Service Programme is still under development and will be available for download in the near future.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/17/2012

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INDIA: Public Sector Banks Must Shift to e-Payments: Finance Ministry

The finance ministry has asked state-run banks to stop making payments to their customers through cheques from July 1 and to "migrate totally" to electronic payment channels, a move aimed at cutting costs in a sluggish economy. In a circular issued to chairmen of public sector banks and regional rural banks, the ministry said all payments to customers, staff, vendors and suppliers as well as disbursement of loans and payments towards investments should be made only through the electronic mode. According to the ministry's estimate, state-run banks spend Rs 4,000- Rs 8,000 crore every year on handling of cheques. The circular said concerted efforts should be made by the banks and their sponsored regional rural banks to popularize e-payments and to bring down the number of transactions through cheques. The ministry has asked the banks to identify branches accounting for the highest share in business. The top 20% branches in terms of business volume will have to reduce cheque-based transaction by at least 20% in the current fiscal, the according to the circular.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 06/28/2012

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E-Payment Facility for Vehicles Launched in Bihar

In partnership with the State Bank of India the Bihar government has today launched e-payment facility for commercial-vehicle owners in the state. The facility has been launched initially in five districts - Patna, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Purnia and Bhagalpur - and it would be extended to other districts later, state Transport Minister Vrishin Patel said after launching the facility at a function here. Speaking on the occasion, Principal Secretary (Transport) R K Pradhan said at present, commercial-vehicle owners having savings account with the SBI would be eligible to avail the facility for payment of taxes. Later, those having savings accounts in other banks, too, would be able to pay their taxes using the facility. SBI Chief General Manager Jeevandas Narayan said the bank is ready to provide all assistance to the state government for expanding e-governance in all spheres of life. Bihar has 1.65 lakhs commercial vehicles with Patna, Gaya, Bhagalpur, Purnia, and Muzaffarpur accounting for 65 per cent vehicles in the state.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 07/11/2012

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HC to Hold e-Court Conference Today

The Delhi high court will organize a conference on Saturday to cultivate and spread the idea of e-courts. 'E-Court: Present and Future' will jointly by the high court and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), a government body, take stock of the developments in the existing, paperless e-courts. Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid will be the guest of honour. Besides them, it would be attended by the justices from the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court, judicial officers from the district courts, advocates and government officials. The conference will include a visit to the Delhi high court and the Karkardooma court to see e-courts in action. The Delhi high court is the first high court in India to take an initiative to establish e-courts at the high-court as well as district-court levels. Within two years, seven e-courts have started functioning at the high court and two at the district-court level.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 07/15/2012

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Civic Problems Can Be Registered on BMTF Website

Registering a complaint about civic problems has become more easier now. Citizens can register their complaints online through Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) website. BMTF Inspector General of Police R P Sharma informed that this is a first of its kind measure. One can log in to the website and register their complaints. The problems may not be related to the BBMP. Any complaints, related to Bangalore city can be lodged. The online registration website is expected to function full-fledged from next week. Once the complaint is lodged, the citizens will receive an email. The complaints will be disposed off within seven days from the date of registering the complaint. Sharma said that BMTF has 76 sanctioned posts, of which 30 per cent are vacant. It is expected that the vacancies will be soon filled up.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 07/21/2012

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ITC Launches Interactive Mobile Telephony for Tobacco Farmers

The Indian Leaf Tobacco Development (ILTD) Division of ITC is exploring mobile telephony-based technology tools for personalised farmer communication. This comes after the popular e-Choupal initiative, which transformed the agricultural procurement value chain in the country. The service, known as 'Namma Sandesh' is an interactive mobile telephony based communication service to farmers for provision of crop advisory on best agronomy practises, market prices, weather forecast and local news to farmers. This platform will provide accurate and timely crop advisory services through mobile phones and the subscribed farmers will regularly receive a combination of voice and SMS messages at regular intervals throughout the crop cycle. Mobile phones are now evolving into a powerful communication medium to farmers for improving agricultural productivity and profitability through provision of timely and accurate information. The project is being rolled out in Mysore district in Karnataka with more than 5,500 farmers who grow tobacco and ragi, with a potential to cover more than 50,000 farmers in the district.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 08/16/2012

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AZERBAIJAN: CIS Countries Interested in Azerbaijan's Experience in Registration of Mobile Phones' IMEI-Codes

The CIS countries got interested in Azerbaijan's experience to build a system of registration of IMEI-codes of mobile phones, Simbrella Director General Seymour Mammadov told Trend on Thursday. The Simbrella company, performing the functions of a system integrator, has been selected as a structure for the implementation of work for technical construction of the system. Mammadov said consultations are underway with Kazakhstan, Moldova, Belarus and Russia. "The project is not particularly complex, both legally and organizationally. Experience from Azerbaijan in building system of registration IMEI-codes of mobile phones, is quite successful, which attracted the attention of other countries. The system will be fully functional in the fall," Mammadov said. Work on a system of registration of IMEI-codes in Azerbaijan has been conducted for about three years. The project was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan in early 2012. The project involves GSM-operators and government agencies of the republic.

Baku will create control points for mobile phone IMEI codes, assigned by the manufacturer, CEO Caspian Mobile Ilyas Ahmedov told Trend earlier. A pilot project is expected in July. Control points will be used in dealer stores which will simplify the appeal procedure in case of phone being lost. These centres will take all the necessary documents centrally and can determine the location of the phone if it is in the network after connecting to the operator. It will also be possible to verify the IMEI code of the mobile phone with the information in the registry through the points. Access to the generalised database to verify ІMEІ codes will be carried out either via SMS messages to the number of any mobile operator, or through the website where information will be available. The database will be supplemented by ІMEІ codes of mobile phones, which will be imported into the territory of Azerbaijan. The new procedure will allow to deal with the theft and the illegal importation of phones in Azerbaijan.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/21/2012

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E-text Books to Become Prevalent in Azerbaijani Secondary Schools

The Romanian SIVECO software company and the Azerbaijani Ultra IT company have completed the first phase of the e-books in the secondary schools, the Azerbaijani Communications and IT Ministry said today with reference to SIVECO president Irina Sokol. Expanding the cooperation with the Romanian company was discussed with Minister Ali Abbasov. Sokol added that at present, "electronic books" are being used in 50 schools in Azerbaijan. The second phase project implementation, which will cover more schools, was supported by Minister Abbasov. Founded in 1992 SIVECO is one of the largest integrators of software in Central and Eastern Europe. The company ensures development and export of IT-solutions and consulting projects in the European Community countries, the Middle East, North Africa and the CIS. The company promotes integrated solutions for the agriculture, education, health, oil and gas industry, etc. Azerbaijan's strategic partner - Romania intends to expand its activity in the ICT sector in Azerbaijan on the basis of the signed documents between the two countries. SIVECO company has been already involved in the "Managing the national education system and e-learning" project implementation.


From http://en.trend.az/ 07/03/2012

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Nar Mobile Supports Education Sphere

Each year Nar Mobile implements a number of projects in line with its strategy for education, professional development and social responsibility, the company's press release says on Tuesday. As before, this year Nar Mobile, together with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan, has supported projects aimed at development of education. "E-Education" contest organised by the Ministry of Education is one of these projects. On June 29, 2012, the event dedicated to the results of the Republican contest "E-education" was organized in the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan. As a telecommunication partner of the event, Nar Mobile has congratulated with prizes the winners of this largest contest in the field of education in Azerbaijan. It should be noted that this year's "E-education" contest is devoted to two topics: "Internet Technologies in Education" and "E-learning Resources in the Modern School". The main objectives of the competition are to promote the use of e-learning resources, Internet-based technologies in the educational process, to identify new forms of Internet use for education and to encourage those teachers who actively use information technologies in educational process.


From http://en.trend.az/ 07/03/2012

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Azerbaijani Tourists Will Be Able to Use New Mobile Website of Airline Flydubai

Travellers can now access a host of online functions and important travel information in the palm of their hand with the launch of a new mobile website from flydubai, Dubai's innovative low-cost airline, the company's press release says on Friday. Designed to work with any device that has an internet data connection and a web browser, the new mobile flydubai.com, allows customers to book and pay for flights from almost anywhere in the world. With all the functionality of the normal flydubai booking process travellers can chose their seats, purchase checked baggage and select insurance. Payment is safe and secure using either Visa or Mastercard. Alternatively, passengers can choose the pay later option allowing cash purchases via one of more than a thousand payment partners in the UAE. Furthermore, users can access to-the-minute flight status information, including arrival and departure times as well as journey duration - a useful tool for both flydubai customers and anyone collecting or dropping off friends and family at the airport. "At flydubai we have a passion for making travel less complex and more cost-effective. We continuously strive to provide our customers with the very best overall experience - from the booking process, through to check-in and the flight itself. The launch of this mobile website, which coincides with a re-launch of the main website, makes it even more convenient and accessible for passengers across our network to flydubai, thereby encouraging them to travel to more places more often," flydubai's CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said. Visitors to the site can also access their passenger profile created previously on flydubai.com. Those who have not created a profile do not miss out; they can still view a booking by entering their reference number and family name. The key information is then prioritised and clearly displayed. "flydubai recognises that mobile technology is playing an increasingly important part of our customers' everyday lives. As one of the region's most innovative airlines, it was important for us to give passengers the freedom to book a leisure or business trip anytime, anywhere and this is just the start of our plans for mobile technology," Al Ghaith added.


From http://en.trend.az/ 07/27/2012

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Nar Mobile Implements Social Projects on Eve of Ramadan Holiday

As usual in each year, Nar Mobile has implemented another charity campaign on the eve of the Holy Ramadan holiday. Besides the visits to several orphanage houses on the occasion of forthcoming holiday, the Company has organized the Iftar table for children deprived of parental care and offered gifts to them. Leyla Nasrullayeva, Executive Director for Business Development and Communications of the Nar Mobile that took part in the charity action, has congratulated our little friends on the occasion of the Ramadan Holiday. "The Ramadan Holiday deemed as the Sultan of Eleven Months is one of days that embody the kindness, unity of father and mother as well as the family, solidarity and abundance. In its turn, by targeting its Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and in accordance with CSR based policy, Nar Mobile has implemented several projects directed to youth and children deprived of parental care. First of all, I would like to point out that each of us are parents and it is a debt of all of us to support youth and children deprived of parental care", - noted Madam Nasrullayeva. It should be noted that Nar Mobile implements such type of charity actions on constant basis and contributes to the development of CSR tradition in our country.


From http://en.trend.az/ 08/17/2012

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Google Chrome Becomes Azerbaijan's Most Popular Browser

Google Chrome browser has become the most popular browser in Azerbaijan, Global Stats said on Saturday. From the beginning of the year the browser got ahead of its competitors in terms of number of users. According to the Global Stats, in January-August (data as of August 18) Chrome's share in the Azerbaijani market was 39.23 percent. The market share of the Opera browser is 33.39 percent, Internet Explorer - 15.63 percent, Mozilla Firefox - 10 percent, Safari - 1.36 per cent, while others account for 0.38 percent. Compared to the same period last year, Google Chrome's market share has increased by 19.61 per cent. For comparison - last year first place was occupied by Internet Explorer, which held 31.56 percent of the market for Internet browsers in Azerbaijan. Chrome's popularity is associated with the convenience and simple interface, fast loading of pages. In the world of Google Chrome yet entrenched in the second position with a market share of 31.44 percent. Primacy belongs to Internet Explorer, whose share is 34.04 percent of the total number of Internet users. Third place is taken by Mozilla Firefox - 24.65 percent, Safari - 6.94 percent, Opera - 1.81 per cent, while others account for 1.12 percent.


From http://en.trend.az/ 08/19/2012

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KAZAKHSTAN: Launching Digital Broadcasting System

Today, Kazakhstan has launched a national system of digital broadcasting. President Nursultan Nazarbayev made this statement addressing the Industry Forum in Astana during a videoconference with the regions on Tuesday. "Thanks to a new broadcasting network, about 30 local TV channels will be available to all regions of Kazakhstan.. Previously only five TV channels were available to the Kazakhs," Nazarbayev said. Also today a test launch of a new round-the-clock TV channel '24.KZ' was held, which will operate on Sept.1, 2012. "It is gratifying that a new round-the-clock TV channel will appear in Kazakhstan that will transmit only domestic TV production. This is good news. I hope that the new channel will be the same as the world's leading broadcasters," Nazarbayev said. According to Transport and Communications Minister of Kazakhstan, Askar Zhumagaliyev, thanks to launch of a national satellite TV broadcasting system, residents of the most remote areas have the opportunity to watch domestic TV channels. "At present, 150,000 families have been already connected to the OTAU TV satellite network,"- Zhumagaliyev said addressing the Industrial Forum. He said domestic production of receivers and decoders was made to provide the population with the necessary equipment to connect to satellite television. More than 500 small and medium-sized businesses are involved in connecting subscribers to 'OTAU TV'. "The construction of the national digital air TV broadcasting network has started simultaneously with the launch of satellite TV. The most promising European standard - DVBT2 was taken as a basis. So far, the first phase of the project has been completed. This means more than 3.5 million Kazakhs living in 370 areas will have access to digital air TV broadcasting already this year," Zhumagaliyev said. All Kazakh TV channels will be able to switch to digital broadcasting standard. Image and sound quality will be much better. It will be possible to transmit image in HD format. "In addition, the launch of the national air TV broadcasting network makes it possible to open new Kazakh channels. One of these is 24.kz, he added.


From http://en.trend.az/ 07/03/2012

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UZBEKISTAN: 376 Colleges and Lyceums and 2,154 Schools Equipped Computer Labs and Multi-Media Technology in 2011

A meeting of the Committee of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis on information and communication technologies, dedicated to monitoring the execution of the Committee's Decision of July 8, 2011 "On the state of implementation of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan 'On informatization' was held in the Ministry of Education and the Center of Secondary Special Professional Education (CSSPE). The event was attended by senior officials of relevant ministries and departments, experts of the ICT sector, media workers. It was noted that in 2011, members of the Legislative Chamber on Information and Communication Technologies studied in the order of control and analytical activity pursuant to the Law "On informatization" in the system of the Ministry of Education and the Center of Secondary Special Professional Education. As a result of the study was marked substantial work on the development and widespread introduction of electronic educational resources in the educational process through information and communication technologies. In accordance with the programs of informatizaton extensive work to provide schools with modern computer equipment and technology, the use of multimedia in teaching and e-books, digital educational technologies, the creation of information-resource centers is carried out. As a result of the carried out work, secondary schools, lyceums and colleges of the country were set up with information resource centers and computer rooms.

Of great importance is the connection of secondary schools, professional colleges and academic lyceums, universities, institutions of higher education to cultural and information network ZiyoNET. This keeps parents, teachers, students, scholars engaged in research in education abreast of news in the field of education and science, interschool exchange of experiences, the introduction of advanced technologies. It was noted that as part of the execution of the Decision of the Committee of the Ministry of Education, the Center of Secondary Special Professional Education adopted programs on comprehensive measures aimed at radical improvement of the process of informatization in the system of the Ministry and the Center. In the framework of the implementation of these programs, work of raising the level of computer literacy of teachers, including the system of distance training of teachers is organized. The project of the National Network of e-learning, combining educational institutions into a single high-speed corporate network based on fiber-optic communication lines is implemented. There is an active process of equipping educational institutions with computers connected to Internet and access to resources of educational network ZiyoNet. Last year alone, 376 colleges and lyceums, 280 information and resource centers and 2,154 schools have been equipped with modern computer labs and multi-media technologies.

Electronic educational resources are created throughout the country. Information and educational portal, which enables the use of modern teaching materials on educational subjects in Uzbek and Russian languages has been created. Developed and posted on the site for general and free use of multimedia materials (40), virtual laboratories, various tests and other useful information. For broad and systematic information support of students, expansion of information assets in secondary schools, special and professional education institutions more than 2,750 information and resource centers were have been created. During the past academic year, more than 200 training manuals and programs, 1,870 information and educational resources were created in the system of the Ministry of Education and CSSPE and placed in the educational network ZioyNet. Altogether, the meeting participants stressed the need to systemize the work carried out in the Ministry of Education and CSSPE in the field of informatization, development of clear strategic plans and consistent work to implement them. It was noted the absence of comprehensive electronic document management systems, their weak integration into a single information space of the country, the lack of protection of information resources and systems. The meeting also made suggestions and recommendations on how to further enrich the educational resource portal ZiyoNET, effective use of information and communication technology, computer equipment, learning resources and public education and information network, organization of local networks in educational institutions.

Speakers at the meeting, deputies noted the particular importance of protecting students from the information that is alien to our mentality and spiritual foundations. Addressing these issues requires the organization of measures to protect children from information that is harmful to their physical and psychological development, increase of responsibility of teachers. It was emphasized that in solving these tasks are important resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On measures to further improve the system of training and staffing of qualified teaching staff of specialized secondary and professional educational institutions" and "On measures for further implementation and development of modern information and communication technologies". Following the meeting, the Committee made a decision on targeted address to these shortcomings and implementation of measures for further improvement of legislation in this area.


From http://www.centralasiatimes.com/ 06/22/2012

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Uzbekistan to Open Two New National Television Channels

President Islam Karimov signed a decree on creation of two new state television channels - Culture and Enlightenment and Around the World in the system of Uzbek National Broadcasting Company. According to the decree, TV channels will be created in the form of the state unitary enterprise. The main objectives of Culture and Enlightenment TV channel are the creation of highly informative, popular scientific, cultural and educational television programs aimed at enhancing cultural and educational level of the population. The channel will inform about the important events in the cultural and scientific life of Uzbekistan, including with use of various modern forms and methods of interactive translation capabilities of digital and multimedia technologies, to acquaint viewers with the achievements of world civilization in science, art and culture. Around the World TV channel will focus on expanding people's knowledge about the history, geography and national traditions and culture of the peoples of the world, the great geographical discoveries, the uniqueness of nature, flora and fauna of the various continents and oceans, including by demonstrating television productions of the leading TV channels around the world.

The channel will create high-quality special science-fiction and educational television programs about the features of the cultural and ethnographic development of regions of Uzbekistan, as well as programs aimed at increasing environmental awareness. In addition, it will inform the international community about the unique tourism potential of Uzbekistan, capabilities and level of cognitive and ecological tourism as well as promote healthy lifestyles and active forms of recreation. The structure of each channel will consist of five editors. Art council will operate at each channel. Viewers will be able to watch TV in digital format. Both channels will be commissioned from January 2013. According to the decree, the Ministry of Finance will provide the necessary funds for the maintenance of channels, given the increasing share of their own funds since 2013, during the forming the parameters of the state budget. Purchase of technical equipment provided by attracting concessional loans from international financial institutions. Currently, there are TV channels Uzbekistan, Yoshlar, Tashkent and Sport, as well as 12 regional broadcasters operating within National Broadcasting Company of Uzbekistan.


From http://en.trend.az/ 08/15/2012

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AUSTRALIA: WA Boosts Mobile Broadband Services

The State Government of Western Australia (WA) is tackling the "tyranny of distance" with mobile broadband services that connect communities across regional and remote areas. An ambitious US$106 million (AUD$106 million) Regional Mobile Communications Project (RMCP) is delivering the benefits of mobile broadband to "outback" Australia. This project supports voice and data services that are similar to metropolitan cities and towns. The RMCP initiative, being rolled out over three years, brings together Western Australia's Department of Commerce, the Department of Regional Development and Lands and telco carrier, Telstra. These partners are jointly finding the RMCP under moves to fast-track mobile broadband services - while tapping into 4th generation (4G) communications infrastructure. Mobile broadband delivers substantial benefits for remote communities, according to the Department of Commerce's General Manager for a Digital Economy, Jim Wyatt. "Health, education and emergency services are just some areas that will benefit from mobile broadband," he says. Additionally, emergency service provides will be able to use Telstra's base stations when out in the field.

Field service providers include police and bush-fire management teams, as well as conservation and environmental protection staff. The RMCP, to be fully operational by 2014, expands Telstra's footprint across regional and remote Australia. Traditionally, these areas were outside the range of high-speed, fast-access communications. Telstra is currently commissioning mobile towers at eleven Western Australian locations through RMCP funding. Among its benefits, mobile broadband helps connects major mining areas across the Kimberley and Pilbara. These thriving regions power the Australian economy through the exploration, processing, and shipment of coal, gas, and petroleum products around the world. Mobile broadband enhances coverage across Western Australia, including major highways and transport arteries. "Black spots" or areas with limited communications also benefit - while helping reduce crashes and fatalities in currently out-of-range areas. The RMCP is providing near-continuous mobile telephone and broadband access along Western Australia's rugged Highway One and several regional communities.

Highway One cuts an isolated pathway through the Kimberley's vast savannah plains, providing access to its gorges and ancient reefs along the Western Australia coast. Earlier, WA's minister for regional development, Brendon Gryllis, said improved radio and mobile communications coverage will improve Western Australia's public safety record. "Fire-fighters and emergency medical services can use wireless broadband to download vital information while out in the field. They will be able to remotely access and transmit information in real-time." Western Australia is prone to massive bushfires. Rates of road fatalities remain high in remote areas, including roads and highways. So far, West Australians in the Mid-West areas of Wagoe, Arrowsmith, Arrowsmith East and Walkaway are using improved mobile telephone coverage and high-speed wireless broadband. They join Capel, Nullagine, Breton Bay, Narembeen, Bibbin Well, Peedamulla and Woottating.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/03/2012

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Australia Boosts Consumer Protection for Mobile Services

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is boosting consumer protection against "bill shocks" and confusing mobile plans under a new "code of conduct" for telcos and ISPs. This Telecommunications Protection Code, launched 11th July 2012, offers greater transparency for mobile phone usage. This new code, applicable for Australian telcos and internet services providers (ISPs), is being administered by the ACMA. Industry enforcement comes into effects 1st September 2012. ACMA is the Australian Government's communications and media watchdog - with wide-ranging regulatory and industry monitoring powers. The latest code enables consumers to more readily compare prices involving carriers and ISPs. Consumers gain better clarity about mobile phone usage, including calls, texting, and data downloads. The ACMA code initially encourages industry self-regulation. It will be phased in over the next two years, enabling larger and small telcos to implement changes.

This code is a "unique and ground-breaking document by world standards," says ACMA's chairman, Chris Chapman. The ACMA will closely monitor industry compliance with this code that applies to every service provider in Australia. The ACMA will use its "powers of investigation and enforcement" if participants choose not to comply with these new code obligations, Mr Chapman notes. In future, consumers will receive alerts (or warnings) about how much they spend on mobile phones, including calls, texts and data downloads. These warnings are generated once consumers reach 50 per cent, 85 per cent and 100 per cent of their monthly allowance for calls, messages and data. Information about charging will be more readily-available for domestic and international calls. Telcos and ISPs are required to provide critical information summaries - more clearly detailing product and service offerings. This information enables consumers to better understand and manage the cost of services they sign up for.

Earlier, consumer pricing, complaint-handling and debt-management were clocking up massive costs, according to ACMA estimates. These costs included US$1.5 billion (AUD$1.5 billion) associated with consumers choosing the wrong plan, and US$108 million (AUD$108 million) to handle telephone complaints. Another US$113 million (AUD$113 million) was tallied up to write off bad debts. The Australia's Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, Simon Cohen, reported a substantial rise in complaints about mobile and internet services. In 2010-2011, there was a 17.9 per cent increase in complaints, compared to 4.6 per cent the previous year. "This sharp increase can almost exclusively be attributed to a rise in complaints about mobile phone services," Mr Cohen noted. Spikes in complaints about mobile services were caused, in large part, by telco network management issues and an increased use of smartphones.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/11/2012

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Australian Regulator to Release 100 Million New Phone Numbers

­The Australian Communications and Media Authority has announced plans to deal with a projected shortage of mobile phone numbers that are now expected to run out by 2017. The proposed 05 prefix will be added to the existing 04 prefix used to indicate that the number belongs to a mobile phone. To avoid customer confusion, the ACMA is proposing the removal of a small largely redundant '0550' Location Independent Communications Services (LICS) number range which is located in the middle of the '05' number block. The ACMA also plans to supplement the supply of geographic numbers in regional areas where the existing supply is expected to be exhausted within 20 years and remove the geographic sectors around five capital cities. "Demand for mobile numbers is being driven by new technologies like internet capable smart phones, tablets and machine to machine communications," said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. "The ACMA estimates an additional 100 million numbers will be needed to provide an adequate supply for more than 20 years."

To put that into context, the country's population is currently 22.6 million - so even with population growth factored in, they are expecting an average person to need five phone numbers. Many of those numbers will be technical, for call routing purposes (etc) rather than functionary though. Supplementing the supply of geographic numbers in a number of regional areas will complete the ACMA's plan to guarantee there is an adequate supply of numbers in every geographic area in Australia for the next 20 years. The ACMA's plan is based on number run-out analysis it conducted last year.


From http://www.cellular-news.com/ 07/20/2012

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Health Mapping Study to Improve Cardiac Care Access in AUS

A team of researchers and some of Australia's leading cardiologists have leveraged today's cutting edge mapping technology to help combat the leading cause of death in the country - cardiovascular disease. According to Australia's Department of Health and Ageing, in 2010 heart disease caused about 32 per cent of all deaths nationally, with coronary heart disease and stroke alone causing almost 33,000 deaths, and more than 6,700 additional deaths being caused by heart failure, hypertensive disease and cardiac arrhythmias. Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Associate Professor Robyn Clark, led the research team towards completing a comprehensive seven-year study that aims to measure current access to cardiac care from a geographic perspective. The research team looked at the distance to cardiac treatment centre locations in Australia's 20,000 population centres which enabled them to identify significant gaps between regional and metropolitan access to cardiac care.

"By mapping the huge amounts of statistical data we collected with GIS technology, we were able to identify critical patterns and relationships that would not have been so apparent in tabular form. More specifically, we were able to identify locations and groups of people with limited access to cardiac services." Clark said. "For example, we found that only 40 per cent of indigenous people reside within an hour of appropriate cardiac medical facilities and cardiac rehabilitation services, while 12 per cent of indigenous Australians live three or more hours from any kind of hospital." The results were also used to create a cardiac health index, which ranks geographic areas according to fatal heart attack risk which would significantly help governments and local communities prioritise locations in terms of risk. Clark explained that because the index is backed by reputable research, community members and medical organisations will have greater leverage to lobby governments for improved cardiac care where it is needed most. In addition, it is also a valuable tool for governments to determine how to distribute health care infrastructure in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Meanwhile, David Purkiss GIS in Health specialist from Esri Australia said the study had important implications for the use of GIS technology across all areas of healthcare. Beyond cardiac research, Purkiss said the approach can be applied to a whole range of other acute and chronic conditions in areas such as mental health, midwifery, cancer treatment, and burns services. "Medical information has limited use unless it is combined with knowledge of the environmental factors associated with patients' locations and conditions. A health system underpinned with GIS technology will ultimately see us all benefit from a more precise understanding of the links between our health and where we reside, work and play," he said.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/02/2012

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Australian Hospital Fast-Tracks Support for BYOD

In a first for an Australian hospital, the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital is fast-tracking support for bring-your-own-devices being used by visiting medical officers (VMOs) and staff on the move. This support, first launched in June 2012, is now available to all hospital staff that are using tablets, smart phones and laptops with built-in wireless data viewing capabilities. "To my knowledge, this is one of the first such projects to be rolled out at a government-funded public hospital," says Nuno Goncalves, chief information officer, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. "BYOD support is now available to all staff that wish to take up this option, Goncalves says. "At present, between 40 to 45 per cent of staff have registered for BYOD support in some form. We expect this demand to grow substantially." The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital handles more than 180,000 outpatient cases annually. As Australia's leading provider of eye, ear, nose and throat care services, it maintains an international reputation as a specialist clinical care, research and training hospital, spanning more than a century.

Support for mobile devices helps modernise the hospital's outpatient service delivery programme - while enabling VMOs and other staff to more readily access patient data and supporting information. "By allowing clinicians to bring in their own devices, the hospital can manage the cost of running on-site personal computers or laptops," says Goncalves. The hospital is recording a drop in the cost of running on-site computer systems, since launching this BYOD support. Integration is being provided between mobile devices and back-office medical information. This integration will enable staff to more readily view patient data that resides in back-office systems. Hospital services available within BYOD are the same as those previously offered for remote access. These services are being provisioned wirelessly, with built-in security and authentication features. "No medical data is actually stored on a mobile device," notes Goncalves. "We are mindful about the security and privacy aspects. Devices accessing the hospital's information systems have to be certified before-hand by the hospital's ICT department."

The 20-30 age demographics is much more open to mobile devices and applications. "It's a matter of time before we see more wide-spread use of BYOD in healthcare." Demand for BYOD is growing at Australian hospitals, says a new study by Deloitte Australia. This study, Debunking Myths Surrounding the Technology Journey for Digital Hospitals, notes that in a mobile environment, clinicians expect information-access when and where they need it, and in a way that is easy to access and view. Among the trends, clinicians working across multiple healthcare facilities, often in time-critical health care environments, are more receptive to BYOD apps. "Many clinical staff, particularly private providers working in public and private hospitals want to be able to incorporate information from the hospital into their own clinical information systems." Hospitals must build mobile device support into an overall healthcare information system. "This integration has to be from the ground up, rather than adding this support as an after-thought."


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/08/2012

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NEW ZEALAND: On 'Front Foot' with Cloud Code of Practice

New Zealand has developed a code of practice to help regulate the rapidly-growing Cloud Computing industry, making it one of the first countries to do so. The New Zealand Computer Society (NZCS), a professional body of IT Professionals, released the Cloud Computing Code of Practice at a summit in Auckland yesterday. CloudCode, as is has been called, aims to improve the standard of services offered by Kiwi cloud providers, setting out a framework of voluntary, self-regulated standards. The idea for a code came out of last year's inaugural NetHui conference. A number of providers called for something to be put in place to strengthen consumer faith in the industry, said NZCS CloudCode Coordinator Joy Cottle. "With cloud being something very hard to define, it meant there were providers offering services that fell short of acceptable practice." Cottle said consumer confidence in the industry could be undermined by providers offering a lack of acceptable data security or back-up procedures.

Cloud computing is the term given to on-demand, internet-based services where individuals and businesses can store their data. Other than Britain, New Zealand is the only country to develop such a code and a handful of Asia-Pacific countries have now contacted the NZCS about following suit, Cottle said. The new code puts New Zealand on "the front foot", said Rod Drury, chief executive of online accounting software company Xero. "We're getting more traction in New Zealand with cloud computing and we thought this would be a way to show some international initiative." The reason New Zealand has emerged as a forerunner is down to the fact that developing a code is extremely difficult, especially in bigger countries, Drury said. "In a small country like ours it's more possible because the industry is tighter." Drury expects a strong take-up from Kiwi cloud providers and said the code's voluntary sign-up will not matter.

"I think the market works anyway and if consumers see companies following this code, they'll be more likely to choose those companies." Cottle said it is unclear whether the code will ever become compulsory, but for now the NZCS and industry wanted it voluntary. We took the approach of trying to ease this into the market, rather than making it compulsory and having people turn their tails up. This means we can iron out the details in case it becomes compulsory in the future." NZCS is considering establishing a register and accreditation process for cloud providers wishing to comply with the code, starting in August. CloudCode took about eight months to develop and was contributed to by than 250 individuals and companies. Its development was funded by industry players such as NZCS, Gen-i, Equinox, OneNet, Webdrive and Xero.


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/ 05/ 30/2012

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NZ Part of IT Skills Shortage Danger, Says Joyce

New Zealand is part of a worldwide information and technology skill shortage and there is a danger the education sector will lag behind the opportunities in the "digital revolution", says Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce. Giving the ministerial keynote at the NetHui internet conference this morning, Joyce said the country faced the challenge of getting more people into IT careers. "There is a worldwide shortage of ICT skills currently and it's not getting any better and New Zealand is part of that. One of the challenges for all of us, particularly those of you who are evangelists for the digital revolution, is actually to get schools, people, students, families to get more focused on ICT careers because there is a danger that the focus on the skills, that will be required, lags [behind] the opportunities," he said. Canvassing lightly over a number of topics during his 20-minute address, Joyce said innovation was crucial to New Zealand's development in an "economically treacherous" world. Because of this "the internet and broadband and the way its run" was closely coupled to the country's future, he said.

During his previous term in office Joyce presided over the Government's $1.5 billion ultra-fast broadband (UFB) tender, the bulk of which was awarded to Telecom. The Crown has teamed up with four private infrastructure partners for its UFB project, which will see fibre lines rolled out across New Zealand. The initiative will offer 75 per cent of the country download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second by the end of 2019. This is over 20 times faster than the average speeds enjoyed by urban internet users in 2010. Joyce said 70,000 premises currently had fibre running past them and estimated this would rise to 235,000 premises by this time next year. "The pace is picking up all the time," he said. Although there is concern that uptake of the UFB services is not strong. Joyce said that in Whangarei - "most advanced area" of the rollout - about ten per cent of people were signing up, despite a number of big internet providers not offering services, "It's a big build, it's moving along quietly but it's one of those things that is going to catch people out on what it is achieving," he said.


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/ 07/12/2012

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NZ Disputes Tribunal Applications to Go Online

Starting 1st of October 2012, citizens will now be able to file for their tribunal applications online as part of the Disputes Tribunal's effort to modernise court services. According to Courts Minister Chester Borrows, the Disputes Tribunal is New Zealand's most accessible forum for dealing with lower level disputes, however up until now services have not been customer friendly, cost effective or efficient as people would have to full up various forms and personally deliver them to the nearest District Court. "While the internet has revolutionised the way we access services and information, our courts have been slow to join the rest of New Zealand in the online era. Today's changes are just another step in plans to bring courts into the 21st century," Minister Borrows said in an official statement. The Disputes Tribunal provides a place for people to resolve disputes that is cheaper, faster, and less formal than the court system, and sees around 17,000 new applications each year. Applications to the tribunal cost between $36 and $121 depending on the value of the dispute, and can cover disputes up to $15,000, or up to $20,000 if both parties agree.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/07/2012

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New Report: Mobile Technologies Put Users' Security at Risk

The capability of repressive governments to monitor users of mobile phones and block access to internet content is far beyond levels realized by users and presents significant risks for user privacy and safety, according to a new report released today by Freedom House and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). This is a serious problem in countries that lack the rule of law and where civil liberties are not respected. The report, entitled Safety on the Line: Exposing the myth of mobile communications security, evaluates the ability of mobile phone services to protect security and privacy and to circumvent censorship in 12 countries: Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Egypt, Iran, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The assessment covered a range of mobile technologies, including operating systems, applications and mobile protocols. Findings showed that, across the spectrum, these technologies fail to protect users and are highly vulnerable to misuse by autocratic regimes. "Mobile phones have become integral to daily communication around the world and most of us use this technology with some expectation of privacy," said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president at Freedom House. "However, governments are fully capable, particularly when laws and other protection mechanisms are not in place, of using these devices to track and monitor users for nefarious purposes. This is a cause for deep concern, and it must become part of the dialogue about how these technologies are developed now, and in the future."

Among the report's key findings:
¡¤High mobile penetration rates in the studied countries-often above100 percent-indicate that mobile networks are the communications method of choice, making these platforms a priority target for monitoring by repressive regimes.
¡¤Mobile phone users are vulnerable to highly intrusive surveillance, including the remote activation of cameras and microphones and the tracking of users' movements through global positioning systems (GPS).
¡¤The default settings of mobile operating systems provide inadequate security, and in repressive environments, adding security options is problematic.
¡¤Virtual private networks (VPN) are designed to facilitate corporate use but do not adequately protect individuals attempting to avoid surveillance.

Because mobile security is threatened at multiple levels-of mobile networks, operating systems, applications, handsets, and users-it is nearly impossible for any single actor in isolation to change the situation, according to the findings. The report recommends improved awareness of mobile security threats among users in repressive environments and development of mobile phone handsets, operating systems, and applications that better protect user privacy in countries where human rights violations are common. "Every stakeholder in the process plays a role in the vulnerability of mobile technology to misuse, from the developers of the devices themselves to those who create the associated applications," said Cormac Callanan, one of the report's authors. "There is a real and immediate need for more cooperation and joint action between all stakeholders to improve safety and privacy for mobile users."


From http://www.i-policy.org/ 08/02/2012

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ASIA: Public Sector Most Targeted by Cyber Attacks: Report

The July 2012 Symantec Intelligence Report has revealed that the public sector is the most targeted industry by phishing activity in July, with one in 113.3 emails comprising a phishing attack; one in 85.3 emails being blocked as malicious. The Education sector was the most spammed industry sector in July, with a spam rate of 70.3 per cent compared to 69 per cent of spam rate for the Automotive sector. The report also showed that Saudi Arabia is the most spammed country in July, with a spam rate of 79 per cent, compared to 68.5 per cent in the UK. In East Asia, Hong Kong ranks the most spammed country with 67 per cent of email was blocked as spam, followed by 66.6 per cent in Singapore, and 64.1 per cent in Japan. Phishing activity in Australia accounted for one in 752.1 emails, one in 2,241.4 in Hong Kong, one in 7,448.8, and one in 3,450.6 in Japan and Singapore respectively. From the same report, Olympic scam spam rate has increased steadily before doubling from May to late July, when the Games began. Attackers used Olympic themed hashtags on twitter to spread malicious code, bundling threats with popular Olympic-themed Android apps, and creating spam and phishing scams that pretend to be contests sponsored by credit card companies. There have also been instances of spammers attempting to trick users into downloading malware. According to Akamai's Q1 2012 State of the Internet report, the most frequent origins of attack traffic were from the Asia Pacific/Oceania region. In the first quarter of 2012, more than 42 per cent of observed attack traffic originated in the Asia Pacific/Oceania region while Europe originated about 35 per cent, North and South America with a combined of 21 per cent, and just under 1.5 per cent from Africa.

Attack Traffic and Top Ports Attacked
According to the Akamai report report, there was quarterly growth in the percentage of observed attack traffic from China (16 per cent and number one on the top 10), the US (11 per cent), Russia (7 per cent), Turkey (5.7 percent), Romania (3 per cent), and Germany (1.9 per cent). However, there were percentages drop relative to the prior quater in Taiway (3 per cent), South Korean (4.3 per cent), and Brazil (4 per cent).

Global Average and Peak Connection Speeds
When it comes to average connection speeds, all of the top 10 countries experienced positive year-over-year changes in average connection speeds. Globally, a total of 125 countries experienced year-over-year increases and only 10 countries that qualified for inclusion saw declines in connection speeds. The global average connection speed in the first quarter was 2.6 Mbps. South Korea (15.7 Mbps) featured the fastest average connection speed. Countries/regions rounding out the top 5 included Japan (10.9 Mbps), Hong Kong (9.3 Mbps), the Netherlands (8.8 Mbps) and Latvia (8.8 Mbps). Year-over-year, the global average peak connection speed increased by 25 percent, and increases were also seen across all of the top 10 countries. Globally, nearly 130 qualifying countries saw year-over-year increases in average connection speeds, ranging from 3.8 percent growth in Pakistan (to 5.9 Mbps) to a 213 percent jump in Libya (to 3.8 Mbps). In summary, the top three countries in the Asia Pacific region with the highest average connection speeds and a high level of broadband connectivity are South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong - still holding steady from the last report. China still remains the top attack traffic source with 16 per cent of observed traffic in total; Other countries in Asia that generated attack traffic are Taiwan (#5), South Korea (#6), and India (#9). South Korea had the highest level of high broadband adoption at 53 per cent and the highest average connection speed at 15.7 Mbps, while Hong Kong recorded the highest average peak connection speed at 49.3 Mbps.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 08/15/2012

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EUROPE: Cybercrime - Citizens Concerned by Security of Personal Information and Online Payments

A new Eurobarometer survey shows that Internet users are very concerned about cyber security: 89 percent avoid disclosing personal information online, and 74 percent agree that the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime has increased in the past year. 12 percent of internet users across the EU have already experienced online fraud, and 8 percent have fallen victim to identity theft. Nonetheless, 53 percent have not changed any of their online passwords during the past year. "While ever more people are making the most out of the Internet and benefit from the digital economy, it is not surprising that security of personal information and online payments top the list of our concerns. What is more surprising is that only half of Europeans take effective measures to protect themselves from cybercrime", said Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs. The survey, covering a total of almost 27 000 people in all EU member states, shows a strong link between being informed about the risks of cybercrime and feeling confident online. A majority of those who feel confident in doing online banking or shopping say that they also feel well informed about cybercrime.


From http://www.ejc.net/ 07/10/2012

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NORTH AMERICA: Canada - IBM: Mobile Security No Concern to Most Canadians

IBM Corp. has released the results of a study it undertook in 2011 that shows rising consumer trust in mobile e-commerce among Canadians. From a population of 2,000 people in Canada, the study found that 50 per cent were comfortable using a mobile device to make purchases and received promotions at a retail store, while 68 per cent said they weren't concerned about security on their mobile device. The survey also found that people's "trust ranking" of retailers and manufacturers rose significantly from 2010 to 2011. According to the results, their willingness to accept advice from retailers on making purchases has tripled over the past year (12 per cent from 4 per cent) as well as from manufacturers (14 per cent from 9 per cent). Meanwhile, with retailers and manufacturers getting a bigger piece of the pie, trust in family and friends in these matters has dropped to 48 per cent from 53 per cent. Pinar Cardwell, associate partner with IBM's global business services, partly credited social media efforts on the part of companies for the rise. "The types of the media, the types of the technology that the consumers are willing to use is changing... it's kind of been moving away from the traditional search engine, Internet, a retailer Web site - it's more new ways of finding out information."

People are also using more varied forms of technology, she added. "In the previous years we had about a two-or-more technologies response from the consumers," she said. "About 13 per cent of the consumers last year said, 'We would like to use two or more technologies,' which was an interesting number for us because when we didn't have a lot of the social media buzz happening, I think it was really interesting that there was willingness and interest in using two or more technologies." "This year, the number went up and consumers now are saying, 'You know what? I'm willing to use three or more technologies." Takeaki Chijiiwa, principal consultant at Security Compass Inc., a Toronto-based firm that develops and tests mobile security platforms, suggested that Canadians' trust in technology might be better thought of as trusting in a brand. We're perhaps becoming more comfortable giving up personal information to our favourite companies. "I think people are just getting more used to the fact that this retail information collecting occurs," he said. He cautions, however, that consumers shouldn't become complacent when shopping online. In the absence of technical knowledge that would allow you to assess the security of a device, application, or site, it's best to look at companies' track records before giving them your data, "whether it be your sensitive information, like your birthdate, and maybe your social insurance number. Things like that," he said. "Just being cognizant that whatever you do transmit could ultimately be stored on the device as well as at the particular vendor that's requiring that information."


From http://www.itworldcanada.com/ 06/07/2012

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Canada: Data Lost or Breached at 82.5 Per Cent of Government IT Systems

A new McAfee study suggests IT managers at all levels of government in Canada may be overly confident about the security of their systems. Government IT managers in Canada are over-confident and reactive rather than proactive when it comes to protecting public data from security threats, a new study suggests. Although 97.5 per cent of government IT security software decision makers say their systems have been exposed to some sort of direct security threat or challenge in the past year - and 82.5 per cent have suffered a data loss or breach in the same period - 80 per cent of them still feel "confident" or "very confident" about their ability to protect mission critical data. Leger Marketing surveyed 40 randomly selected IT managers responsible for security software decisions at the federal, provincial and municipal government levels. They were polled in February for security software vendor McAfee Canada. "I think there's some reason to be tightening things up. Thirty per cent have lost confidential information. That's a fairly significant number," said Doug Cooke, director of sales engineering at McAfee Canada. Another 30 per cent said they were subject to a privacy investigation as a result of a data loss or breach within the 12-month period involved. In addition to a disconnect between the confidence level of government IT security personnel and the actual reality of the threats they've experienced, the study also found the respondents to be reactive rather than proactive when it comes to security issues. Over half (57.5 per cent) said they spent more time responding to security threats and recovering from them after the fact than on identifying risks beforehand.

Social media, BYOD threats
Social media and bring your own device (BYOD) trends are also creating new security headaches for government IT systems. Even though 62.5 per cent allow employees to access social media sites from work, 56 per cent of those permitting it believe it increases their risk of threats. And while 40 per cent let staff use personal devices for work, only 25 per cent of those allowing the practice have a BYOD security policy in place. "(BYOD) is an increasing concern (that's) probably not as big as the targeted attacks ... but it's a growing area that needs to be considered," Cooke said. "The amount of malware in newer Android devices that are coming out is much less and it's not as sophisticated as it is in the classic Windows environment. But (mobile) devices are not protected as well as traditional Windows devices." McAfee also made recommendations for IT security managers at all three levels of Canadian government:
- move towards creating a national mechanism to share security information and knowledge across various levels and departments of government as well as with the private sector
- increase awareness around the movement and protection of data
- move more quickly to respond and adapt to changing technology trends, such as BYOD and social media, so government can develop security strategies to deal with them.


From http://www.itbusiness.ca/ 06/14/2012

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Amid Mounting Pressure, Canada's Wireless Industry Vows to Fight 'iCrime'

Canada's wireless industry says it will tackle mobile-device theft amid escalating pressure from police, politicians and the federal telecom regulator to fight the rise of what is being called "iCrime." Carriers such as Quebecor Inc., Telus Corp., BCE Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., Mobilicity, Public Mobile, SaskTel, Eastlink, and Manitoba Telecom Services Inc., have teamed up with device manufacturers such as Research In Motion Ltd., Motorola Solutions and Nokia Corp. to examine security solutions as part of a group under the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association. Costly smartphones and tablet computers, such as Apple Inc. iPhones and iPads, are increasingly stolen and resold on a burgeoning black market. Pilfered devices can reportedly fetch hundreds of dollars on the street in Canada, but there is also growing demand in overseas markets including Russia and Ukraine, along with countries in the Middle East and Africa. Amid a rash of violent robberies in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, there is concern that fraudsters are zeroing in on gadgets as Canadians use them more for mobile banking and carriers introduce digital wallets to facilitate mobile payments. "If the industry can help mitigate the impact of crime on consumers, it will," the CWTA wrote in a recent letter to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. "If those measures have the added bonus of making wireless consumers less of a target for criminals, then the cost of establishing them will have been well worth it."

The Canadian wireless industry has been sharply criticized for lagging behind on this issue, even as Canadians are among the world's heaviest users of smartphones. More than 26 million Canadians have a mobile phone or wireless device, and smartphones represent almost half the domestic mobile market. Since most consumers upgrade their cellphones every 18 to 20 months, it is estimated that the vast majority of Canadians will use smartphones by 2014. That's prompted police in Toronto and Vancouver to seek federal legislation that would force mobile carriers to create a national registry to track stolen devices and prevent them from being reactivated - similar to a plan for a central database that was recently announced in the U.S. Currently, Canadian carriers block mobile phones when they are reported lost or stolen but do not share information about those devices with each other. Further complicating the problem is that carriers collect those data in "differing degrees of detail" and consider such information proprietary. That means it is impossible to quantify how widespread such crimes are in Canada, apart from anecdotal evidence and partial statistics from police. According to one Toronto city councillor, cellphone robberies in the city have doubled in the past three years, with roughly 1,800 cases in 2011. Toronto's police chief has called the thefts an "emerging violent crime in the city." There have also been suggestions that cellphone thefts were up 37 per cent in Vancouver between 2010 and 2011. A stumbling block to creating a national database in Canada is the potential cost, especially since major carriers are working furiously to keep their spending in check.

The CWTA has previously warned that creating and maintaining a central database would likely cost millions - a suggestion that is widely dismissed by critics who note the industry pulls in annual wireless revenues of around $18 billion. The group cautions that a national registry would do little to deter criminals from reactivating devices in other countries. In its letter, the association notes that handset theft is "still significant" in countries like the United Kingdom and Australia, which have "the most comprehensive" theft-reduction measures. Internationally, the GSM Association has been operating a database to fight cellphone theft since 1996. That system allows global carriers to share data from their individual blacklists to prevent stolen devices from being reactivated in other markets. The problem is that registry is only used by 50 carriers in 24 countries. No major U.S. or Canadian carrier is currently connected to the database. The U.S. announced a plan in April to create an industry-funded central database to track and deactivate lost and stolen mobile phones. CWTA spokesman Marc Choma says the handset security working group will examine the U.S. model as well as other international initiatives. In the meantime, it plans to launch an industrywide public awareness campaign by late 2012 or early 2013 to urge Canadians to use passwords to protect their devices.


From http://www.totaltele.com/ 08/20/2012

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Costa Rica: Cybercrime Law Threatens Internet Freedom

Costa Rica, a country whose Constitutional Court declared access to the Internet a fundamental right, recently approved a series of reforms to the Criminal Code, creating new criminal offenses - Law 9048 - severely restricting internet freedom and causing alarm among netizens and journalists. The law was signed by President Laura Chinchilla on July 10, 2012. Andres Guadamuz (@tecnnollama), a well-known Internet scholar and Creative Commons Project Lead in Costa Rica, analyzes the law in his article "Is this the first anti-Wikileaks law?" and describes the changes it introduces: The most controversial part of the law is that it modifies the existing type of espionage to include a digital element. The old Criminal Code defined Espionage in Art. 288 as follows: "Espionage. [A person] Shall be punished with imprisonment of one to six years, if they improperly procure or obtain secret political information, or security policies concerning the means of defense or foreign relations of the State." The new law has modified the article to read: "Espionage. [A person] Shall be punished with imprisonment of one to six years, if they improperly procure or obtain secret political information, security policies concerning the means of defense or foreign relations of the State, or affects the fight against drug trafficking or organized crime. The sentence is five to ten years' imprisonment where the conduct takes place through computer manipulation, malicious software or use of information and communication technology."

This has rightly created a bit of a stink with the local press and blogosphere, as they see it as a possible affront to freedom of the press and freedom of speech. However, I think that journalists miss the real point behind the law, this is evidently an attempt to criminalise leaking information to whistle-blowing sites like Wikileaks. The law in its present form was discussed and approved in a legislative commission in 2010, at the time that Wikileaks was front page news across the world. The inclusion of this reform makes no other sense whatsoever, as it enhances existing penalties for espionage just by adding the digital element. There is no other justification that I can think of to make incarceration for leaking political information through electronic means almost twice as harsh as "analogue" leaking. The outrage and strong opinions against the law have come from different sectors of Costan Rica society, demanding a dialogue involving different sectors and the amendment of the restrictive provisions. The Knight Center for Journalism in The Americas also expressed their concerns over the law for criminalizing the revelation of political secrets. Different media sectors are now engaged in a dialogue with the government to try to eliminate any threat to the right of freedom of expression and opinion in the digital environment. The Costa Rican blogosphere is discussing in an open forum [es] whether the revelation of secrets should be criminalized and whether the approved provisions are a new gag law [es] harming freedom of expression in the country.

Activist Carolina Flores in the post "Cybercrime Law: More Questions than answers" [es] also expressed different concerns and pointed out a relevant aspect contained in the law regarding electronic impersonation: This provision will eliminate the possibility of using any form of impersonation online, such as avatars, pseudonyms and even pictures. Another provision troubling activist is the criminalization of "spreading false news", a provision which resembles legislation in Guatemala which justified the incarceration of a Twitter user for spreading rumors about a bank. Groups of journalists and experts are trying to engage in a dialogue with the authorities to modify the already approved legislation, which entry into force depends on its publication in the National Gazette. If the law is published as it is now written, any newspaper or journalist publishing classified information (as Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion did with WikiLeaks) will be prosecuted and normal online activities such as the use of nicknames will be forbidden.


From http://www.i-policy.org/ 07/21/2012

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U.S.: Security Is Fundamental to Continued Adoption of Mobile Innovations

The exploding mobility trend will continue to advance only as long as people who use the devices feel they can be trusted. That was the focus of Mobiquity CEO Scott Snyder's opening keynote at this week's AT&T Cyber Security Conference in New York. The senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business asserted that "mobile is the platform", and that the industry needs to face the reality that mobile is neither an extension of traditional computing nor a separate channel. "It's a completely different interaction model, and it's one that's controlled by the user", Snyder told the audience. He then cited data from India, which in April became the first large country to have more users accessing the web via mobile devices rather than traditional desktops and laptops. "Mobile is the way we access information", Snyder said, and he expects the milestone reached in India will soon occur in the US as well. The Wharton fellow said trends like these are significant because, in today's environment, enterprises tend not to "design for mobile" from the outset, even though "We are a mobile-first society already." "Over one billion people today access corporate networks through mobile devices", Synder noted, "and we are just at the tip of the iceberg". The Mobiquity CEO said most sensitive data resides "within the firewalls of corporations" and is now being accessed from an increasing number of mobile endpoints. It's something, he believes, that is causing major changes in the way enterprises must address security. "Security is an enabler for these cool innovations we want", he continued, adding that security will soon be part of the equation for adoption of any new technology. Synder provided three simple criteria for future digital innovations: they must provide a value or benefit to the user, they must be simple to use, and they must be trusted. Companies must rethink their innovation models, Snyder observed, because converging trends like mobile, social media, and cloud computing have radically changed the landscape. "Security cannot be an afterthought", he declared, referring to security's traditional role as an add-on solution. Traditional approaches to security - including anti-virus and blacklisting - will not be effective in a world where we fundamentally interact with technology in a different way than we did just half a decade ago. "Desktop security models will not work in a mobile environment", he concluded.


From http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/ 06/08/2012

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Understanding America's Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative

Summary: Even within the scope of defense and containment, there is at least one initiative that opens the door to offensive and espionage-related activities.

There is a world of difference between information that's unclassified (meaning available to everyone, usually through the press) and classified (meaning I could tell you, but then I'd have to have someone kill you). Recently, The New York Times crossed into classified territory by publishing a detailed back story about the Stuxnet virus, claiming deep involvement by the U.S. government and Presidents Bush and Obama. We still don't have verifiable confirmation that The Times' report is true, but the fact that members of Congress are calling for hearings into the leaking of classified information does tend to support the credibility of the Times' story. There's still a lot to discuss about the policy and strategy of the alleged Stuxnet attacks, but first I'd like to start with a discussion of where such an action might fit within the American government's stated cyberspace strategy. To that end, it will be instructive to explore the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI). This initiative was launched by the second President Bush in National Security Presidential Directive 54 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 back in January 2008. According to the White House, there are 12 mutually-reinforcing initiatives that are intended to establish a front line of defense against today's immediate threats, to defend against the full spectrum of threats, and to strengthen the future cybersecurity environment. Let's look at each of them, one-by-one.

INITIATIVE #1 - Manage the Federal Enterprise Network as a single network enterprise with Trusted Internet Connections. This is about consolidating our external access points and creating common security solutions across agencies.

INITIATIVE #2 - Deploy an intrusion detection system of sensors across the Federal enterprise. This is a passive system that watches traffic and helps notify us about unauthorized network intrusions. DHS is deploying signature-based sensors as part of the EINSTEIN-2 (PDF) capability, with notification going to US-CERT.

INITIATIVE #3 - Pursue deployment of intrusion prevention systems across the Federal enterprise. This takes it up a notch with EINSTEIN-3 (PDF) and not only detects intrusions, but actively prevents intrusions into federal systems. This will have serious zero-day and real-time counter-threat capabilities.

INITIATIVE #4 - Coordinate and redirect research and development (R&D) efforts. This initiative serves to help us get all of our R&D efforts working together, with a better communications and tasking infrastructure. It's an important part of utilizing our resources and our smartest people to the best of their abilities.

INITIATIVE #5 - Connect current cyber ops centers to enhance situational awareness. This is our key threat-data sharing initiative. The National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) within Homeland Security is helping secure U.S. Government networks and systems under this initiative by coordinating and integrating information from the various centers to provide cross-domain situational awareness, analysis, and reporting on the status of our networks. As a side-effect, it's also designed to help our various agencies play better with each other.

INITIATIVE #6 - Develop and implement a government-wide cyber counterintelligence (CI) plan. We're now coordinating activities across all Federal Agencies so we can detect, deter, and mitigate foreign-sponsored cyber intelligence threats to government and private-sector IT.

INITIATIVE #7 - Increase the security of our classified networks. Our classified networks contain our most valuable and most secret defense and warfighting information. We're continuing to work hard in securing these networks against the changing threat model.

INITIATIVE #8 - Expand cyber education. This is where the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative begins to break down, because it's where all modern cyberdefense breaks down - the people. We're training more and more cyberdefense experts, but we also need to expand that education up and down government, to corporations, and to individuals. We can have the very best-trained cyberdefense expert in a corporation, say, and it'll all break down if the CEO won't allocate the time or funds to conduct that defense. It's all about making everyone know just how real these threats are.

INITIATIVE #9 - Define and develop enduring "leap-ahead" technology, strategies, and programs. We'll talk more about future directions later, but the idea of leap-ahead is to get 5 to 10 years ahead of the bad guys and explore out-of-the-box thinking in building a better cyberdefense. This is good stuff, and it's the first CNCI initiative that, essentially, opens the door to concepts like Stuxnet (or what The Times claimed the White House called "Olympic Games").

INITIATIVE #10 - Define and develop enduring deterrence strategies and programs. Put simply, because of the wildly asymmetric nature of the threat, we can't have a mutually-assured destruction option with cyberattack, the way we do with nuclear attack. We're working on developing deterrence strategies, but we're not there yet, a fact which is sadly all too evidenced by constant level of cyberattack, breach, and threat we find ourselves experiencing.

INITIATIVE #11 - Develop a multi-pronged approach for global supply chain risk management. This area should be one of our biggest concerns. Most Americans get their computers from suppliers who use processors, motherboards, and components made outside the United States - and often in China. China, as we've seen repeatedly, is one of our most challenging "frenemies". They're clearly important to us financially, but they're also one of the leading sources of cyberattack (and, quite frankly, could be behind the one we're dealing with now). This initiative, though, isn't just about China. Our components and our supplies must be insulated from foreign influence and unapproved modification.

INITIATIVE #12 - Define the Federal role for extending cybersecurity into critical infrastructure domains. The federal government is relying more and more on private sector services. For example, the Department of Interior is about to start using Google for its email infrastructure. This initiative encourages public/private-sector cooperation to extend Federal-systems cybersecurity into the wider cyber-infrastructure. As you can see, in just this one comprehensive initiative (really a collection of initiatives), the U.S. government is mostly discussing a defense and containment strategy. That said, even within the scope of defense and containment, there is at least one initiative that opens the door to offensive and espionage-related activities.


From http://www.zdnet.com/ 06/14/2012

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Pentagon to Step Up Mobile Device Security

The US Department of Defense plans to step up security for mobile devices against the "new boundary of threat," according to part of its mobile device strategy released on Friday. The newly released strategy focuses on improving "reliable" and "secure" wireless infrastructure, mobile devices and mobile applications, said the Pentagon. As part of the mobile device strategy, the Pentagon plans to develop a wireless security architecture that "mitigates the risks of mobile device exploitation" and enable the management of mobile devices, applications and network connections to secure the interfaces between the Pentagon networks and commercial networks. The growing numbers of mobile devices expand the boundary of threat, and make them targets for traditional security risks as well as sophisticated new forms of attack, the Pentagon said in the documents. Mobile device use of third-party and commercial wireless networks and short range networks like Bluetooth introduce additional vulnerabilities, said the Pentagon. The Pentagon personnel become increasingly mobile with a wide variety of devices as well as the increasing use of social media, said Teri Takai, Pentagon's chief information officer. Takai said the challenge is ensuring the networks can "securely support the information demands" of mobile device users, allowing them to "make informed decisions in the execution of their missions." The scope of the Pentagon's mobile device user base is significant, with more than 250,000 commercial mobile devices and several thousand Apple and Android operating systems, said the Pentagon.


From http://www.globaltimes.cn/ 06/16/2012

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President Calls for Better Cybersecurity Coordination

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Thursday, July 19, President Barack Obama called for increased cooperation between government and private industry when it comes to cybersecurity and urged Congress to pass the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. If caught off-guard, the president warned, a successful computer attack on the nation's infrastructure could have devastating consequences. Obama cited recent examples of minor hacker attacks, one against a Texas water plant and another against natural-gas companies. "In a future conflict, an adversary unable to match our military supremacy on the battlefield might seek to exploit our computer vulnerabilities here at home," he wrote. "We need to make it easier for the government to share threat information so critical-infrastructure companies are better prepared. We need to make it easier for these companies - with reasonable liability protection - to share data and information with government when they're attacked. And we need to make it easier for government, if asked, to help these companies prevent and recover from attacks," he wrote. But sharing information is not enough, he wrote. Overall security needs to be improved. "Nuclear power plants must have fences and defenses to thwart a terrorist attack. Water treatment plants must test their water regularly for contaminants. Airplanes must have secure cockpit doors. We all understand the need for these kinds of physical security measures. It would be the height of irresponsibility to leave a digital backdoor wide open to our cyber adversaries." While calling for improved security, the President wrote that he would veto any bill that "lacks strong privacy and civil-liberties protections."


From http://www.govtech.com/ 07/20/2012

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Cyberattacks on Critical Infrastructure Increase 17-fold, Says NSA Chief

Cyberattacks against US critical infrastructure have increased 17-fold between 2009 and 2011, warned Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency's (NSA) US Cyber Command. On a scale of 1 to 10, US preparedness for a large-scale cyberattack is around 3, Alexander told an audience at the Aspen Security Forum, the New York Times reported. In response to a question by moderator Pete Williams of NBC News, Alexander declined to comment on whether the US government was involved in the development and deployment of the Stuxnet worm that disrupted nuclear fuel processing at an Iranian facility in 2010. Alexander urged the Senate to pass the Cybersecurity Act, which he said would give the US government new powers to defend private networks. Commenting on the general's remarks, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a sponsor of the bill, said that a "17-fold increase in the number of cyberattacks, a growing number targeted at our critical infrastructure, is a stark warning that we delay improving our defense at our own peril. Defense of our most critical networks, largely owned by the private sector, is vital to our national security and economic prosperity." In response to the New York Times story, Mike Lloyd, chief technology officer at RedSeal Networks, observed that "all infrastructure targets share a common defensive problem: too much complexity. As the attackers move to greater and greater automation, the defenders must do likewise, exhaustively testing their existing network defenses so they can find weaknesses before the attackers do."


From http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/ 07/30/2012

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Cybersecurity Tops Federal IT Priorities List

Many mandates have been heaped on federal IT executives over the past few years: cloud computing, data center consolidation, open government, shared services, and wider support for mobile devices and applications. Which of these requirements, all coming from the Office of Management and Budget, have risen to the top of agency to-do lists? Well, none of them. InformationWeek Government's third annual Federal Government IT Priorities Survey shows that federal IT pros are focused, first and foremost, on providing a secure, solid foundation for all of those other IT efforts. Security, continuity planning, and data records management - in that order - top the list of federal IT priorities. Our survey, conducted in July, was completed by 147 federal IT pros. That's not to say that those other IT initiatives aren't important; federal IT teams have their hands full with all of them. It's just that with a government-wide preoccupation with information security, and so many competing priorities, agency CIOs are putting most of their resources into establishing and maintaining a firm foundation. After all, it's hard to justify an investment in mobility projects or new collaboration tools if your firewalls have holes or your databases are offline. IT strategy decisions aren't made in a vacuum, of course. 2012 is an election year, a period when many agency leaders shift into a more cautious wait-and-see mode. And for the fourth year in a row, federal IT budgets will be flat. When funds are tight, it's hard to spend on new initiatives. The single greatest barrier to effective IT execution, according to our survey, is lack of funding, mentioned by 35% of respondents.

Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel has been encouraging agency IT leaders to "do more with less," and he points to cloud computing and shared services as ways to do that. But progress tends to be slow and incremental. Only 11% of survey respondents rated the efficiency and effectiveness of their agency's IT performance as much improved over the past 12 months. A question mark hangs over federal IT planning in the form of the Budget Control Act. If Congress fails to adopt a package of spending cuts or push out the act's deadline, automatic provisions will go into effect in January. The act would reduce federal spending by $1.2 trillion over 10 years, which would almost certainly have a significant impact on IT spending at the agency level. Some people see adoption of consumer-like IT products and services as a way around these constraints, by putting new productivity and collaboration tools into the hands of federal employees at low cost. VanRoekel is a proponent of this approach, but federal IT pros are still figuring out the best way to do it. Only 5% of survey respondents consider "bring your own device" to be an extremely important IT initiative. A major effort to reduce redundancy and increase efficiency in federal IT operations is the "shared first" strategy VanRoekel introduced in October and updated in May. It calls for agencies to share IT resources, facilities, and services. According to the OMB document outlining that strategy, a review of more than 7,000 federal IT investments found many redundancies and "billions of dollars" in potential savings. OMB wants agency CIOs to identify opportunities to consolidate redundant IT services "at all levels, in all federal sector lines of business, in all program areas, and with all IT acquisition vehicles." In our survey, shared services garnered a 3.2 rating (out of 5) on the federal IT priority list, putting it on par with business intelligence, PC and laptop upgrades, and IT automation; right below cloud computing; and just above telework systems.


From http://www.informationweek.com/ 08/13/2012

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Report: Obama Mulls Executive Order on Cybersecurity

Disappointed with the recent failure of the Cybersecurity Act to pass through Congress, President Barack Obama signaled he may invoke his power of executive order to pass similar legislation, Network World speculated. Obama has issued more than 130 executive orders during his tenure as president, frequently citing his mantra, "We can't wait." White House Press Secretary Jay Carney blamed "Republican stall tactics," and told the Hill, "Unfortunately, we will continue to be hamstrung by outdated and inadequate statutory authorities that the legislation would have fixed. Moving forward, the president is determined to do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation against today's cyberthreats and we will do that." Various cybersecurity bills meant to address potential hacker threats on critical infrastructure have made their way through Congress, but none have passed. In July, the president wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal in which he called for cooperation against potential cyberattacks. "In a future conflict, an adversary unable to match our military supremacy on the battlefield might seek to exploit our computer vulnerabilities here at home," he wrote. The president will not face many obstacles if he decides to bypass Congress, reported Network World. However, the president does not have the power to remove barriers to information sharing - which is generally considered an important part of fighting cybercrime - without the help of Congress.


From http://www.govtech.com/ 08/13/2012

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National Public Safety Network Begins to Take Shape

Last week Harris County, Texas, stood up the first 14 sites of what could one day become a nationwide broadband wireless network for public safety. The launch was a major milestone in an effort stretching back to the late 1990s, when Congress ordered the FCC to set aside 700 MHz spectrum for public safety. For many years the dream of an interoperable radio for the nation's first responders had stalled at the federal level. Twenty-one cities, counties and states got tired of waiting, said former Seattle CTO Bill Schrier. In 2010, those jurisdictions formed the Operator Advisory Committee (OAC) and formally applied to the FCC to use the bandwidth, which was granted in May 2010. According to Schrier - who led Seattle's effort and became chairman of the OAC - members began building their networks. Last week the FCC gave permission for Harris County and Charlotte, N.C., to go live - with Harris County first out of the gate. That permission came in the form of a provisional waiver, which allowed those two jurisdictions to move ahead since both projects met interoperability requirements needed for the planned national network. The national system is backed by a $7 billion congressional appropriation, which experts say is only a small fraction of the amount that will be needed to fully build out the network. This year Congress also created the First Responders' Network Authority, called FirstNet, to help make the project a reality nationwide. "But that will take years to get that done, so there's full interoperability nationwide," Schrier said.

A July 31 FCC document says permission granted to the 21 OAC member jurisidictions was conditional, and questions are being raised as to whether to allow them to continue. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration - the federal agency in which FirstNet will be housed - wants the commission "to dismiss any pending 700 MHz public safety waiver applications and to terminate existing leases in the public safety broadband spectrum." NTIA contends that continuing these deployments "jeopardizes nationwide interoperability and ultimately could increase the cost of the nationwide network." In addition, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) - which is currently holding its annual conference in Minneapolis - is "urging the commission to deny all pending waiver requests," says the FCC document, "and replace the existing waivers with STAs [Special Temporary Authority] that expire sixty days after FirstNet receives its license, with any further deployment by waiver recipients left "solely ... to the discretion of FirstNet." Charlotte and Harris County were allowed to begin operating their networks under the original FCC waiver because both projects were nearly complete. For example, the FCC document says that Charlotte received a $17 million federal grant and already "incurred all costs" of the first stage of development and halting it would require additional costs. But both Charlotte and Harris County must seek an STA from the FCC to continue operation beyond Sept. 2. The remaining 19 OAC member jurisdictions must also apply for an STA before the Sept. 2 deadline. Requests to several Harris County and Texas Department of Public Safety Officials were not returned by press time, as they were in Minneapolis for the APCO conference. Today at that conference, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank, released the names of FirstNet boardmembers.

The Vision
"The vision" said Schrier, "had always been to create a nationwide network ... for public safety, so that police officers, firefighters and EMTs - on their smartphones and tablets, would have a dedicated network for communications and data." The network would be fast [enough] to enable images and video, dedicated to public safety, and it would be immune from the dropped calls and other problems of public wireless networks. It's no secret that many police departments already are deploying applications in the field on tablet computers, laptops and smartphones. Schrier said that if someone calls 911 to report a home burglary, an officer will be dispatched by voice radio. En route the officer receives details on a smartphone, tablet or computer in the patrol car. The officer responds to the call, and afterward can write a report on the same computer and upload it to a police records management system. The new wireless broadband network, however, is much faster and enables some interesting new applications. Take, for example, an incident like a convenience store robbery. With a new wireless network for public safety, the video would be routed from the convenience store, through the police 911 dispatch center and then wirelessly out to a laptop or tablet computer that officers could see as they respond.

"They could actually see the video from inside the store, along with images and mug shots of potential suspects," Schrier explained. "So where before the networks were mostly text-based or reports-based, this one is going to be fast enough to support video and images. Furthermore, it's two-way. Police cars now have front-facing video cameras, and some police departments have officers wearing the video cameras to record interactions with suspects or citizens. Because the network is higher speed, that video can be beamed back in real time to 911 centers and police commanders. So if the officer is in trouble, they can see what's going on in real time - in the field as well." Officers could also take on-the-spot photos of suspect and upload them instantaneously for identification purposes. The FBI is developing an application that can compare that photo taken in the field with a mugshot database. "Images are megabytes in size," Schrier said, "so you need a really fast network to do it. That's the kind of network that Harris County stood up." In addition, officers could access surveillance cameras on their beats that were connected to the network. The nationwide part of the network means that applications and devices will interoperate and will work regardless of location. The FirstNet board will help develop the technical specs for the network. Schrier is enthusiastic about the network and about the "network number," assigned to the new system. "Every network in the world - including commercial networks like Verizon, AT&T or Sprint - has a network number. For the first time, we have a network number assigned for public safety. And that number is 313-100. And Houston actually came up using that network number for 14 sites. But eventually, that network number will be used by maybe millions of responders and tens of thousands of network sites across the country."


From http://www.govtech.com/ 08/20/2012

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CHINA: To Include Fingerprints in Citizens' ID

BEIJING, May 30 (Xinhua) - China will require its citizens to register their fingerprints when applying for ID cards from January 2013 in a bid to curb counterfeit ID cards and ensure faster identification, according to the Ministry of Public Security. The first version of ID cards, launched in 1985, will be prohibited from use from Jan. 1, 2013. Meanwhile, these cardholders will receive second-version ID cards by the deadline, said Vice Minister Huang Ming Wednesday at a meeting on the management of citizens' ID cards. In 2004, the country introduced the second-version card. By 2010, 1.04 billion people or 77.6 percent of China's population, had received the second version. According to Huang, citizens applying for ID cards for the first time as well as those applying for replacement cards will be required to have their fingerprints taken. And those still holding valid second-version ID cards can register their fingerprints on a voluntary basis. Urging various public security departments to include fingerprint-collecting expenses into their budgets, the ministry promised to keep the ID application fees unchanged and punish those charging in the name of recording fingerprints. The move came after the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, adopted an amendment to the Resident Identity Card Law last year to require citizens' fingerprints recorded when they apply for or change ID cards. Lawmakers hold that including fingerprints data in the ID cards will help identify people in a faster and more precise manner and will effectively curb the counterfeiting and altering of the cards.


From http://news.xinhuanet.com/ 05/30/2012

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Guangzhou Webcasts Legislative Meeting

Legislators in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong province, broadcast their recent meeting online for the first time in the city's history, highlighting the country's efforts to promote openness in government affairs. The whole process of the fourth session of the Standing Committee of the 14th Guangzhou City People's Congress, which was held on Monday, was shown to the public in the form of webcast to provide netizens with access to learn about how the city's major decisions come about at the meeting. Chen Jianhua, mayor of Guangzhou, reported on the government's work for the first half of the year and introduced a work plan for the second half during the meeting, which was webcast on the official website of the Guangzhou City People's Congress, as well as several other local websites. Chen said construction on an expansion of the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport will begin next month, adding that plans will be made to build another airport in southern Guangzhou. It was revealed at the meeting that construction on a seven-line subway network for the city has been approved by the National Reform and Development Commission. All the relevant scripts were broadcast online for the first time, arousing many netizens' interest. A netizen from Dayoo.com, a popular web portal in south China, said residents in Guangzhou learned that the government has tried its best to solve practical problems for them via the live broadcast of the meeting.

On the online message board, many netizen expressed their feelings and praised the move. However, some people thought the content of the webcast could be more sound and concrete.

"We did not hear anything about the newly-issued policy on car registration restrictions on the online broadcast," said another netizen at Dayoo.com. The city government announced on the night of June 30 that starting July it would only allow 120,000 passenger vehicles to be registered over a one-year trial period, during which only 10,000 licenses would be handed out each month. The policy has aroused heated discussion on the Internet and become one of the greatest concerns for Guangzhou residents. Anyway, it is a useful exploration to webcast government meetings in order to fulfill the public's right to know, said Zeng Dexiong, a deputy to the Guangzhou City People's Congress. "The public not only need the right to know but also need the right of freedom of speech," Zeng added. "If the mayor can communicate with us or answer our questions online after the webcast, it would be perfect," said another netizen from the Dayoo.com. Xu Ruoqing, another deputy to the Guangzhou City People's Congress, said that it was hard to spare some time for communication between government officials and the netizens when a meeting is going on, but at the sidelines of the meeting the government could try to launch some interaction with netizens to response to issues concerned by the public.

As Guangzhou City People's Congress only webcast the plenary session of the meeting, Qiu Yuhua, also a deputy, suggested that other panel sessions could be webcast to show the process of discussion on different policies to the public in order to further make government affairs known to the public. The webcast of local legislative meeting in Guangzhou serves as a reflection of the Chinese government's implementation of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, said Zhou Wei, assistant professor at the Law School of the Henan University of Economic and Law. Guo Weiqing, a politics and public affairs professor at the Guangzhou-based Sun Yat-sen University, said the webcast showed that the government had made systematic progress. Zhang Guifang, director of the Standing Committee of the Guangzhou City People's Congress, said the broadcast will help residents better understand the People's Congress system and make the government's work more transparent. The Guangzhou City People's Congress will webcast 15 such meetings this year, Zhang added.


From http://www.china.org.cn/ 08/01/2012

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SOUTH KOREA: District Implements Integrated Security Centre

Gangnam is the first district in Seoul to install CCTV cameras. In emergency situations, the CCTV for parking control can be converted into crime surveillance cameras, enhancing the district's security even further. Gangnam District Office have also introduced a feature called "intelligent image analysis" to the 30 elementary schools in the district as a proactive step to prevent and respond to crimes involving children. The Office also added other features including "smart search" with increases search efficiency for large volume image data; "cast net surveillance", enabling simultaneous observation of different peripheral areas when a case is notified; and a high-precision 3D GIS map.

"We are planning to develop the u-Gangnam City Control Centre as a focal point of a smart city by providing a variety of information for the future-oriented information age", says Ms Shin Yeon-hee, Mayor of Gangnam. - "We will use it to improve security of the residents based on such data as traffic, collected from the sensors on CCTV, and broadband. The development of various initiatives including child protector, u-facility management and u-health and welfare will be part of the ubiquitous city surveillance." The Centre has an operating personnel of 68 people which includes 47 CCTV operators, four policemen, five city control personnel and 12 maintenance staff.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 05/22/2012

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Police Arrest Two in KT Data Leak Case

Police said Sunday they have arrested two people for allegedly hacking into the network system of KT Corp., South Korea's No. 2 mobile carrier, and selling the data. A 40-year-old suspect, identified only by his family name Choi, and another were accused of leaking personal information of about 8.7 million mobile phone subscribers from February until recently, the National Police Agency's cyber terror response team said.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 07/29/2012

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Communications Watchdog Tightens Personal Data Protection

South Korean companies will be banned from collecting and using resident registration numbers, key personal information, via the Internet starting this weekend, the communications watchdog said Friday. Under the revised rules that go into effect on Saturday, companies will be given a six-month grace period to stop collecting resident registration numbers, which are used in most financial and administrative transactions online, according to the Korea Communications Commission (KCC).


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 08/17/2012

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PHILIPPINES: Cyber Warfare National Security Concern

Philippines - Saying that the consequences of cyber warfare "are no less severe or fatal compared to wars fought using more conventional means," Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has urged information security experts to help find solutions against cyber crimes and other similar technological threats. Binay issued this call during the Secure Asia 2012 cyber security conference in Tokyo where he described cyber warfare "a pressing national security concern." "In this gathering of minds, perhaps we can finally join our voices to declare cyber warfare as an offense against international peace and security, and ensure that all men can inhabit the digital world in safety, dignity and respect," he said. Binay said cyber warfare not only imperils the integrity of the systems of government and finance but also jeopardizes government secrets that each state has the right to keep. "In the wars of the past decade, and even in published current operations against terrorist threats, the role of invasive software and electronic surveillance has been heralded as both a strategic and tactical advantage of the world powers," Binay said.

"Cyber warfare, though clandestinely conducted, is no longer secret and though waged in cyberspace, its consequences are no less severe or fatal compared to wars fought using more conventional means," he said. The Vice President noted the ability of malwares to exploit the vulnerabilities of the Internet in order to cause sabotage, extract information, and even siphon money from bank accounts. He also expressed concern over how readily available the malwares are to those who are willing to pay for the code. According to him, a person can secure a copy of the software for anywhere between $300 and $15,000 depending on the customization. "Many democracies fear the illicit trade of military arms and weapons of mass destruction, but these new implements are capable of far more damage with accountability being much harder to establish," Binay said. "The rights of each man and each nation do not change simply because the arena in which a war is waged shifts from physical to virtual. These incursions, however carried out, unjustly impede the lives of citizens and their freedom to peacefully determine their own futures," he added.


From http://www.mb.com.ph/ 07/18/2012

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PH Favorite Playground for Cybercriminals

MANILA, Philippines - The country's weak cybercrime law is turning the Philippines into a favorite playground of international syndicates engaged in information technology-related scams, the Philippine National Police (PNP) revealed. On Saturday, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) discovered a new modus operandi following a raid on the office of a foreigner-owned call center hub in Mandaue City in the province of Cebu. Director Samuel Pagdilao, CIDG chief, said the 724Care Incorporated was already established to be selling counterfeit sex enhancement drugs via the internet. The problem, according to Pagdilao, is the lack of laws to strengthen the prosecution of the suspects identified as Canadian Nicolai Boutnine and his wife Amelita, Americans Joseph Dean and Steven Erickson and their local cohort Susan Fuentes.

"This operation has bared new challenges to digital forensic investigation because the evidence that will link the owner of establishment to the crime of selling counterfeit sex enhancement drugs via the internet are all stored in the virtual drive that can be accessed only with the permission of the owner of the server based abroad," said Pagdilao. Pagdilao said the operation stemmed from the complaint of international pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer about the rampant selling of anti-impotency drug Viagra through the call center firm owned by the suspects. But when agents of the CIDG Anti-Transnational and Cyber Crime Division (ATCCD) operatives raided the call center, they discovered that the computers being used in the establishment do not have hard drives or any other physical storage device that may contain evidence or web logs that will prove the selling of counterfeit Viagra in the internet. Pagdilao revealed that the 724Care, Inc. uses Cloud Computing Technology such as security and privacy enhancement applications provided by Google in storing their data virtually to prevent the tracking of documents and files in the actual sites.


From http://www.mb.com.ph/ 07/21/2012

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SINGAPORE: Especially Vulnerable to Cyber Threats

SINGAPORE: Minister of State for Defence and Education Lawrence Wong has said that as a highly-wired society, Singapore is especially vulnerable to cyber threats. Speaking at the Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp on Thursday, Mr Wong said the threats are manifested in many forms - from phishing to advanced persistent threats with the intent to steal users' private data. On a bigger scale, he noted that large-scale cyber attacks have affected entire nations, like in Estonia which had its banks and ministries affected in 2007. He added there's also growing concern that terror groups are increasingly cyber-savvy, using the Internet not just for propaganda and recruitment but also to conduct operations. Mr Wong highlighted several measures Singapore has taken to address these threats. Among them is the setting up of a National Cyber Security Centre to boost the nation's capabilities to counter security threats. The Defence Ministry is also working with the Singapore University of Technology and Design to set up a centre to do research on trustworthy computing (iTRUST). The Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp is another MINDEF initiative to generate greater interest and awareness in cyber defence.


From http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ 06/07/2012

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Increased Connectivity Pose Risks, Challenges Over Personal Data Control

SINGAPORE: Increased connectivity has brought about a slew of issues for policymakers, business and consumers, said Singapore's Minister for Information, Communications and Arts Dr Yaacob Ibrahim. "Some issues include whether we have simultaneously opened ourselves up to more sophisticated and complicated risks than before, the resilience of existing infrastructure to manage these risks; and how we should navigate an environment of connected communities," Dr Yaacob said in his opening remarks at the 8th Ministerial Forum on ICT held at Marina Bay Sands Monday. The theme for the forum is "ICT for Greater Growth". He added that while technologies spin off new opportunities to improve daily life, there is growing concern over risks and challenges such as loss of control over personal data. Dr Yaacob said governments are also adopting information and communication technologies through careful public policy planning to create investment opportunities and manpower deployment to effectively maximise the opportunities from "hyper connectivity". But he noted that the emerging opportunities also bring emerging challenges and threats such as malware, virus and worms.


From http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ 06/18/2012

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Singapore Marks Cyber Security Awareness Day

Singapore holds its second annual Cyber Security Awareness Day (CSAD) today, with nationwide talks, exhibitions and roadshows promoting the agenda. The call-to-action garnered support from over 634,000 individuals and organisations. The purpose of the CSAD, according to its website, is "to reinforce the security awareness messages and as a reminder of the threats in the cyber world". Talks have been held at public libraries throughout the city on protecting the "digital life", on securing mobile devices, and on raising digital natives for parents. Visitors to the facebook page can also take part in several quizzes that test the participants' knowledge of cyber security. Speaking at the Information Security Seminar, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, said: "Businesses and the general public could also report and seek assistance on cyber security incidents from the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team. We have also worked with various schools to implement the 'GoSafeOnline Facebook School Challenge' quiz competition for students to promote learning on various facets of infocomm security through fun and educational online games for our youths." The call-to-action requires pledgers to secure four key areas in their online activities:
¡¤ Computers: installing antivirus software and firewalls;
¡¤ Mobile devices: enabling password lock and disabling Bluetooth and Wifi when not in use;
¡¤ Wireless networks: removing unknown devices from and enabling encryption on routers; and
¡¤ Online identities: limiting personal information displayed online so as to prevent identity theft.

With its partners in government, private enterprises, trade associations and non-profit organisations, the Alliance seeks to "build a positive culture of cyber security in Singapore, and promote and enhance awareness and adoption of essential infocomm security practices", according to the CSAD website.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/11/2012

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NCPC, Microsoft Warn of Rising Phone Scams

SINGAPORE: The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and Microsoft on Thursday urged Singaporeans to be alert against IT product-related phone scams. This is in light of the recent increase in phone scams that have cheated victims out of hundreds of dollars. The Singapore Police Force's Mid-Year Crime Brief 2012 recently reported 32 cases of IT product-related phone scams in the first half of this year. Five victims were conned of some S$1,462 to scammers, each transferring amounts of between S$100 and S$800. In such cases, scammers normally pretend to be representatives of well-known IT brands, to trick victims, as products from these brands such as Microsoft are likely to be owned by most people. The recent phone scams typically unfold in the following manner:

- A scammer, claiming to be a Microsoft technical support staff or a Microsoft partner, calls up a victim and informs him/her that their computers or notebooks may be experiencing problems and are in need of a security or software update;
- The scammer may have many personal details of the victim, for example, name and home address, so as to convince the victim that he/she is a genuine representative from Microsoft;
- Once the victim is convinced that the call is genuine, the scammer would ask the victim to download and install one or more software from the Internet. The victim would be asked to provide the software user account identification codes and passwords to the scammer. In some cases, the scammer would direct the victim to a website that allows remote control of the computer; and
- Once access has been gained into the victim's computer, the scammer would remotely control or delete files to convince him/her to buy additional software by making online payments or providing their credit card details. In some cases, the scammer may gain access to confidential data within the victims' computers that can be used for illegal online transactions.

Microsoft Singapore's director of marketing and operations, John Fernandes, said: "As a rule, Microsoft does not make cold calls to its customers. Microsoft also does not call consumers or send unsolicited emails requesting for personal or financial information such as credit card details and passwords. "Microsoft treats these phone scams seriously as it may lead to a compromise of personal data and loss of money. We have been working closely with law enforcement agencies across Asia to stem these phone scams. We have found that the best deterrent is the alert and well-informed individual as phone scammers would always invent new tricks and scenarios to cheat their victims." NCPC's chairman Tan Kian Hoon said: "NCPC is glad to work with stakeholders like Microsoft to raise public awareness and reduce the number of people conned. Phone scams are one of the emerging trends in Singapore and in the first half of this year alone, the total amount of money cheated through the various types of phone scams was S$2.37 million." He added: "We would like to encourage the community to spread the message to their family, friends and colleagues to be vigilant and help prevent scammers from preying on more victims." Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

- Ignore such calls;
- Do not follow the instructions of the callers to install any software into your computer or enter any commands; and
- Do not make any payment or divulge your credit card or bank account details to the callers.

Concerned public members can contact Microsoft Singapore at 800-852-3543 if they have further queries or concerns about phone scams.
Victims of phone scams should immediately report the matter to the police at 999.


From http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ 08/16/2012

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VIETNAM: Government to Provide 150,000 Digital Signatures by 2015

Vietnam's Government Information Security Commission (GISC) announced that it would provide 150,000 digital signatures between now and 2015 to secure online transactions between state agencies and relevant authorities. A special central state authority under Ministry of National Defence, GISC is responsible to secure state confidential information and data in context of national security. It estimated that about VND 250-300 billion (US$12-14.4 million) investment would be needed to supply these digital signatures. The demand for entrusted electronic signatures (E-Signature) in state bodies has increased in recent years, said Nguyen Dang Dao, deputy head of GISC's technical department. Dao pointed out that the Ministry of Finance this year would need 9,500 E-Signatures while the Ministry of Transportation may require 30,000 ones for the need of new driving license issuance. While The GISC is the sole provider of E-Signature to state bodies and authorities, there are six local enterprises which have provided digital certificates to the market. However, the number of businesses using the method remains modest as only those that declare taxes online or make electronic customs declarations or finance transactions registered for E-Signature. According to VNPT-CA, a provider of digital signatures, over 100,000 local businesses now use E-Signatures.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/11/2012

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Local Customs in Vietnam Adopt Digital Signatures

The Department of Customs of Da Nang City in Central Vietnam has deployed e-signatures for all its customs office since the beginning of this month. Le Phuoc Nho, Deputy Head of Processing at Da Nang Customs said there are currently 13 enterprises using e-signatures for transactions with his agency. In addition, Department of Customs in Ho Chi Minh city recently organised a training course in the use of digital signatures in electronic customs procedures for more than 400 companies. Business will need to register for using digital signatures with customs authorities, working with digital signature certification service providers to register them. They also need to upgrade their e-customs software to make it compatible with the use of digital signatures. The department will use digital signatures in the case of 30 enterprises on a trial basis at its Tan Cang office starting from June 1. Then, from July 1, it will be implemented at all its remaining 11 offices. The Ministry of Finance Vietnam is also preparing a draft decree to implement provisions of the Law on Customs regarding electronic customs procedures. The decree would replace regulations applied in the electronic customs pilot programme. The draft decree would require the electronic customs declarant must use a digital signature that has been registered with the customs authorities. This decree is expected to be approved and issued in July 2012.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/13/2012

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INDIA: SEBI Board May Approve e-IPO, Safety Net Mechanism This Week

The Securities and Exchange Board of India will consider this week wide-ranging reforms in its regulations for mutual funds and initial public offers (IPOs), including a 'safety net' guarantee and tax incentives for new investors. Various proposals expected to be discussed and approved at SEBI's upcoming board meeting on August 16 also include introduction of e-IPO, which would allow investors to bid for IPO shares electronically and without any physical paperwork. According to a senior official, the key proposals for reforms in primary market include introduction of a 'safety net' guarantee for investors buying shares through IPOs. As per the proposed mechanism, a certain portion of the investment made by retail shareholders in the IPOs could be guaranteed for a fixed period, which could be for six months, even if the shares' value plunges below the IPO allotment price during this time. This 'safety net' mechanism is being considered only for the small retail investors, who would be compensated by the promoters and other entities selling shares through IPOs in the event of the company's shares plunging below a certain threshold limit within six months of listing or the time-frame set by SEBI. As per the current regulations, the companies are allowed to provide such 'safety nets' during their IPOs, but it is not mandatory for them to make such provisions and only a few companies have provided such facility for investors in the past. SEBI is of the opinion that a mandatory 'safety net' provision would also help in fair pricing of IPOs, besides providing investors some sort of capital protection guarantee. Many companies and investment bankers have come under the criticism of over-pricing of IPOs after their shares fell below the public offer price levels in several cases. It has been known that companies could be allowed to pass on the costs of 'safety net' provision to the investment bankers, who are primarily responsible for fixing the price of shares to be sold through IPOs.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 08/13/2012

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AZERBAIJAN: Adopting New Standards for Information Security

The State Committee on Standardisation, Metrology and Patents of Azerbaijan approved the new standards in the field of information technology, the State Committee said on Monday. The State Committee approved the following standards in the field of ICT:
- AZS ISO / IEC 27000-2012 Information technology - Security techniques - Information security management systems (IS);
- AZS ISO / IEC 27003-2012 Information technology - Security techniques - how to implement information security management systems;
- AZS ISO / IEC 27004-2012 Information Technology. Security methods. Management of Information Security;
- AZS ISO / IEC 27006-2012 Information Technology.. Security methods. Audit of management systems and information security requirements for bodies providing certification..
- AZS ISO / IEC 27033-1-2012 Information Security.. Security methods. Security IT-networks.
The new standards will come into force on June 20, 2012.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/11/2012

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ITU Proposes Azerbaijan to Submit Convention on Global Information Security for Discussion in UN

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) made a proposal to the Azerbaijani Government which is a member of the UN Security Council, to submit a global convention on information security for discussion in the UN, Azerbaijani Minister of Communications and IT Ali Abbasov said on Thursday, addressing the first intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation 'Estonia-Azerbaijan'. According to Abbasov, the ministry continues its joint work with the ITU in this regard. Today, such a convention - Convention on Cybercrime is valid in Europe. Azerbaijan also joined the convention. "But in this case, the ITU's proposal's question is about a global convention at a UN level," Abbasov said.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/28/2012

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AUSTRALIA: Telco Security Tightened

The Australian Government has moved to tighten telecommunications and social media security under reforms that will require telcos and ISPs to hold the telephone and internet data of every Australian for at least two years. This consumer data, to be made available to intelligence-gathering and surveillance agencies, includes increased access to sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and other consumer data. This data access is supported by reforms currently being reviewed by a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. These reforms encompass tightening Australia's telecommunications interception laws, improving telco sector security and streamlining intelligence-gathering. This committee, headed by Victorian Member of Parliament (MP), Anthony Byrne, is reviewing submissions on ways to secure Australia's telecommunications infrastructure.

"It is vital that Australian security laws keep pace with rapid developments in technology," says MP Byrne. "The committee's inquiry will give the public an opportunity to have a say in the development of new laws in the critical area of national security." An Australian Government consultation paper, "Equipping Australia Against Emerging and Evolving Threats," is being circulated for industry and community feedback. Final submissions to the committee end in August 2012. This consultation paper warns that Australia's telco legislation was enacted in the seventies. "Many of these assumptions no longer apply, creating significant challenges for agencies in using and maintaining their investigative capabilities under the Act. "In the absence of urgent reform, Australian agencies will lose the ability to effectively access telecommunications, thereby significantly diminishing the collective ability to detect, investigate and prosecute threats to security and criminal activity."

Telco reforms will ensure that "investigative tools" are not lost as telecommunications providers change their business practices and begin to delete data more regularly. Additional safeguards and privacy protections are planned. These include clarifying the roles of the Commonwealth and State Ombudsmen to oversee telecommunications interception by law-enforcement agencies. These reforms come as Australia experiences an unprecedented growth in telco and ISP services. The use of telephony, internet, mobile and voice-over-IP services has grown massively. Around 12.7 million Australians, or 69 per cent of the population, now have access to a broadband internet connection at home. Around 3.9 million Australians, or 21 per cent of the population, access the internet from their mobile phone. As at June 2011, 57 per cent of Australians were using at least three communications technologies, that is, fixed©\line telephone, mobile phone and internet.

At the end of June 2011, there were 287 fixed©\line telephone service providers, three mobile network operators, 176 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers, 33 satellite providers and 97 Internet Service Providers (only including ISPs with at least 1000 subscribers). Together they provided 29.28 million mobile services and 10.54 million fixed©\line telephone services and supported some 10.9 million internet subscribers.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/30/2012

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NEW ZEALAND: First Cyber Security Awareness Week Launched

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has announced the beginning of New Zealand's first Cybersecurity Awareness Week. The initiative, being held at the same time as Australia's Cyber Security Awareness Week, has been developed by Netsafe in partnership with the Government. The New Zealand Cybersecurity Strategy, released back in June 2011, identified raising the cybersecurity awareness of individuals and small businesses as one of its three main priority areas. "Cyber security is becoming increasingly important for New Zealanders, businesses and government. Cyber intrusions have the potential to impact on the reliability of critical infrastructure, government services, and the economy," Ms Adams says. "It's important that we make sure that New Zealanders are aware of what the dangers are and take the right precautions to protect themselves against potential cyber security threats."

Ms Adams says there are some basic things people can do to improve their cyber security. "Having a good anti-virus programme, proper password protection, ensuring that important data is backed-up, and securing wireless connections will make a big difference." According to the Minister's website, more than 2000 New Zealanders are affected by cyber crime every day in the form of computer viruses and malware, credit card fraud, online scams, phishing and identity theft. It is estimated that cybercrime cost New Zealand about $625 million in 2011. New Zealanders wishing to learn more about cybersafety are being encouraged to visit Netsafe, a website and organisation supported by New Zealand's Ministry of Education that promotes the safe and responsible use of online technologies.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/11/2012

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NEW ZEALAND: Internet Benefits from Technical Security Deployment

New Zealanders will be able to better secure their web presence from today, thanks to a major technical security deployment by InternetNZ subsidiaries .nz Registry Services (NZRS) and the Domain Name Commission (DNCL). Following more than two years of behind-the-scenes work, the DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions) protocol has been implemented across New Zealand's un-moderated second level domain space, including the widely used .co.nz. The next few months will see DNSSEC progressively adopted across all moderated second level domains, including .govt.nz. DNSSEC is a security protocol that sits atop the Domain Name System (DNS). Developed early in the history of the Internet, the DNS maps IP addresses to human readable domain names. However, the original security built into DNS was weak and hackers have developed ways to 'spoof' DNS data and redirect legitimate traffic. DNSSEC combats this vulnerability.

Domain Name Commissioner Debbie Monahan says now that DNSSEC has been deployed across the top level and open second level .nz domain space New Zealand website owners can make use of the protections it offers. "DNSSEC is akin to a driver knowing that the road sign they are looking at is pointing them in the right direction and not leading them astray," she says. "Once website owners implement DNSSEC, visitors to their site can be guaranteed they are reaching a legitimate site. This will be highly attractive for banking institutions or other organisations or individuals wanting to transact securely with their customers." Monahan describes DNSSEC as a milestone in the security of New Zealand's Domain Name System. It is one of the key building blocks to securing a web presence and an important tool in mitigating against malicious online activity involving domain names.

NZRS DNS Specialist Sebastian Castro designed and managed the implementation of DNSSEC in .nz. He says enabling DNSSEC is the first step to supporting a new set of security services and extensions such as DANE, that rely on the ability to securely authenticate and verify DNS data. "We are proud of the open process the Domain Name Commission and .nz Registry Services followed for this project, and recognise the important involvement of New Zealand's technical community. This approach sets an example to other countries regarding technical policy development and innovation," he says. Already, over 50 countries have deployed DNSSEC and adoption is expected to rapidly pick up over the next few years, both in other country code domains and amongst infrastructure and service providers. More information about DNSSEC in New Zealand is available at www.dnc.org.nz/dnssec. Included is key information on how people can set up DNSSEC on their .nz domain names.


From http://www.internetnz.net.nz/ 08/07/2012

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Cooperation Against Cybercrime

Establishing effective rules in a place everybody joins but nobody owns is a very demanding task, but rules are necessary to maximise the freedom and minimise the risks in navigating cyberspace. This is why, on 23 November 2001, the Council of Europe adopted the Budapest Convention on the fight against cybercrime. Today, the treaty still represents the only accepted international guidelines on how to protect freedom, security and human rights online. More than 120 countries are cooperating with the Council of Europe to reinforce their legislation and capacity to address cybercrime, many of them as part of the Cybercrime Convention, which has been ratified by 33 countries and signed by 14 others. Eight countries including Argentina, Australia and Senegal have been recently invited to join. The Convention has had a global impact and resulted in stronger and more harmonised cybercrime legislation worldwide, more efficient international cooperation in investigating and prosecuting Internet-based crimes and closer public-private partnerships.

Cybercrime - from illegal intrusion into computers, to the interception of private communications, denial of service attacks, identity theft and fraud, or the sexual exploitation of children - affects the rights of individuals all over the world. The Budapest Convention is a key guiding tool for governments to protect individuals. As technology evolves much faster than legal responses, there is a need to constantly address new challenges, often related to data protection issues, such as transborder law enforcement access to data and information sharing between the private and public sectors. Measures to fight online child abuse are also crucial. Insufficient or incompatible legislation in many countries is still a major obstacle to successful international prosecution of offenders. In November 2011, the Council of Europe and the Virtual Global Task Force signed a cooperation agreement to fight online child abuse and make the Internet safer for children - as part of the Interpol overall strategy. All these challenges will be discussed at the annual cybercrime conference from 6 to 8 June 2012 in Strasbourg.


From http://www.e-pic.info/ 06/07/2012

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The Internet and Mobile Phones in the Service of the Revolution

The year 2011 was irrefutably the year of protests and revolutions that began on the social networks. It is not without good reason, that the events in Egypt were dubbed "The Facebook Revolution", that social network being the source for creating and organizing the protests. Facebook was the online stage, from which the events tumbled into the streets of Egypt, and later on, to many other Middle Eastern countries and even Israel. The Internet, and especially the cellular Internet, was the central tool in creating the protest events in our region, but what do we know of their penetration into our region and of the rate of their use? To the outsider, Internet and the Middle-East seem not to go together: The Internet represents progress, technology, individual freedom and freedom of speech, equality and the lack of hierarchy and the availability of information. In contrast, the Middle East, to the observer, represents conservatism, patriarchal structures, traditionalism, the lack of individual freedoms and freedom of speech, centralism and technological restrictions. However, a deeper look shows some fascinating and surprising facts about the Internet and cellular technology in the Middle East. Because of its immediate, available and free nature, the Internet acts as a stage and a tool for expressing views and protests in centralized regimes in general and in the Middle East in particular, especially for those suppressed and silenced voices in the Arab society- voices which do not get to be expressed in the regular media and are only heard over the online stage.

The rate of penetration of the Internet into the Middle Eastern region is 33.5% (including Israel), a rate which is higher than the worldwide average (30.4%). The rate of penetration of the Internet in Israel has reached 70.4%, however also in the United Arab Emirates it has reached 69.4% and in Qatar, 66.5%. Even in closed and conservative Iran, the rate of penetration of the internet has reached an astounding 46.9%.Arabic is today the seventh most common language on the Internet. The Arab Internet has seen a 2,260% growth rate over the past decade- the region with the fastest growth in the world. The cellular arena is also seeing vast growth in the Middle East: A concrete example for this is found in a survey conducted in April this year, among two thousand smart-phone users in the Middle East. The data shows that among those who do not have such an appliance, 82% want one, 49% of those who have one are planning to upgrade it over the coming 6 months and 70% shall do so over the coming year. 95% of smart-phone owners download various applications, six of them per month, on average. 24% expressed their willingness to pay even more than 50$ for such applications. And what applications are the most popular? 73% prefer applications that will simplify their lives, 57% prefer games.

A more general look shows some more interesting information: the number of cellular lines among the 19 Arab countries increased from 274 million in 2009 to 320 million in 2010. In the United Arab Emirates, the rate of cellular penetration has reached 198%, in Saudi Arabia, 188% and in Oman, 170%.This information has its expressions also in financial terms: for instance, 53% of companies in Saudi Arabia have increased their spending on cellular advertising. These data are quite meaningful in regard to using the Internet and cellular Internet in the Middle East for creating events and reporting them. The girl Nada Sultan, who was shot by Iranian security forces during the demonstrations following the June 2009 presidential elections there, would have remained an anonymous casualty, if not for a passerby who had filmed her dying moments by use of his cell-phone and uploaded it onto the Internet immediately. She was instantaneously transformed, and YouTube along with her, into the hero of that protest. The same thing happened with the information about the death of Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi: formal reports claimed that he had been killed during a NATO bombardment of his convoy of vehicles. However, shortly afterwards, short videos were uploaded onto the Internet showing Gaddafi injured but standing on his own two feet after being captured by the rebels. These videos were filmed using the cell-phones of the rebels who had captured him. Later on, further videos, showing the first few seconds after his capture and also the beginning of his being lynched afterwards, were uploaded.

In this case, cellular-Internet uncovered the truth and solved the mystery of Gaddafi's death. The penetration of technology in general and the Internet in particular is influenced by many and varied factors, which are all controlled by the government: The use of the Internet requires human capital, having some level of fluency in computerized workspaces and Arabic (at least); monetary resources for acquiring a computer and an Internet connection; a technological and communications infrastructure. In addition, governments have sets of laws and appropriate enforcement mechanisms and even the ability to completely disable the Internet, such that any state has the ability to steer Internet usage and even completely disable it within the country's boundaries, as was done in Libya, Egypt and Syria (for varying amounts of time, from a few hours to a few months), during the "Arab Spring" of 2011. However, the Internet, including the cellular Internet which can "report live", irrefutably makes it possible to create news and expose events, and thus change reality in our region, and as we saw in Egypt, to even bring governmental change, and maybe even more democracy to the Middle East.


From http://www.guardian.co.uk/ 06/08/2012

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UN Public Service Day: S. Korea to Receive E-Govt Awards

South Korea will receive e-government awards for first place in three categories at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the 25th of June.

In the recently released E-Government Survey published by the UN, the country topped the Asian charts in e-government, shared first place with the Netherlands in "e-participation", and came out on top in the general global category for e-government. Speaking on Korea's adoption of citizen inclusion in providing "customer-oriented" e-Government services, Alexei Tikhomirov, Acting Head of The United Nations Project Office on Governance, said that "the country has excelled in providing horizontal and vertical e-Government linkages among various institutions and nodal points, creating enhanced opportunities for greater participation and social inclusiveness." The top ten places in the global e-government rankings were dominated by Europe and North America, with Singapore being the sole other Asian representative, at tenth place. Korea will receive the award as a part of the United Nations Public Service Day celebration, which will see 44 public service organisations gathered from 29 countries to participate in the United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) ceremony. The awards are meant to highlight excellence in public service and recognise the officials, organisations and countries that have been responsible for outstanding standards of public service globally. According to the official press release, the e-Government Special Award acknowledges recipients for: "establishing robust telecommunications infrastructure; investing in the development of human capital the usage of e-Government facilities; providing exceptional e-services; and making e-content available on a continuous basis." Korea will also receive awards in the areas of anti-corruption, gender mainstreaming and science and technology, on the day.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/18/2012

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Rio+20 Recognizes Essential Role of ICT and Broadband Networks as Catalyst for Sustainable Development

Geneva, 22 June 2012 - Rio+20, the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development has recognized in its outcome document the critical role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in accelerating the implementation of sustainable development commitments. The Rio+20 outcome document has been agreed by UN Member States. It defines the key principles that will guide the international community in the upcoming years to move the sustainable development agenda forward. The 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which envisions "The Future We Want", has singled out information and communication technologies (ICTs) in facilitating the flow of information between governments and the public, promoting knowledge exchange, technical cooperation and capacity building for all three pillars of sustainable development - economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. While reaffirming their commitment to the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society, Member States also stated that "information and communication technology (ICT) is facilitating the flow of information between governments and the public. In this regard, it is essential to work toward improved access to ICT, especially broadband network and services, and bridge the digital divide, recognizing the contribution of international cooperation" to enhance agriculture services and improve communication infrastructure, especially in least developed countries and small island developing states (SIDS). The need for cooperation and sharing of early warning systems from relevant organizations, and the importance of technologies for mapping, observing and sustainable development policy-making were also recognized.

"It is appropriate that Information and communication technologies have been recognized as critical instruments to achieve sustainable development by the landmark Rio+20 conference", said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Tour¨¦. "ICTs are unique, cost-effective, inclusive and environment friendly tools to spur green growth and create jobs, promote social progress, and ensure environmental protection and the sustainable future that we want." The conference invited the international community, including the UN system, to mainstream sustainable development within its programmes and initiatives, inviting all stakeholders to support developing countries to achieve sustainable development through green economy policies and calling for the strengthening of UN system-wide coherence and coordination. The agreement is the result of multi-stakeholder efforts initiated in 2011 and built on the legacy of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit). The essential role of ICTs and Broadband networks was supported by the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS), the Ministry of Communications of Brazil and a number of other government, business and civil society partners. Together, they reinforced the message that ICTs are cross-cutting drivers of sustainable development.


From http://www.itu.int/ 06/22/2012

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International Bandwidth Demand Grows 45 Percent

Data from TeleGeography's Global Bandwidth Research Service reveal that demand for international bandwidth grew 45 percent in 2011, and at a compounded rate of 57 percent annually between 2007 and 2011. Although growth has slowed since 2008, when network capacity increased nearly 70 percent, the pace remains brisk, with aggregate capacity requirements more than doubling every two years. The rate of growth varies widely by region, and has been fastest on links to less-developed regions. Between 2007 and 2011, international bandwidth usage in the Middle East grew at a compounded rate of 98 percent annually, from 148 Gbps to 2.3 Tbps. Over the same time period, Africa's international bandwidth usage increased 85 percent annually, to 677 Gbps, and Latin America's international bandwidth usage grew 71 percent, to 5.6 Tbps.

International bandwidth requirements in Asia and Europe grew at a compounded rate of more than 55 percent between 2007 and 2011, while international bandwidth demand in North America and Oceania grew 47 percent. Although international bandwidth usage growth is slower in these mature markets, their capacity requirements are far larger than those of emerging markets. North America's international bandwidth usage is nearly 10 times greater than that of the entire Middle East, while used capacity connected to Norway is greater than that connected to all of the countries in Africa. Broadband subscriber growth is the primary driver of bandwidth demand in the Middle East and Africa, where the number of subscribers grew from 9.4 million to 19.4 million between 2007 and 2011, and in Asia, where broadband subscriptions doubled to 250 million over the same period. While broadband subscriber growth has slowed in Latin America, Europe, and North America, bandwidth demand in these regions has been fueled by increases in average broadband access speeds, enabling more frequent use of high-bandwidth applications such as video.

TeleGeography's Global Bandwidth Research Service is the most authoritative source of data and analysis for long-haul networks and the undersea cable market, providing:
¡¤ Over 300 carrier network profiles and more than 250 submarine system profiles
¡¤ In-depth analysis of network operators, supply, demand, costs, and wholesale prices
¡¤ Searchable database of carrier networks and undersea cables
¡¤ Quarterly updates on network deployments, upgrades, acquisitions, and planned submarine cables


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 07/18/2012

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75% of People in the World Have Access to Mobile Phones - World Bank

About three-quarters of the world's inhabitants now have access to a mobile phone and the mobile communications story is moving to a new level, which is not so much about the phone but how it is used, says a new report released on July 17 2012 by the World Bank and infoDev, its technology entrepreneurship and innovation programme. The number of mobile subscriptions in use worldwide, both pre-paid and post-paid, has grown from fewer than a billion in 2000 to more than six billion now, of which nearly five billion in developing countries. Ownership of multiple subscriptions is becoming increasingly common, suggesting that their number will soon exceed that of the human population. According to Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile, more than 30 billion mobile applications, or "apps," were downloaded in 2011 - software that extends the capabilities of phones, for instance to become mobile wallets, navigational aids or price comparison tools. In developing countries, citizens are increasingly using mobile phones to create new livelihoods and enhance their lifestyles, while governments are using them to improve service delivery and citizen feedback mechanisms. "Mobile communications offer major opportunities to advance human and economic development - from providing basic access to health information to making cash payments, spurring job creation, and stimulating citizen involvement in democratic processes," said World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte. "The challenge now is to enable people, businesses, and governments in developing countries to develop their own locally-relevant mobile applications so they can take full advantage of these opportunities."

The new report, the third in the World Bank's series on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Development, analyses the growth and evolution of mobile telephony, and the rise of data-based services, including apps, delivered to handheld devices. The report explores the consequences for development of the emerging "app economy", especially in agriculture, health, financial services and government, and how it is changing approaches to entrepreneurship and employment. "The mobile revolution is right at the start of its growth curve: mobile devices are becoming cheaper and more powerful while networks are doubling in bandwidth roughly every 18 months and expanding into rural areas," said Tim Kelly, Lead ICT Policy Specialist at the World Bank and one of the authors of the report. The World Bank said that countries around the world are taking advantage of this potential, for example:
* In India, the state of Kerala's mGovernment program has deployed over 20 applications and facilitated more than three million interactions between the government and citizens since its launch in December 2010.
* Kenya has emerged as a leading player in mobile for development, largely due to the success of the M-PESA mobile payment ecosystem. Nairobi-based AkiraChix, for example, provides networking and training for women technologists.
* In Palestine, Souktel's JobMatch service is helping young people find jobs. College graduates using the service reported a reduction in the time spent looking for employment from an average of 12 weeks to one week or less, and an increase in wages of up to 50 per cent.

The report emphasises the role of governments in enabling mobile application development, the World Bank said. It also highlights how mobile innovation labs - shared spaces for training developers and incubating start-ups - can help bring new apps to market. For instance, infoDev, in collaboration with the government of Finland and Nokia, has established five regional mobile innovation labs (mLabs) in Armenia, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa, and Vietnam. infoDev is also using mobile social networking to bring grassroots entrepreneurs together with other stakeholders in mobile hubs (mHubs). "Most businesses based around mobile app technology are at an early stage of development, but may hold enormous employment and economic potential, similar to that of the software industry in the 1980s and 1990s. Supporting the networking and incubation of entrepreneurs is essential to ensure that such potential is tapped," said Valerie D'Costa, Program Manager of infoDev. The report benefits from research funded by the ministry for foreign affairs of Finland, the Korea Trust Fund for ICT4D, and UKaid. It features at-a-glance tables for more than 150 economies showing the latest available data and indicators for the mobile sector. It also introduces an analytical tool for examining the relevant performance indicators for each country's mobile sector, so that policy-makers can assess their capacities relative to other countries, the World Bank said.


From http://sofiaglobe.com/ 07/19/2012

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'Mobile Revolution' Changing the World

Mobile communications is "moving to a new level" according to a new World Bank report released Tuesday, July 17, with more than 3/4 of the world's population having access to a mobile phone and a fast-expanding range of uses for the technology. There are currently over 6 billion mobile subscriptions globally, up from just below 1 billion back in 2000. Out of these subscriptions (both postpaid and prepaid), 5 billion come from developing countries, the WB report said. "Mobile telephony has been one of the most quickly adopted technologies of all time," the report said. "Even more astounding, mobile networks have roughly doubled in size every two years since 2002. In early 2012 the number of mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide passed 6 billion." "Ownership of multiple subscriptions is becoming increasingly common, suggesting that their number will soon exceed that of the human population," the WB said in a press release. The report focused on maximizing mobile technologies for development, utilizing the fast-growing segment of communications for the economic and social growth particularly in developing countries. "[In] some developing countries, more people have access to a mobile phone than to clean water, a bank account, or even electricity," the WB said. It showed mobile communications statistics for 152 economies, including the Philippines. Compared to most countries, the Philippines has high access and usage statistics: an average of 101 cellphone subscriptions (both postpaid and prepaid) per 100 people; 96% of total subscriptions are prepaid; and 99% of the country is covered by a mobile-cellular network. World Bank data also showed 80% of households have access to a mobile telephone as of 2011, up from 47% in 2005. The data also showed 97% of Filipino mobile phone users use SMS, while they average 69 minutes of calls per month. The data also showed low mobile Internet usage compared to other countries. Only 23.1% of users have mobile broadband subscriptions, and only 9.8% of the population use mobile Internet.

Beyond calls and texts
The developing world is considered "more mobile," with a higher ownership rate than the developed world. However, the more important thing, the report said, is not the fast-rising number of people having access to mobile technologies, but rather the expanding use of these technologies beyond the calls and texts. "The mobile revolution is transforming livelihoods, helping to create new businesses, and changing the way we communicate," Marianne Fay, the WB's chief economist for Sustainable Development Network, was quoted as saying. One area of growth that shows this shift of mobile tech from just a means of communication is in mobile applications. The report said 30 billion mobile applications were downloaded in the past year, "extending" the capabilities of phones and making them instant mobile wallets, job hunting search assistants, navigation aids, travel tools, and even leisure devices. "The report finds that mobile applications not only empower individuals but have important cascade effects, stimulating growth, entrepreneurship, and productivity throughout the economy as a whole," the report said. Many mobile innovations also originate from the developing world, brought about by the needs of people in these areas - from banking to agriculture to even government services. The report also explored the possibilities that mobile communications now present, with its ubiquity and accessibility - from solutions for agriculture and fisheries, to health, banking, and government services, especially in the developing world.

It also cited the different roles business, people, and government play in maximizing the benefits of this field of communication. "The challenge now is to enable people, businesses, and governments in developing countries to develop their own locally-relevant mobile applications so they can take full advantage of these opportunities," said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development. "Mobile communications promise to do more than just give the developing world a voice - they unlock the genie in the phone, empowering people to make their own choices and decisions," the World Bank said. The report, "Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile" is the 3rd World Bank report on ICT for Development, funded by Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, the Korea Trust Fund for ICT4D, and UKaid. The full report can be accessed at the World Bank website, at http://www.worldbank.org/ict/ict4d2012


From http://www.i-policy.org/ 07/22/2012

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World Bank Group Announces New Focus on Using ICT for Greater Development Impact

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2012 - The World Bank Group today released its ambitious new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) strategy aimed at helping developing countries use ICT to transform delivery of basic services, drive innovations and productivity gains, and improve competitiveness. The strategy reflects rapid changes in the ICT sector over the last decade, including a dramatic increase in use of mobile phones and the Internet, plunging prices of computing and mobile internet devices, and the increasing prevalence of social media. "Information and communication technologies can help reduce poverty, boost economic growth, and improve accountability and governance," said World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte. "The World Bank Group's new strategy will help our client countries take advantage of the opportunities that ICT offers across all sectors of the economy, drawing on our unique expertise in public-private partnerships in the ICT sector."

The new strategy for 2012-2015 builds on the Bank Group's experience working with client countries on ICT sector reforms, infrastructure development, and electronic government:
¡¤Over the 2000s, Bank support for ICT sector reforms helped attract an estimated $30 billion in private investment for mobile network infrastructure in the least developed countries. The IFC's $2.3 billion in telecommunications infrastructure investments and MIGA's $550 million in political risk guarantees also supported private investment in mobile service providers in difficult and high-risk environments.
¡¤Bank Group support for ICT applications has grown rapidly over the last decade, and over 70 percent of the 1,700 projects in the Bank's active portfolio now have ICT components.
¡¤Since 2007, the Bank Group has intensified its support for public-private partnerships for broadband and high-speed Internet, helping bring down retail prices and increasing the take-up of services, in some instances by a factor of 10.

"The Strategy recognizes the vital role of the private sector in improving access to information infrastructure and services in developing countries," said Rashad-Rudolf Kaldany, IFC Vice President for Global Industries. "IFC works with the private sector as an advisor, financier, and standard setter, to help unlock the potential of ICT for development." Stakeholders from 17 low- and middle-income countries and 4 OECD countries provided inputs for the new strategy, which emphasizes the transformative potential of ICT - in areas such as accountability, energy, and health - while maintaining a steady focus on ICT-enabled innovation and ICT infrastructure. Bank Group support will be directed to three priority areas:
¡¤Transformation: Making development more open and accountable, and improving service delivery - for instance, by facilitating citizen feedback to governments and service providers.
¡¤Connectivity: Scaling up affordable access to broadband - including for women, disabled citizens, disadvantaged communities, and people living in remote and rural areas.
¡¤Innovation: Developing competitive IT-based service industries and fostering ICT innovation across the economy - with a focus on job creation, especially for women and youth.

The World Bank, IFC, and MIGA will work together to assist countries in unlocking the opportunities offered by ICT. For instance, the World Bank will provide support for appropriate policy, legal, and regulatory frameworks, as well as catalytic investment in ICT backbone infrastructure; IFC will provide financing and advisory services to mobile operators; and MIGA will provide guarantees to support the roll-out of telecommunications networks and services. "MIGA has contributed to the rapid growth of access to ICT services in emerging countries by mitigating the political risk of investments. Under the new WBG strategy, MIGA will make available its insurance capacity to further accelerate ICT investments in higher-risk countries, notably fragile and post conflict countries, where ICT will be key to growth, job creation, sharing of knowledge, and governance," said Michel Wormser, MIGA's Vice President and COO. The ICT strategy will adopt a new approach to implementation, including country diagnostics to help prioritize Bank Group interventions at the country level and leverage more partnerships with external sources of expertise. A results-based framework will be used to track progress.


From http://web.worldbank.org/ 07/25/2012

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AFRICA: Internet Society's African Peering and Interconnection Forum Provides Opportunities for Regional Internet Growth

[Washington, D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland] - The third African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF-3), organized by the Internet Society, will be held 22-24 August 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa. A multistakeholder forum, AfPIF aims to foster national and cross-border interconnection opportunities where key stakeholders, including infrastructure and service providers, Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), regulators, and policy makers can share experiences, hear from experts, and advance peering and interconnection arrangements. According to recent research, nearly all peering and interconnection agreements are forged at regional and global peering forums around the world. A unique regional forum, AfPIF facilitates discussions on infrastructure challenges, including terrestrial capacity issues, national and regional IXP development, local content development, and international peering. AfPIF provides a venue for productive technical discussions and business relationships that can be forged to augment Internet infrastructure and services in Africa. Keynotes and panel sessions will cover topics that address Africa's Internet transit deficit, including Peering Negotiations and Strategies for Operators, Peering and Transit Economics, Landlocked Countries and Cross-border Regulatory Reality, Exploring the Content Business in Africa, and Attracting Global Content via Regional IXPs. "AfPIF has established itself as a strategic event for conducting business in Africa," said Dawit Bekele, Internet Society Regional Bureau Director for Africa. "This year, we've added even more opportunities for business connections to be made and agreements to be negotiated. This conference offers an impressive array of speakers and educational programs, along with networking events to provide attendees with a venue where they have access to a wide range of regional interconnection opportunities." The Internet Society would like to recognize and thank all of the AfPIF-3 sponsors, including Platinum sponsors Liquid Telecom and SEACOM, and Connectivity sponsor Dark Fibre Africa.

Ben Roberts, CTO of Liquid Telecom
"Liquid Telecom is proud to sponsor AfPIF in Johannesburg. The event has come to Southern Africa at the right time. With high speed cross border fibre connections (like Liquid Telecom's fibre project) linking South Africa to its neighbouring countries, the visions discussed at these AfPIF events are becoming a reality."

Mark Simpson, CEO of SEACOM
"With SEACOM's commitment to building the African Internet, we feel very strongly about the values that the AfPIF events represent. Bringing the operational community together to collectively work toward improving the Internet experience in Africa through peering, AfPIF embodies the very principles that SEACOM hold dear to its heart, and we are proud to be associated with, as well as contribute to, the success of this meeting."

Gustav Smit, CEO of Dark Fibre Africa (DFA)
"As South African's leading open access dark fibre infrastructure provider, DFA is privileged to be sponsoring the fibre infrastructure for the event. We are excited to showcase the capabilities and speed of fibre. DFA has already laid in excess of 6 200 kilometres of infrastructure across South Africa and is open to all licensed players on equal terms. Our expenditure plan is in excess of R3.5-billion. Any service provider, licensed to do so by ICASA, may rent fibres from DFA for their own transmission and backbone infrastructure purposes." The full list of AfPIF-3 sponsors, along with the programme and information about the speakers and panelists can be found at http://www.internetsociety.org/afpif-2012/overview.


From http://www.internetsociety.org/ 08/13/2012

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Angola Among ICT Fastest Growing Countries

Luanda - Angola is part of the world fastest information and communication technology (ICT) countries in recent years, said Monday in Luanda, the chairperson of the board of directors of the National Institute of Communications (Inacom), Pedro Mendes de Carvalho. The manager was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Technological Courses at Technological Institute of Telecommunications Training Centre (ITEL), in representation of minister of Telecommunications and Information Technologies, Jos¨¦ Carvalho da Rocha. According to Pedro Mendes de Carvalho, the professional courses run by the centre will benefit all actors and institutions involved in the sector. In his intervention, the official presented the country's agenda in the field of ICTs, approved in November 2001. The Technological Training Centre is a structure funded by the Chinese company "Huawei" and comprises eight class rooms, laboratory and with a capacity to accommodate 200 trainees.


From http://www.portalangop.co.ao/ 07/23/2012

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ARAB STATES: GCC Leads in E-readiness - UN Report

The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) leads the world in e-Readiness, mainly due to increasing digital literacy, particularly in Qatar and the UAE, according to UN e-Government survey. The survey is carried out every two years and takes stock of how countries around the world are progressing towards achieving true e-Government status. This year's report found many have put in place e-government initiatives including the acceleration of the adoption of ICT across the public sector in order to deliver more efficient, more transparent, more inclusive and more sustainable government to all citizens. Countries that lead the index and those that have moved up have moved beyond basic e-Services to integrated systems that link different institutions and departments offering a single point of contact to the public. This is where Gulf countries shine, according to the survey. "Although the UN 2012 survey shows that no country has a single sign on integrated portal, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar are among the 10 closest to such a feat," comments Jamil Ezzo, director general of the ICDL GCC Foundation, which is the sole body to implement and disseminate the programme across the GCC and Iraq with the support of leading educational institutions and accredited bodies. Finding that the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia also appear in the top 25 leaders of emerging countries in e-Government development, ranking 8th, 16th and 21st respectively, he said this proved the seriousness of the e-Government agenda across the Gulf region. The report highlighted other notable achievements of Gulf states in the survey as compared to 2010. The UAE was highly visible as it advanced 21 positions in the global rankings to take 28th place as compared to 2010 and fifth in Asia.

Qatar moved 14 positions up to 48th place, Saudi Arabia by 17 places to 41 and Oman by 18 places to 64, while Bahrain and Kuwait did not make considerable progress, according to the report. In fact, the rapid progress made by the UAE is cited as best practice case of how effective e-Government can lead economic and social development. With double the population and three quarters of the GDP (gross domestic product) per capita, the UAE has achieved around the same level of online services as those offered in Norway, a global leader in eighth position. Digital literacy is one of the key indicators used by the UN report to measure a country's progress in e-Readiness, it said, highlighting that over 150,000 people from the Gulf region had enrolled on its programmes, a marked improvement over the preceding two-year period. Observing that women enrolments rose 7%, youth by 12% and senior citizens by 1.5%, the report said these improvements had been due to the ongoing funding and support from private and public sector partnerships. "The region as a whole demonstrated substantial improvement in participation in digital literacy particularly in the UAE and Qatar with a 6.1% and 4.5% rise respectively," it said. The UAE government has been a driving force in expanding its services online and closing the digital divide, as well as embracing the knowledge economy, the report said. However, it is not alone in this regard. Saudi Arabia achieved a best practice case through the introduction of its e-Dashboard portal, which verifies the identity of the citizen and serves as a single sign on portal. There is the Hukoomi initiative from the Qatar government, a technology gateway that brings together government services and programmes that are accessible through the Internet but also mobile devices.


From http://www.gulf-times.com/ 07/31/2012

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ASIA: APEC Ministers - Promoting Inclusive, Secure ICT Development to Build More Prosperous Digital Economies

APEC Ministers today called for increased cooperation between members and other key stakeholders to promote widespread access and secure use of information and communications technology (ICT) to further drive economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region. A roadmap for achieving this was articulated in the St Petersburg Declaration adopted at the conclusion of their meeting here on Wednesday. Ministers urged the APEC Telecommunications and Information Working Group, tasked with spearheading this effort as part of APEC's 2010-2015 Telecommunications Strategic Action Plan, to focus on the following areas:
¡ñ Developing ICT to promote new growth
¡ñ Enhancing socio-economic activities through the use of ICT
¡ñ Promoting a safe and trusted ICT environment
¡ñ Promoting regional economic integration
¡ñ Strengthening cooperation in the ICT sector

Information technologies are critical to boosting economic growth in today's 21st global economy noted Nikolay Nikiforov, Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation who chaired the ministerial meeting. "Year by year, we witness an increase in globalization and in the influence of information and communications technologies on world economic development," Nikiforov said. "These technologies can decrease transaction costs related to the search and exchange of information and provide additional capacities for economic growth." APEC Ministers agreed that widespread access and use of ICT remains the crucial driver for further integration in the APEC region and is closely related to bridging the digital divide and the provision of broadband which can improve trade opportunities and supply-chains. This increases the importance of public and private sector coordination to promote network integrity and resilience and create stronger, more secure ICT infrastructure, they concurred. "ICT development, access and use is fundamental to linking APEC economies and markets closer together," said APEC Secretariat Executive Director, Ambassador Muhamad Noor. "Focusing on promoting safer and more trusted ICT environments and strengthening cooperation in the ICT sector are central to this discussion within APEC." The forward implementation of APEC's Telecommunications Strategic Action Plan includes the promotion of concrete initiatives the can improve cyber security and ICT proficiency to achieve members' shared ICT objectives. "Ensuring universally accessible ICT infrastructure and services will not only contribute to bridging the digital divide, but will also help extend social and economic prosperity to all, thereby contributing significantly to inclusive growth," Noor said. The results of the 9th APEC Telecommunications and Information Ministerial Meeting will be reported during the 2012 APEC Leaders' Meeting in Vladivostok on 8-9 September.


From http://www.apec.org/ 08/08/2012

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Boost ICT to Drive New Growth - APEC

Ministers from the Asia-Pacific on Wednesday called for stronger regional cooperation in promoting widespread access and secure use of information and communications technology (ICT) to further drive economic growth in the region. Widespread access and use of the ICT remains a crucial driver for further integration in the Asia-Pacific region, and will help bridge the digital divide, increase trade opportunities and improve supply chains, according to a roadmap included in the St. Petersburg Declaration adopted at the end of a ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. To that end, the ministers urged the APEC Telecommunications and Information Working Group to focus on developing the ICT, enhancing socio-economic activities through the ICT, promoting a safe and trusted ICT environment, and strengthening cooperation in the ICT sector. The working group is tasked with spearheading this effort as part of APEC's 2010-2015 Telecommunications Strategic Action Plan, which is designed to generate concrete initiatives that can improve cyber security to achieve members' shared ICT objectives. Information technologies are crucial to boosting economic growth in the 21st century's global economy, said Nikolay Nikiforov, minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of Russia, who chaired the 9th APEC Telecommunications and Information Ministerial Meeting. "Year by year, we witness an increase in globalization and in the influence of information and communications technologies on world economic development," Nikiforov said. "These technologies can decrease transaction costs related to the search and exchange of information and provide additional capacities for economic growth," Nikiforov said. The results of the ministerial meeting will be submitted to the 2012 APEC Leaders' Meeting in Vladivostok on Sept. 8-9.


From http://manilatimes.net/ 08/13/2012

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EUROPE: Latvia to Invest LVL 22 Mln in Broadband Development

The Latvian Ministry of Communications plans to invest LVL 22 million in the development of broadband services by 2020, reports Db.lv citing GARM Technologies, a member of the Latvian Internet Association. Around 2,000km of fibre network and 200-300 access nodes will be deployed under the project. The association supports the project, as it will help ISPs bring more services to end-users.


From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 07/19/2012

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LATIN AMERICA: Cuba Govt Says Intranet, Mobile Phone Use on the Rise

The number of Cubans linked to the country's state-controlled intranet jumped by nearly 40 percent in 2011 compared to the previous year and mobile phone use rose 30 percent, Reuters reports, citing government data. However, Cuba's population remained largely cut off from unfettered access to the internet. Cuba's National Statistics Office said the number of internet users reached 2.6 million last year, up from 1.8 million in 2010, although almost all were likely on the local intranet through government-run computer clubs, schools and offices. Cuba reports intranet use as Internet use even though access to the Internet is banned without government permission. According to government data, the number of mobile phone users increased to 1.3 million in 2011, up from 1 million in 2010. Cubans do not have internet connectivity on their phones. The report further shows that there were 783,000 personal computers in the country, or 70 per 1,000 residents, though around 50 percent of those were in state hands. Cuba also has around one million fixed telephone lines. The country has a total telephone density of just 22.3 percent.


From http://www.telecompaper.com/ 06/15/2012

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NORTH AMERICA: U.S. - 10 Big Predictions About Big Data

Will humanity find new and innovative ways to analyze, visualize, and extract value from massive and growing data sets, or will we become overwhelmed by information that's simply too abundant to manage effectively? These are just a few of the questions the Pew Internet Center's Internet & American Life Project and Elon University asked more than 1,000 Internet "experts," including educators, business executives, pundits, scientists, and other tech industry observers. "The Future of Big Data" survey posed a series of thought-provoking questions centered on one main theme: How will Big Data influence our lives in 2020? The issue concerns government leaders as well. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced in March the Big Data Research and Development Initiative, a plan by six federal agencies to spend more than $200 million to develop new tools to access, structure, and pull meaning from massive volumes of data. With as murky a term as "Big Data" is, it's no surprise the responses to the Pew survey were varied. Optimists and pessimists offered their thoughts on the state of data analysis within a decade. We've posted some of the more thought-provoking responses below. Respondents were free to agree or disagree with each statement, and explain why. The full set of survey predictions is available here. Pew survey statement: "By 2020, the use of Big Data will improve our understanding of ourselves and the world." Sean Mead, director of analytics at Mead, Mead & Clark, Interbrand, believes Big Data may be the next tech boom: "Large, publicly available data sets, easier tools, wider distribution of analytics skills, and early stage artificial intelligence software will lead to a burst of economic activity and increased productivity comparable to that of the Internet and PC revolutions of the mid to late 1990s."

"Big Data is the new oil," wrote Bryan Trogdon, an entrepreneur and user-experience professional. "The companies, governments, and organizations that are able to mine this resource will have an enormous advantage over those that don't." Survey statement: "Nowcasting, real-time data analysis, and pattern recognition will surely get better." Google chief economist Hal Varian agrees that real-time forecasting has a bright future: "I'm a big believer in nowcasting," he wrote. "Nearly every large company has a real-time data warehouse and has more timely data on the economy than our government agencies. In the next decade we will see a public/private partnership that allows the government to take advantage of some of these private-sector data stores. This is likely to lead to a better informed, more pro-active fiscal and monetary policy." Survey statement: "The good of Big Data will outweigh the bad. User innovation could lead the way, with "do-it-yourself analytics." Marjory S. Blumenthal, associate provost at Georgetown University and adjunct staff officer at RAND, sees the pros and cons of advancements in data analysis tools and techniques. "Do-it-yourself analytics will help more people analyze and forecast than ever before. This will have a variety of societal benefits and further innovation. It will also contribute to new kinds of crime," Blumenthal wrote. Survey statement: "In the end, humans just won't be able to keep up." Jeff Eisenach, managing director of Navigant Economics LLC, a consulting business, and formerly a senior policy expert with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, agrees: "Big Data will not be so big. Most data will remain proprietary, or reside in incompatible formats and inaccessible databases where it cannot be used in 'real time.'"

Survey statement: "Take off the rose-colored glasses: Big Data has the potential for significant negative impacts that may be impossible to avoid." Marcia Richards Suelzer, senior analyst at Wolters Kluwer, sees potential risks in real-time data analysis: "We can now make catastrophic miscalculations in nanoseconds and broadcast them universally. We have lost the balance inherent in 'lag time.'" [ What are the key issues when it comes to Big Data? Read Oracle Big Data Study Shows Longtime Pain. ] Some respondents feared the motives of governments and corporations, organizations with the most data and the greatest incentive to exploit it. John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, wrote: "The world is too complicated to be usefully encompassed in such an undifferentiated Big Idea. Whose 'Big Data' are we talking about? Wall Street, Google, the NSA? I am small, so generally I do not like Big." And an anonymous survey respondent offered this bleak, Orwellian view of Big Data's future: "Data aggregation is growing today for two main purposes: National security apparatus and ever-more-focused marketing (including political) databases. Neither of these are intended for the benefit of individual network users but rather look at users as either potential terrorists or as buyers of goods and services."

Survey statement: "The rich will profit from Big Data and the poor will not." "The collection of information is going to benefit the rich, at the expense of the poor," wrote Brian Harvey, a lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley. "I suppose that for a few people that counts as a positive outcome, but your two choices should have been 'will mostly benefit the rich' or 'will mostly benefit the poor,' rather than 'good for society' and 'bad for society.' ... And yes, I know about farmers in Africa using their cell phones to track prices for produce in the big cities. That's great, but it's not enough." Some respondents offered a more comprehensive view of the future of Big Data. Jerry Michalski, founder and president of Sociate and consultant for the Institute for the Future, pointed out Big Data's potential to feed humanity's dark side: "So the best-intentioned of humans will try to use Big Data to solve Big Problems, but are unlikely to do well at it. Big Ideas have driven innumerable bad decisions over time. Think of the Domino Theory, Eugenics, and racial superiority theories - even Survival of the Fittest. These all have led us into mess after mess." And it's bright side: "There are a few bright spots on the horizon. When crowds of people work openly with one another around real data, they can make real progress. See Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap, CureTogether, PatientsLikeMe, and many other projects that weren't possible pre-Internet. We need small groups empowered by Big Data, then coordinating with other small groups everywhere to find what works pragmatically."


From http://www.informationweek.com/ 07/23/2012

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From Developing the World to Developing the Web, and Back Around Again

My career in international development began almost by accident when I heard my undergrad sociology professor talk about the Peace Corps. I had just returned from my first visit to Latin America and was strongly impacted by the poverty and difficult living conditions. I was hell bent on joining the Peace Corps and returning to the region, which I ended up doing in 1989 when I moved to rural Guatemala to serve as a health nutrition extensionist. In 2000, after five years of supporting international development programs in the region and at the peak of the first dot com wave, I made a career transition into the world of web development. I thought I wanted to become a hardcore programmer, so I dug in and studied everything from HTML to the fundamentals of object-oriented programming. I ended up working with two different Fortune 500 companies where I put these skills to use, but I soon realized that I was a bit too extroverted to sit in a cubicle and program eight hours a day. I decided to pursue opportunities that allowed me to take advantage of my project management skills and ended up at Sprint Nextel, working on their Hispanic web presence, where I was able to combine my Spanish language skills, project management experience and my web skills and learn a great deal about culturally-relevant communications and how Latinos in the U.S. and Latin Americans are using digital technologies. In early 2008, I decided it was time to be a bit more adventurous, so I teamed up with my husband to build our own company with a focus on online communications and technology. Now I am working on international development initiatives again, this time with a focus on using communications and innovative technologies to improve lives. Over the past four years, I have worked on a variety of projects that use technology, online communications and new media to promote health, private sector development, social inclusion, trade, gender, democracy and economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean. Whether it is a mobile app, a GIS data visualization tool, or a custom web platform to help governments better connect and respond to citizen demands, I have discovered an infinite world of possibilities to do what I love, and help others in the process.


From http://www.fcc.gov/ 08/06/2012

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CHINA: Select Cities to Pilot 4G by Year End

China will invest heavily to develop its own 4G technology which will go on trial in selected cities by the end of this year, industry officials said during Asia's major telecommunications expo yesterday. China Mobile, the world's biggest telco, plans to make huge investment in building pilot 4G networks in 13 cities nationwide by the end of 2012. The telco will build a total of 20,000 base stations that will run on the home-developed 4G technology known as TD-LTE in the cities, which include Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen, Xi Guohua, China Mobile's chairman, said at the event. "We face great pressure on network capacity, and the network upgrade will reduce the pressure," Xi said, adding that total data consumption by its users has surged 150 percent annually on average. More than 200 firms, including NTT DoCoMo, MasterCard and NEC, are attending the Mobile Asia Expo, which displays the latest telecom products and services such as mobile wallet and wireless medical devices. China has identified the TD-LTE as a national strategic industry to develop and 4G is five to 10 times faster than the current 3G network. But Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said the industry still needs more investment in chips and software. The global mobile user base will grow to 9.1 billion by 2015 from about 6 billion now, and "significant investment" from mobile operators can be expected. Firms in Asia, where the majority of new users come from, may invest a total of US$793 billion, said Franco Bernabe, chairman and CEO of GSMA, a major global mobile communications industry alliance. Held in Shanghai for the first time, the expo runs until tomorrow at the Shanghai New International Expo Center.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 06/21/2012

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Smart Phone Makers to Roll Out 4G Models Next Year

MORE than 10 handset models that support home-grown 4G technology will debut next year and more than 100 4G models are expected to be seen on the domestic market in 2014, including brands of ZTE, Huawei and perhaps iPhone, China Mobile said today. All these models will support China's TD-LTE (time-division long-term evolution) technology, a 4G standard adopted by China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile carrier with more than 700 million users. China Mobile is now testing its 4G network in 13 cities including Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai ahead of next year's 4G service launch. Lack of enough 4G handset models is the biggest bottleneck in promoting the next-generation mobile network which runs at speeds 10 to 20 times faster than the current 3G network. ZTE will unveil a TD-LTE phone by the end of this year, featuring a 4.3-inch screen and a dual-core chip, according to the Shenzhen-based company. Apple also plans to roll out a TD-LTE-compatible iPhone but no details are available, said Li Zhengmao, China Mobile's vice president.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 07/05/2012

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Mobile Web User Base Tops PC Surfers

THE user base of mobile Internet has surpassed that of personal computer users for the first time in China, the world's No. 1 dot-com market by Internet population, a national-level Internet research organization said yesterday. By the end of June, the number of China's netizens is said to have reached 538 million with a penetration rate of 39.3 percent, 1.6 percentage points more compared to the level at the end of last year, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. Mobile users like surfing online for features, including video and social blogging services like Weibo, a twitter-like service. "Increasing smartphone capabilities, combined with declining cellphone prices, are making the Internet increasingly available, even catering to less tech-savvy users," CNNIC said in a statement. Around 388 million of the netizens are mobile phone users, exceeding the number of desktop computer users. By the end of June, the number of users watching videos online will have increased by around 25 million and the number of microbloggers will have risen by 5.3 percent, the fastest rate of increase of any mobile phone application. Internet protocol version six (iPv6), the newest revision of the dominant communications protocol for most Internet traffic, has seen a significant growth in China, ranking the country in the top 3, CNNIC reported. The IPv6 represents the next generation development of Internet, which will improve network speed and increase Internet protocol address resources, analysts said.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 07/20/2012

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iPad Takes Over 70 Pct of China's Tablet PC Sales

BEIJING, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) - The iPad's market share in China's tablet PC sector climbed to over 72.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012, according to a report released Monday by market researcher Analysys International. The figure marked a 20.06-percent increase from the first quarter of 2012, said the report. Behind the iPad, the tablet PC from Lenovo Group, the world's second-biggest PC maker, held about 8.38 percent of the market share. Meanwhile, Samsung's tablet PC saw a 7.69-percent year-on-year decrease in its market share, which stood at 3.59 percent in the second quarter of 2012.Apple Inc. launched the new generation of iPad in the Chinese market in March, but consumers were unable to buy them until the second quarter, said Li Yanyan, an analyst with Analysys International. Besides, the price cut for the iPad 2 also encouraged purchases, she said.


From http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/ 08/08/2012

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China Mobile Taps iFlytek to Challenge Apple's Siri

CHINA Mobile plans to acquire or invest in iFlytek, a voice assistant tool often regarded as China's Siri services, the world's biggest mobile carrier said today. The carrier's latest move aimed at fighting against the new iPhone and iOS system which will integrate Siri services with Chinese language in future, industry insiders said. Anhui USTC iFLytek Co, which halted trading today for an upcoming strategic investment announcement, declined to make comments. The iFlytek products are widely used in Android devices, which help users to search and react on mobile phones through people's voice requests. At present, smaller rivals China Unicom and China Telecom are official iPhone distribution partners with Apple, which erodes China Mobile's profit and market share. Apple said in June that it would launch new iOS which features Siri for Chinese language in the summer. In the second quarter, net profit of China Mobile was unchanged at 34.4 billion yuan (US$5.4 billion) compared with a year earlier, the carrier said today. Second-quarter profit was projected by analysts at 35.6 billion yuan, according to the Bloomberg. Revenue rose 5.4 percent to 139.1 billion yuan in the quarter, according to China Mobile.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 08/16/2012

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City Vows to Invest More in R&D, Tech Innovation

SHANGHAI will invest more in research & development and technology innovation, including establishing a city-level industrial research organization, providing more support policies and developing strategic industries, so as to upgrade the local economic structure, top government officials said at a conference yesterday. Shanghai is one of the leading cities on R&D and innovation nationwide, said Wang Zhigang, vice minister of the Ministry of Science. "But it will face challenges if we don't speed up (new measures of innovation)," added Yu Zhengsheng, Shanghai's Party secretary. Compared with other cities, Shanghai still lacks top technology companies with a high level of influence or revenue, such as firms with an annual income of more than 100 billion yuan (US$15.71 billion). Top names such as Sina.com and 360buy.com are based in Beijing while Shenzhen in Guangdong Province boasts Huawei, ZTE and Tencent. In 2011, Shanghai's total R&D spending reached 59.77 billion yuan, up 24 percent year on year. It accounted for 3.1 percent of the city's total gross domestic product, said Mayor Han Zheng. To speed up innovation, Shanghai plans to establish a city-level industrial research arm, which will become a new innovation platform for technology sharing and communications among local firms, and research organizations. Meanwhile, the city has set up several funds and actively encouraged bank loans for high-tech startups and research projects of state-owned firms, which will help the city to transform itself from being oriented toward service to leaning on high-tech industries by 2015.The city's strategic industries, from new-energy car, next-generation network, to Internet and mobile payment, generated a total output of 1.02 trillion yuan in 2011, up 12.2 percent.


From http://www.shanghaidaily.com/ 08/16/2012

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JAPAN: Awards for Central Memorial Ceremony of FY2012 "Radio Day and Info-Communications Promotion Month"

As part of the 62nd "Radio Day" (June 1, 2012) and the FY2012 "Info-Communications Promotion Month" (May 15 to June 15, 2012), the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) will give awards to individuals and organizations that have contributed to the development of information and communications, commend persons who are expected to have a bright future in creative activities in the field of digital contents, and present letters of appreciation to parties concerned of the full digitalization of terrestrial TV broadcasting. The outline is described below. The Central memorial Ceremony of FY2012 "Radio Day and Info-Communications Promotion Month" will be held on June 1 (Fri), 2012, 11:00AM (plan) at Imperial Hotel Tokyo (1-1-1 Uchisaiwai-cho, Chiyoda-ku) and the following awards and letters of appreciation will be presented.

1.Radio Day Ministrial Commendations
5 individuals
3 organizations

2.Info-Communications Promotion Month Ministrial Commendations
5 individuals
4 organizations

3.Presentation of letters of appreciation to parties concerned of the full digitalization of terrestrial TV broadcasting
4 individuals
4 organizations

4.Regional Digital Contents Ministrial Incentive Awards
3 contents

5.Others
On the day of the ceremony, Mr. Katsuaki Watanabe (Advisor to Toyota Motor Corporation.), Vice Chairman of the Japan Business Federation and Chairman of the Council for Info-Communications Promotion Month, will present awards to individuals and organizations that have contributed to the development of information and communications along with the "Info-Communications Promotion Month" Award by the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications.

(Reference)
・Radio Day
"Radio Day" was established to commemorate the liberalization of radio wave use from being a government-exclusive tool to one that could be used by all citizens, by virtue of the enactment in 1950 of the Radio Act, the Broadcast Act and the Act for Establishment of the Radio Regulatory Commission. The Radio Day has served for raising awareness on knowledge concerning radio wave use and disseminating it to citizens across all social strata and contributed to the development of radio wave use.
・ Info-Communications Promotion Month
"Info-Communications Promotion Month" was established with the objective of promoting and diffusing telecommunications with the telecommunications system reforms of 1985. During the Info-Communications Promotion Month, various telecommunications-related events are carried out in all parts of the country, seeking cooperation and understanding from a wide range of citizens with regard to the realization of a prosperous life through telecommunications.
・ Full digitalization of terrestrial TV broadcasting
After digital broadcasting has started in the three wide spheres (Kanto, Chukyo and Kinki) on December 1, 2003, terrestrial TV broadcasting has gradually expanded its service areas. The analogue broadcasting has ended on July 24, 2011 in 44 prefectures excluding Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures that were heavily damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and on March 31, 2012 also in those three prefectures, and the full digitalization has been realized.

Promotion of local digital contents
Each Regional Bureau of Telecommunications has implemented contests for digital contents from the past with the objective of providing places for presenting digital contents works and developing human resources such as future producers. The incentive award will be given to persons who have produced excellent works presented in those contests and who are expected to have a bright future in creative activities. It is called "local," because information is transmitted from local communities and there are many digital contents works related to local communities.


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 06/01/2012

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Results of Public Appeal for Research & Development Subjects for FY2012 Related to "Strategic Information and Communications R&D Promotion Programme (SCOPE)"

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has adopted 68 proposals in the public appeal for R&D subjects for FY2012 related to SCOPE. The MIC held the public appeal for proposals on R&D subjects for FY2012 related to "Strategic Information and Communications R&D Promotion Programme (SCOPE)" from December 26 (Mon), 2011 to February 3 (Fri), 2012. In response to the public appeal, 214 proposals were submitted and an external assessment on them was implemented. The MIC adopted 68 proposals based on its results, and they are officially announced herein.


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 06/27/2012

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SOUTH KOREA: High-Speed Wireless Internet Penetration Tops 100 Pct

South Korea's high-speed wireless Internet penetration rate has topped the 100 percent mark for the first time among member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a report showed Sunday. The penetration rate of high-speed wireless Internet service in South Korea amounted to 100.6 percent as of the end of last year, the highest among the 34 members of the Paris-based club of advanced economies, according to the OECD report.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 07/22/2012

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Science Panel Seeks Larger Budget for Space Program, R&D

South Korea's presidential panel on science and technology said Thursday it will request a 3.4 percent increase in its 2013 budget for research and development (R&D) with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the national space program. The National Science and Technology Commission is requesting a little over 11.05 trillion won (US$9.77 billion) to be earmarked for 395 research and development programs next year, compared with 10.68 trillion won for the 2012 fiscal year.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 08/02/2012

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Global LTE Subscribers to Top 50 mln This Year: Report

Global subscription to the fourth-generation long-term evolution (LTE) network is likely to surge more than five-fold to reach some 50 million this year from last year's 9 million, a report showed Monday. The increase is likely to be fueled by gains in the Asia-Pacific region, with subscriptions in the region expected to claim 53 percent of this year's total figure, according to the report by U.S.-based marketing research firm Parks Associates.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 08/06/2012

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Scientists Develop Fast Recharging Material for Lithium-ion Batteries

A group of South Korean scientists has developed a new material for a secondary or rechargeable battery that can be fully recharged in just a matter of minutes, the science ministry said Monday. The development of such a battery could significantly raise the popularity of electric vehicles whose lithium-ion batteries currently take hours to recharge, according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 08/13/2012

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SINGAPORE: Stepping Up Geospatial Capacity Building

Singapore Land Authority pushed another step forward increasing the awareness and the use of geospatial technology by yesterday awarding the winners of the annual Spatial Challenge Awards 2012. The Spatial Challenge Awards have been organised annually since 2008, and are part of the SLA's initiatives to encourage the creative use of GeoSpatial Information and Technology in schools, as well as to equip young students with the relevant competencies and skills in order to build the country's geospatial capacity. "SLA and the Ministry of Education (MOE) are exploring the development of a web-based application for A-level Geography students. SLA is also formulating a Geospatial Competency Framework in consultation with academic, industry and public agency partners." said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Law Sim Ann. Supported by the Ministry of Education, the competition starts in March each year, with training sessions for both teachers and students conducted by SLA and Esri Singapore as the main sponsor.

There are 33 teams of students from 18 institutions taking part in this year's challenge and having spent six months of hard work, The winner in the Pre-University GIS Analysis category is Team Geogability from Catholic Junior College. The runners-up are Team Space Invaders from Hwa Chong Institution (College Section) and Team Nanyang Geographers from Nanyang Junior College. For Tertiary GIS Analysis category, the winner is Team GeoTrio from National Institute of Education, and the runners-up are Team 117570 from National University of Singapore and Team GTMS from National Institute of Education. The winner in the Tertiary GIS Application category is Team Edify from Nanyang Polytechnic, followed by Team Mapwork from Singapore Management University and Team Razzle Dazzle from SIM University. The Spatial Challenge competition was firstly introduced in 2008 with the aim of increasing the awareness of geospatial technology among students and encouraging the innovative use of GIT in schools. It is supported by the Ministry of Education. Each year, the competition starts in March, with training sessions for both teachers and students conducted by SLA and Esri Singapore, the main sponsor and the world's leading GIS software company.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 07/28/2012

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Jakarta Most Active Twitter City, S'pore No. 11: Study

Jakarta Post/ANN - Jakarta Twitter accounts more active than London and Tokyo, while Indonesia is country with fifth largest number of accounts. A recent study conducted by Paris-based social media consultant Semiocast reported that Jakartans were the most active Twitter users and posted 2 percent of the 10.6 billion tweets worldwide.

Semiocast revealed its study on Monday and said that Jakarta Twitter users surpassed London and Tokyo, which were listed respectively as the second and the third most active Twitter city. In the results of the study, which can be publicly accessed through www.semiocast.com, Bandung was named as the 6th most active Twitter city, higher than Paris, Osaka and Istanbul. Globally, Semiocast reported that Twitter had reached the half billion accounts in June 2012, including more than 140 million in the US alone. New York was the most active Twitter city in the US, followed by Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. User-base growth is slowing in Japan and Korea but increasing in Arab-spoken countries. Riyadh already ranks in the 10th most active Twitter city. Indonesia has nearly 30 million Twitter users, 5th biggest country after the US, Brazil, Japan and the UK.


From http://www.thejakartapost.com/ 08/01/2012

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THAILAND: Boost Seen from Switch to Digital TV

Transformation could inject Bt40 bn through supply chain investments. The coming transformation from analog to digital terrestrial television broadcasting led by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) is estimated to boost the economy by more than Bt40 billion in the related supply chain, a forum was told. To mark the 12th anniversary of Thailand's first 24-hour news station, Nation Broadcasting Corporation's Nation Channel yesterday held a business forum called "Nation Channel: Digital Media Landscape 2012", where media experts and professionals gathered. The event aimed to promote understanding of the coming developments in the broadcasting and telecommunication industries after the NBTC implements all of its regulations. Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC's broadcasting committee, said the regulations governing licences for digital terrestrial broadcasting must be completed by this year. Four types of licences will be issued, for providers for infrastructure, networks, content and application services.

Natee said the watchdog planned to grant its first licence for infrastructure providers by August, while operating licences for network and content providers would be auctioned next year. Prapat Rathlertkarn, deputy secretary-general of the Thai Electrical, Electronics and Telecommunication Industries Association (TETA), estimated that entering the digital-TV era would drive the economy from new business, valued at more than Bt40 billion, during this transformation, estimated to take about five to six years after the implementation of broadcasting regulations. An infrastructure provider needs to invest at least Bt10 billion in broadcasting towers and facilities, replacing existing analog equipment. Meanwhile producers will also focus on creating more quality TV programmes to fill the new digital channels, which will increase as much as tenfold thanks to the advantages of digital technology. Prapat projected that this process would create more jobs into the industry and generate new business, worth about Bt10 billion. Prapat added that manufacturers of digital-compatible TV sets and set-top boxes would also benefit. It is estimated that this manufacturing sector will be boosted by more than Bt20 billion in investment.

However, though it is believed this transformation can open more doors for the industry, media enterprises are concerned about some uncertainties. Ekachai Phakdurong, vice president for corporate affairs at Thaicom, which is interested in bidding for licences for infrastructure development and for operating digital TV channels, suggested that the NBTC must ensure a balance between cross-media ownership and fair competition, because many major players want to take part in this process. Sudharma Yoonaidharma, dean of the school of law and chairman of the Academy of Enterprises and Public Policy and Regulation, said that though the NBTC has responsibility over broadcasting rules and regulations, it should stay away from censorship of content. It should promote self-regulation among content producers instead. To help small and medium-sized media enterprises survive during the transformation, Amonphat Chomrat, managing director at television production firm Next Step, suggested that the NBTC conduct specific rating measurements for quality content producers.


From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/ 06/23/2012

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VIETNAM: Conducting Comprehensive Assessment of Govt Websites

On 25 May, Workshop on Information Security Policies towards Developing of E-Governance was hosted by Vietnam Information Security Association (VNISA) and Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT), to implement Prime Minister's Instruction and the Guidelines of Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) on the protection of websites. Speaking at the workshop as opening keynote, Dr Nguyen Minh Hong (pictured), Vice Minister, MIC stressed the importance of e-government development in Vietnamese public sector agencies, and highlighted information security as the primary concern. According to Dr Nguyen, most Vietnamese government websites currently simply provide information. They are not associated with level-3 or 4 public services; level 3 is a two-way interaction (such as filling in electronic forms) between the citizen and the government, while level 4 is a full-fledged transaction (full electronic case handling) with no need for other formal in-person procedure.

Dr Vu Quoc Khanh, Director General, VNCERT said at the workshop that the budget for information security solutions just accounts for a small proportion of the agencies' total budget for the information technology application program. As for state agencies, 29 per cent of them plan to spend 10 to 15 per cent of the budget on information security solutions, while the average spend is 19 per cent for the whole country. A survey of VNCERT has found out that 53 per cent of units which have information security systems cannot record attack behavior. He demonstrated this fact through an analogy: though more than 50 per cent of Vietnamese websites have houses, and their homes have been equipped with locks, the owners of the houses would not know if their houses had been burgled, because they are not informed by the system. Computer viruses cause Vietnam "time damage" worth VND559 billion (US$26.7 million) every month, according to a new report issued by local Internet security firm Bkav in December 2011. This vendor also pointed out that there were 6.9 million computers affected by malware in April 2012.

Khanh also believes that most Vietnamese websites have many holes, and that if an attack is carried out, it would be very difficult to continue with the operations of the whole system. However, as for unimportant websites which do not need heavy investment, the administrators would be able to recover the system in a short period of time. Meanwhile, very important websites which must be online 24/7 all have information security measures already. The Vietnam Information Security Association carried out an assessment of 100 websites of government agencies (.gov.vn), and found that 80 per cent of websites do not apply safeguards such as intrusion prevention systems. It has also estimated that 78 per cent of the websites are vulnerable to attack at any time. Major General Dr. Nguyen Viet The, former Head of the Informatics Agency under the Ministry of Public Security, has identified that network security would continue to be a burning problem in 2012, and may even lead to large-scale cyber-warfare.


From http://www.futuregov.asia/ 06/06/2012

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INDIA: Workshop on 'e-Governance & Electronic Service Delivery' Conducted at Chandigarh

The Governance Reforms Department conducted a Workshop on 'E-Governance & Electronic Service Delivery' with an aim to create better coordination amongst all departments of Punjab Government. B. Purushartha, Special Secretary cum Director, Governance Reforms said that the workshop was organized subsequent to the meeting of Deputy Chief Minister, Minister-In-Charge of Governance Reforms, held on 30-May-2011 wherein it was decided that all Citizen services should be delivered in an integrated manner through Single Window Centers and every Department needs to be sensitized to lay focus on implementation of ongoing e-Governance initiatives in Punjab including mission mode projects under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of Government of India for efficient delivery of citizen services. He futher said that workshop was also aimed at addressing the challenges being faced by departments in providing time-bound citizen services keeping in view the recent implementation of Punjab Right To Service Act 2011. Purushartha emphasized regarding need to form Project e-Governance Mission Team (PeMT) for every Department for undertaking various e-Governance initiatives. He further said that Departments must focus on backend automation of Government processes by transforming workflows so that services can be delivered to Citizens in a hassle free, transparent and time-bound manner. State e-Governance Mission Team (SeMT) shared informative presentations followed by interactive sessions on Integrated Delivery Framework of Services, Formation of PeMTs, National e-Governance Plan, Transformation of Government Process Workflows and Impact Assessments of various eGovernance initiatives.


From http://egov.eletsonline.com/ 08/10/2012

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AZERBAIJAN: Cloud Technology to Be Widely Used

Cloud technologies will be widely used in Azerbaijan in the future, IDC manager for Central Asia & Azerbaijan Andrey Beklemishev told reporters on Thursday. He said today the world is moving toward cloud technologies as they allow significant cost savings and help to centralise the IT infrastructure. Cloud technologies are widely applied in the public sector. For example, in Kazakhstan, where it was decided to abandon the IT infrastructure of each agency, centralising it into one state cloud, in order that civil servants can work by a 'thin client' principle and all information is in a cloud environment. It is a very large project which will take time," Beklemishev said. Experts believe that cloud technology provides mobility and changes the IT market acting as a driver. Beklemisheva said mobile devices aren't only today's "window" to the Internet, but also keep up with cloud technology. "Mobile solutions and cloud environments are now used for the e-services of state departments. It is happening all over the world and it will also happen in Azerbaijan. In turn, this trend will pull the other as the IT market and market iron out. "But in general we will observe an increase in market share of IT services and a reduction in the proportion of hardware in a percentage rather than absolute volumes. People will spend more on services than on the hardware, "he said.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/14/2012

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Azerbaijan to Invest $342 Million in Broadband Internet

The development of broadband Internet in Azerbaijan is the most ambitious task set before the country's Communications and IT Ministry, minister Ali Abbasov said at a meeting held jointly with the ruling New Azerbaijan Party on Tuesday. He said by late 2012 it is planned to expand optic communication lines and bringing fibre optics to the end user. A similar project is now being implemented in Turkey where it is planned to spend $35 billion for its implementation. Azerbaijan is also implementing a similar project, where there are plans to spend $342 million by 2015, Abbasov said. He said the project is considered sufficiently profitable and in future it will allow a return on investments.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/19/2012

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Investment in Azerbaijan's ICT Projected at $3-4 Bln

Income of Azerbaijan's information and communication technology sector will reach $14 billion by 2022, Azerbaijani Communication and Information Technology Minister Ali Abbasov said on Tuesday, speaking at a conference in Baku, organised jointly with the ruling New Azerbaijan party. The minister said the figure will reach about $10 billion in 2020. Increasing income will also positively affect the growth share of ICT income in the country's GDP. "If following 2011, the ICT share in the GDP was 2.5 per cent, by 2020 this figure is planned to be brought to 10 per cent. The IT share in Azerbaijan's production sphere following last year was 9.5 per cent. This will be increased to 25 per cent," Abbasov said. He said one of the most important issues in ICT development is investment. According to the ministry's data for the last year, the volume of investment in Azerbaijan's ICT amounted to $415 million. This figure according to the ministry's forecast is planned to be brought to $800 million by 2020. The volume of the country's information security market in the coming eight to10 years is estimated at $1 billion, Abbasov said. In general, according to the minister, investment of the private sector (both local and foreign investors) in Azerbaijan's ICT in the coming 10 years will amount to $3-4 billion.


From http://en.trend.az/ 06/19/2012

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Revenues of ICT Sector Increases by Almost 20 Per Cent in Azerbaijan

Revenues in information and communication technologies in the information and the postal sector amounted to 673.74 million manat, which is 19 per cent more compared to the same period last year, chief of staff at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan Vidadi Zeynalov said on Friday. In particular, ICT increased by 19.2 per cent (in the telecommunications sector - 20.5 per cent), in the postal sector - 9.3 per cent and in the information sector - 21.9 per cent. The share of the sector in GDP amounted to 1.74 percent in non-oil GDP - 3.7 per cent. Some 65.4 per cent of revenue from the telecommunications sector fell to the share of mobile operators. Real growth in the mobile sector in the first half of the year amounted to 15.9 per cent. Associations and enterprises under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology had revenues of 180 million manat, increasing by 14.3 per cent compared to the same period. These structures paid 20.2 million manat to the state budget in the first half of the year. Some 72.9 million manat was invested during the reporting period whilst bringing the communication system of the country to international standards and the introduction of modern technologies which is 18.7 per cent more compared to the first half of last year. In total 178.3 million manat, which amounts to four per cent of the total investment in the country was invested in the sector during the first half of the year.


From http://en.trend.az/ 07/20/2012

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TURKMENISTAN: To Host International Telecoms & IT Conference

The 6th Turkmenistan International Telecommunications & IT Conference 2012 will be held in Ashgabat on Sept.17-18. The organisers of the event are the Communication Ministry of Turkmenistan, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan and Summit Trade Events Ltd. Trend Agency is a media partner of the event. According to the conferecne's official website, the event will highlight the investment opportunities in the development of Turkmenistan's telecommunication, broadcasting and and IT sectors. According to Comminication Minister of Turkmenistan Bairamgeldi Ovezov, TurkmenTEL 2012 will provide a platform for strengthening regional and global cooperation in the ICT sector and provide telecomminication community the opportunity to meet and discuss issues key to the successful development of communication and information technologies, to exchange know-how, to determinbe cooperation and investment opportunities. Among the speakesr at the conference are the representatives of such companies, as Siemens Enterprise, Cisco Systems, Eastwind, MTS MITAS Telecom Systems.


From http://en.trend.az/ 08/17/2012

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AUSTRALIA: A World Leader in Combating Spam, Says ACMA

The ACMA has hailed the latest report from Sophos' international spam-relay rankings as confirmation of the success of its spam prevention and punishment strategies. The Sophos report showed that Australia had gone from being 25th in the ranks of spam-sourcing nations in September 2011 to 52nd in the most recent quarter, accounting for only 0.26 percent of the global spam volume. The top 10 spam relaying nations, accounting for just over half the total were: India, 11.4%; Italy 7.0%; South Korea 6.7%; USA 6.2%; Vietnam 5.8%; Brazil 4.4%; Pakistan 3.7%; China 3.2%; France 3.1%; Russia 2.9%. ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, said: "With the ACMA's record in penalising scammers and getting businesses to avoid spamming, as well as our world class Australian Internet Security Initiative, we are streets ahead of many other parts of the world. "In 2011/12 the ACMA saw a sixfold increase in spam reports. This massive increase tells us that our awareness activities have worked."

According to the ACMA, in the last financial year, 4200 informal warnings were given by the ACMA to businesses about potential breaches of Australia's spam laws. In addition, following formal investigations, seven formal warnings were given and three enforceable undertakings accepted. The ACMA's e-marketing blog, which encourages businesses to strive for best practice in e-marketing, was also launched. The AISI reported a daily average of 22,500 compromises of end users computers to 127 ISPs that between them represent 98 percent of addresses on the Australian internet. "These reports help ISPs and universities to protect their networks and their users from infections that generate scam emails, the theft of personal information and the launch of attacks on websites," the ACMA said.


From http://www.itwire.com/ 07/24/2012

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Cloud over Certification for Cloud Computing Vendors to Clear by 2014

AUSTRALIA is poised to become one of the first countries in the world to introduce a certification process for cloud computing vendors - a plan that could come to fruition in 2014. The groundwork is being prepared by the National Standing Committee for Cloud Computing, a body established by public policy network Global Access Partners and chaired by Keith Besgrove, who is the first assistant secretary of the digital economy services division for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.


From The Australian 08/14/2012

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NEW ZEALAND: Ranked in Top Ten for Wireless Uptake

An OECD report has ranked New Zealand in the top ten out of 34 member countries for the proportion of wireless broadband subscribers per capita. Within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) area, total wireless broadband subscriptions grew from 590 million in June 2011 to 667 million by December 2011. Korea topped the list, with 100.6 per 100 inhabitants subscribed to wireless, according to the OECD Broadband Portal report released today. New Zealand placed 9th, with 67.5 subscribers per 100 inhabitants. This compared to Sweden (2nd) with 98 subscribers per 100 and Australia (8th) with 74.4 per 100. The OECD average was 54.3. New Zealand's placing was encouraging and the report makes for good reading, said Paul Brislen, head of the Telecommunications Users' Association of NZ (TUANZ).

"We're doing really well. We've broken through the OECD average for the number of people connecting. We were in the bottom three countries consistently for a long time." In total, New Zealand had 2,946,260 subscribers to wireless broadband at the end of last year. Most of these were people connecting to mobile broadband. Brislen said New Zealand was finally starting to see some real competition in the market, enabling users to sign up to wireless more easily. "We've spent a lot of time in the last 10 years regulating the mobile industry and I think the benefits of that are starting to come through." Wireless broadband technologies include mobile, satellite, and terrestrial fixed wireless. Orcon's communications manager Quentin Reade said the wireless figures certainly reflected what the company was seeing. "Smartphone and tablet use is skyrocketing, and people are increasingly connecting to the internet wherever they go. We are a very internet-savvy nation, which loves the internet, and want access to the web at all times. It's become integral to the way that many of us live our lives."

The OECD report also looked at fixed broadband uptake, comprising connection through DSL, cable or Fibre/LAN. New Zealand ranked in 17th place with 26.9 fixed broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants. That was behind the UK (8th), the US (15th), and Japan (16th), but ahead of Australia (21st). Around 86 per cent of New Zealand homes now have broadband, Reade said. "We suspect this is near saturation point, but it will be interesting to see what happens as the Ultra Fast Broadband rollout progresses and services such as pay TV move to the internet. We believe we'll see the number of connections increase slightly over coming years." Switzerland topped the rankings for fixed broadband, with 39.9 subscribers per 100 inhabitants, followed by the Netherlands (39.1) and Denmark (37.9). The OECD average was 25.6. Orcon predicts that by the end of 2019, 1.2 million Kiwi premises will have access to fibre and 28 per cent of these will be completed by July 2013. A recent report from TrueNet into the nationwide broadband market showed Telecom offered the fastest web-browsing speeds over copper internet lines. Vodafone led the market in this area from December to May.


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/ 07/19/2012

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Finalists Announced in 2012 Australia and NZ Internet Awards

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) is pleased to announce that eleven New Zealand-based organisations have been selected as finalists in the 2012 Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards (the ANZIAs). Run by InternetNZ and the .au Domain Administration, the ANZIAs are an annual Trans-Tasman showcase - recognising those who have made significant contributions to the development and use of the Internet in New Zealand and Australia. This year, an unprecedented amount of entries were received across the six Award categories. Following a short-listing process, the field has been narrowed to 32 finalists from across New Zealand and Australia. The judging panel - consisting of subject matter experts from both countries - will now convene to decide on the category winners. These will be announced at a gala dinner in Canberra on 10 October, 2012.

The finalists in the 2012 ANZIAs are:

Diversity category
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association
Cultural Infusion
Hika Group Ltd (NZ)
LatinHub
Te Ipukarea - The National Maori Language Institute, AUT University (NZ)
Te Potiki National Trust (NZ)

Information category
Futureye Pty Ltd
GNS Science (NZ)
Land Information New Zealand (NZ)
Ministry for Primary Industries (NZ)
OurSay
West Australian Museum

Innovation category
Australasian Legal Information Institute
Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Futureye Pty Ltd
National Library of Australia
Payload Ltd (NZ)
Service Seeking Pty Ltd

Internet Access & Digital Skills category
2020 Communications Trust (NZ)
Vision 2020 Australia
Media Access Australia
Sonokids Australia
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From http://www.internetawards.co.nz/ 08/14/2012

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PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Info 'Super Highway' Launched

PUBLIC Enterprises Minister Sir Mekere Morauta says the launch of the K5.6 million information "super highway" in Lae last night should serve as an example of how the incoming government should do business. He said when launching the project at the Lae International Hotel that the government clearly had the tools to provide critical national infrastructure and affordable, reliable and efficient services, and more so when the Sovereign Wealth Fund was in place. The "super highway" will provide the link to allow the expansion of high-speed internet, data and voice services to private and corporate customers across the nation. It fills in what is known as the "missing link" in PNG's telecommunications system between Lae and Madang, where the international submarine cable comes ashore. Sir Mekere said the activation of this cable was part of a transformation of the social and economic landscape of PNG - the telecommunications revolution.

"The take-up of mobile phones and internet services since then has revolutionised our personal and business interactions," he said. "Our relationship with the rest of the world and to each other will never be the same owing to our new and broad-based ease of access to knowledge and ideas, to money and resources, to new organisations and interest groups, to different cultures. The telecommunications revolution, most visible in the form of mobile phone towers, is spreading into some of the most remote parts of the country." Sir Mekere said revamping the national telecommunications network would make a significant contribution to national economic development and to improved delivery of services, especially to rural and remote areas. "The National Transmission Network (NTN) is essentially an integrated fibre optics, satellite and microwave network to be controlled by a new company called DataCo, which was recently set up as part of the NTN plan," Sir Mekere said. "DataCo will own and operate the network as a wholesale provider of telecommunications."

It will consist of:
# Telikom's existing domestic microwave, satellite and fibre optics network, with the international gateways (Port Moresby and Lae) and optical fibre submarine cable international links;
# PNG Power's fibre optics ground wire throughout PNG (to which Madang link is part) and;
# The government's interest in a 750km optical fibre cable being built to support the PNG LNG project.

"Other elements will include upgrades of existing telecommunications infrastructure and investment in new infrastructure," Sir Mekere said. "A feasibility study into how DataCo will manage the system has already begun. DataCo will be required to meet community service obligations, for which a policy is being developed, and funding may be needed to cover the CSO-driven extension of telecommunications services into areas of the country that may not be profitable. I am hopeful that the incoming government will see the benefit of providing some of the total K500 million required through the Sovereign Wealth Fund, through a funding cell created to recapitalise and rehabilitate SOEs, a concept I developed and recommended to the government with exactly this sort of application in mind."


From http://www.thenational.com.pg/ 07/20/2012

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