European Union lawmakers are ramping up efforts to more aggressively regulate European cloud computing. While these efforts could make computing more complicated for businesses and individuals, lawmakers believe they are necessary to protect the privacy of European users from spying by the US and other foreign nations.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced via Twitter that the Brazilian government will develop a secure e-mail system in order to protect its internal communications from foreign spying. The announcement is part of a notable recent trend among countries and global organizations trying to undermine US management and control of the Internet. Rousseff has been a vocal critic of US web surveillance in the wake of recent revelations regarding US spying. Brazil has also been named as the host for next year’s Internet Governance Summit.
At this year’s Internet Governance Summit in Montevideo, Uruguay, the directors of the major organizations responsible for developing and administering Internet standards and resources—ICANN, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board, the World Wide Web Consortium, and all five of the regional Internet Address registries—moved to break from US dominance of Internet governance. The group released a statement that called for “accelerating the globalization of ICANN and IANA functions, towards an environment in which all stakeholders, including all government, participate on an equal footing.”
Earlier this month, Freedom House released its annual report on global Internet freedom: Freedom of the Net 2013: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media. The report, which looks at 60 countries, found Internet freedom to be on the decline, citing an increasing number of laws controlling Internet content and more aggressive efforts by governments to arrest social media users and online activists. The report also found, however, that Internet activists are becoming better organized and better able to resist efforts toward further regulation. Iceland ranked highest among countries surveyed in terms of Internet freedom (followed by Estonia, Germany, the US, and Australia), while Iran, Cuba, and China ranked at the bottom among countries deemed “not free.”
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