Global Policy Weekly - November 18, 2011
CDT's Global Policy Weekly highlights the latest Internet policy developments and proposals from around the world, compiled by CDT's Global Internet Freedom Project. Subscribe to Global Policy Weekly by clicking the RSS icon on the right.
W3C: Earlier this week, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released its First Public Working Draft of two documents that will standardize the operation and meaning of a "Do Not Track" setting for web browsers (and other user agents). The drafts are in very preliminary shape at this point. One of the two documents defines the technical implementation around the "Do Not Track" instruction, the second defines what the instruction should mean. You can read CDT's proposal that attempts to scope what the phrase “do not track” (DNT) should and should not communicate here.
China: China has amended a 2003 law to limit how communications service providers, financial institutions, and others can share information gleaned from national ID cards. Draft guidelines suggest that restrictions on the sharing of other types of information may be coming. More information can be found here.
APEC: At this week's APEC meeting in Hawaii, APEC foreign ministers endorsed the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules, the principle of interoperability for national and regional privacy regimes, and the main documents of the APEC Data Privacy Pathfinder.
SECURITY & SURVEILLANCE
Europe: The European Commission has adopted new rules for airports that use full body scanners. Minimum conditions for airports that use the scanners include: "security scanners shall not store, retain, copy, print or retrieve images; any unauthorised access and use of the image is prohibited and shall be prevented; the human reviewer analysing the image shall be in a separate location and the image shall not be linked to the screened person and others."
FREE EXPRESSION & INTERNET OPENNESS
China: China has posted new regulations that limit how news media can use Internet-based sources. These regulations come as the Chinese government continues its months-long "anti-rumor" campaign. The regulations can be found here (Chinese)
Sri Lanka: On November 5, the The Sri Lankan Media Ministry announced that news websites (domestic or foreign) with "any content relating to Syria" must register with the government. The next day, four leading news websites were blocked by local ISPs. How websites are supposed to register themselves remains unclear. The new registration requirement followed accusations by the ministry's secretary that certain websites were defaming government officials.
Canada and Syria: The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto has released a report with findings that Canadian-based web servers are hosting the websites of some Syrian government ministries, of a Syrian TV station, and of the Hezbullah media arm Al-Manar, entities that are all subject to Canadian sanctions. The report points out that legal questions are raised by these services' hosting of these websites.