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Global Policy Weekly – January 12, 2012

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.


Iran: new ID regulations for Internet users; national intranet to launch in February
Iranian government officials announced new regulations this week that will require Internet cafe owners to collect and store customer information including a user’s name, his or her father’s name, contact information, and national ID number. According to WSJ, “The Iranian judiciary announced last week that any calls to boycott elections, delivered on social-networking sites or by email, would be considered crimes against national security.” By February, the government will have launched its national intranet, which reports hold will eventually take the place of the global Internet, which will be shutdown in Iran once the intranet is fully functional.

Spain: US pushed Spanish lawmakers to pass the “SOPA of Spain”
Under Spain’s new Sinde Law, which was enacted on December 30, 2011, copyright holders can file infringement claims with a government commission that will identify and hold responsible the infringing party, but can go as far as to block the website where the infringing content was posted. El Pais reports that Spanish officials received considerable pressure to pass the law from the Office of the US Trade Representative, which had threatened to return Spain to a ‘priority watch’ list of intellectual property rights violators.


South Korea may overhaul resident registration number ID system
Korean legislators are working to repeal a law passed in 2007, requiring that websites with over 100,000 users collect the names and resident registration numbers of their users. Resident registration numbers can be used to track personal information ranging from credit card numbers to one’s blood type. The policy has led to a series of massive data breaches, causing anger among citizens, and moving legislators to reconsider the merits of the law.

EU: 2012 Priorities for European Data Protection Supervisor
A press release from the office of European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx identifies four major priorities for 2012: the revision of the EU data protection framework; technological developments in the digital agenda; IP rights and the Internet; and continued development in the area of freedom, security and justice, and financial sector reform.

The COE Consultative Committee held a meeting on the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, from November 29-December 1 in Strasbourg. The report from the meeting is available here.


Argentina: National ID system to incorporate biometric data
Argentina’s Federal System of Biometric Identification, created by decree in December by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, will allow authorities to cross-reference biometric data, mainly digitized fingerprints and photographs, with the country’s national ID system. The decree authorized federal law enforcement authorities to employ facial recognition technologies when searching the national ID database, in order to more easily identify suspected offenders appearing in photographs or surveillance camera footage. The EFF has joined Fundación Vía Libre, an Argentine NGO, in a campaign against this new policy.


The OECD has created an Observatory of Public Sector Innovation, which “aims to systematically collect, categorise, analyse and share innovative practices from across the public sector, via an online interactive database.”  Information about this project is available here.

COE in 2012
More in-depth look at the COE’s 2012-2013 Programme and Budget: The Programme and Budget introduces a new program under the Rule of Law pillar called “Information Society and Internet Governance.”  “The standard-setting work of the Council of Europe in this field focuses on freedom of expression, the right to receive and impart information regardless of frontiers, and its corollary freedom of the media, a pre-requisite for democracy as enshrined in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).” This program will also focus on data protection issues, and will develop the COE’s strategy for Internet governance for 2012-2015.


The fifth and sixth editions of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) will be organized prior to the 2012 and 2013 IGFs. (The report from the 2011 EuroDIG meeting is available here.)