20 Feb - 2 Mar, Ho Chi Minh City


2-3 Mar, Ho Chi Minh City

6 Mar, Makati

7 Mar, Makati

6-10 Mar, Bangkok

6-10 Mar, Nay Pyi Taw

10 Mar, Singapore

11-16 Mar, Copenhagen

20-23 Mar, Bali

21-22 Mar, Bangkok

22-24 Mar, Jakarta

26-31 Mar, Chicago

29-30 Mar, Singapore

29-30 Mar, Kabul

ISOC Digital Accessibility Workshop
31 Mar, Colombo


3-7 Apr, Bangkok

3-7 Apr, Perth

3-7 Apr, Rarotonga

18-19 Apr, Dhaka

25-27 Apr, Nadi


2-3 May, Bangkok

3-4 May, Bangkok

3-4 May, Kuala Lumpur

10-12 May, Phnom Penh

15-18 May, Hyderabad

Online Privacy Workshop
17-18 May, Port Vila

22-24 May, Yogyakarta

23-25 May, Singapore


12-16 Jun, Geneva

28 Jun - 1 Jul, Shanghai


16-21 Jul, Prague 

22-26 Jul, Bangkok

26-29 Jul, Bangkok

26-28 Jul, Fukushima


7-8 Sep, Melbourne

7-14 Sep, Taichung

25-28 Sep, Busan

25-29 Sep, Hong Kong

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APAC Connections

This is a monthly e-newsletter published by the Internet Society's Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau. It has updates on the Bureau's activities and features insights on the transforming Internet landscape in and around the Asia-Pacific region.

If you like our e-newsletter, you can share it by clicking on the social media links above. 
Editorial: Mapping Online Child Protection in the Asia-Pacific - A New Report
Photo of two children on the computer laughing
Photo credit: sasint

A growing number of children are using the Internet. Many are starting at a young age, using a variety of devices, and spending more time online. This general trend holds true in the Asia-Pacific region, which is home to 60% of the world's youth population, and nation states are being confronted with a tangle of issues triggered by children's increased exposure to cyberspace.

There is no doubt that the Internet brings opportunities for children's education, self-expression and social development, but it is also no secret that the online environment has opened up a new avenue where abuse and exploitation of minors can happen.

The risks that young Internet users may encounter online includes inappropriate, or potentially dangerous and illegal content, such as websites that promote self-harm and hate speech. It may also stem from: (a) their conduct, or the way they use the Internet, such as the content they create or personal information that they intentionally or unwittingly share with others and; (b) their interactions in social media networks or chat rooms that may make them susceptible to online grooming or meeting up with potentially abusive strangers.

In the latter part of 2016, the Internet Society Asia-Pacific Bureau, with Google's support, launched a three-month fellowship programme with South Korean postgraduate student, Jee Eun Choi. The outcome of the programme is a draft report mapping legislation and policies on online child protection in the Asia-Pacific, and the different actors involved in tackling this issue. The study, which will soon be published, selected 15 countries in the region based on the ease of obtaining data and information on initiatives that address online child safety.

In summary, the research found that more and more countries in the Asia-Pacific are working to protect children from online sexual abuse and exploitation, including criminalising the production and distribution of child pornography under domestic law. Notably, high-income economies, which also tend to have high Internet penetration, have gone a step further, developing interventions - legal, technical, social and educational - to minimise children's exposure to harmful content, cyberbullying and Internet addiction. While medium- and low-income economies are starting to move towards this direction, measures can still benefit from greater coordination and coverage to make them more effective. Positively, many initiatives, particularly in the latter category of countries where the public sector is not as well-resourced, are partnerships between government, the private sector and civil society.

Overall, the region has yet to see targeted legislative response to protecting children's privacy online, and keeping them safe from information security risks. Worryingly, a number of existing policies, particularly measures to stamp out child pornography and cyberbullying, have been criticised for overreach and for being inconsistent with fundamental rights such as freedom of expression.

To help address these gaps, the study outlines a number of recommendations: It underlines the importance of a tempered and holistic response to ensuring that children are able to freely, yet safely use the Internet. Economies may start, for instance, by clearly defining terms such as 'child' or 'child pornography' in domestic law, in accordance with international standards, while also putting equal emphasis on empowering children to behave responsibly online and protect themselves against the risks they might face.

Examples cited in the study are proving that existing measures have had more impact when they involve coordination between different sectors, thus there is also a need to step up collaboration among relevant stakeholders. This will not only allow the pooling of resources and expertise, but make initiatives more sustainable. It is also crucial to involve the most important stakeholder in the area of online child protection - children and young people themselves.
Guest Article: Reflections from IETF 97
by Jari Arkko, IETF Chair

Jari Arkko reports on IETF 97. Read the full article here. Below are some highlights from his article.

We had 1,042 people from 52 countries on site in Seoul, very active development on a number of fronts, and I thought a successful meeting!

The topic of the meeting was of course Internet tech and its evolution. The two most active discussion topics were the increasingly serious Denial-of-Service attacks that we are seeing, and the development of a new transport protocol, QUIC, as an alternative to TCP and TLS, especially being more optimised for HTTP/2 usage.

The most recent Denial-of-Service attacks involved a number of compromised Internet of Things devices attacking DNS infrastructure. The Internet Architecture Board organised a discussion of these attacks as an example of a more general concern: the addition of millions of new hosts has the capability to overwhelm the Internet infrastructure when those hosts misbehave. There are ways to mitigate the attacks, but not without impacts in other ways - such as finding it necessary to deploy your services on large providers.

At the very least, I think it would be beneficial for the IETF community to continue to call attention to folks that the minimum bar when introducing a large number of devices (or any device) to the Internet includes things like automatic software updates and avoiding default passwords. I used to think this was so obvious and it needn't be said, but I'm not so sure anymore. Nevertheless, the area for us to have an impact is improving on defence and mitigation mechanisms.

The IETF recently chartered a working group to specify QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections). This new protocol combines the TCP and TLS layers, is typically implemented in user space rather than kernel space, and aims for faster connection setups using resumption, integrated security, and capabilities to evolve the protocol faster (not being in the kernel). A previous version of the protocol is also already in relatively wide use at Google, and was taken as a starting point for discussion in the working group.

Once again the IETF Hackathon was running the weekend before the IETF. I thought it was outstanding to see large student groups among the participants. A student team from SungKyunKwan University worked on the Interface to Network Security Functions (I2NSF) framework, for instance. With jackets made for the event! There was also a second large student team - on the other side of the world! The team from Université Catholique de Louvain worked on Multipath TCP, but much of their team did their work from back home in Belgium. They won the best of show award.

All videos from the sessions, interviews, etc. from the meeting are available as a YouTube playlist. The official proceedings with slides, minutes and everything else are on the IETF website. See also the blog post on routing area outcomes from IETF 97, and the blog post from Srimal Andrahennadi from his experiences in participating as an ISOC fellow at the IETF.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of the Internet Society.   
Profile Feature: Mohammad Abdul Awal, Executive Council  Member, Internet Society Bangladesh Dhaka Chapter
Photo of Mohammad Abdul Awal_ Executive Council  Member_ Internet Society Bangladesh Dhaka Chapter Awal is a Youth Internet Governance Forum  Ambassador and the coordinator of the Bangladesh Youth Internet Governance Forum (bdYIGF). He is a member of the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Group of the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) and is contributing to the development of a regional Internet governance framework. He is also a former fellow of IETF, ICANN, APRICOT, APNIC and APAN.

Awal works for BdREN, the National Research and Education Network of Bangladesh. There he leads the data and transmission network team. Over the past few years, Awal has conducted several network workshops and tutorials covering topics such as campus network design and operations, advance Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), IPv6 and network security.

Awal studied Electronics and Communication Engineering. His areas of expertise and major interests include IPv6, BGP, multiprotocol label switching, routing and switching, network infrastructure security and Internet governance.

Connect with Awal @awalece
Aftab Siddiqui Reports on SANOG 29
by Aftab Siddiqui, Technical Engagement Manager, Internet Society Asia-Pacific Bureau

After a long wait of 4.5 years, the 29th South Asia Network Operators Group ( SANOG 29) Conference came back to Pakistan. The event was jointly hosted by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) at the HEC headquarters.
SANOG 29, held during the last week of January, consisted of a two-day conference, a day of tutorial alongside the Internet Society ION Conference, and a five-day workshop with three parallel tracks. These action-packed eight days attracted a lot of participants.
The conference was inaugurated by the Chairman of HEC, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed and the Chairman of PTA, Dr. Ismail Ahmed Shah, and I delivered the welcome note as the SANOG Programme Committee Co-Chair. The opening ceremony was well attended by many network professionals and academia delegates from all over Pakistan, making it one of the most successful SANOGs in Pakistan.
The Pakistan Network Operators Group ( PKNOG) was officially inaugurated during the conference, and a plenary session was dedicated to make this announcement public. Tentatively, the first PKNOG event will be organised in the third quarter of 2017, and it will provide a forum for the technical community to share their experience and knowledge.
Another great news announced during SANOG was the establishment of the Pakistan Internet Exchange ( PKIX) in Islamabad. It was formally inaugurated by the Minister of IT and Telecom, Ms. Anusha Rehman. PTA, the Internet Society and APNIC played a vital role in the establishment of PKIX. Now, the discussion has already started to establish other nodes in Karachi and Lahore.

The major emphasis during the conference and tutorial was the dire state of IPv6 deployment in Pakistan. Unfortunately, Pakistan is lagging behind in the IPv6 arena, and the current status of IPv6 traffic is less than 1% of total Internet traffic, according to APNIC. Fortunately, there was a great deal of interest and enthusiasm in the community towards IPv6 deployment and hopefully, the deployment status will change in the coming months.
Following the conference and tutorial, there were five days of hands-on workshop on "Campus Design and Security", "DNS and DNSSEC Deployment" and "IPv4/v6 routing".
The closing ceremony was held on the last day of the workshop, The Minister of Education was the chief guest of the event. Certificates were distributed to workshop participants, and shields were presented to the instructors and organisers. It was a very successful event and provided a great opportunity for the local technical community, and hopefully this will help them plan and organise PKNOG in the future.

Group photo of participants at SANOG29
In the News
Internet Price Wars on Expanding Grid in Viet Nam
The domestic fibre optic cable market anticipates a tough race this year between leading players for larger market share and expanded service provision.

The Reserve Bank of India and the Indian Banks Association have launched Bharat QR, the world's first interoperable QR code acceptance solution.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission is currently considering a new legal framework for combating fake news. This comes after the commission says that it receives numerous complaints from the public about fake news and offensive online posts.

The GSMA has launched the IoT Big Data API Directory that will make harmonised data sets from multiple sources worldwide available to developers and third parties, enabling them to create innovative new Internet of Things (IoT) services.

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