020_G18_InSight_GlobalSociety

Global_18

Global Insight Information Society Attempts on goal Dr Hamadoun Touré tells Global how technology, particularly broadband connectivity, can help countries achieve their Millennium Development Goals Interview Dr Hamadoun Touré has been secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the specialised agency of the United Nations dedicated to information and communications technology (ICT), since 2007. His remit is to fulfil ITU’s mandate to ‘connect the world’ and help countries to achieve their Millennium Development Goals. Touré also serves as co-vice-chair of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, which was launched in May 2010 by ITU and UNESCO. The Mali-born electrical engineer studied at the Technical Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication of Leningrad (LEIS), receiving a master’s degree in electrical engineering and PhD equivalent from the Moscow Technical University of Communication and Informatics (MTUCI) in Russia. Global: You are on the International Advisory Board of the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats. What do you think are the biggest concerns about cyber security in 2014 and beyond? Hamadoun Touré: No-one doubts that the sophistication of cyber crime is constantly increasing and the relatively simple tactics of the past are being replaced with highly targeted attacks. ‘Phishing’ is now being supplanted by ‘spear phishing’, where email messages aimed at getting users to reveal confidential information like passwords and access codes are able to masquerade as originating from a known and trusted source. ‘Clickjacking’ – where web users are tricked into clicking on something different to what they perceive they are clicking on, with the aim of hijacking their computer or securing confidential information – is also a growing threat. It is a cat-and-mouse game, with cyber criminals always looking If you give every child at least a primary education, you promote gender equality to exploit security vulnerabilities of new software, and software developers and security specialists working quickly to try to rectify or reinforce those weaknesses. In the global battle to curb the tide of cyber criminality, jurisdictional obstacles remain some of the biggest hurdles. Countries have different legislation structures and traditions (common law and civil law systems), different levels of development, different policy priorities and different needs. But the transnational, borderless nature of cyber crime means national legislation by itself is often no longer sufficient, particularly when cyber crimes are committed outside national borders. More harmonisation at the international level is needed to enable countries to complement national laws with the necessary international principles – for instance mutual co-operation, proper extradition mechanisms and common understandings on processes to be followed in case of major cyber attacks. ITU and IMPACT are both working, alongside UN partners like UNODC, UNICEF, UNICRI, UNICITRAL and UNDIR – as well as private sector specialists like Symantec, Kaspersky Labs, (ISC)², ABI Research and Trend Micro – to develop best practice, boost capacity-building, and propose policy frameworks for governments and institutions across regions worldwide. What impact do you think access to broadband internet can have for users in developing countries? As we approach the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), ITU is strongly advocating for the need to harness the unique power of broadband internet to drive development. The eight MDGs cannot be separated. If you combat disease, you also reduce child mortality; if you give every child at least a primary education, you promote gender equality. It is because all these goals are interlinked that broadband is so important. If we divide the MDGs into three areas – education, health and the environment – we see that broadband has a key role to play in each. It offers a solution for providing education in under-served areas. Around 90 per cent of children in the developing world are enrolled in primary school, but in some regions – notably Sub-Saharan Africa – up to 30 per cent of children drop out before their final year. Broadband can better engage children, equipping them with valuable ICT skills and opening a window on the world’s information resources, in a multitude of languages. What’s more, public-private education partnerships can be designed not only for students but also for the communities in which they live. I am proud to say that the ITU is targeting this area with its Connect a School, Connect a Community initiative. A school becomes the hub for everyone in the surrounding area, as well as the pupils themselves. In the area of health, the MDGs aim, in particular, at improving child and maternal health, and at eradicating such diseases as malaria and AIDS – and there is no doubt that broadband is a powerful tool for achieving these aims. More than half a million women die every year as a result of complications in pregnancy and childbirth. The majority of these deaths are preventable. But in Africa and South Asia, fewer than half of all births are attended by a midwife or skilled health worker. While there is no substitute for the physical presence of a health care professional, broadband is helping to train those professionals and provide mothers with advice that protects health – and indeed lives. Mobile phones, or computers linked to broadband networks, also enable health workers to access online patient records and transmit data to regional hospitals, where remote diagnosis and specialist advice can be obtained. second 20 l www.global -br ief ing.org quar ter 2014 global


Global_18
To see the actual publication please follow the link above