Our inaugural event in the news

Last November the Internet Society and its Senegal Chapter together with the Senegalese partners hosted the inaugural multistakeholder meeting on Enhancing Internet of Things (IoT) Security.

Here’s the media coverage on this event:

OSIRIS: Internet Society annonce la signature d’un protocole d’accord avec le Ministère de la Communication et de l’Économie Numérique, l’Autorité de Régulation des Télécommunications et des Postes, et Internet Society Sénégal pour le développement de l’Internet des Objets au Sénégal

Socialnetlink: Internet des Objets : Le PDG d’ISOC à Dakar pour la signature d’un Protocole d’accord

Réussir Business: Internet Society s’engage pour la sécurité de l’internet des objets au Sénégal

REWMI: Sécurité de l’internet: Le Sénégal pays référence

SudOnline: Internet Society veut faire du Sénégal un pionnier

ActuSEN: Menaces dans l’utilisation d’internet au Sénégal : Internet Society préconise des législations préventives

Senegal Kicks Off Enhancing IoT Security Project

By Katie Watson, Policy Advisor, North America, Internet Society

On April 4, 2018, the Canadian Multistakeholder Process: Enhancing Internet of Things (IoT) Security held its first convening in partnership with the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)CANARIEInnovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada; and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPIC). Over 80 participants from government, academia, public interest, industry, and other organizations attended the first meeting and many have continued to engage at in-person and virtual meetings ever since. Over the past eight months, this group has experienced significant success in the areas of consumer education, labeling, and network resiliency. And these achievements have been well-noted on a global scale.

A delegation from Senegal came to Canada in July to meet with members of the Enhancing IoT Security oversight committee. The group was comprised of government officials, Senegal Chapter members, and staff from the Internet Society’s African Bureau. The delegation met with Canadian government officials, technologists, public interest groups, and North American Bureau staff to learn more about how and why the IoT security project was initiated, and what the group had accomplished to date. The group discussed the significant successes the Canadian multistakeholder group had already achieved, the challenges it faced, and goals for the project.

These conversations ultimately aided the delegation in its decision to replicate the Canadian process to enhance IoT security in Senegal.

On November 28-29, the Internet Society and its Senegal Chapter, in partnership with the Ministry of Communications, Telecommunications, Postal Services, and Digital Economy (MCTPEN) and the Telecommunications and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARTP) hosted the inaugural Senegalese Multistakeholder Process: Enhancing Internet of Things (IoT) Security. The Internet Society’s President and CEO, Andrew Sullivan, and I were grateful for the chance to attend and share some of the lessons learned from the Canadian process and the Internet Society’s involvement in IoT security globally. We were both highly impressed by the participation and engagement of this group, and encouraged by the motivation by all involved to work together to make a secure network of IoT devices a reality in Senegal.

On the first day of the meeting, Dawit Bekele, Regional Bureau Director of the Internet Society’s African Bureau, introduced participants to IoT, its potential positive impacts, and the security risks it poses to both consumers and networks. The group then heard from Hu Xianhong, the UNESCO representative on the Internet Universality Index project in Senegal, and Professor Ahmath Bamba Mbacke, from Cheikh Anta Diop University (ESP), about the state of IoT in Senegal.

Participants were also introduced to the idea of the multistakeholder process, its key characteristics, and some best practices the Canadian multistakeholder group has learned. These included utilizing the members of the multistakeholder group to continuously identify and reach out to new stakeholders, maintaining momentum through continuous engagement between full-group meetings, and ensuring that meetings are facilitated by an invested moderator – preferably someone who is both a subject-matter expert and familiar with the multistakeholder process.

The Senegalese participants were also interested to hear about the work that the Canadian multistakeholder group has already accomplished through its working groups on consumer education, labeling, and network resiliency. They plan to utilize the groups’ outputs, and the experts involved in their creation, as they move forward in this process.

On the second day of meetings, Andrew Sullivan; M. Abdoulaye Blade, Ministre de la Communication et de l’Économie Numérique; Ndeye Maimouna Diop, Chair of the Senegal Chapter; Alpha Abdoulaye Thiam, Director of Information Systems at ARTP (Regulator); and Souleymane Diallo, Chief of Staff of the Minister of ICTs (MCTPEN), kicked off the sessions with a conversation on the risks and opportunities IoT poses. The participants then split themselves into three groups for further discussion regarding what they consider to be the most important factors impacting the following in Senegal:

  • Security impacts on critical infrastructure
  • Security by design
  • Consumer protection

Each of the self-selected groups reported their priorities for these issue areas back to the full group, which will use the conversations as the foundation for future workshops.

Importantly, throughout the second day participants reiterated many times the importance of collaboration – both on a national and global scale – to improve IoT security, prevent consumer harm, and encourage technological innovation. This is a theme that we have consistently heard during the Canadian IoT security meetings, showing that the multistakeholder model is an important and valued approach to solving complex Internet issues around the world.

We hope that these meetings will lead to future, fruitful discussion between Canadian, Senegalese, and other global states dedicated to securing the Internet of Things.

Read Why the Multistakeholder Approach Works and demand that your voice is counted for a secure IoT!

This article first appeared at the Internet Society’s website.

Join our first meeting!

This week, from 28 to 30 November, we are hosting the inaugural multistakeholder meeting on enhancing security of the Internet of Things (IoT) in Senegal. This meeting is the joint initiative of the Ministry of Posts, Communications, Telecommunications and Digital Economy (MCTPEN), Internet Society, and the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Posts (ARTP). 

This is the first session in a 18-month long process that has a goal to develop recommendations for a policies to secure IoT in Senegal. Events throughout the year will serve as an opportunity to begin planning and implementing a bottom-up, organic process to discuss potential security challenges in Senegal’s national IoT ecosystem.

This meeting is coordinated in partnership with the Senegal ISOC Chapter and it aims to instigate dialogue on IoT preparedness and priorities in Senegal. It will be followed by the workshop on the multistakeholder model from 30 November to 1 December 2018.

Join the conversation!

Collaborative Governance Leaders, Canada, and Senegal Exchange Notes on IoT Security Frameworks

By Dawit Bekele, Regional Bureau Director for Africa, Internet Society
Mark Buell, Regional Bureau Director, North America, Internet Society

Canada and Senegal partners are meeting for a comparative learning exchange on developing robust Internet of Things (IoT) Security frameworks in Ottawa, Canada 18-19 July. The Senegalese delegation visiting Ottawa is composed of representatives from the Ministry of Communication, Telecommunication, Posts and Digital Economy, the Authority for Telecommunications and Postal Regulations, and the ISOC Senegal Chapter. They are also accompanied by Internet Society directors for North America and Africa.

The two countries are strong supporters of the collaborative governance or multistakeholder model in addressing problems they encounter as Internet technology develops. Both countries have already begun adopting the model for domestic policy development focusing on IoT security. The learning exchange is part of the Internet Society supported Internet Governance campaign activity for both countries and will explore issues of mutual interest, connect stakeholders and exchange notes on the process.

In Canada, the Internet Society partnered with Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the Canadian Internet Registration AuthorityCANARIE, and CIPPIC to convene stakeholders to develop recommendations for a set of norms/policy to secure the Internet of Things. The partners have agreed to focus on two specific thematic areas: consumer protection and network resilience. While in Senegal, the Internet Society partnered the ISOC Senegal Chapter, the Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Economy and the Senegalese Commission for Data Protection to explore the same.

Canada and Senegal are amongst the countries that are leading in demonstrating the collaborative, multistakeholder model of Internet governance. These countries are showing leadership both in the region and globally in embracing the MS model to address pertinent Internet-related issues and effectively demonstrating commitment to tackle emerging issues related to technology. These two case studies may provide a powerful benchmark for using the MS model in addressing critical Internet issues in both the developed and developing world.

The focus subject matter, IoT is an evolving area and is changing rapidly and organically. New capabilities are added and new security weaknesses are being discovered almost every day. Understanding the growing impact that IoT security has on the Internet and its users is critical for safeguarding the future of the Internet. IoT manufacturers, IoT service providers, users, standards developing organizations (SDOs), policymakers, and regulators will all need to take action to protect against threats to Internet infrastructure, such as IoT-based DDoS attacks.

This article was originally published at the Internet Society’s website on 18 July 2018.