EuroDIG: A Regional Internet Governance Forum

By Karen McCabe, Senior Director, Technology Policy and International Affairs,

IEEE is pleased to be participating in EuroDIG 2015 as part of our global efforts to connect engineers, scientists and industry leaders in an array of technology and industry domains, with policy experts to help improve the understanding of technology and its implications and impact on IG issues. We will with serving as the focal point on Plenary Two on Privacy and Data Protection in the Emerging World of Big Data and New Services. This session will address new paradigms for privacy in an increasingly connected world and an era of big data, including an examination of open standards, data protection models and privacy in business and innovation, and the session will be held on 4 June at 17:00 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

About EuroDIG
The Pan-European dialogue on Internet governance (EuroDIG) is an open platform for informal and inclusive discussion and exchange on public policy issues related to Internet Governance (IG) between stakeholders from all over Europe. It was created in 2008 by a number of stakeholders representing various European stakeholder groups working in the field of IG. EuroDIG is recognized as a Regional IGF.

Regional and national IGF initiatives follow the principles and practices of open, inclusive, non-commercial and multi-stakeholder participation in both the formulation of the initiative and in any other related events. They provide forums or venues for local or regional and national discussion on the topics and issues related to IG in support of and spirit of IGF.

EuroDIG is a network that is open to stakeholders that are interested in contributing to an open and interactive discussion on IG issues. The purpose of EuroDIG is to provide a venue in which European stakeholders can exchange their views and best practices on issues to be discussed at meetings of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), including the identification of common ground shared by all European stakeholders and highlighting the diversity of experience of the different European stakeholders; and to raise awareness in Europe and among European stakeholders about the relevance and value of multi-stakeholder dialogue.

Regional and national IGFs are focused on issues that face a city, town or country and help people to bring ideas and solutions forward to a global level. With the nature of IG issues today, national and regional IGFs have grown around the globe, generating conversation among all who want a voice in the future of the Internet where they live.

We hope to see you in Sofia!

WSIS: What’s It All About

WSIS bannerBy Karen McCabe, Senior Director, Technology Policy and International Affairs,

IEEE is pleased to be participating in the WSIS Forum 2015 as part of our global efforts to connect engineers, scientists and industry leaders in an array of technology and industry domains, with policy experts to help improve the understanding of technology and its implications and impact on IG issues.  We will be hosting a thematic workshop on Cybersecurity and Privacy in a World of Data Driven Innovation. This session will discuss the balance of security and privacy rights in an age in which global citizens are converging on the Internet, and new media, where technology and services are pervading and influencing culture.  View the full program of WSIS events.

Additionally, the IEEE invites everyone involved in Internet related technology development and policy making to join the IEEE Internet Initiative’s growing, world-wide community of experts in technology and policy. For information on how to get involved please contact,

The agenda of the WSIS Forum is the result of an open consultation process with the involvement of all WSIS Stakeholders. The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process and its outcome documents are considered cornerstones of international discourse on Internet policy and governance. 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of WSIS, with the UN General Assembly set to evaluate its progress and decide its future.

What is WSIS?
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was a unique two-phase United Nations (UN) summit that began with the goal of achieving a common vision, desire and commitment to build a people-centric, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information. The two-stage WSIS took place in 2003 (the Geneva phase) and 2005 (the Tunis phase).

WSIS started out as a primarily development-focused process and the first phase concluded by setting out a Plan of Action to put the “potential of knowledge and ICTs at the service of development.”  However, governance issues became a central focus of the Tunis phase and this was reflected in its outcome document, the Tunis Agenda, which set out a definition of internet governance, outlined the roles of different stakeholders, mandated the establishment of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), and initiated the process towards enhanced cooperation.

WSIS is a significant event in the history of the Internet.  It recognized that not only governments should have a voice in the development of the Internet’s future, but also the voices of businesses, civil society, engineers and everyone who can play a role in its future should be heard. Today, annual WSIS Forums are an integral part to the follow-up of the World Summit on the Information Society.

WSIS Forum 2015
The WSIS Forum 2015 theme is Innovating Together: Enabling ICTs for Sustainable Development, and will be held on 25-29 May 2015, at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva. This event builds upon the tradition of annual WSIS May meetings, and its format is the result of open consultations with all WSIS Stakeholders.

The WSIS Forum 2015 represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community. The WSIS Forum is co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD.  The Forum consists of two tracks: A High-Level Track, consisting of policy statements, WSIS prize ceremony, ministerial round table, and the Forum Track that will offer participants a series of high-level dialogues, action line facilitation meetings, country workshops, thematic workshops and knowledge exchanges, as well as an exhibition addressing issues that are critical to WSIS implementation and follow-up in multi-stakeholder settings.

We look forward to seeing you in Geneva!

Ethernet and IEEE 802.3 – The Beat Goes On

“At the start, in 1973, the goal was mainly to print on our new laser printer. By 1980, world domination was the goal.” – Dr. Robert (Bob) Metcalfe, co-inventor of Ethernet

From its humble beginnings as a sketch on the back of a napkin in 1973 to its current standing as the global networking technology of choice, it’s safe to say predictions of Ethernet’s worldwide acceptance have come true. Ethernet is arguably one of history’s most disruptive technology innovations, driving critical advancements in networking, communications, and more. And now on the cusp of its 42nd birthday – with no midlife crisis in sight – this fundamental, ubiquitous networking protocol is ready to shake things up all over again.

At its core, Ethernet is a collaborative creation; throughout its venerable history, it has been shaped and molded by many hands. For instance, the dedicated, cooperative efforts of individuals and organizations around the world to develop and maintain the IEEE 802.3™ family of Ethernet standards have ensured Ethernet’s adaptability, scalability, and most importantly, durability. Its collective nature combined with the flexibility inherently encoded into Ethernet’s DNA allows it to respond nimbly to both industry needs and market stimuli. The result? Ethernet has evolved into, as Bob Metcalfe puts it, “a brand of innovation” on a global scale.

You may not even realize it’s there, but Ethernet is likely an essential part of your everyday life – it’s estimated that nearly all data traffic begins and ends on Ethernet interfaces. By leveraging Ethernet as a common foundation, technology pioneers have and continue to craft innovative new applications that hundreds of millions of people worldwide have come to depend upon at home, at work, and at play. While many users rarely recognize how much they’ve come to rely upon this key technology, they would certainly feel its absence if it were suddenly gone. For a better view of how and where Ethernet plays a role in our lives today, just take a look at this video:

In its earliest incarnation, Ethernet ran at 3Mbps. Fast-forward 42 years, and we now have an ever-expanding array of standardized Ethernet speeds, including 10Mbps; 100Mbps; 1Gbps; 10Gbps; 40Gbps; and 100Gbps. There are now a bevy of other new speeds either already making their way through the standardization pipeline or that are being given serious consideration for future standards projects. And it’s this continued evolution and progression that will open the door to a new generation of innovative technologies and applications that will not only further permeate but also elevate our daily lives.

There’s fresh momentum building within the Ethernet ecosystem as this indispensable networking protocol continues to diversify and is reinvented to meet the needs of an ever-broadening array of users. Demand from new market segments and emerging applications like wireless access points and data centers are directly driving new standards projects such as 2.5Gbps. Additionally, Ethernet is also being carried in unexpected directions, across unexplored terrain – for example, the automotive industry, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Imagine automobiles that are smarter, safer, and less expensive. It could happen thanks to automotive-grade Ethernet. Global analyst firm Frost & Sullivan predicts that by 2020, typical mass-market cars will have between 50 – 60 Ethernet ports, while luxury autos will sport more than 100. In-vehicle Ethernet can cost-effectively provide needed support for sophisticated applications such as autonomous driving or driver-assistance features, interior and exterior cameras, embedded displays, and infotainment. It could also facilitate the connection between cars and external systems – like the aforementioned Internet of Things – that could help eliminate traffic woes and improve overall safety. By replacing traditional wiring with Ethernet, automakers can lower costs, reduce vehicle weights, and improve fuel economy.

Speaking of the IoT, it’s an innovative concept that seems tailor-made for Ethernet. Light fixtures that have an IP address? Smart diapers? Connected cows? All whimsy aside, the emergence of the IoT has opened the door to a new generation of technologies, devices, and applications that will substantially alter the world as we know it. Connected medical devices may soon become one of the best early detection weapons in the fight against serious health conditions. Smart city innovations are already helping to solve public safety, transportation, and energy challenges, elevating the quality of life for urban dwellers.

The explosive growth of the IoT doesn’t appear as if it will slow anytime soon. Technology research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc. predicts some 4.9 billion connected things will be in use during 2015 alone, and that number is expected to soar to 25 billion by the year 2020. The one commonality among all of these connected devices and things is the need for a dependable means of communicating and transmitting data. With its unique ability to accommodate a wide range of speeds, Ethernet will be the key to progressing the IoT from the conceptual to reality.

At the ripe old age of (almost) 42, you might suspect that Ethernet would begin showing some signs of wear and tear. Instead, just the opposite is true – it continues to grow, evolve, and expand, charting new territory and serving as a springboard for the innovations of today, tomorrow, and beyond. For Ethernet, the best is truly yet to come.

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The Need for Trust Framework in Healthcare Technologies

By Bill Ash, Strategic Technology Program Director, IEEE Standards Association

After attending the Mobile World Congress last month and anticipating the HIMSS this month, I am fascinated by the latest technology that is being discussed. Most exciting to me is the potential of IoT to help with remote patient monitoring to better track the needs/trends of the patient.

Electronic Medical Records

Even with all the excitement surrounding this technology, there are questions around trust that will arise from points both external and internal to healthcare providers. In some cases, there will be distinct technological solutions or process improvements to be implemented; in others, comfort level with the new environment of healthcare will have to build among providers and/or patients over time.

As an example, let’s look at wellness monitoring and care, one of the most promising areas of application for eHealth. By enabling patients via the “on-the-go” technology of mobile devices to take certain types of readings themselves (blood pressure, oxygen saturation, glucose levels, etc.) and allowing providers to monitor that data remotely and intervene as needed, providers would be able to maintain more accurate, real-time assessments of their patients’ conditions. This would not only result in improved care, but would cut costs for both providers and patients by eliminating the need for office visits.

But what are the ramifications of the shift from having trained professionals perform measurements in a medical office to patients taking readings wherever they may be? How does the global healthcare industry manage questions around the accuracy of the data? How can it be ensured that the equipment used to take and transmit the readings is working correctly? How can it be ensured that the patient performing the measurements is doing so correctly? How does one account for the security and reliability of the connectivity from the patient to the medical professionals who analyze or interpolate the data? Who has access to the data? And who owns the data?

Risk is something that comes with the development of new technology and the integration of personal health devices (PHDs) is no different. The risks are not solely tied to the use of smart devices that were not traditionally meant to function as medical devices, but they are also tied to how the PHD is used and whether the patient uses the device in the manner it is intended. There are many articles that discuss patients with chronic diseases and the elderly. These articles indicate that many of these patients do not have smart devices or cannot read the user interfaces on the PHD. How does the patient know if he or she took the measurement correctly? The manufacturers of these devices need to keep it simple. Understanding how the user will interact with the device becomes extremely important to how the device gets used and what data will get captured.

Another part of the risk is the security and privacy of the patient data. The ability to protect patient privacy and the data that the remote monitoring device is exchanging is critical to allow for full integration.

Additional risks exist by way of calibration of the applications themselves, such as the accuracy of mobile applications versus regulated medical devices, and the integrity of transmitted data to the care provider’s systems.

There is work across the healthcare industry to look at these risks. It is also worth noting that the challenges that may be facing digital health are not only limited to mobile health or the healthcare industry alone; rather, they may receive greater spotlight due to the topical focus and the sensitivity of the data.

Extending care beyond hospital and doctor’s office walls via standards-based eHealth will demand rethinking information trust inside those walls, and accounting for complex issues around greater sharing of sensitive information by building a robust trust framework figures to be a prime factor in eHealth’s ultimate success.

Stay informed on healthcare applications, devices, initiatives, standards and projects with IEEE Standards Association.

Download IEEE’s complimentary white papers on eHealth.

Why An NESC Summit?

By Sue Vogel, Senior Manager, National Electrical Safety Code

With the 100-year anniversary milestone of the NESC still in the rear-view, it is time for the NESC to examine what the future may hold for this important national code as it enters its second century. A summit seems to be the logical venue to convene interested parties to begin a dialogue and examination of issues facing the NESC today and in the future for the industry it serves. However, let’s take a look back before moving forward.

In 1915, the first summit-like meeting took place: The New York Conference on the National Electrical Safety Code was held at the headquarters of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE), the predecessor of the IEEE, and lasted two weeks. The object of this conference was to “enable a thorough study of the code to be made in conjunction with the representatives of the Bureau of Standards, by representatives from various parts of the country of the electric light and power companies, the steam and electric railways, the telephone and telegraph companies, and the manufacturers.” Delegates attending at that time were many of those same stakeholders that participate in the NESC today, albeit some by another name: “American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the National Electric Light Association, the American Electric Railway Association, the telephone interests, the state industrial and public service commissions, several of the larger cities, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the National Safety Council, and a considerable number of engineers representing groups of utility companies.”

The significance of convening a national effort with many stakeholders to develop a code that would protect workers and the public, with some industry group participants still in their infancy, cannot be underestimated. After all, the document produced was a first-time effort to write down rules for safety, encompassing many different perspectives and needs, with the ultimate goal of saving lives. The discussions held at the New York conference were critical for the time; persuasion was very much the name of the game, for development and existence of a national code with the cooperation of all affected interests, rather than local or state codes, or codes prepared by various societies.

B. Rosa, author of the article on the New York conference published in the January 1916 Proceedings of the A.I.E.E., notes that “such a safety code…is far-reaching in its influence, amounting in many respects to a standardization of electrical construction and operation, and as such comprehensive rules cannot be expected to apply generally without exception in special cases, they should not be enforced in an arbitrary or mechanical fashion.”

Fast-forward 100 years and we are looking at the second time in its history that the broad NESC community is coming together, this time to ensure that the NESC, a trusted code in the industry, remains relevant to those that it serves. The NESC leadership has identified a need to consider the future of the NESC from both a technical and a procedural perspective. The IEEE-Standards Association (IEEE-SA) is also committed to provide users with a code that is also viable from a usability perspective. What should the NESC look like three, four, or five editions into the future? What should the code address that it currently does not? Who else needs to be involved? How can younger power engineers become engaged? How can the NESC ensure agility and timely responsiveness in the midst of a rapidly changing landscape? How can the current NESC structure reach out to ensure that the NESC is proactive in addressing industry needs? These and many other questions will be entertained during the NESC Summit.

Rosa further states: “The conference was characterized by good feeling and the spirit of cooperation. Naturally there was much difference of opinion among the delegates on some rules, due to so many different interests and so many parts of the country being represented, and also to the fact that individual experiences differ greatly even in the same industry and in the same locality.” It sounds like he is discussing a current-day NESC Technical Subcommittee meeting! Perhaps the more things change, the more they stay the same? And lest we forget, we should acknowledge the many hard-working and knowledgeable individuals who, over decades, as members of the NESC Main Committee, Executive Subcommittee, and Technical Subcommittees, have given their time and expertise over many years to bring each edition of the NESC to fruition, with incomparable integrity.

Actually, the words “characterized by good feeling and the spirit of cooperation” should be the mantra for the NESC Summit being held in 2015. This is a great opportunity at hand for the community that supports the NESC and the NESC that supports the industry to come together in a spirit of cooperation to examine all that the NESC is, and all that the NESC can be, so that the next 100 years continue to be governed by a safety code that continues to be trusted, viable, and relevant. Everyone who participates should feel good about making a contribution. However, we should not wait another century to convene another NESC industry-wide conference with the opportunity for all stakeholders to be present. NESC Summit II, anyone?

Getting Serious About Cybersecurity

By Oleg Logvinov and Greg Shannon

Innovation in connectivity is so rapidly paced and multi-dimensional across integrated technology spaces today that there is a tendency to be overwhelmed with the concomitant risk of hacking. But this situation is definitively not hopeless. Critical advances in cybersecurity, in fact, are being achieved around the world, and there are clear indications that the world is getting serious about addressing the threat on multiple fronts.

New risks naturally present themselves with each new technology innovation. Consider, for example, the challenges introduced by the Internet of Things (IoT).

IoT deployment is intensifying around the world, bringing perhaps billions of devices globally into the cyberdomain for the first time through Internet Protocol (IP) interfaces. The associated cybersecurity threat is rapidly evolving. In the IoT, systems that were once largely self-contained—their components connected only to one another—are now being interlinked through an IP backbone, introducing challenging new questions for the global technology community to consider. For example, how likely is a scenario in which a breach at one “thing” on the global IoT opens whole systems or even enterprises to vulnerability through interconnectedness, and what steps must be taken to manage such a multi-faceted threat?

It is an encouraging sign that the severity and dimensions of the threat are coming to be understood even beyond technologists—and that cybersecurity, in turn, is rising in the public consciousness as a matter of “social good” to be enforced and preserved. The 13 February 2015 White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection engaged far-reaching stakeholders from across the United States “to collaborate and explore partnerships that will help develop the best ways to bolster our cybersecurity.”1

What is the role of the professional organization in grappling with the globally shared cybersecurity challenge?

As a globally scoped professional organization spanning an unmatched range of technology areas, IEEE is uniquely positioned to help facilitate collaborative progress in multiple ways.

For example, the IEEE Computer Society, the leading association for computing professionals, in 2014 launched the IEEE Cybersecurity Initiative with the aim of expanding and escalating its ongoing involvement in cybersecurity. The first step was to establish the IEEE Center for Secure Design, which is working to shift some of the focus in security from finding bugs to identifying common design flaws in the hope that software architects can learn from others’ mistakes. A report released by the center, “Avoiding the Top Ten Software Security Design Flaws,” delivers a valuable resource based on real-world data.

Also in 2014,with the launch of the IEEE Internet Initiative, IEEE expanded beyond its traditional scope and positioned itself as a bridge between the technical and political communities. The initiative is working to amplify the voice of the technical community in global technology policy-making in the areas of Internet governance, cybersecurity and privacy, in order to inform and influence debate and decisions and help ensure trustworthy technology solutions and best practices. By providing a consensus of sound technical and scientific knowledge and guidance to the process, the IEEE Internet Initiative seeks to pursue a vision of public policy informed by technology for the benefit of society.

Furthermore, the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) has a long heritage of enabling trustworthy exchange of sensitive data via technology. Through education and open, interoperable standards, the IEEE-SA helps foster a trustworthy framework for connectivity. IEEE P2413™, IEEE Draft Standard for an Architectural Framework for the Internet of Things (IoT), for example, is currently in development to define an architectural framework to promote cross-domain interaction and aid system interoperability for the IoT. The standard is intended to provide a blueprint for data abstraction and the quality “quadruple” trust: protection, security, privacy and safety.

The IEEE-SA facilitates global collaboration in cybersecurity at earlier stages of technology development, as well. For example, out of the desire by many in the security industry to more efficiently address growing cyber threats in a coordinated fashion, the IEEE-SA Industry Connections Security Group formed in 2009 as a global effort to pool experience and resources in combating the systematic and rapid rise in threats to computer security. IEEE-SA Industry Connections provided the much-needed collaborative environment for technologists in the computer-security industry to come together quickly and tackle the most pressing issues as they arise. The IEEE Anti-Malware Support Service (AMSS) that the group created is a set of shared support services that enables the individual security companies and the industry as a whole to respond more effectively and efficiently to the rapidly mutating universe of contemporary malware threats.

There is a growing range of ways for you and/or your organization to engage in the global cybersecurity effort through IEEE. Your unique perspectives on the challenge and lessons learned are needed at the table. You can learn more about how to get involved at

Nothing less than the global technology community’s best, combined efforts to manage security risks are required in today’s quickly evolving cyber age. IEEE provides a proven, globally open collaborative environment through which to marshal those efforts for the benefit of humanity.

Oleg Logvinov is chair of the IEEE Internet Initiative and IEEE P2413 Draft Standard for an Architectural Framework for the Internet of Things Working Group and Director of Special Assignments in STMicroelectronics’ Industrial & Power Conversion Division.

Greg Shannon is chair of IEEE’s Cybersecurity Initiative and chief scientist at the CERT Division of the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute.


INTELECT – A New Forum to Drive Innovation in Smart Cities

Everywhere in India, you feel the atmosphere charged with bullishness. Much of the optimism stems from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focus on an empowered India. This is not just hyperbole. A great example is the recent 100 Smart Cities initiative in India, whereby infrastructure, information and communication technologies (ICT), and standardization and interoperability are some of the key points of consideration. This, too, was among the topics discussed at the first ever INTELECT event held in Mumbai, India in January 2015.  Organized by IEEE in collaboration with the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturing Association (IEEMA), INTELECT strongly aligned with “100 Smart Cities” program and “Digital India”. As a panelist and judge of one of the technical tracks, it was great for me to see such a high level of interest in Smart Cities during INTELECT 2015.

This multi-day event brought together more than 100,000 experts from both the Power and ICT technology sectors, industry practitioners, students, and policy makers to debate and discuss issues surrounding the key topic of “Smart Electricity for Emerging Markets”. It also provided the opportunity for next generation technologies in the areas of power, telecommunications, and IT to be showcased. As a native of India, it was important for me to see that the participants and panelists understood that the implementation of Smart Cities technologies presented challenges–not only of convergence, but also of change management–and recognized the need to ensure smooth rollouts, adoptions, and adaptations of new technology.

By the end of this three-day event, I felt that the core issues of Smart Cities implementation had been conveyed and received. Even the student participants displayed their understanding of the challenges. Moderator Alpesh Shah (IEEE-SA Director of Global Intelligence and Strategy) asked, “Should Smart Cities be considered a social investment?” of which many respondents agreed. A Smart City is not solely an investment in digital infrastructure; rather, it is a platform for social innovations, as well as the opportunity for commercially viable results. The high level challenges—beyond implementation—discussed included the need for appropriate policies around privacy, security, access, and usage. Privacy and security policies are hot topics of conversations in IoT as well as an interconnected and digital world; and are certainly not easily resolved. Access presents an interesting challenge, and many innovative minds discussed at the conference. Conversations on the last mile, micro-grids, and creative methods for roll out in rural areas—all made for exciting and enticing propositions in the march towards 100 Smart Cities in India.

Many of the challenges faced in India are common to any country considering Smart City rollouts. As the panelists pointed out, the implementation is where the rubber meets the road. For Japan, the panelists talked about energy surplus being a key challenge, whereas in India, it resides on the demand side.  Thus, while it is important to ensure a global perspective—it is imperative that countries considering Smart City investments understand there is no “one size fits all”. Given the cost of investment and size of the projects as frameworks and architecture are developed, appropriate factors required for creating a Smart City should be given serious thought and attention.

The Indian government provided strong support to the 2015 Intelect event through its Ministry of Power (MoP), Department of Telecom (DoT), and Department of Electronics and IT (DEITY). This demonstrates their commitment to ensuring that the technology, implementation, adoption, and policy developments are addressed in order to carry India into the next generation. INTELECT also had a “Humanitarian Track,” which showcased some of the key social entrepreneurship projects for taking rural implementation of technology beyond the cities to remote areas in India.

I look forward to participation at the next INTELECT event in 2017. If you are interested in learning about how your organization can participate, please feel free to contact me at —to keep your company informed about the event.