India Budget 2015: Imported mobile, tablets price may go up, local producers gain

IndiaNEW DELHI: In a move to boost local manufacturing of mobile phones and tablets, the government today increased duty benefits for domestic producers of these electronic items.  Excise duty structure for mobiles handsets, including cellular phones, is being changed to 1 per cent without CENVAT credit or 12.5 per cent with CENVAT credit, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the Budget in Parliament.

4G auctions ‘on track’ , from Thailand

ThailandThe government insists the fourth-generation (4G) spectrum auctions will take place before September in order to accelerate development of Thailand’s digital economy.  This is despite the national telecom regulator insisting it will be December at the earliest. “It will definitely occur before September. Postponement is not necessary,” Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula told a seminar entitled “SME Development and the Digital-Driven Economy” hosted by Post Today newspaper in Bangkok Thursday.

90% of government payments should be electronic by 2015 end, from Malaysia

MalaysiaThe Malaysian government aims for 90 per cent of payments to be electronic by the end of the year, announced Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadziah (pictured). The main advantage of cashless payments is that all transactions can be tracked electronically, he said. Currently 34 per cent of government payments are made electronically.

Cyber Security Agency to take preventive approach against attacks

SingaporeSingapore’s upcoming Cyber Security Agency (CSA) will focus on preventing online attacks, telling organisations to adopt cyber security measures early, said Minister for Communication and Information, Yaacob Ibrahim. The agency will promote cyber security-by-design, he said. “Cyber security should be an important consideration when companies design their systems and networks”, he said. “For many businesses, cyber security is an afterthought, often the last measure to be implemented after a system is installed, or strengthened only after a cyber attack has done its damage.”

Western Australia releases open data policy

AustraliaWestern Australia has released a draft of its open data policy, urging agencies to be “open by default”. The government should prioritise releasing datasets that are already available in public, in demand or are have high-value for citizens, says the policy which will be implemented by geospatial agency Landgate. The government doesn’t want agencies to be discouraged by a need to release perfect datasets.

Govt bans Gmail for official work, to monitor staff’s online activities

IndiaNEW DELHI: The government will be monitoring online activities of bureaucrats on official computers, block content which it feels is adversely affecting the productivity of the babus and also have a right to delete e-mails or internet history on such computers after intimating the user. The measures are a part of twin notifications issued by the Narendra Modi government on February 18 by which the use of private e-mail networks like Gmail and Yahoo has now also been officially banned for all government use.

China deletes over 60,000 Internet accounts for breaching regulations

ChinaBEIJING, Feb 27 — Some of China’s largest Internet companies deleted more than 60,000 online accounts because their names did not conform to regulations due to take effect on Sunday, the top Internet regulator said. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc, Sina Corp affiliate Weibo Corp and other companies deleted the accounts in a cull aimed at “rectifying” online names, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said.

Budget 2015 should focus on digital literacy, mobile internet penetration: Kenny Ye, UCWeb India

IndiaThe IT industry has high expectations from Budget 2015-16 in terms of attention and budget allocation. “We expect PM Modi government’s first complete Union Budget to outline the policy and regulatory framework to aid business sentiments and bolster growth,” says Kenny Ye, MD of UCWeb India. He says he hopes the new government is able to provide adequate thrust to investments in IT and its infrastructure, which could in turn act as an impetus to the the government’s Digital India mission.

China draft counterterror law strikes fear in foreign tech firms

ChinaBEIJING/WASHINGTON: China is weighing a far-reaching counterterrorism law that would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys and install security “backdoors”, a potential escalation of what some firms view as the increasingly onerous terms of doing business in the world’s second largest economy. A parliamentary body read a second draft of the country’s first anti-terrorism law this week and is expected to adopt the legislation in the coming weeks or months.

IAMAI to identify objectionable web content: Ravi Shankar Prasad

IndiaNEW DELHI: The government has given the task of identifying objectionable content on the internet to industry body IAMAI, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed Parliament today. “Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), an association of content providers, has been mandated to prepare a list of objectionable sites, particularly pornographic websites, available on internet. “The identified sites will then be considered for disabling,” Prasad told Rajya Sabha. At present, Indian arms of leading internet companies occupy top ranks at IAMAI.

China censorship sweep deletes more than 60,000 Internet accounts

ChinaBEIJING: Some of China’s largest Internet companies deleted more than 60,000 online accounts because their names did not conform to regulations due to take effect on Sunday, the top Internet regulator said. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc, Sina Corp affiliate Weibo Corp and other companies deleted the accounts in a cull aimed at “rectifying” online names, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said.

PJCIS pushes for mandatory data breach notification, from AU

AustraliaThe parliamentary committee tasked with investigating the Government’s data retention bill has put its support behind the long-mooted introduction of a mandatory data breach notification scheme. The committee made the recommendation today in its report on the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014. Australia’s Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim has long pushed for the introduction of laws that would force companies to notify customers as well as his office if personal information had been compromised in a data breach.,pjcis-pushes-for-mandatory-data-breach-notification.aspx

Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists hail venture debt initiative

SingaporeSINGAPORE – Investment in the Singapore startup ecosystem proposed for Budget 2015 were welcomed by entrepreneurs and venture capitalists (VCs) here, even as concerns over their limitation in scope and challenges in implementation lingered. The new venture debt programme – where the government will provide 50 per cent risk-sharing with banks to fund companies with “minimal collateral” – was one of the more monumental initiatives unveiled on Monday, according to those BT spoke to.

2G spectrum auction gets SC’s go-ahead

IndiaNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has said that even as it has found inconsistencies in the stand taken by the government, it is allowing the auction of 2G telecom spectrum from March 4. It added that the outcome will not be finalized without its permission. While staying the February 12, 2015 interim order of Tripura High Court, the apex court bench of justice Dipak Misra and justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said that no bidder, if successful, shall claim any equity in the bidding process.

How Malaysia is opening up environmental performance data

MalaysiaMalaysia is looking to make its progress towards environmental sustainability more transparent. This month it released data and rankings of the environmental efforts made by every state in the country. Here’s why it is publishing this information and the challenges that it’s facing. The Malaysia Environmental Performance Index (MyEPI) is calculated with 33 indicators based on state and national level data.

Mumbai to spend US$3.6 million to track waste collection

IndiaMumbai in India plans to spend INR 225 million (US$3.6 million) on technology to track garbage collection across the city. The city will install radio frequency interface devices (RFIDs) in garbage bins that will tell the municipal authorities which bins have not been cleared. Garbage collection vehicles will be fitted with GPS to monitor their locations in real-time.

Jakarta’s Smart City app ready to partner with local tech startups

IndonesiaJakarta is a megacity with a bad rep for underserving its inhabitants. Regular floods, fires, record-breaking traffic gridlocks, and pollution make life in Indonesia’s capital a daily stress test. But the tide is slowly turning as Jakarta’s government, now under the leadership of governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, is discovering how to make communication technology work in its favor.

Ruling by March 3 on spectrum auction cases: SC, from India

IndiaNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has asked high courts which have admitted petitions from some telcos challenging clauses in the spectrum auction rules not to proceed with them, saying that it will rule by March 3 on all such matters related to the sale guidelines. A top court bench, comprising justices Dipak Mishra and Adarsh Kumar Goel, said that it would rule on a petition filed by the central government seeking transfer of all pending cases in different high courts to clear the way for the auction.

iiNet, DBC face three-week wait for piracy ruling

AustraliaiiNet and Dallas Buyers Club face a three-week wait to find out whether the rights holder can obtain the names and residential addresses of almost 5000 people it claims downloaded its movie without paying last year. In the final hearing of a preliminary discovery trial between the rights holder to the Dallas Buyers Club film and the internet service provider, Justice Nye Perram today withheld his judgment for three weeks on whether iiNet should hand over the customer details.,iinet-dbc-face-three-week-wait-for-piracy-ruling.aspx

Chinese govt blocks sales from tech giants

ChinaChina has dropped some of the world’s leading technology brands from its approved state purchase lists, while approving thousands of locally made products, in what some say is a response to revelations of widespread Western cyber-surveillance. Others put the shift down to a protectionist impulse to shield China’s domestic technology industry from competition. Chief casualty is US network equipment maker Cisco, which in 2012 counted 60 products on the Central Government Procurement Center’s (CGPC) list, but by late 2014 had none, a Reuters analysis of official data shows.,chinese-govt-blocks-sales-from-tech-giants.aspx