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  • Soumyadipta Majumder asked: What are the different modes of encryption?

    Arul R. replies: Encryption is a way of scrambling the data or message thereby securing the data from unintended recipients. Decryption is the way of retrieving the data that is encrypted.

    There are two basic modes of encryption:

    Facebook’s Free Basics: A Digital Apartheid

    Facebook’s Free Basics: A Digital Apartheid

    Free Basics actually leads to converting the internet, which is supposed to be a global public good, into a ‘controlled’ platform. For some this even amounts to compromising on their ‘human rights’.

    January 07, 2016

    Stealth Technology and its Effect on Aerial Warfare

    Stealth Technology and its Effect on Aerial Warfare

    In aerial warfare technology has progressed rapidly from the frail and flimsy machines seen in the air in the first half of the twentieth century. This monograph attempts to commence task of explaining stealth technology, looking at possible counters to stealth and discussing the ways in which stealth technology changes the conduct of aerial warfare.


    3D Printing and Defence: A Silent Revolution

    In a 3D printing technology, an object is created layer by layer through a specially designed printer using plastic or other materials. The most striking thing about 3D printing is the way it can convert the digital inventory into physical objects thereby reducing the requirement of critical storage space drastically.

    January 03, 2014

    Mohit Gupta : What are the threats posed by communication networks to the internal security of India?

    Cherian Samuel replies: Communication networks are a part of our critical information infrastructure which was defined in the IT Act, 2000 as “the computer resource, the incapacitation or destruction of which, shall have debilitating impact on national security, economy, public health or safety.” Communications networks are crucial to the connectivity of other critical infrastructure, viz. civil aviation, shipping, railways, power, nuclear, oil and gas, finance, banking, communication, information technology, law enforcement, intelligence agencies, space, defence, and government networks. Therefore, threats can be both through the networks as well as to the networks.

    Securing the networks is complicated by a number of factors. In the first instance, much of the hardware and software that make up the communications ecosystem is sourced externally; as a case in point, Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei and ZTE have supplied about 20 per cent of telecommunications equipment while Indian manufacturers have about 3 per cent of the market. As recent incidents have shown, foreign governments are not above taking advantage of the market penetration and dominance of their companies to infiltrate and compromise telecommunications networks. This is a potent combination of expertise and resources.

    The task of securing the networks is also complicated by the fact that much of the infrastructure is in the hands of private companies who see measures such as security auditing and other regulations and frameworks as adding to their costs. The government in the National Telecom Policy of 2012 has set a target for domestic production of telecom equipment to meet the Indian telecom sector’s demand to the extent of 60 to 80 per cent by 2020. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has also repeatedly urged telecom companies to take note of vulnerabilities in their equipment and told them they would be held responsible and subject to penalties if the vulnerabilities are not addressed. A number of other measures, such as making local certification mandatory, have been announced, but there is a need for a more integrated and strategic approach to securing the networks since they are so crucial to the economic, social and political wellbeing of the country.

    Vinit Garg asked: What could be the impact of Barack Obama's re-election on the Indian IT industry in the next coming years?

    Cherian Samuel replies: Outsourcing was not nearly as much of an issue or debating point in these elections as much as the outflow of manufacturing jobs. There are differing points of view on the impact of President Obama's re-election on the Indian IT industry, even within the industry itself. One view is that industry has suffered deeply from policies designed to reduce outsourcing through explicit and implicit methods, such as, raising visa fees and subjecting applicants to rigorous scrutiny. The Indian government is also considering the idea of moving the WTO over the discriminatory nature of the policies on the above issue.

    The other view is that these actions have not really affected the fortunes of the Indian IT industry as much as that of individual companies that have not been nimble enough to explore new areas and verticals and work their way up the value chain in the wake of the global recession. From this perspective, Obama's continued efforts to revive the US economy from which the IT industry derives much of its revenues is more important than the odd legislation designed to keep jobs at home.

    Globalisation has meant that extreme measures will hurt the US companies as much as Indian companies and the recent rejection of the STEMS Job Act of 2012 by the White House also points to how these issues are tied in to much broader issues, such as, comprehensive immigration reform.

    Technology For The Future IAF: The Case For Hypersonic Craft

    The re-equipment of the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the medium- to long-term requires a careful look at the costs and technical problems associated with Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). The country may gain from examining alternative means of achieving the benefits in capability offered by FGFA through the possibly cheaper hypersonic route, especially if pursued indigenously.

    March 09, 2012