Cyber Security

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  • The US-North Korea Cyber Dispute

    The US-North Korea Cyber Dispute

    US authorities have claimed that North Korea was behind the cyber-attack on Sony Pictures. But North Korea has strongly denied this claim. Now, both countries are threatening to fight this ‘battle’ in cyber space.

    December 26, 2014

    Taking Stock of the Public-Private Partnership in Cybersecurity

    Taking Stock of the Public-Private Partnership in Cybersecurity

    Effective cybersecurity calls for a close partnership between the government in its role as custodian of the nation’s security, and the private sector, in both roles of information infrastructure provider as well as the provider of many critical services.

    December 31, 2014

    Cyber: Also a Domain of War and Terror

    India, the IT nation, did not make a news splash at CyberTech 2014. That is worth a passing thought. Because cyber is the fifth and new domain of warfare, after land, sea, air and space.

    January 2015

    The Geopolitics of Cyber Espionage

    There is an intricate relationship between the methods of cyber espionage and the evolution of information and communications technology, of which information security is a key aspect. This article is an attempt to establish forward and backward linkages of cyber espionage. It examines the geopolitics, methods, role of information security technology and, most importantly, how the future of cyber espionage is being shaped by emerging technologies such as supercomputing, quantum computing and ‘big data’, from an Indian perspective.

    January 2015

    Cybersecurity: Global, Regional and Domestic Dynamics

    Cybersecurity: Global, Regional and Domestic Dynamics

    Governments find themselves struggling to deal with the issue of cybersecurity. Given the current state of play in cybersecurity, it is not surprising that any discussion sooner or later ends up as a confusing mix of viewpoints on fundamental rights, privacy, law enforcement, human rights, globalisation and national security, thus leading to a gridlock.


    Internal Security Priorities for the New Government: Institutional Reforms

    Internal Security Priorities for the New Government: Institutional Reforms

    The IDSA policy brief looks into the complexity of internal security challenges and how best to deal with it. The brief suggests building a Centre-State synergy to cope with contemporary trends like increasing urbanization, growth of mega cities, demographic shift, rising expectations of the youth and social media.

    May 19, 2014

    The US’ Surveillance Review Panel Report: An Assessment

    The 300-page report has 46 recommendations offering drastic solutions while addressing many of the issues in the wake of the Snowden revelations. The Administration has already rejected a key recommendation; that since both the NSA and Cyber Command have conflicting functions, the NSA should be placed under civilian control and should be split from the Cyber Command.

    January 09, 2014

    Himanshu Singh asked: What is the current Internet Governance architecture and the ongoing negotiations on the subject?

    Cherian Samuel replies: Internet Governance architecture at present can be divided into a technical stream and a policy stream. The technical stream largely follows a networked governance model with bodies such as the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board, the Internet Research Task Force and the Internet Engineering Steering Group, working together to resolve technical issues and create standards and protocols to facilitate innovation and progress. Members of these groups include operators, academics, and representatives of government and industry, amongst others.

    The policy stream is split between the hierarchical model as exemplified through organisations such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the network governance model, through the creation of bodies such as the Internet Governance Forum which seeks to follow a multi-stakeholder approach.

    Governments have largely found it difficult to navigate the network governance model where they occupy just one of the seats at the table along with other stakeholders. However, due to the varied issues and their increasing complexity with the relentless march of technology, governments will increasingly have to play a more prominent role in internet governance.

    The Working Group on Internet Governance set up by the UN secretary general in 2003 described Internet governance as “the development and application by Governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.” Ten years on, governments are still at the stage of building consensus on shared principles, and so there is still a long way to go.

    Ashwini Kumar asked: How do national security structures of any country strike a balance between surveillance and privacy? How far CMS fits into it?

    Cherian Samuel replies: Surveillance has always been an essential function of a government, carried out through its intelligence agencies. On balance, it has been seen that people are willing to forego their privacy to a considerable extent in return for security. At the same time, privacy is increasingly seen as an individual right and governments have had to walk a fine line between intruding into the individual’s space in the interest of national security and ensuring that privacy rights are not trampled upon in the process.

    Cyberspace has brought a new dimension to this dilemma in that governments, if they so desire, can obtain a veritable deluge of information ranging from communication to location records. There is a legitimate concern that such untrammelled power has the potential to be misused. Checks and balances in the form of minimisation and oversight procedures have not been able to cope with the data deluge. While a global debate is on in the wake of the Snowden revelations about the US and other countries using the current dominant positions of their internet companies to collect intelligence, countermeasures might result in a reduction in external surveillance, not necessarily internal monitoring.

    The Central Monitoring Service is currently an open source intelligence gathering service under the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO). While there have been reports that the CMS has also been tasked with analysing internet content, the establishment of such a system is still in the early stages, and in no way compares with the scale and size of the surveillance capabilities of the US National Security Agency.

    National Cyber Security Policy 2013: An Assessment

    The public-private partnership and emphasis on research and development are the key features of the document calling for collaborative engagements and operational cooperation with industry and academia.

    August 26, 2013