IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 30th July 2020
“In my experience, there is only one motivation, and that is desire. No reasons or principle contain it or stand against it.” –Jane Smiley
EDITORIAL HUNT #110 :“Roadmap for Digital Cooperation“
Syed Akbaruddin has served as India’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations
A quest for order amid cyber insecurity
Better arrangements and intense partnerships, but with extra safeguards, are needed in a more contested domain
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: CYBER SECURITY
Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, gently calls for action. Comment-(GS 3)
- Different types of Cyber Issues
- Global Stand on Cyber Issues
- To-do list
- PHISHING ON RISE : In one week in April 2020, reportedly,18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19 monitored by a single email provider.
- SPAMMING : in addition to more than 240 million COVID-19-related daily spam messages.
- RANSOMWARE : Twitter hackers collected $120,000 in full public gaze, while a “ransomware” target in California quietly paid 116.4 bitcoins or $1.14 million.
- STATE ORGANIZED CRIMES : Australia mentioned of attacks by a state actor.
- HACKERS : The United Kingdom has warned of hackers backed by the Russian state targeting pharmaceutical companies.
- BANNING APP : The ban on specified Chinese Apps, on grounds of sovereignty and integrity of India” adds another layer of complexity to the contestation in cyberspace.
- UNDERSTANDING PARAMETERS : While we are embracing new ways of digital interaction and more of our critical infrastructure is going digital.
- EXPERT AREA : Like global public health, cybersecurity is a niche area, left to experts.
NO GLOBAL COMMONS
- INCONCLUSIVE WAR : Borderless cyberspace, as a part of the “global commons” does not exist.
- MYTHS : It is an illusion that connectivity across national boundaries nurtured.
- CONTROL : The Internet depends on physical infrastructure that is under national control.
- RESPONSIBILITY : States are responsible for cybersecurity , enforcement of laws and protection of public good.
- JURISDICTION OF INTERNET : The infrastructure on which the Internet rests falls within jurisdictions of many states with differing approaches.
- NON-STATE ACTORS : Many networks are private, with objectives differing from those of states.
- TOOL BOX : Finally cybertools are dual use, cheap and make attribution and verification of actions quite a task.
- EAGLES EYE : Nevertheless, states alone have the rights of oversight.
GAPS IN CURRENT PROCESSES
- FIRST TRUMPETS : It was in 1998 that Russia inscribed the issue of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in UN.
- GOVERNMENTAL EXPERTS : Since then six Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) with two-year terms and limited membership have functioned .
- OPEN GROUP LAST YEAR : An Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) began last year with a broadly similar mandate, but open to all.
- LESS INTEREST : More than 100 states evinced interest.
- REPORTS : It is meandering along, with a report likely next year.
- FOCUS : The discussions are narrowly focused in line with the mandate of the forum that set it up.
- ACKNOWLEDGEMENT : While terrorism and crime are acknowledged as important, discussion on these has not been focused on in other UN bodies.
- NET RESULT : The net result of the UN exercise has been an acceptance that international law and the UN Charter are applicable in cyberspace.
MORE ENGAGEMENT NEEDED
- Cyberspace is experiencing this too.
- ANALYSING FOOTPRINTS : As India’s cyber footprint expands, so will space for conflicts and crimes.
- TEAM : We have a very active nodal agency for cybersecurity in the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).
- REPRESENTATION : India has had representatives on five of the six GGEs, and participated actively at the OEWG.
- THE NEXT PHASE : This requires better arrangements and more intense partnerships, but with more safeguards.
- CLARITY : We need the clarity that adoption of a data protection legislation will bring.
- PRIVATE PLAYERS : We need to encourage our private sector to get involved more in industry-focused processes such as the Microsoft-initiated Cybersecurity Tech Accord and the Siemens-led Charter of Trust.
- MULTI-STAKE PREPARATION : Engagement in multi-stakeholder orientations such as the Paris Call (for trust and security in cyberspace) can help.
- DEEPER UNDERSTANDING : In preparation for the larger role that cyberspace will inevitably play in Indian lives, we need a deeper public understanding of its various dimensions.
“Cyberspace is too important to be left only to the experts.”
SOURCES: THE HINDU EDITORIAL| Roadmap for Digital Cooperation | UPSC