Originally Published 2013-09-05 14:26:44 Published on Sep 05, 2013
The Ministry of External Affairs, backed by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, will have to further streamline the efforts to address India's cyber concerns and also factor in India's impending interests in the global ICT trade.
Cyber diplomacy: India's march

The 17th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress, set to open on Oct. 15, is drawing growing attention as it will pick the possible successor of Chinese President Hu Jintao who will retire in 2012. The event is also important as it will come with a blueprint for China's national development for the next five years. Liaoning party boss Li Keqiang, 52, and Shanghai party secretary Xi Jinping, 54, are currently competing to become the sole Fifth-Generation official to be included in the powerful Politburo Standing Committee. Inclusion in the nine-strong elite group as the youngest member is tantamount to securing the presidency in the post-Hu era.

Source: Korea Times 07.10.07

nformation technology and telecommunications in the context of international security". This was adopted by consensus and called upon the UN Member States to promote the consideration of existing and potential threats in the field of information security at multilateral levels. It also mandated the UN Secretary General to report back to the 54th General Assembly. Since then UN resolutions 55/63(2000), 56/121(2002), 57/239(2002), 58/199(2004) and 64/211(2009) have been passed and the scope significantly enhanced to cover all the emerging issues related to cyberspace. As per the last two resolutions mentioned above, two Groups of Governmental Experts (GGE) were formed in 2004 and 2009 respectively, and they have submitted their reports. The recommendations of the 20- country GGE 2009, submitted in 2010, highlighted the need for further dialogue and continued exchanges for confidence building and stability in the global community. The report of the 3rd GGE which started its work last year will be presented to the 68th session of the General Assembly in September 2013. India has been an active participant in both the 2nd and 3rd GGE which in turn is significantly moving towards some agreement on dealing with issues of cyberspace.

Indian cyber diplomacy so far has been seeking a regime to look at all issues that impact the growth, stability and security of cyberspace and the internet medium. In the two phases of the World Summit on the Information Society - in 2003 in Geneva and then in 2005 in Tunis - issues related to cyberspace were deliberated among policy makers, the industry and civil society on a wide scale for the first time. Indian participation was at the highest level, being led by the Minister for Information Technology and actively supported by the Ministry of External Affairs. India supported the efforts for greater incorporation of ICT tools for development. India is also working towards a global

ecosystem that would look at issues of infrastructure for the management of the internet resources and also issues of usage of the medium. India was actively involved in the 2009 GGE and over a period of time has vouched for global cooperation. The Indian Government's position of considering the safety of cyberspace as a global public good and addressing the problem together was made very clear during the London Conference on Cyber Space in November 2011. At the same meet, India had also reiterated its support for a discussion on whether laws covering international armed conflict - such as the Geneva Conventions - can also cover cyber attacks. Likewise in February 2011 at the 47th Munich Security Conference, the National Security Adviser of India reiterated the need to look at all the international conventions in the context of issues facing cyberspace.

However, at the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in October 2011, India for the first time made its position clear about the need for a multilateral body to manage cyberspace. It reiterated the urgency to

The appointment of two ministers who are not members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) generated much talk earlier this year - but that was just the beginning. A senior Party official yesterday said the CPC is determined to tap more of the talent outside the Party to help with the country's economic and social development. "The practice of selecting government bureau leaders from among the ranks of non-CPC members will continue in the long run," Chen Xiqing, vice-minister of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee, said yesterday. The France-trained non-CPC scientist Chen Zhu was named the health minister, while the Germany-trained Wan Gang, who is a member of the China Zhi Gong (Public Interest) Party, was named science and technology minister earlier this year. They were the first non-CPC members to be appointed to ministry-level posts since the 1970s.

Source:China Daily 11.10.07

utting internet-related global issues;

  ii.    Coordinate and oversee the bodies responsible for technical and operational functioning of the internet, including global standards setting;

  iii.    Facilitate negotiation of treaties, conventions and agreements on internet-related public policies;

  iv.    Address developmental issues related to the internet;

  v.    Promote the promotion and protection of all human rights, namely: civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights, including the Right to Development;

  vi.    Undertake arbitration and dispute resolution, where necessary; and,

  vii.    Crisis management in relation to the internet.

India reiterated this position for the creation of CIRP at the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development meet held in Geneva in May 2012. This Indian position at the UN General Assembly was consistent with the India- Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Multistakeholder meeting on Global Internet Governance held in September 2011 in Brazil which recommended the setting up of a body under the UN. It would be tasked with the developing and establishing international public policy related to the internet and with addressing issues related to the development of the internet. It would also undertake arbitration and dispute resolution and be responsible for crisis management. India had thus garnered support for the effort from two other nations having significant economic activity across geographies.

The Indian position has generated a lot of debate within the country and also in the international community, where it is seen as a ploy to challenge the current mechanism, where the internet is managed by the US-based non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN has been managing the critical resources of the internet efficiently with a governing council of government representatives. Some Western critics have gone to the extent of likening the Indian cyber position to that of countries like China, which interfere with internet freedom. Also there are concerns that such a position actually doesn't comprehensively address the growth and stability of the internet and rather bureaucratizes the control of internet.

In October 2012, at the Budapest Conference on Cyberspace, India expressed its desire for a nuanced position on issues of cyber security and more enhanced cooperation than in the past. This would entail formal government-level bilateral and multilateral engagements and also informal, civil society and peer group interventions. Such a position is likely to be reiterated at the Seoul Conference on Cyberspace in November this year.

Likewise, the private sector participation

China's communist chiefs wrapped up secretive preparatory talks here on 12 October ahead of a crucial meeting next week that will define the nation's political agenda for the next five years. After four days of closed-door discussions, the Communist Party's central committee of around 350 members approved a change to the party's constitution, a statement issued after the talks said, without giving details. The meeting also approved a party work report to be delivered to a Congress of more than 2,000 top cadres starting on 15th October, during which President Hu Jintao is expected to tighten his grip on power amid a major leadership reshuffle. While no details of the change to the party's charter were released, the communique referred to earlier plans to incorporate Hu's ideology of scientific development and the building of a "harmonious society" into the constitution.

Source: AFP 09.10.07

ill be crucial for a leading role for India in the global cyber diplomacy. The Ministry of External Affairs, backed by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, will have to further streamline the efforts to address India's cyber concerns and also factor in India's impending interests in the global ICT trade. Needless to say the NCSP will give the right impetus to take things forward with the active cooperation of all the stakeholders.

(Subimal Bhattacharjee is a commentator on cyberspace policy issues and former country head of General Dynamics in India)

Courtesy : ORF Cyber Monitor

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