India urges global convention to fight cyber crime

United Nations, Dec 16 (IANS) India has called for a truly global convention to fight cyber crime and to ensure cyber security.

India’s Electronics and Information Technology Secretary J.S. Deepak told a high level meeting of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that various stakeholders have to be involved to face the challenges of cyber security.

Emphasising the role of “governments, which bear ultimate responsibility for essential services and for public safety”, he said there was a need to “create a global convention to address issues of cyber security and cybercrime”.

He said that many of the cyber security challenges are “not well understood, much less addressed” and that a “multi-stakeholder approach” across geographies and societies was required to remedy this.

The General Assembly was holding a high level review of developments in the decade since the Tunis 2005 World Summit on Information Society (WSIS+10).

Because the next billion Internet users will come from the developing countries, policies to enable access to the internet should be formulated with full involvement of those nations, Deepak said. Of them, 500 million will be from India, he added.

While a European-initiated convention against cyber crime came into being in 2001 and has been signed by 50 countries, India has stayed away because it and most other non-Western countries were excluded.

India has not been spared cybr attacks. For example, a Silicon Valley cyber security company, FireEye reported in April that for over a decade a cyber operation with likely ties to China spied on Indian defence, business and media operations.

Deepak spoke of “the huge digital opportunity that lies before us, from health and education to agriculture and disaster management, from human resource development to financial inclusiona¿ and reiterated India’s commitment to sharing its expertise in information technology to help other countries. As examples of New Delhi’s efforts, he cited the Pan-African e-Network Project undertaken by India to connect 53 nations and India using fiber-optic and satellite networks for e-education and telemedicine, and the Central Asian telemedicine project.

Extoling India’s digital prowess, Deepak said its start-up sector is the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world. “Four new technology start-ups are coining up every day and because of their speed, agility and low costs, these are fast becoming preferred models of global research and development in ICT (information and communication technology),a¿ he said.

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