Global Cooperation Essential for Cyber Security: Sibal

by Shweta Verma    Dec 11, 2013

kapil sibal

The innumerable opportunities that are emerging in the digital world today are also creating a new set of security challenges that need to be addressed. As countries devise their own mechanisms to counter the increasing incidents of cyber attacks, it is equally important to ensure global cooperation in this space, believes Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications & IT.

We cannot fight for cyber justice alone…

“There are lots of stakeholders in the cyber space, governments and businesses are all part of this global community. Security has today become a complex issue because all countries want to protect their ‘own’ space and there are no global arrangements yet,” Sibal pointed out while speaking at the Nasscom-DSCI Annual Information Security Summit, 2013. “Unless we agree on certain principals, it is going to be a big challenge and global espionage and cybercrimes are only going to increase,” he said.

The IT minister asserted that global cooperation has today become extremely essential to address the kind of security-related problems that we face today. “We have to accept the fact that no nation can fight for cyber security on its own, so we need global cooperation in this area. Unless we realize this and come together we won’t be able to deal with the security challenges that are coming up,” he said.

Sibal suggested that the security space needs to evolve global arrangements like WTO and TRIPS to make sure that our national laws are consistent with global standards. “We need to evolve global rules to ensure cyber justice,” he said.

Freedom in the cyberspace needs accountability…

Reacting to the criticism about increasing cyber spying and governments’ surveillance programs that are affecting the privacy of users, Sibal explained that while secrecy and privacy is important for individuals, we cannot afford to be secretive at the cost of national security.

“We have been hearing talks about government interfering in the private space in the name of security, and private companies are saying we don’t want this interference,” he said. “I agree that we must allow various entities the freedom to innovate and create. But at the same time, we have to ensure that this space is equitable. We cannot have private entities control this space.”

“Freedom can become its own enemy in the absence of accountability,” said the IT minister. “This digital world that is so innovative should not be allowed to become self-destructive in the name of freedom.”

The legal framework has to be different…

The digital world needs to evolve its own laws to ensure justice in the cyberspace. According to Sibal, this space needs a new set of rules and regulations that are different from the physical space. 

“The legal framework that the global community needs in the cyber world needs instant judgement,” explained Sibal. “When an attack takes place, we need immediate remedial action. We cannot afford to take months over such problems.”