Mar 2017 03 – 04

Founded in 2010, Nullcon aims to discuss and showcase the future of information security and the next-generation of offensive and defensive security technology. Dr. Anja Kovacs is speaking on a panel titled ‘Digital warriors: India and the Future of Conflict on the Internet’ at Nullcon2017.

Nullcon started as a gathering for researchers and organizations to brain storm and demonstrate why the current technology is not sufficient and what should be the focus for the coming years pertaining to information security. In addition to security, one of the section of the conference called Desi Jugaad (Hindi for “Local Hack”) is dedicated to hacking where the organisers invite researchers who come up with innovative security/tech/non-tech solutions for solving real life challenges or taking up new initiatives.

Nullcon is managed and marketed by Payatu Technologies. The idea of nullcon emerged out of null - The open security community, a registered not-for-profit society and the largest active security community in India with over 8 chapters in major cities - Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Mysore, Trivandrum and Delhi. As a tribute to the community nullcon funds null to further null’s cause and supports all of its initiatives.

Dr. Anja Kovacs will speak on the panel titled ‘Digital warriors: India and the Future of Conflict on the Internet’ on 3 March, 11-12 am.

The other speakers are:

  • Mr Muktesh Chander, DGP, Goa.

  • Commodore A Anand, ADG, NCIIPC

  • Col Brijesh Dutta, currently the CISO of Reliance Jio.

The session is moderated by Mr. Saikat Datta.

Abstract of the session:

As digitisation spreads rapidly, connecting different communities and economies, the threats to cyberspace increases exponentially. Nation states look at technology and specifically the internet as a zone of great economic opportunity as well as scientific innovation. But as opportunities grow, there is a proportionate growth in vulnerabilities due to the increased dependence on networks.

In such a scenario, the globe is in the midst of a furious debate on how to treat the internet and the technological and statutory challenges it poses. Will it be treated as a global common, like the oceans and space is viewed today? Or will it be bound by the exigencies of territorial boundaries? Will it create new digital haves and have nots? Will the advanced economies create monopolies that will deny developing economies opportunities to achieve their full potential? How corrosive can state sponsored efforts at cyber espionage be and how can they escalate?

Many of these answers are core to how people will view the development and deployment of offensive technologies on the Internet. Unlike the physical world, where wars are governed by multilateral regimes and conventions, no such international agreement exists today. The Budapest Convention, that sought to establish some form of cooperation on jurisdiction has been rejected by countries like India on the grounds that it is discriminatory. The Wassenaar Arrangement, the seeks to place controls on technology transfers has also been found restrictive and monopolistic for countries like India. In the absence of any international agreement on cyber warfare, the Talin Manual serves as the only guiding document on how a convention could look like.

The growth of terrorism and non state actors using offensive internet technologies, encryption and social media has posed a much bigger challenge to the safety and security of societies going digital. While the internet is a tool of great progress, it has also become a tool for terror organisations to disrupt law and order and threaten societies and their way of life. The ISIS has become a leading technology user as it uses the internet to spread radicalisation and terror. The Pakistan based terror groups have been quick to use encryption and hacking tools to threaten Indian interests.

How does this effect human rights and Constitutional guarantees that lie at the heart of progressive and liberal democracies? These are complex challenges that need urgent answers.

Keeping India’s aspirations and growing economic and political clout in the global world order, what are its options? What can India do to address some of these concerns and what proactive steps can it take to emerge as a global leader on the future of conflict on the internet? The panel of experts drawn from intelligence, law & order, Internet Governance and military backgrounds will come together to delve on these issues and find answers that can serve as key policy inputs to the Government of India.


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