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India is committed to an open, safe and inclusive cyber space, asserts: Sushma Swaraj

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said that India is committed to an open, safe, secure, inclusive, democratic and dynamic cyber space. Delivering the valedictory address at the closing ceremony of the Global Conference on Cyber Space in New Delhi today, Ms Swaraj said, the Digital India programme is focused on three key vision areas infrastructure, Governance and digital empowerment.

She said, Digital India programme has the potential to truly transform India from a developing to a developed knowledge economy. She said, the very dynamic and evolving nature of cyber space has brought cyber issues to the centre-stage of development polity, crime prevention and investigation, expansion of economy and trade, national and international security. Ms Swaraj said, all forms of activities – political , social, economic and development – which are now conducted and connected in cyber space has not only expedited the pace of growth, but also brought forth a new set of challenges for which no pre-set solutions exist.

She cautioned that the lack of borders in cyber space and the anonymity of the actors has ensured that the traditional concepts of sovereignty, jurisdiction and privacy are challenged. She said that the global gathering of cyber experts at the conference is a testimony to the fact that the nations need to engage with each other to redefine concepts and align traditional processes to the new paradigms.

She said, there is hardly any meeting between heads of states which goes without a discussion on cyber issues points to the growing penetration, significance and criticality of Internet to the social, economic and cultural lives of the nations. She said that cyber space has been infiltrated by malicious actors looking for opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities.

She said, the anonymity, borderless spaces and speed have helped these elements to carry out nefarious activities ranging from cyber espionage, concerted attacks on networks, data theft, infringement of privacy and extremist propaganda.

The Minister said, prime syndicates and terrorist organisations now leverage malicious tools in cyber space to carry out complex crimes posing considerable challenges to the law enforcement agencies. She said, it is imperative that the states engage with each other diplomatically in increasing instances of cyber attacks to defuse tensions arising in the wake of challenges of attribution.

She said, India has taken steps to promote international security and stability in cyber space through a framework that recognises the applicability of international law, in particular the UN Charter.

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