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Urgent need for stricter rules to ensure cyber security: India’s UN envoy

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Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin stresses India’s concern over cyber terrorism.

Syed Akbaruddin (Courtesy of twitter)

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Security Council Syed Akbaruddin has expressed concerns over present and impending dangers to the global cyber security.

“Despite years of concern, states have addressed few international instruments addressing issues of threats from cyberspace. Current international law is not well positioned to support responses to cyber attacks,” Akbaruddin said during the UNSC debate on “Threats to International Peace and Security caused by terrorist acts: Protection of Critical Infrastructure,” on Monday.

Akbaruddin said that in the present day ideas, industries, markets, resources, services and products are interconnected. Although it has benefits, but it also exposes the nations to multiple dangers. He said that apart from the infrastructural losses, terrorists are targeting wider areas.

“Protection of critical infrastructure is primarily a national responsibility. However, given that much of our technologies and base templates for systems around the world are similar, threats of attacks on an international stock exchange, a major dam, a nuclear power plant, possible sabotaging of oil/gas pipelines, air safety systems of airports, or potential blocking of an international canal or straits have much wider implications and pursuant complications far beyond national frontiers,” said Akbaruddin.

Akbaruddin pointed out that several recent terrorist attacks indicate that perpetrators had access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), and in some cases their manipulation was an important enabler. “The global nature of information and communication technologies raises the necessity for an international vision and coordination on policy aspects with the aim of enhancing capabilities,” he added.

He pointed out that Security Council decisions that impose binding counter-terrorism duties do not mention cyber-attacks.

“Since we can discern the threat and there is understandable global angst, can we look at options for strengthening international law against terrorist cyber attacks,” he asked.