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The widespread adoption of Aadhaar numbers and linkages to Unique Identification (UID) programme databases for the purpose of authenticating sensitive transactions should give pause to India’s foreign policy and military planners. That Aadhaar is a centralised database, and therefore susceptible to cyber attacks, is already known. But pervasive “Aadhaar-isation” brings together systems and platforms in […]

Likely to be among the options weighed by India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) in response to Pakistan’s alleged complicity in the Uri terrorist attack of September 18, 2016 is coercive cyber action. In theory, a cyber attack could be swift, minimise the risks of causalities, offer plausible deniability and could likely inflict serious damage on […]

On August 12, 2016 the Observer Research Foundation convened the first in a series of multistakeholder roundtables on encryption. This report is the outcome of the discussion of issues and proposal of solutions conducted at the roundtable. Being a complex, technical-legal question around access to data for law enforcement, encryption has long been a contested […]

India registered rapid economic growth over the past couple of years, with the GDP growing 7.6 percent in 2015-2016. While economic activity remains buoyant, however, the country still has a long way to go. The government must capitalise on the current economic momentum and use it to accelerate its reform agenda. One of the areas […]

Countering the militancy in Kashmir has become a highly challenging task due to the exploitation of new information and communication technology by insurgent groups. The battlefield is now a multidimensional one, encompassing both physical territory and cyberspace. The overall capabilities of insurgents have been enhanced by tools in cyberspace that are inexpensive, ever more sophisticated, […]


India must attain e-SWARAJ

R K Sharma

8 February, 2017

Abstract India is a sovereign nation; is it digitally sovereign, too? This paper examines the degree to which India is self-reliant in electronic hardware. After all, for a country to be self-reliant in the information age, it has to either attain indigenous capability in electronic manufacturing and services or be equipped to protect data and […]

Abstract Encrypting communications enhances privacy and the security of information services. This, in turn, incentivises innovation in the ICT sector and contributes significantly to the growth of the internet economy. India’s (now withdrawn) Draft National Encryption Policy was single-minded in its approach. It sought only to prescribe standards that would enable law enforcement agencies to access […]


The NCIIPC & Its Evolving Framework

Saikat Datta

27 October, 2016

Only eight years after India passed the Information Technology Act, did the term cybersecurity appear in a statute through a series of amendments to the Act approved by the Indian Parliament. In 2008, the amendments recognised the need for a focussed approach to cybersecurity and divided it into two segments: Critical and Non Critical. The […]


Navigating the Digital ‘Trilemma’

Samir Saran

14 October, 2016

Debates around internet policy have taken centre stage in domestic politics and international relations alike. While national debates are shaped by local priorities, politics and contextual ambitions, cyber diplomacy differs from traditional diplomacy in two important respects. First, the stakeholders invested in internet policy include not just states and governments but industry and civil society […]

This briefing document articulates a grand strategy for India to pursue the development of cyber and cyber-physical weapons, with a view to manage conflicts and the future balance of power in Asia. Definitions A cyber weapon is any code-based instrument that relies exclusively on digital networks, capable either of damaging their integrity or penetrating them […]

Abstract Critical information infrastructure (CII) is a pillar on which modern nations function. The revolution in information and communication technologies (ICT), apart from enhancing societal interactions and information diffusion, has improved the efficiency of organisations in all spheres of activity. These technologies, when developed, were guided by the need of open society for speed and […]

Described as stealthy, technically complex, tenacious, well-financed, and motivated by profit or strategic advantage, the spectrum of cybercrime defies every periphery. The cop-and-thief technological arms race remains as an enduring paradox of this digital terrain. Criminals across the globe, unfailingly strive to counteract innovations in cyber bulwarks for hardware and software.
The information infrastructure is increasingly under attack by cyber criminals. The number, cost, and sophistication of attacks are increasing at exponential rates. Most of these attacks are transnational by design, with victims spread throughout the world, necessitating multi-jurisdictional or trans-national investigations.

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