Cyber Security Dialogue: US-India Agree to collaborate Against LeT and Other Terrorist Threats

(Left to Right): Dr. Mukesh Aghi , Dr. Gulshan Rai, Dr. Arvind Gupta, Michael Daniel, Dr. Andy Ozment, Chris Painter, Joe Alhadeff

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Washington, DC – After a two year hiatus, the long-awaited fourth US-India Cyber Security Dialogue took place in Washington, DC this week (ending August 14) with both countries reiterating their committeemen “to robust cooperation on cyber issues” to increase global cybersecurity and promote the digital economy. The US delegation was led by the US cybersecurity coordinator and special assistant to president Michael Daniel and India was represented by’ deputy national security adviser Arvind Gupta.

“Cybersecurity is fundamentally a team endeavor, and it is essential that international partners like India and the US work together closely, along with industry and civil society, to raise our cyber defenses in both the short and long term, to disrupt and interrupt malicious actors in cyberspace, and to improve our ability to respond to and recover from cyber threats,” Daniel, said.

“The resumption of the dialogue itself is a positive sign. We are hopeful that the governments and industries from both the countries can work together to chart the way forward for a successful US-India partnership in responding to the evolving cyber challenges,” said Gupta.

In a joint statement issued by the White House, the delegations discussed a range of cyber issues including cyber threats, enhanced cybersecurity information sharing, cyber incident management, cybersecurity cooperation in the context of “Make in India,” efforts to combat cybercrime, Internet governance issues, and norms of state behavior in cyberspace.

The two delegations identified a variety of opportunities for increased collaboration on cybersecurity capacity-building, cybersecurity research and development, combatting cybercrime, international security, and Internet governance, and intend to pursue an array of follow-on activities to bolster their cybersecurity partnership and achieve concrete outcomes.

In addition to the formal Dialogue, the delegations met with representatives from the private sector to discuss issues related to cybersecurity and the digital economy. The Indian delegation also met with Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco.

Commenting on the meeting of Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco with Indian Deputy National Security Advisor Gupta, NSC Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement, “Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Lisa Monaco, met with Indian Deputy National Security Advisor Dr. Arvind Gupta in conjunction with the United States-India Cyber Dialogue.”

“The leaders discussed a wide range of issues including cybersecurity, enhanced law enforcement cooperation, and US-India collaboration against Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and other terrorist threats. Building on the commitment that President Obama and Prime Minister Modi made in New Delhi in January to make the US-India partnership “a defining counterterrorism relationship for the 21st Century,” they agreed to deepen their already close collaboration on these issues,” added Price.

Moreover, the Department of State Coordinator for Cyber Issues Christopher Painter and the Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary for Policy Planning, Counterterrorism, and Global Cyber Issues Santosh Jha co-hosted the Dialogue. US whole-of-government participation included the Departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security, Treasury, and Commerce. The Indian government was represented by the National Cyber Security Coordinator at the National Security Council Secretariat, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

Speaking at the US-India Business Council (USIBC) reception later, Mukesh Aghi, President of the Council said, “As the digital economy continues to develop, the interdependency between governments and businesses will grow. It is in the interest of all parties to continue to engage in dialogues that spur policy developments and economic growth.”

“Information and communications technologies and services (ICT) enable innovations that provide economic, social, and cultural benefits to citizens, businesses, and governments around the world. Those same players must also collaborate to enhance cybersecurity, and Microsoft supports the commitment that the US and Indian Governments have made to work together on this priority. Microsoft looks forward to continued engagement with them, including through the Cybersecurity Dialogue, to make meaningful progress on the challenges and opportunities facing our globally-interconnected society,” said Angela McKay, Director, Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy for Microsoft.

“The government’s programs to promote cybersecurity and assure national security are closely tied to the systems and infrastructure which business operates. Consultation with business as early in the process as possible can help assure that such programs are implemented effectively while avoiding needless burdens or unintended consequences to innovation and business operations. Such collaboration is essential to fulfilling the Prime Minister’s ambitious programs for India’s continued economic growth and societal inclusion,” said Joe Alhadeff, Chair of the Council’s Digital Economy Committee.

The two countries decided to hold the next round of the Cyber Dialogue in Delhi in 2016.

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