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India calls for global convention on Cyber security

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New Delhi: India called for a truly global convention to fight cyber crime and to ensure cyber security.

India’s Electronics and Information Technology Secretary JS Deepak told a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that various stakeholders have to be involved to face the challenges of cyber security.

Emphasising the role of “governments, which bear ultimate responsibility for essential services and for public safety”, he said there was a need to “create a global convention to address issues of cybersecurity and cybercrime”.

He said that many of the cyber security challenges were “not well understood, much less addressed” and that a “multi-stakeholder approach” across geographies and societies was required to remedy this.

The General Assembly was holding a high-level review of developments in the decade since the Tunis 2005 World Summit on Information Society (WSIS+10).

Because the next billion Internet users will come from the developing countries, policies to enable access to the internet should be formulated with full involvement of those nations, Deepak said. Of them, 500 million would be from India, he added.

While a European-initiated convention against cybercrime came into being in 2001 and has been signed by 50 countries, India has stayed away because it and most other non-Western countries were excluded.

India has not been spared cyber attacks. For example, a Silicon Valley cybersecurity company, FireEye reported in April that for over a decade a cyber operation with likely ties to China spied on Indian defence, business and media operations.

Deepak spoke of “the huge digital opportunity that lies before us, from health and education to agriculture and disaster management, from human resource development to financial inclusion and reiterated India’s commitment to sharing its expertise in information technology to help other countries. As examples of New Delhi’s efforts, he cited the Pan-African e-Network Project was undertaken by India to connect 53 nations and India using fiber-optic and satellite networks for e-education and telemedicine and the Central Asian telemedicine project.”

Extolling India’s digital prowess, Deepak said its start-up sector is the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world. “Four new technology start-ups are coming up every day and because of their speed, agility and low costs these are fast becoming preferred models of global research and development in ICT (information and communication technology)” he said.(IANS)

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Twitter bans Russia-based Kaspersky Lab from buying ads

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Live News Events on Your Twitter Timeline, Notifications
Live News Events on Your Twitter Timeline, Notifications. Pixabay

Twitter has banned Russia-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab from advertising on its platform, stating that the company “operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices.”

In an open letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Kaspersky Lab’s Founder Eugene Kaspersky has termed the move as “potential political censorship”.

Twitter icon.
Twitter bans ads. Pixabay

“At the end of January, Twitter unexpectedly informed us about an advertising ban on our official accounts where we announce new posts on our various blogs on cybersecurity (including, for example, Securelist and Kaspersky Daily) and inform users about new cyberthreats and what to do about them,” Eugene wrote on Friday.

“In a short letter from an unnamed Twitter employee, we were told that our company ‘operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices,'” he added.

Kaspersky Lab spent around $93,000 to promote its content on Twitter in 2017 and its India advertising share on Twitter was around $13,580.

“No matter how this situation develops, we won’t be doing any more advertising on Twitter this year. “The whole of the planned Twitter advertising budget for 2018 will instead be donated to the @EFF. They do a lot to fight censorship online,” Eugene tweeted on Saturday.

According to a report in Cyberscoop, a Twitter spokesperson pointed towards the September 2017 decree from US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that ordered federal agencies to remove Kaspersky products from their networks.

Also Read: New algorithm may help locate fake Facebook and Twitter accounts

“Kaspersky Lab may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Register. “Twitter is playing into the hands of cybercriminals when it hinders the delivery of important information on protection from cyberthreats,” Eugene said.

“The majority of our promoted content on Twitter has been about cybersafety and research and reports about the information security industry. We believe that this content brings value to a variety of Twitter users.”

“Twitter, if this is a matter of a decision being made in error, please openly admit this; people’d forgive you – everyone makes mistakes! I think that would be the only civilized way to quash any doubts about potential political censorship on Twitter,” Eugene said.

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Fake accounts on Twitter are many. VOA

The Kaspersky Lab founder said that more than two months have passed and the only reply he received from Twitter was the copy of the same boilerplate text.

“Accordingly, I’m forced to rely on another (less subtle but nevertheless oft and loudly declared) principle of Twitter’s – speaking truth to power – to share details of the matter with interested users and to publicly ask that you, dear Twitter executives, kindly be specific as to the reasoning behind this ban,” he said. IANS