EU not willing to clarify concept of Budapest Convention: Dr Gulshan Rai

Dr Gulshan Rai, National Cyber Security Coordinator says there is a need for unbiased discussion; non-EU countries be allowed to participate in law-making process

While the European Union (EU) has been asking India to ratify the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, it is not willing to clarify the concept of the international treaty created by the Council of Europe, a top government official said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.

“They are asking us to join the Budapest Convention, let us join that but when we ask them kindly clarify the concept, European Union is not coming forward to do that,” said National Cyber Security Coordinator, Dr Gulshan Rai while inaugurating an 11th ASSOCHAM India Security Summit.

Lamenting that while India could become a member of the convention, it could not make or change the law, Dr Rai said, “They are the founder members, they will make the law, and they will change the law. We can become a member but we cannot participate in making or changing the law.”

Clarifying that India never said about promoting localisation but only sought cooperation, he called for a very frank and thorough discussion without any kind of bias or vested interest. 

Calling for global cooperation to remove asymmetry and promote comprehensive and balanced growth in the sector he said, “We need to look at how we handle the industry so that we continue to progress as per the objective and intention with which the cyberspace has been created.”

Excited about his participation at the ASSOCHAM Summit, Dr Prasanna  Mulgaonkar, CEO and Founder, Cloud Raxak said, “The summit was an interesting collection of very knowledgeable experts, who brought together diverse views points on the multifaceted nature of the cyber security landscape. From the international legal issues, to technical challenges, and the regulatory space, it’s the kind of education that entire IT eco-system needs.”

Sharing his perspective, Mr Vidur Gupta, Partner, EY highlighted that cyber security should no longer be viewed as a function of information technology or information security alone as it needs to form as integral part of culture and strategy of the organization. “It should be reflected in each and every facet of the organization, right from the strategy to the behaviour of an individual employee. Such an integrated cyber security vision aligns functions of the organizations with needs of the stakeholders and becomes a more acceptable strategy.”

Mr Pratyush Kumar, chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Cyber Security & Vice President, Boeing International and president, Boeing India said, India needs to be resilient to rising threat of cybercrime - both internal and external and prioritize our preparedness to overcome vulnerabilities that will arise as we make transition to a digital economy.

He added that healthy debate and discussions on the existing data protection models and the changing technology landscape must take place.

Earlier, in his welcome address, ASSOCHAM secretary general, Mr U.K. Varma said that while the fourth industrial revolution is characterised by newer technologies like internet of things (IoT), blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotics, it will change the scenario in an extremely big way, the flipside is that it would also provide a window of opportunity to criminals, terrorists and rouge states to play their own mandate. “That is what we have to really guard against.”


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