Volume 1, Issue 6

Volume 1, Issue 6

Date: August 04, 2020

The month of July, 2020 witnessed a number of national and international developments related to Cyberspace with geopolitical implications.

Cyber-attacks on Indian Banking Services and Information Infrastructure from China continued unabated, but reportedly without much success.

The Indian Government undertook scrutiny of Chinese Apps, Chinese digital equipment deployed on Critical Infrastructure, and Chinese investors in Indian start-ups because of concerns regarding China’s military-civil fusion policy.

India’s telecommunications companies requested the government to expedite the 5G Spectrum auction for trial and roll out of networks, leveraging the global ecosystem around the 26 GHz band, besides other bands of the Frequency Spectrum.

Reliance Jio indicated it has developed its own end-to-end 5G technology which is awaiting trial and commercialisation, a development that may herald indigenous alternatives to reliance on Chinese equipment.

India’s commitment to emerging technologies, including Artificial Intelligence for inclusive growth and development, was the highlight of the Prime Minister’s online conversation with Google CEO Sundar Pichai on July 13, 2020.

As countries around the world tighten data privacy and security within their borders, India is moving to draft and reinforce policies governing the use of both personal and non-personal data.

Google announced plans to invest $10 billion in India over the next 5-7 years, to “accelerate digitisation” in India, of which an investment of Rs. 33,737 crores ($4.5 billion) will go to its capability building initiatives with Reliance Jio.

On the international front, US-China, US-Russia, UK-Russia and Israel-Iran face offs in cyberspace continued. The governments of the US, UK and Canada named Russia-based hackers for attacks on virus vaccine research infrastructure. US Security Agencies issued a cybersecurity alert to operators of critical infrastructure in view of heightened tension with adversaries.

The US Senate voted to incentivise domestic semiconductor manufacturers, while the US Department of Energy (DOE) prepared a strategy for the development of a national quantum internet.

The US and Russia held inconclusive Space Talks on July 27, 2020 amidst allegations by the US that Russia had conducted the trial of an anti-satellite weapon.
The UK banned Huawei from Britain's 5G network and ordered telecom companies to remove all existing Huawei gear from their networks by 2027, while France urged telecom operators to avoid sourcing from Huawei.