Volume 2, Issue 1

Volume 2, Issue 1

Date: February 02, 2021

In terms of Indian policy, there were several important developments related to digital technology in 2020, including the banning of more than 200 applications, the promulgation of the National Telecom Security Directive, and controls on FDI policy on grounds of national security. The National Cyber Security Strategy, the Draft Personal Data Protection Bill and the draft Non-Personal Data Framework remained under active discussion for implementation in 2021.

Data privacy issues came to the fore in January, triggered by the notification of a privacy policy update by WhatsApp. Implementation of this update was postponed from February 8 to May 15, following the exodus of a significant number of 400 million Indian WhatsApp users to rival messaging platforms like Signal and Telegram. This problem can be addressed only by the early adoption of a law on data privacy and security in India.

While common netizens were perturbed by privacy concerns, security agencies were challenged by innovative apps capable of encrypted communication on 2G networks and virtual SIM cards used by terrorist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, ransomware and phishing attacks remained the preferred mode of cybercrimes in the national cyber space.

Indian telecom service providers are gearing up for an early roll out of 5G, while the government is facilitating them with commercially viable policies and spectrum availability.

Global cyber scene during the month was dominated by the role played by digital corporations and the technologies that facilitated the Capitol siege on January 6 and legal investigations thereafter.

The US investigation into the SolarWinds hack, reported last month, remained under progress.

Semiconductor chips have become strategic assets in the ongoing geopolitical contest and China presently find itself decoupled from its global supply chain. TSMC’s chip-making skills have handed Taiwan political and economic leverage amidst the US-China technology standoff.