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Mapping of India’s Cyber Security-Related Bilateral Agreements

Posted by Leilah Elmokadem and Saumyaa Naidu at Dec 29, 2016 01:20 PM |
With the rapid spread of cloud computing and the growth of cyber spaces, large masses of information are now easily transmittable transnationally, necessitating the ratification of new agreements and cooperation efforts amongst states in order to secure cyber spaces and regulate exchanges of information. In an attempt to understand the nature and extent of current international collaborative efforts in cyber security, we have compiled the following data regarding India’s cyber security-related bilateral agreements. The intention of this exercise is to offer a dynamic visualization that demonstrates which countries India has collaborated with on cyber security efforts and initiatives. This is an ongoing map that we will be updating as our research continues.

Download: Infographic (PDF) and data (XLSX)

The data used for the info-graphic consists of India’s MLATs, cyber security-related MoUs and Joint Statements, and Cyber Frameworks. An MLAT is an agreement between two or more countries, drafted for the purpose of gathering and exchanging information in an effort to enforce public or criminal laws. A MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) is a nonbinding agreement between two or more states outlining the terms and details of an understanding, including each party’s requirements and responsibility; it is often the first stage in the formation of a formal contract. For the purpose of this research, we have grouped Joint Statements with MoUs, as they both generally entail the informal agreement between two states to strengthen cooperation on certain issues. Lastly, a Cyber Framework consists of standards, guidelines and practices to promote protection of critical infrastructure. The data accounts for agreements centered on cyber security as well as any agreements mentioning cooperation efforts in Cyber Security, information security or cybercrime.

MLAT Agreement

The Mapping of India’s Cybersecurity-related bilateral agreement has been updated on April 12, 2017 with the following changes:

  1. A new MoU was signed between Australia and India in April 2017, focusing on combating terrorism and civil aviation security. Cybersecurity cooperation is mentioned in the MoU[1].
  2. A new MoU was signed between Bangladesh and India in April 2017. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the ICT Division of Bangladesh are the signing parties of the MoU. The agreement focuses on Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security[2].
  3. A preexisting MoU between France and India was added to the mapping, signed in January of 2016. Officials of both countries agreed to intensify cooperation between the Indian and French security forces in the fields of homeland security, cyber security, Special Forces and intelligence sharing to fight against criminal networks and tackle the common threat of terrorism[3].
  4. A new MoU was signed between Indonesia and India in March 2017. It focuses on enhancing cooperation in cyber security and intelligence sharing[4].
  5. A new MoU was signed between Kenya and India in January 2017, with “cyber security” mentioned as one of the key areas of cooperation[5].
  6. A preexisting MoU between Malaysia and India was added to the mapping, signed in November of 2015. Both sides agreed to promote cooperation and the exchange of information regarding cyber security incident management, technology cooperation and cyber attacks, prevalent policies and best practices and mutual response to cyber security incidents[6].
  7. A preexisting MoU between Mauritius and India, signed July 2016, was added to the mapping. This is a non-governmental MoU. Leading bourse BSE signed an agreement with Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) for collaboration in areas including cyber security[7].
  8. A new joint statement between India and Portugal was signed in March 2017. The two countries agreed to set up an institutional mechanism to collaborate in the areas of electronic manufacturing, ITeS, startups, cyber security and e-governance.[8]
  9. A preexisting MoU, signed between Qatar and India in December of 2016, was added to the mapping. The agreement was regarding a protocol on technical cooperation in cyberspace and combatting cybercrime[9].
  10. A new MoU was signed between Serbia and India in January 2017, focusing on cooperation in the field of IT, Electronics. The MoU itself does not explicitly mention cybersecurity. However, the MoU calls for cooperation and exchanges in capacity building institutions, which should entail cyber security strengthening[10].
  11. A preexisting MoU between Singapore and India was added to the mapping. The MoU was signed in January 2016, focusing on the establishment of a formal framework for professional dialogue, CERT-CERT related cooperation for operational readiness and response, collaboration on cyber security technology and research related to smart technologies, exchange of best practices, and professional exchanges of human resource development[11].
  12. A new joint statement was signed between UAE and India in January 2017, following up on their previous Technical Cooperation MoU signed in February 2016. To further deepen cooperation in this area, they agreed to set up joint Research & Development Centres of Excellence[12].
  13. A preexisting MoU has been included in the mapping, signed in May of 2016. CERT-In agreed with the UK Ministry of Cabinet Office to promote close cooperation between both countries in the exchange in knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of security related incidents[13].
  14. A new MoU between India and the US was signed in March 2017. CERT-In and CERT-US signed a MoU agreeing to promote closer co-operation and exchange of information pertaining to cyber security in accordance with relevant laws, rules and regulations and on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit[14].
  15. A new MoU was signed between Vietnam and India in January 2017, agreeing to promote closer cooperation for exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of cyber security incidents between both countries[15].

NOTE: Some preexisting MoUs were added as we were initially only including the most recent agreements in the mapping. Upon adding newly signed MoUs, we decided to also keep the preexisting ones and revisit the other entries to include any preexisting MoUs that were initially excluded due to not being the most-recent. In this respect, the visualization will be adjusted to indicate the number of MoUs per country.