Guest Blogger: Aaron Kleiner
Earlier this fall, I had the opportunity to visit India for the Observer Research Foundation’s (ORF) India Conference on Cyber Security and Cyber Governance, known informally as CyFy. Now in its second year, CyFy is an important opportunity to engage with cybersecurity and Internet governance experts from around the world. Microsoft was pleased to join the Netherlands in serving as the Event Partners for Cyfy.
CyFy provides a particularly interesting platform for policy discussions because its focus is local and global. On the local level, there is no question that India is emerging as an online powerhouse. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) recently found India could surpass the United States in total number of Internet users by the end of 2015. One fascinating element of India’s trajectory is the rapidity of its growth. According to IAMAI, Internet adoption in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and three years from 100 to 200 million. However, it took only a year to move from 200 to 300 million users.
On the global level, not only is the new Indian government attracting significant diplomatic and economic interest from abroad, but India has played a more noticeable role in recent global policy deliberations. For example, CyFy took place just a few days before India’s proposal at the 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union, which highlighted India’s desire for a more articulated role for governments in Internet governance. In the trade policy space, India and the United States recently reinvigorated their Trade Policy Forum. These steps signal a more assertive and engaged Indian foreign and economic policy.
The discussions at CyFy reflected the breadth of concerns that India is working to address in the midst of these technology and policy shifts. For an in-depth view, you can read the conference outcome statement here. Microsoft participated in three interventions and, like most of the engagements at CyFy, each discussion touched upon hot topics in cybersecurity:
- Angela McKay, Director of Cybersecurity Policy, delivered a keynote address that focused on thriving through change, where Angela emphasized Microsoft’s commitment to building trust through our customer protection efforts and previewed concepts from Microsoft’s forthcoming cybersecurity norms paper;
- Jan Neutze, Director of Cybersecurity Policy, participated in a panel about terrorist use of information and communications technologies, which shifted into a discussion of government surveillance and Microsoft’s efforts to increase encryption; and
- I participated in a panel on the global cyber market, which focused on data localization and created an opportunity to unpack different concepts of both “data” and “localization” in the context of cloud computing.
The ORF team deserves praise for their work to put together an interesting and diverse conference. Microsoft looks forward to continued engagement on these topics with partners in India throughout the world. For more about Microsoft’s perspectives on cybersecurity policy, please visit www.microsoft.com/cybersecurity.