NEW DELHI: Even as National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon feels that the issue needs to be settled in international law, Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal said Indian authorities should have the jurisdiction to deal with cyber attacks against the country irrespective of their source.
Sibal said that there should be "accountability and responsibility" in the cyber space. "If there is a cyber space violation and the subject matter is India because it impacts India, then India should have jurisdiction. For example, if I have an embassy in New York, then anything that happens in that embassy is Indian territory and there applies Indian Law.
"If the impact of such a violation is on India, then Indian courts must have the jurisdiction. That should apply across the world," he said.
When it was pointed out at an Observer Research Foundation seminar on cyber security that the American National Security Agency was accused of spying on Indian and other missions there, Sibal said, "Do not trivialise the issue."
Menon said, "It is not a settled issue in international laws. That is why you need an agreement and consensus on it."
Sibal said: "The issue of identity in cyber space is of enormous importance. There must be accountability and responsibility in the cyber space."
He said the government believed in complete freedom of cyber space. “Freedom of expression is central to our ideological stand on cyber space but at the same time, there should be a de facto recognition of threats that are there in cyber space."
"We need to deal with those threats locally and globally. We need a consensus on those. What we don't need is a governed space. I think governance in cyber space is oxymoron," he said.