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ICANN & CDAC to establish Center of Excellence to thwart cyber attacks

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NEW DELHI: Coordination plans for the creation of a Center of Excellence in Domain Name System Security in India are to be put together by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in partnership with the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC).

The Center of Excellence is expected to work alongside ICANN security staff to design research projects intended to solve critical Domain Name System (DNS) security issues, such as thwarting cyber attacks. The center is also envisioned to be home to a state-of-the-art research laboratory to evaluate and test security solutions.

In the presence of Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, ICANN president and CEO Fadi Chehad? and CDAC DG Dr. Rajat Moona today signed a letter of intent regarding the building of the center during a signing ceremony at the 'Internet, Mobile & Digital Economy Conference' (IMDEC) organised by FICCI in association with the Ministry. The theme of the conference was 'Internet to Equinet: Empowering A Billion Online'.

Sibal said India is fully committed to freedom of expression to work towards creating equality of opportunity, and there is a need to create systems for encouraging free flow of information, moving away from the traditional idea that knowledge is a personal asset.

He said that the way forward is to take the consensual approach where all the stakeholders including the government will have an equal say while deciding the institutional framework. Creating an inter-governmental group is not a solution because governments will have their differences. Besides, the industry forms the crux of cyber space and without them feasible policy cannot be conceived.

Sibal said the spread of internet and technology is creating awareness among people; they now know of the public services that are available to them, and this was leading to the development of a transparent society.

Speaking about the relevance of the centre, Chehad?, said, "This center will play a central role in ensuring the security and stability of the Domain Name System. The Internet has become one of the world's most valued resources and it is deserves nothing less than full global cooperation and collaboration in developing concrete solutions to combat threats to the DNS."

Nehchal Sandhu, Deputy National Security Advisor to the Government, said equal, unrestricted, affordable and sustainable access to ICT are needed to give equal opportunity to the people of India. Equal opportunity means democratic, transparent, collaborative and participatory way of knowledge sharing.

M F Farooqui, Secretary in the Department of Telecommunications, said internet and telephony are interconnected and people at the bottom of the pyramid can be empowered by granting them access to these tools. The National Optical Fibre Network tends to provide connectivity to 600 million people by 2020, which would open new choices for people.

J Satyanarayana, Secretary, Department of Electronics & IT, Ministry of Communications & IT, Government of India, said, "We are always in doubt when accessing the internet whether whatever is being shared is visible to someone else far off. We need to dispel this fear, which is associated to the internet."

He said, "Last week, the Union Cabinet approved the National Policy on Universal Electronic Accessibility that recognizes the need to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disabilities as well as to facilitate equal access to electronics and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). It is a step towards shifting emphasis from internet to equinet." He added that the policy will facilitate equal and unhindered access to electronics and ICT products and services by differently-abled persons (both physically and mentally challenged) and to facilitate local language support.

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