India's top security brass has claimed that the Obama administration came up with an executive order that resembles India's cybersecurity initiatives after it had failed to get the Cyber Security Bill approved in the US Senate.
A confidential document circulated by National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) — the apex agency looking into the country's political, economic, energy and strategic security concerns — to the chiefs of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force said that the Executive Order issued by the US President on February 12, this year 'in many respects mirrors the initiatives taken by India in it's document on framework of cybersecurity.'
A document issued by security brass of the country, which was reviewed by ET, cites at least 12 instances where the US order mirrors India's cybersecurity framework that was drafted in 2011. These include setting out a cybersecurity policy, defining critical infrastructure , information sharing between departments and protection of civil liberties. It's imperative to note that US President Barack Obama was unable to get the draft cybersecurity bill passed in the US Senate last year.
Under fire from civil and internet liberal associations, the bill had failed by eight votes. The bill needed 60 votes in a 100-member senate. However, Obama's order is silent on identifying enemy infrastructure. ET reported in December of 2011 about India's cybersecurity framework, which includes mapping of cybersystems of other countries, including their internet gateways, routers, IT system layouts, and web routing patterns.
At the same time, the National Security Council Secretariat has also pointed out that the US has made substantive progress in protection of critical infrastructure against cyberthreats. "The executive order stipulates time frames for auction that are still absent in the Indian perspective. There appears to be greater recognition of and sensitivity to threats in cyberspace and, hence, a greater sense of urgency than what is apparent in India. There are also closer linkages with the private sector and a more defined consultative process. Lastly, the order specifically stresses the need to ensure due protection of privacy and civil liberties as an integral part of any efforts towards cybersecurity," the National Security Council Secretariat communication added.
Both India and US have been victims of cyberattacks originating from China. US-China ties have also come under pressure due to cyber spying from China. In a report released this month, Pentagon, which houses the US Department of Defense, has alleged that China is cyberspying against the US government, which includes attacks to gain information about its weapons programs.
India's external affairs, home affairs and defence ministries have come under cyberattacks originating from China.