On 20 December 2021, the Gateway House-FLAME Policy Lab organised a webcast on geopolitical contestations in cyberspace. Gateway House’s Sameer Patil moderated the discussion with former deputy National Security Advisor Latha Reddy, National Law University’s Gunjan Chawla and cybersecurity expert Atul Khatavkar.
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As the private or autonomous space industry becomes more developed, an interesting phenomena is occurring. The public sector which runs space programmes has lagged behind, but also profits from the recent success of private space companies are limited to direct stakeholders. After a decade of private investment, it is worth assessing why countries like the U.S., Russia, China and India have pursued independence from government entities in space over the last decade.
A ransomware attack recently targeted Kaseya, a software services company in the U.S., for $70 million, incapacitating hundreds of its clients globally. There is an increasing incidence of such attacks, with perpetrators targeting government agencies and high-tech companies, leading to considerable economic losses. How can governments mitigate these threats and attribute responsibility to those accountable?
For years, Western countries have used sanctions as a means of economic warfare against their adversaries. Now, China and Russia are utilising the same tactic against the West. The United Nations Security Council is paralysed by differences between the five permanent members, leaving the tools of unilateral sanctions and counter-sanctions to proliferate at the cost of UN-approved multilateral sanctions.
With the U.S.-led Artemis Accords gathering momentum, and China and Russia joining hands, space exploration is becoming economically important. Countries increasingly want to participate in the space exploration economy and are partnering with space superpowers that have aligned geopolitical and geoeconomic interests. India, too, must do the same, says Dr. Chaitanya Giri, Fellow, Space and Ocean Studies Programme.
The ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline in the U.S. has underlined the importance of cyber security in critical infrastructure. India has not escaped the brunt of a recent global surge in cyber attacks. Though New Delhi has taken steps to protect critical infrastructure, problems in information sharing of threat vulnerabilities impede an effective response.
Facial recognition technology has emerged as an important identification tool. Big tech, social media companies and governments around the world use it and hold an unprecedented power over individuals and communities. Its use for surveillance purposes has brought it under public scrutiny. The technology has still not been perfected. Is it really ready for adoption?
The tool used to sustain and coordinate protests is a young, encrypted messaging service called Telegram. Its unique privacy and security features and resistance to the state has made Telegram more popular than its larger rivals, WhatsApp and WeChat. What is this communication phenomenon?
The immediate threat is more corrosive than explosive. States are using the tools of cyberwarfare to undermine the very foundation of the Internet: trust. The result is that an arena that the world relies on for economic and informational exchange has turned into an active battlefield.
Washington is planning to integrate its military space operations. Each arm of the United States Armed Forces has had a space command until now but uniting these discrete units into a new Space Force is a step ahead. The U.S.’ big-picture ambition is ‘full spectrum battle-space dominance’ and the contest to achieve it has implications for the defence and space industry