A Boost for Indo-U.S. Cyber CooperationEastWest Institute's McConnell Says Obama Visit Crucial
With the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority's stewardship transition due in September, now may be an opportunity for India to step up and take a prominent leadership role in determining the future of the Internet. That's the opinion of Bruce McConnell, senior vice president at the EastWest Institute, a New York-based global think tank focused on security, and former deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. IANA is responsible for the global coordination of the DNS Root, IP addressing and other Internet protocol resources.
"Governments in the world are somewhat polarized on the issue," McConnell says. "India represents a huge user-base - adding 6 million new users every month - and a huge technology base with a lot of the internet running on Indian software. Taken together, there is a potential for India to be a big influence on the global scale."
President Obama's visit to India on Jan. 26 may be a starting point in defining a new era in Indo-U.S. cyber relations, including existing arrangements like the ICT working group and close coordination between the national CERTs. Given that many of the threats faced by the two largest democracies in the world have much in common, there is a lot of basis for cooperation, he says.
In this exclusive interview with Information Security Media Group on the side-lines of DSCI's Annual Information Security Summit 2014, McConnell shares insight on a wide range of related subjects, including the challenges he expects India may face in rolling out the Digital India Initiative.
McConnell also touches upon:
- The IANA transition and India's role;
- A global cyber arms control regime;
- U.S. lessons in capacity building for India.
McConnell is responsible for leading the EastWest Institute's communications and networking with public and private sectors around the world. He also manages the institute's Cooperation in Cyberspace program, which includes its Worldwide Cybersecurity Initiative. McConnell was the U.S. deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity in 2013 , responsible for ensuring the cybersecurity of all federal civilian agencies and for helping the owners and operators of the most critical U.S. infrastructure (see Exit Interview: DHS's Bruce McConnell) .