Manish Tewari assures internet freedom, while guarding privacy

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 15, 2013 16:30 hrs

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Tuesday reiterated that the government is strongly committed to the democratic nature of the cyber space and is trying to balance between ensuring security of cyber space as well as maintaining freedom and privacy of its netizens.

"We hear both sides of the debate (for absolute privacy and the need for surveillance). What we are looking for is the median - the balance that will lead to solutions," he said while addressing the two-day 'India Conference on cyber Security and cyber Governance', organized by Observer Research Foundation and FICCI here.

"Is it feasible to allow real world norms to flow to the virtual world, without real world law also following suit?" he questioned.

He said that the cyber world can empower, and on the same time has the potential for enormous destruction.

"On one hand, the cyber world enables grass roots democratisation like nothing before has, while on the other, we have seen this same medium also has the potential for enormous destruction inflicted through the same rights that enable emancipation and invariably and unfortunately on the newly emancipated," he said.

"No government must seek to restrict this feature and those who try to do so at their own peril; as we have seen in the case of even a totalitarian state like China," he added.

Deputy NSA Neychal Sandhu also stressed on the point that for ensuring cyber privacy and freedom there need to a way to ensure cyber security.

"Without cyber security, there cannot be cyber freedom and privacy," he said.

Sandhu also emphasized on the need for international cooperation to ensure security of the cyber space, and added that international cooperation is a must to ensure security as no single country can achieve this individually.

He noted that in Estonia, which had become the first nation victim of a massive cyber attack, the government has ensured that each netizen has an electronic id.

"It costs a lot, but it is one way of ensuring security," he said.

Estonian Minister of Education and Research, Jaak Aaviksoo, said the cyber space is no more a virtual domain, and added that it has got physical elements too.

The Minister said trust building between nations is very important to ensure cyber security of nations.

The conference, which concluded today, had eight sessions - on 'Sovereignty, International Cooperation and Cyber Security: A Treaty Dialogue', 'The First Line of Defence: The Private Sector', 'Cyber Security: Strategies and Responses', 'Freedom of Expression in the Internet Age', 'Implementing National Cyber Security Policies', 'International Public Private Partnership in Cyber Governance', 'Privacy and National Security' and 'Multistakeholderism: Avoiding the PRISM paradigm'. (ANI)

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