Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2018

34 global technology firms sign Cybersecurity Tech Accord

34 leading global technology firms including Facebook, Microsoft, HP, ARM, Cisco, and Oracle have signed Cybersecurity Tech Accord to work together on cybersecurity issues.  Under it, signatory companies have agreed to collaborate on stronger defence systems, no offensive cyberattacks, and protect against tampering of their products, capacity building and collective action. The participant companies view Tech Accord as Digital Geneva Convention.

Four Principles of Cybersecurity Tech Accord

  • Protect users and customers everywhere
  • Oppose cyberattacks on innocent citizens and enterprises
  • Empower users, customers and developers to strengthen cybersecurity
  • Partner with each other and like-minded groups to enhance cybersecurity

Features of Accord

The four principles of Cybersecurity Tech Accord aimed at advancing online security and resiliency across globe. Signatory companies agreed to mount stronger defence against cyberattacks, regardless of motivation underlying them. They pledged not to help governments launch cyberattacks against innocent citizens or enterprises.

They will protect their products and services from any tampering or exploitation that could enable their use in cyberattacks. They will empower developers, as well as people who use technology products to improve their capacity to defend against cyberattacks.  It includes joint work on developing stronger security practices.

Under this accord, signatory companies aim to take collective action to establish formal and informal partnerships with industry, civil society and security researchers, to improve collaboration for disclosure of vulnerabilities and other threats. The goal is to minimize potential for introduction of malicious code.

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Defence Planning Committee to formulate military, security strategy, supervise foreign deals

The Union Government has formed Defence Planning Committee (DPC), a new integrated institutional mechanism that will drive country’s military and security strategy and guide defence equipment acquisitions. It will be under the chairmanship of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Key Facts

The committee will be a permanent body and it will prepare draft national security strategy besides undertaking strategic defence review and formulating international defence engagement strategy.

Composition: It will consist of Chairman Chiefs of the Staff Committee (COSC), service chiefs, Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Secretary (expenditure) in the Finance Ministry.

Structure: The committee will operate through four sub-committees: on Policy and Strategy, Defence Diplomacy, Plans and Capability Development and Defence Manufacturing Ecosystem. The membership and the terms of reference of the sub-committees will be finalized separately. Foreign Secretary and Expenditure Secretary being member of DPC will help to overcome problems of coordination between various ministries on matters of national security.

Functions: DPC has been tasked to undertake external security risk assessment and define national defence and security priorities. It will formulate national military strategy, draft national security strategy and strategic defence review. It will identify means and ways across ministries, obtain Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approval for capability development plan and provide guidance for budgetary support.

The DPC will also prepare roadmap to build defence manufacturing ecosystem, strategy to boost defence exports and prioritized capability plans for armed forces in consonance with overall priorities, strategies and likely resource flows. It will submit all its reports to defence minister.

Background

Considering the complex security environment and volume of expenditure on national defence, it was imperative to have strong defence planning mechanism. The present system was found insufficient to provide rigour necessary for planning process. So it was mandated to create an institutional mechanism which can undertake comprehensive and integrated planning of higher defence matters.

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