Report of the Second India-ASEAN Track 1.5 Dialogue on cyber points



India and the nations of ASEAN will go into the third decade of the 21st century with related aspirations and challenges. India is dwelling to world’s second-largest base of web customers, numbering at 624 million; in ASEAN, almost 400 million people are on-line, with continued progress within the double digits. Added to this milieu are two challenges, one acute and the opposite power. The first is COVID-19, which demonstrated greater than ever earlier than the necessity for multilateral and regional options to crises. The second is the necessity to steadiness the imperatives of progress and safety with the brand new paradigm of “geotech”, the enmeshing of geopolitics and know-how.

The First ASEAN-India Track 1.5 Dialogue on cyber points was held in New Delhi on October 14, 2019. The Dialogue hosted 35 members from 12 nations, together with entrepreneurs, startups, MNCs, academia, and representatives from the ministries of exterior affairs and/or IT of the respective nations. Discussions centered on information governance, cyber norms, and tendencies in cybersecurity within the area.

37 consultants from India and the nations of ASEAN convened just about for the Second ASEAN-India Track 1.5 was held just about on October 12, 2020, co-hosted by ORF and the Ministry of External Affairs. Participants delved into three particular coverage response areas, constructing on discussions within the 2019 version:

  1. Zero Days: Toward a Cross-Sectoral Approach to CybersecurityEach India and the nations of ASEAN have set bold targets for turning into leaders within the 4IR, with methods for 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and quantum computing. Robust cybersecurity underpins a related world and can should be a collaborative effort between companies, governments, and civil society. How can the 2 areas work collectively on areas like cybersecurity coverage growth, data sharing, and capability constructing in order that experiences from every profit efforts within the different? What measures can nations take to foster cyber resilience?
  2. Going Viral: Regional Responses to Malicious Actors in CyberspaceCyberspace is host to a variety of malicious actors, state and non-state, which price enterprise and governments tens of millions in damages every year. Even as incidences of cybercrime proceed to rise exponentially. COVID-19 has seen incidences of cybercrime rise exponentially, focusing on not simply companies and states but in addition residents by refined disinformation campaigns leading to a parallel ‘infodemic’. What are the present bottlenecks confronted by Indian and ASEAN authorities in investigating and prosecuting cross-border cybercrimes? Can particular exemptions be envisaged for extraordinary instances, the place procedural delays in acquiring cross-border help?In what different methods can the modalities of resolving cross-border cybercrimes be eased with out compromising state sovereignty?
  3. The Socio-Economic Imperative within the Fourth Industrial RevolutionAutomation, digitalisation and synthetic intelligence will create new alternatives for growing nations to leapfrog and collectively promise to spice up world GDP progress by almost 15 %. Concurrently, policymakers should assist put together residents for indelible adjustments in society and patterns of labor the 4IR will deliver. What sorts of know-how options are each geographies adopting? Are there alternatives for B2B and G2G cooperation within the growth of such applied sciences?

Opening Address by Ambassador Sidharto Suryodipuro, Ambassador of Indonesia to India 

It is a pleasure to share my views on the opening of the Second ASEAN India Track 1.5 Dialogue on Cyber Issues. This is vital not just for India and ASEAN right now, however I feel it can develop into much more vital into the long run. This 1.5 Track Dialogue will type a part of the trouble to debate vital points associated to India-ASEAN digital cooperation and suggestions made on this dialogue may show precious to deal with the myriad of cyber points confronted by our area.

The significance of this problem has been additional underscored with the appearance of COVID-19, the lockdowns all through the world, and accelerating digitalisation to attach varied human actions and pursuits. I want to congratulate ORF, MEA, and ASEAN consultants for his or her foresight once they held the primary Track 1.5 dialogue final yr. The report gives an vital roadmap for our ideas and actions.

Unfolding worldwide political occasions have additionally added additional urgency for each India and ASEAN to strengthen cooperation on cyber points. With a mixed inhabitants of almost 2 billion individuals, almost 1 / 4 of humanity, in addition to vital financial heft and geopolitical standing, India and ASEAN should not solely neighbors with flourishing bodily, digital, regulatory and people-to-people and connectivity. We additionally share many related and overlapping political, financial, social, cultural pursuits. We share related pursuits in cyber safety, cyber norms, capacity-building, and growing productive and safe digital platforms for the inhabitants to additional their livelihood and well-being. One of an important challenges that our nations must face within the midst of COVID-19 is find out how to revive our economies. The vital and rising function of the digital economic system is clear. We see this in India: I undoubtedly see this residing in New Delhi, we see this in ASEAN, and all through the world.

COVID-19 has considerably accelerated India’s digital economic system. Likewise, in Indonesia, its younger rising and digitally-savvy inhabitants, with a few of the world’s highest social media and cellular utilization progress charges is powering e-commerce adoption, Indonesia’s web economic system is valued at US $40 billion in 2019. It goals to succeed in US $130 billion by 2025. However, these are all projections made previous to COVID-19. How COVID will speed up digital progress is but to be seen; it might be too early for correct projections.

At the regional degree, ASEAN is on monitor to turning into one of many world’s high 5 digital economies by 2025. It is at present the quickest rising web market on the planet with 125,000 new customers coming on the web day-after-day. The World Economic Forum predicted that the ASEAN digital economic system will develop considerably, including an estimated US $1 trillion to regional GDP between now and 2030. Again, these are projections made previous to COVID-19.

All of those developments—rising in interregional commerce, enterprise, linkages, connectivity, and digital transformation—will and have uncovered the area to cyber assaults, cyber threats, privateness breaches, amongst others. On our half, ASEAN is working to make sure that the area’s response to cyber safety challenges is complete and ahead wanting, participating an array of stakeholders to cope with the risk. This is an space for the ASEAN-India partnership framework to deal with as nicely.

The growth of frequent norms between India and ASEAN is vital to make sure a protected, open, peaceable, and accessible our on-line world for all stakeholders. Therefore, in our view, ASEAN-India partnership may increase into such areas as safety of vital data infrastructures and capability constructing measures between nationwide businesses in cyber safety and cyber points by expertise sharing.

My last level for the members and organisers: On October 16, 2020 India and ASEAN inaugurate[d] the ASEAN PhD Fellowship Program. This is a program for 1000 ASEAN residents to do their PhDs at prestigious Indian institutes of know-how. You will recall that this initiative was introduced by Prime Minister Modi on the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-India dialogue relations in 2018, and launched by Honorable Ministers of External Affairs and of Education. This is a superb initiative to fill the void in training cooperation between India and ASEAN. It shall be India’s contribution to the training and upskilling of ASEAN cyber capability and to the nearer collaboration between India and ASEAN and to our frequent digital transformation within the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

Opening Address by Ms. Riva Ganguly Das, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, India

I take this chance to welcome the eminent cyber consultants representing governments, think-tanks, academia and {industry} from ASEAN Member States and India. I additionally thank ORF for placing collectively this dialogue in partnership with MEA.

The second ASEAN-India Track 1.5 Dialogue on cyber points builds upon the success of its first version held final yr and goals to take ahead the ASEAN-India cooperation on digital and cyber area.

‘Digital Technology’ is a superb enabler. When the world is dealing with journey restrictions and social distancing measures are in place, digital know-how has introduced all of us collectively to alternate views, maintain discussions, and provide you with options.

The COVID19 pandemic has accelerated the ‘digitisation’ and ‘cyberisation’ of our engagements—earn a living from home has develop into a brand new norm. Dependence on digital platforms has risen steeply. There is a better dependence on digital cost platforms as a result of lowered money dealing with. Greater information sharing is occurring on-line. Presence on social media has additionally elevated. Digital applied sciences are taking part in a key function in protecting the provision chains open for an accelerated and sustainable financial restoration within the area.

With our growing dependence on digital applied sciences and ever-increasing footprint in our on-line world, there may be an enhanced must formulate and implement measures for securing our cyber area from malicious actors. A current evaluation report of the COVID-19 cybercrime impression on Asia and the South Pacific area by INTERPOL reveals that the main cyber safety tendencies embrace COVID-19-related frauds, phishing campaigns and on-line sale of pretend medical provides and PPEs. INTERPOL warns that the cyber criminals are making the most of the financial downturn and folks’s anxiousness and have enhanced their social engineering techniques through the use of COVID-19 as the premise for his or her assaults. The anxiousness has been additional fueled by the scourge of “fake news”, “wrong information”, and in some instances “targeted disinformation”. This ‘infodemic’ of data has interfered with our skills to craft correct public well being and financial responses to the COVID disaster. According to a World Economic Forum report, one of many largest considerations through the pandemic is the rise in cyber assaults and information fraud. With the elevated on-line presence as a result of lockdowns and earn a living from home, radical parts are utilizing social media platforms to disseminate misinformation by hate speech, faux information, and doctored movies. They search to significantly goal susceptible people.

Increased dependence on digital applied sciences has created each pressures and alternatives for artistic coverage options and regional collaboration to foster a safe, resilient, and equitable our on-line world.

As consultants on this topic, you’re all nicely conscious in regards to the problem that coverage makers and {industry} face, in managing coverage and social adjustments, together with the exponential price at which know-how transforms our world. India is a working example—India has already develop into the second largest web person base on the planet. Internet penetration has crossed the mark of 50 % with about 700 million web customers and the quantity is poised to succeed in 1 billion by 2025. According to the India Cellular and Electronics Association report, the variety of smartphone customers are anticipated to succeed in 820 million by 2022. This means enormous prospects; our digital economic system already generates round US $200 billion yearly which can attain between US $800 billion to US $1 trillion by 2025. However, this additionally places daunting challenges for our coverage makers. The variety of cybercrimes have witnessed a 500 % enhance within the final 5 years.

With greater than half of its 643 million individuals beneath the age of 30, ASEAN is passing by an analogous digital progress trajectory. According to the World Economic Forum, ASEAN is the quickest rising web market on the planet. With 125,000 new customers coming into the web day-after-day, the ASEAN digital economic system which already generates round US $150 billion yearly, is projected so as to add an estimated US $1 trillion to regional GDP within the coming decade. However, as anticipated, ASEAN can also be witnessing elevated incidences of cybercrimes.

Large proportion of younger populations, enormous potential to boost financial ties, cultural, and civilizational affinity and already sturdy ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership present ample motive and incentive for strengthening ASEAN-India Cyber and Digital cooperation. The quickly growing threats to protected and safe our on-line world within the COVID and post-COVID period, make ASEAN-India Cyber Cooperation imminent.

There is a large scope for us to study from one another and synchronise our efforts:

India’s efforts to remodel itself right into a digitally empowered society and data economic system are exemplified by the flagship Digital India programme. India is dwelling to the world’s largest digital literacy programme—Pradhan Mantri Grameen Digital Shaksharta Abhiyan (Prime Minister’s Rural Digital Literacy Campaign) which goals to coach 60 million rural adults. More than 300 authorities apps goal to bridge the digital divide in India. To deal with the rising incidents of cybercrime and to make sure a protected, safe, trusted, resilient and vibrant our on-line world, Government of India is formulating the National Cyber Security Strategy 2020 for the following 5 years. The technique will supersede the earlier Cyber Security Strategy of 2013 and is prone to be launched by the top of this month. ASEAN, on its half, can also be specializing in enhancing the area’s cyber resilience. Important coverage measures and frameworks to this finish, embrace e-ASEAN Framework Agreement, ASEAN Economic Community 2025, and Master Plan of ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC 2025). MPAC 2025 envisages to develop an ASEAN Framework on Digital Data Governance. In 2018, underneath the chairmanship of Singapore, ASEAN adopted the ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy. ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence, launched in October 2019, is doing a commendable job.

Clearly, there’s a must align and synergise these particular person efforts. India’s Centres of Excellence in Software Development and Training (CESDTs) being established in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam goal to boost our digital cooperation. India can also be funding ‘Child Online Risks Awareness Campaign’ and ‘Building Capacity on Digital Public Services Implementation and Cyber Security for Government Agencies’ as Quick Impact Projects in Cambodia in 2020. We could be blissful to supply related initiatives to different ASEAN companions as nicely.

In this context, the interplay of cyber consultants representing governments, suppose tanks, academia, and {industry} from ASEAN and India, resembling this, goals to assist us in crystallising the concepts for future cooperation into actions.

Cyberspace is border much less and, subsequently, our efforts to harness this shared house also needs to be unfettered by nationwide boundaries and be primarily based on regional and world cooperation. India emphasises that the core values of liberty, freedom of expression and rule of legislation, apply to our on-line world as nicely. It is in our frequent curiosity to take care of peaceable, safe and resilient cyber house. We need nations to search out frequent floor on cyber norms, which encourage worldwide cooperation towards safety, whereas fostering equitable entry to our on-line world.

In closing, I hope that the technical classes that observe this inaugural occasion will facilitate an lively alternate of concepts and experiences. We look ahead to your suggestions to boost cooperation on all facets of cyber cooperation.

Themes of debate 

Networked issues

Dialogue members famous tendencies within the geopoliticisation of our on-line world, together with the US-China decoupling and the attendant alternatives for deepening know-how ties between India and ASEAN. 2020 specifically witnessed a brand new wave of digital decoupling efforts not simply amongst the 2 giants within the east and the west however by the European Union, Australia, Japan, and India, amongst others. Policy measures within the 5G house have been emblematic of this development, and there may be additionally mounting scrutiny of know-how provide chains writ massive. Participants additionally famous the importance of {industry} actors being more and more supportive of decoupling efforts in addition to allied actions and insurance policies to safe digital ecosystems in opposition to hostile actors—each state and non-state.

Yet networked issues want networked options. The diffuse nature of cyber threats and the dearth of exhausting borders in our on-line world imply that efficient motion requires collaboration, and all members welcomed dialogue and cooperation between India and ASEAN to deal with these shared challenges.

Mapping capabilities

Several members famous that there’s appreciable variation between nations on cyber capabilities, and for any type of regional fast response system for cyber incidents, these uneven capabilities have to be accounted for. The first step for collaboration, subsequently, could be to map present capabilities, establish gaps and interact in capacity-building measures. An instance of such a mapping train is India’s TechSagar, an initiative supported by the National Cyber Security Coordinator, which maps India’s present capabilities and competencies referring to know-how areas that contribute to cyber, together with startups, analysis and growth, patents and merchandise. 

Trust by harmonised regulation

Robust regulation was seen by members as core to constructing belief, each amongst inner constituencies—residents, start-ups, {industry}, civil society, native governments—in addition to exterior constituencies. In this vein, members additionally famous the necessity for interoperable requirements for information sharing for the seamless and well timed prosecution of cybercrimes.

ASEAN members said that harmonisation of cybercrime laws and information safety rules will should be undertaken on three fronts: Sub-national, intra-ASEAN, bilateral processes with India. For occasion, whereas some nations in ASEAN—Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines—have enacted some type of cybercrime laws, Cambodia and Myanmar are nonetheless within the draft laws stage. On a worldwide degree, extradition typically requires double criminality nonetheless there may be appreciable inconsistency in what acts nations outline as a cybercrime. Finally, at a nationwide and subnational degree, one participant famous that in most nations, investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes just isn’t the area of a single ministry or entity and that the interface between nations on cybercrime would want to account for all related entities. 

Openness vs. safety

There was some daylight between members who felt unfettered entry to on-line areas just isn’t tenable within the long-term and people who argued that particular person rights and connectedness ought to all the time be on the centre of rules in our on-line world.

“Anonymity”, one official famous, “is weaponised by cyber criminals.” The widespread use of digital personal networks (VPNs) and community protocols like onion routing, significantly at the hours of darkness net, are boundaries to efficient identification of culprits, and by extension, to the usage of cybercrime legal guidelines. Others, nonetheless, cautioned in opposition to viewing anonymity and prosecution of cybercrime as a binary. Anonymity is among the few types of safety persecuted communities and minorities have underneath sure regimes. A safe our on-line world can’t be constructed upon backdoors that may lend themselves to misuse by malicious actors.

Rights-preserving entry and human-centric digital revolution

The coverage dialog on cybercrime, members identified, are closely concentrated round questions of state entry to information, with particular person rights and privateness positioned in direct opposition to efficient cybercrime investigation. Platforms that interact in a significant and sustained manner on issues of the digital rights of the person are scarce, and state engagement on these points is especially missing.

Some audio system additionally cautioned in opposition to over-regulating. In the world of knowledge governance, as an illustration, restrictive measures and a glut of regulatory our bodies may harm the creation of world information governance norms and interoperable information regimes.

Finally, the goal of digital rules, whether or not they be on funds, or information, or cybercrime, should all the time preserve the goal of an inclusive and sustainable digital revolution at their core. Emerging know-how regimes mustn’t disempower communities, marginalise stakeholders, and disproportionately hurt susceptible communities. 

Next Steps

ASEAN-India Convention on cybercrime

Cybercrimes can happen at a fast tempo, affecting hundreds of customers and proof can vanish in a matter of hours if not minutes. For efficient cross-border investigation and prosecution, ASEAN and India ought to work towards a regional conference on cybercrime. The ASEAN-India Convention on Cybercrime will define shared definitions of cybercrime, establish nodal authorities, and supply a baseline for capacities that particular person signatories would want to construct to completely take part within the conference. If bilateral agreements exist, there would additionally should be readability on how they work together with the conference. The ASEAN-India Convention on Cybercrime can, in later phases, lengthen to different regional powers, by boards just like the East Asia Summit. 

Shared instruments to simplify present MLAT processes

Many members famous the difficulties of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) course of to deal with cybercrime, together with figuring out the related nodal authorities and paperwork required to course of requests. Some progress has been made on this respect: In India, as an illustration, the Ministry of Home Affairs has lately recognized the Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C) because the nodal authority on cybercrime, together with coordinating MLAT requests. ASEAN and India ought to, in tandem with efforts towards a cybercrime conference, construct a shared portal that gives steerage on nodal authorities, varieties, regulatory necessities, and processing occasions to keep away from delays as a result of bureaucratic hurdles. 

Complementarity in ASEAN and India’s engagement in world boards

ASEAN and India ought to agree upon a standard method and shared rules at world multilateral and multistakeholder processes for securing our on-line world. Spaces just like the UN Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on developments within the area of ICTs within the context of worldwide safety, The UN Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) on advancing accountable state behaviour in our on-line world within the context of worldwide safety, the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on digital cooperation, the Paris Peace Forum and the Internet Governance Forum are all boards that India and ASEAN may productively interact with. Other issue-specific our bodies that might additionally function vital contact factors embrace the Global Privacy Assembly, of which the Philippines is a member, and through which India and Malaysia had observer standing until April 2021. Global boards present pathways for industry-to-industry collaboration between India and ASEAN as nicely. Technology firms from the 2 geographies may, as an illustration, be part of {industry} our bodies just like the Charter of Trust and the Cybersecurity Tech Accord.[1]



Alastair LohDesk Officer, ASEAN Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore
Captain Nguyen Huu CuongOfficer of Hi-Tech Crime Prevention & Suppression Department, Vietnam
Cezar O. Mancao IIExecutive Director V, Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center, Philippines
Chheang VannarithPresident, Asian Vision Institute, Cambodia
Chitsanuphong ThanutongComputer Technical Officer, Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, Thailand
Chong Zheng YingSenior Manager, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore
Daw Yi Mon KyawInformation Technology & Cyber Security Department, National Cyber Security Center, Ministry of Transport & Communications, Myanmar
Dondi MapaRegional Chief Privacy Officer, APAC, Citi
Dongwoo KimProgram Manager, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Intan SafinasSenior Manager, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore
John Boitte SantosSecond Secretary, Embassy of the Philippines
Jose Carlos P. ReyesDirector IV, Cybersecurity Bureau, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Philippines
Karthik NachiappanResearch Fellow, ISEAS, National University of Singapore
OU PhannarithDirector, Department of ICTs Security, Ministry of Post and Telecommunication of Cambodia
Ruthanne SohDesk Officer, ASEAN Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore
Sandra Therese Christine GuiangThird Secretary, Embassy of the Phillippines
Sheryl FooDirector, Vertech Capital, Singapore
Sidharto SurydipuroAmbassador of Indonesia to India
Spark PerrerasCo-Founder and CEO, Pearl Pay, Philippines
Tracy LyGraduate Researcher, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Vongvilai INTHASANHDeputy Director of Incident Response, LaoCERT
Wahyudi DjafarResearcher at Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy [ELSAM], Indonesia


Akshay MathurDirector, Observer Research Foundation Mumbai
Astha KapoorCo-Founder, Aapti
Kanchan GuptaDistinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation
Amb. Latha ReddyCo-Chair, Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace and Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation
Lt. Col. Nishant SinghOSD, EG&IT, Ministry of External Affairs
Nikhil PahwaFounder, Medianama
Rama VedashreeCEO, Data Security Council of India
Riva Ganguly DasSecretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, India
S. JanakiramanJS, Cyberdiplomacy, Ministry of External Affairs, India
Sadhana ReliaAdvisor/Scientist G, Ministry of Science and Technology, India
Sangeet JainJunior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation
Sarvjeet SinghExecutive Director, Centre for Communication Governance, NLU Delhi
Trisha RayAssociate Fellow, Observer Research Foundation
Vineet KumarUS, Cyberdiplomacy, Ministry of External Affairs, India

[1] Charter of Trust

Cybersecurity Tech Accord

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