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Third Plenary of Indo-US Cybersecurity Forum

New Delhi
January 17, 2006

Third plenary of the Indo-US Cybersecurity Forum (IUSCSF) was held at New Delhi on 16 - 17 January 2006. The US delegation was led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mr. Michael Coulter while Shri Arvind Gupta, Joint Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat led the Indian delegation. A wide cross section of officials and industry representatives from both sides attended the meeting. 

2. Inaugurating the plenary, the Deputy National Security Adviser, Shri Vijay K. Nambiar referred to the ongoing transformation of Indo-US relationship into a strategic partnership. Recognising the role played by the Indo-US Cybersecurity Forum in the growth of Indo-US relationship, Shri Nambiar emphasized the need for serious attention to sound information security practices in view of the rapid growth of IT Enabled Services (ITES) trade between the two countries. He said that the Indo-US Cybersecurity Forum was addressing these issues through its Joint Working Groups and would continue to do so. 

3. Shri Arvind Gupta, the Indian Co-Chair IUSCSF, in his opening remarks, pointed out that the third plenary of the Indo-US Cybersecurity Forum presented an opportunity to extend and institutionalize mutual cooperation in cybersecurity and make it self-sustaining. He emphasised that capacity building in cybersecurity remains India’s priority and hoped that the Forum would make a contribution in this regard. 

4. Mr. Coulter, the US Co-Chair, highlighted that the emerging strategic relationship between the two countries was predicated on common visions, concerns and inter-dependencies. He noted that over the last three years the Indo-US Cybersecurity Forum has progressed from philosophy to a common action-oriented agenda on how to secure networked information systems. Highlighting the activities of the Forum and its Working Groups, Mr. Coulter expected a more ambitious programme in the coming year. He welcomed the suggestion for greater information-sharing in the Transportation and Financial Sectors. He hoped that the Forum’s agenda would help cope with new challenges on the cybersecurity horizon such as mitigating risk in the emerging sub-outsourcing environment.

5. The Working Groups of the Indo-US Cybersecurity Forum held their separate meetings and agreed upon their respective action plans for the coming year. A series of Indo-US seminars, workshops and expert level exchanges are expected to take place in the coming months. 

6. At the 3rd plenary, several new initiatives were announced. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in consultation with their US counterpart, will set up an India Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (ISAC) and an India Anti-Bot Alliance to raise awareness about the emerging threats in cyberspace. Cooperation among the law enforcement agencies to deal with cybercrime will be enhanced. CERT-In and the US National Cybersecurity Division agreed to share expertise in artifact analysis, network traffic analysis and exchange of information. The ongoing cooperation between India’s STQC and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be expanded to newer areas including harmonization of standards. The R&D Working Group will concentrate on hard problems of cybersecurity, cyberforensics and anti-spam research.