Washington: Ushering in a new era of collaboration in the cybersphere, India and the US will sign a framework for the bilateral cyber relationship between the two countries within the next two months.
The announcement in this regard was made in a joint statement after the White House meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama.
During the meeting the two leaders emphasized that cyberspace enables economic growth and development, and reaffirmed their commitment to an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable Internet, underpinned by the multi stakeholder model of Internet governance.
"They committed to deepen cooperation on cybersecurity and welcomed the understanding reached to finalize the Framework for the US-India Cyber Relationship in the near term," the joint statement said.
A fact sheet issued by the White House said the framework would be signed within 60 days.
During the meeting Modi and Obama committed to enhance cyber collaboration on critical infrastructure, cybercrime, and malicious cyber activity by state and non-state actors, capacity building, and cybersecurity research and development, and to continue discussions on all aspects of trade in technology and related services, including market access.
They have committed to continue dialogue and engagement in Internet governance fora, including in ICANN, IGF and other venues, and to support active participation by all stakeholders of the two countries in these fora.
Obama and Modi committed to promote stability in cyberspace based on the applicability of international law including the United Nations Charter, the promotion of voluntary norms of responsible state behaviour during peacetime, and the development and implementation of practical confidence building measures between states.
According to the White House fact sheet, cooperation on cyber issues is a key component of the bilateral relationship between India and the United States.
The two countries have a strategic cyber relationship that reflects their shared values, common vision, and shared principles for cyberspace.
Both sides recognize the value of enhancing and further institutionalizing their broad-based cooperation on cyber issues, and in that respect, intend to complete a framework based on the following shared principles and intended forms of cooperation, it said.
The fact sheet said the two countries committed to voluntary norms under which a state should not conduct or knowingly support online activity that intentionally damages critical infrastructure or otherwise impairs the use of critical infrastructure to provide services to the public.
"A state should not conduct or knowingly support activity intended to prevent national Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) from responding to cyber incidents.
States should also not use CSIRTs to enable online activity that is intended to do harm," the fact sheet said. The two countries agreed that a state should cooperate, in a manner consistent with its domestic law and international obligations, with requests for assistance from other States in investigating cyber crimes, collecting electronic evidence and mitigating malicious cyber activity emanating from its territory.
They also agreed that a state should not conduct or knowingly support ICT-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors.
Shared principles for the US-India cyber relationship include, a commitment to an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable cyberspace environment; a commitment to promote the Internet as an engine for innovation, economic growth, and trade and commerce; and a commitment to promote the free flow of information.
It also includes a commitment to promote cooperation between and among the private sector and government authorities on cybercrime and cybersecurity; a recognition of the importance of bilateral and international cooperation for combating cyber threats and promoting cybersecurity; and a commitment to respect cultural and linguistic diversity.