Focus: GS-II International Relations

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India and Australia are sharing experiences on protecting critical infrastructure, including 5G networks, said a senior Australian High Commission official while talking of the huge increase in cybersecurity cooperation between the two countries, however, clarifying that Australia has no intention of banning Chinese apps like India has done.

Details

  • At the Prime Minister’s virtual summit India and Australia had signed a cyber and cyber-enabled critical technology framework agreement along with the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP).
  • India and Australia have a close and ongoing dialogue and exchange a range of experiences, including what is being done regarding critical infrastructure and aspects, including our 5G network, and how to police the dark web.
  • In August 2018, Australia had banned Chinese companies from offering 5G services, citing national security.
  • India banned 59 Chinese apps citing national security and later banned 47 more Chinese apps.

Categories of threats

The two diplomats said the categories of threats that the two countries were looking at were criminal groups, financial gain, sophisticated state-based actors, terrorist groups, issues-based groups which might use the Internet to motivate, and countering terrorism including violent extremism.

5G Club

  • Britain said that it was pushing the U.S. to form a club of 10 nations that could develop its own 5G technology and reduce dependence on Huawei.
  • Proposed D10 club of democratic partners includes G7 countries – UK, US, Italy, Germany, France, Japan and Canada – plus Australia, South Korea and India.
  • It will aim to create alternative suppliers of 5G equipment and other technologies to avoid relying on China.
  • It can be seen as a means to ensure that these new entrants belong to like-minded democratic regimes, thus alleviating any security concerns.
  • This move will also allow more 5G equipment and technology providers to come up.
  • It basically addresses the raised concerns regarding potential surveillance and breach of their national security by China using the state-run Huawei.

5G and India’s Potential

  • India’s is the second biggest smartphone market in the world, leading to an exponential rise of data consumption – India consumes more than 11 GB/user/month — the highest in the world.
  • There is no practical way in which fiber net connectivity can be enhanced quickly in India which poses a serious challenge to back-haul capacities of the macro towers.
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution (aka Industry 4.0) is powered by emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, Edge Computing, which need 5G to be effective. This will also raise additional revenue streams for the network carriers which are already stressed with financial burdens.
  • It will also help with India’s Smart Cities Mission as 5G powers the technology driving smart cities.

-Source: The Hindu

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