In the backdrop of the controversial US surveillance programme, experts are raising a timely and an important question: ‘Should all Internet Administrations and Regulatory Bodies be put out of US jurisdiction and under the UN control?’
Not only this, various experts, policymakers and hacktivists, meeting under a single roof on 25 August at New Delhi’s India Habitat Centre, will discuss what they say is an equally concerning issue: ‘Cyber Security Cooperation between South Asian Countries and ways to counter snooping and cyber threats.’
The Hackers’ conference 2013 – being held for the second time in two years – will raise important questions on the threats posed by the snooping programme of the National Security Agency (NSA) known as PRISM – leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Even though Indian government was criticized by Opposition for ‘failing’ to take up the issue much seriously with the Barack Obama government, the reports that India was also being spied upon by American intelligence agencies, however, opened an all-new chapter in the cyber security space in the country.
According to the leaked latest top-secret US National Security Agency documents, Indian embassy in the US was among the list of 38 diplomatic missions, which were being spied upon by American intelligence agencies. A Guardian report recently revealed that the snooping programme, which spied on emails, chats and other Internet data had 700 snooping servers installed at 150 locations around the world, including one in India.
The important question – various activists believe – this snooping programme has raised, is how much liberty should the cyber space grant to maintain national security and at what cost?
So far, legality is the main rationale the US officials have used to defend the government’s PRISM spying program. It’s all perfectly legal, approved by government and the courts. But a more potent argument might be just because something is legal doesn’t necessarily make it a good thing.
During the second edition of The Hackers Conference, policymakers and hackers will discuss various facets of Cyber Security on a common platform. They will interact and exchange ideas.
The main highlights of the conference are a ‘special session against Internet Censorship in India’, and how ‘Android phones can be turned into undetectable spy phones.
During the conference, the US hackers will demonstrate how they can breach SSL security layer in just 30 seconds. A researcher from Singapore will showcase mobile security testing tools.
The Hackers Conference 2012 had seen participation of delegates from 15 different countries across the world. The daylong event, directed towards managing and securing digital information, had participants from different fields who addressed key issues of information technology. While technical speakers spoke on 0-Day Vulnerabilities, Exploits, Hacks etc., special guest speakers debated Internet censorship and national security issues emerging from Scada Hacking.
Several Black-hat hackers along with cyber-crime specialists and security experts attended the conference, which provided a platform for open dialogues between two extremes to bridge the existing gaps in the Internet security arena and make the Internet safer. The participation from government and defense intelligence along with hackers and corporates made it a first ever conference of its kind.