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Cyber Crime – Challenges and Solution

-Blanket More
In the world with population of over 7.8 Billion, almost every person have some electronic devices associated with themselves. It is reported that, number of connected devices that are in use worldwide are now more than 17 Billion, which is more than two times of the world’s total population. This number is estimated to be more than 20 Billion by 2030.
Every device is directly or indirectly connected to one or more devices, which overall forms a huge network of devices. These devices are used by people and they often share their valuable information while completing various day-to-day tasks. Caber Criminals tend to use this information against them in an offensive manner.
Caber Crime is a very broad term. The simple way to explain this would be, “Any illegal activity which is done by making use of any computer and network”. These are some serious threats to one’s privacy. The depth of this can be understood by following example,
DEFCON (Defense Readiness Condition) is world’s largest continuously run underground hacking conference. Ethical Hackers from all across the world actively participate in this. When this conference is held, all the security agencies are put on high alert. It is seen that the hackers are capable of hacking various devices from ATM Machine to a Car.
There are many ways in which Caber Crime is carried out. Some of the commonly seen Caber Crimes are Hacking, Social Engineering, Identity Theft, Spreading Communal Hate, Encouraging Terrorism, Caber Bulling and many more.

  • Hacking:

The modern technology has made it possible to hack any device which is connected to other devices in the network. The simple example of this would be Wi-Fi Network. Wi-Fi hacking is very common but one should be concerned about this as there are chances that the whole Computer Network Security can be compromised. Common attacks include,
SQL injection: Entering the True SQL command which enables to access unauthorized data from database of the application.
XSS: Cross Site Scripting refers to accessing the cookies or digital identity from the target’s server and carry out activity using target’s identity.
In general, hacking is carried out by identifying the loop holes in the source code, written to program the software. The measures that can be taken to prevent this are securing the firewalls, avoid use of third-party applications and secure all the end points of the network.

  • Social Engineering:

Social Engineering basically refers to hacking into people’s mind. Here attacker tends to access data by manipulating the target psychologically. This can be carried out in many ways, one of them is by creating fake links and trick the target to click on it, which then allows the attacker to gain control over target’s system.
One good example to explain this, is the well-known Tamara phishing scam, where the scamper retrieved the personal bank account details of people by manipulating them which resulted in money theft.

  • Ransom attack: Breaching into person’s or organization’s personal data and encrypting it, so that the target can access his own data only with the help of key known by the attacker. One of many ways to counter this, is to avoid accessing malicious web applications. Such type of attacks may cost millions to a company.

Recently, ‘Big Basket’ has reported a data leak of 15 GB from their database, which included user’s name, email, contact number, password hashes, location and their system’s IP address. Later, this data was made available for sale on Dark net, which is a part of internet, that can be accessed only with particular software and makes it difficult to trace the IP address or any communication protocol.

  • Identity Theft:

It refers to misuse of target’s personal identifying data without their consent to carry out some illegal activity.
Sim Card Cloning: It refers in duplicating a legit sim card, which can be used in a similar way as original sim card. This is possible by extracting sim card’s IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identifier) and Authentication Key.

Some basic measures in order to secure our networks are to make use of long passwords including special characters and numbers which makes it difficult to decrypt, Backup the data which can be useful in the scenario of Ransom attack, Keep on learning about the latest attacks and ways to tackle them, in case of an organization make sure to have a caber insurance. Government of India is actively working to prevent this and have an open portal to report a Caber Crime in India:
cybercrime.gov.in
For Women and Children:
Complaint-mwcd@gov.in

For Researcher

1

Internship

Global Counter Terrorism Council gives you a platform for voicing the opinions in the current ongoing battle against terrorism.Make your contribution against this fruitful and you are welcome to join hands with us to strike off this vice from the world.Contribute in becoming the link for awaring the masses more about the problems and solutions of taclinkg terrorsim and its effects in our day to day life.
Global Counter Terrorism Council is a registered non-profit think tank initiated by public-spirited individuals to awaken further issues of national interest and global conscience about terrorism as a threat to humanity, human security, etc.Members provide support and regularly contribute with the
aim to deliberate on the root causes of global terrorism and to present effective solutions to the problems faced by society.

Selected intern’s day-to-day responsibilities include:

1. Providing administrative support for organizing round tables, workshops, seminars, conferences,               meetings, and coordination over the telephone and email
2. Monitoring the official statements, briefings, documents, etc., on foreign and security policies                     especially concerning India and the military establishment
3. Providing research support for projects through data mining
4. Scanning journals and new articles to provide a bibliography related to the subject matter
5. Working on data collection from primary and secondary sources
Only those candidates can apply who:
1. are available for the work from home job/internship
2. can start the work from home job/internship between 6th Sept’21 and 20th Sept’21
3. are available for duration of 6 months
4. have relevant skills and interests

Interested Candidates are welcome to contribute and need to apply by 20th September.

Send your resumes at Email ID – hr@gctcworld.org

Understanding Cyber TERRORISM

Author: -Karampreet Kaur Malhotra
Designation:-Research Coordinator, GCTC
Area of Interest:-International laws and relations, Cyberwarfare, Corporate laws, Counter-Terrorism, Security laws, legal remedies.

The traditional concepts and methods of terrorism have taken new dimensions, which are more destructive and deadly in nature. In the age of information technology, the terrorists have acquired the expertise to produce the most deadly combination of weapons and technology, which if not properly safeguarded in due course of time, will take its own toll. The damage so produced would be almost irreversible and most catastrophic in nature. In short, we are facing the worst form of terrorism popularly known as “Cyber Terrorism”
Public interest in cyber-terrorism began in the late 1990s when the term was coined by Barry C. Collin, as “the intentional abuse of digital information system, network, or component toward an end that supports or facilitates a terrorist campaign or action”.
As 2000 approached, the fear and uncertainty about the millennium bug heightened, as did the potential for attacks by cyber terrorists. Although the millennium bug was by no means a terrorist attack or plot against the world or the United States, it did act as a catalyst in sparking the fears of a possible large-scale devastating cyber-attack. Commentators noted that many of the facts of such incidents seemed to change, often with exaggerated media reports.
The high-profile terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, and the ensuing War on Terror by the US-led to further media coverage of the potential threats of cyber terrorism in the years following. Mainstream media coverage often discusses the possibility of a large attack making use of computer networks to sabotage critical infrastructures with the aim of putting human lives in jeopardy or causing disruption on a national scale either directly or by disruption of the national economy. The world was shocked by the despicable attacks and loss of innocent life on Sept 11, 2001, carried out by 19 airplane hijackers on a suicide mission. But that tragedy, horrific as it was, could be dwarfed by just one or two skilled Internet users who don’t even set foot in their target country. It is frightening to imagine the human and economic toll of computer systems.
The nature of cyber terrorism covers conduct involving computer or Internet technology that:

  1. is motivated by a political, religious, or ideological cause
  2. is intended to intimidate a government or a section of the public to varying degrees
  3. seriously interferes with infrastructure

The term “cyber terrorism” can be used in a variety of different ways, but there are limits to its use. An attack on an Internet business can be labeled cyber terrorism, however, when it is done for economic motivations rather than ideological it is typically regarded as cybercrime. Various definitions limit the label “cyber terrorism” to actions by individuals, independent groups, or organizations. Any form of cyber warfare conducted by governments and states would be regulated and punishable under international law.
The most widely cited paper on the issue of Cyber terrorism is Denning’s Testimony before the Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism (Denning, 2000). Here, she makes the following statement: “Cyber terrorism is the convergence of terrorism and cyberspace. It is generally understood to mean unlawful attacks and threats of attack against computers, networks, and the information stored therein when done to intimidate or coerce a government or its people in furtherance of political or social objectives. Further, to qualify as cyber terrorism, an attack should result in violence against persons or property, or at least cause enough harm to generate fear. Attacks that lead to death or bodily injury, explosions, plane crashes, water contamination, or severe economic loss would be examples. Serious attacks against critical infrastructures could be acts of cyber terrorism, depending on their impact. Attacks that disrupt nonessential services or that are mainly a costly nuisance would not.”
While Denning’s definition is solid, it also raises some interesting issues. First, she points out that this definition is usually limited to issues where the attack is against “computers, networks, and the information stored therein”, which we would argue is ‘Pure Cyber terrorism’. Indeed, we believe that the true impact of her opening statement (“the convergence of terrorism and cyberspace”) is realized not only when the attack is launched against computers, but when many of the other factors and abilities of the virtual world are leveraged by the terrorist in order to complete his mission, whatever that may be. Thus, only one aspect of this convergence is generally considered in any discussion of cyber terrorism — an oversight that could be costly. Second, it is very different from the definition that appears to be operationally held by the media and the public at large.
The FBI defined Cyber Terrorism, “the premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer system, computer programs and data which results in violence against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents”.”
Security expert Dorothy Denning defines cyber terrorism as ‘… politically motivated hacking operations intended to cause grave harm such as loss of life or severe economic damage.
NATO defines cyber terrorism as “a cyber-attack using or exploiting computer or communication networks to cause sufficient destruction or disruption to generate fear or to intimidate a society into an ideological goal.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines cyber terrorism as, “Unlawful attacks and threats of attack against computers, networks, and the information stored therein when done to intimidate or coerce a government or its people in furtherance of political or social objectives”.
The Technologies Institute defines cyber terrorism as “The premeditated use of disruptive activities, or the threat thereof, against computers and/or networks, with the intention to cause harm or further social, ideological, religious, political or similar objectives, or to intimidate any person in furtherance of such objectives.”
The United States National Infrastructure Protection Centre defined cyber terrorism as: “A criminal act perpetrated by the use of computers and telecommunications capabilities resulting in violence, destruction, and/or disruption of services to create fear by causing confusion and uncertainty within a given population, with the goal of influencing a government or population to conform to a political, social, or ideological agenda.”
These definitions tend to share the view of cyber terrorism as politically and/or ideologically inclined. One area of debate is the difference between cyber terrorism and hacktivism. Hacktivism is “the marriage of hacking with political activism”. Both actions are politically driven and involve using computers; however cyber terrorism is primarily used to cause harm. It becomes an issue because acts of violence on the computer can be labeled either cyber terrorism or hacktivism.

THE TERRORISM MATRIX
When terrorism is examined in view of these definitions, there are some pervasive elements: people (or groups), locations (of perpetrators, facilitators, and victims), methods/modes of action; tools, targets, affiliations, and motivations.
On examining these elements in terms of the definitions provided by the government agencies, we see there is congruence between the terrorism event and the definitions used by the various agencies tasked with providing protection. This congruence is a good thing, as it results in people tasked with defense being able to determine that certain functional tasks fit within the definitions used within their agencies/organizations. For example, as mentioned above, the United States Department of State (DOS) defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents”. Thus, the activities of both of these groups fit the DOS criteria for ‘terrorism’.
a.Forms of Cyber Terrorism
Cyber terrorism as mentioned is a very serious issue and it covers a wide range of attacks. Here, the kind of indulgence is asked toward the definition of Cyber Crime. “Cyber Crime” is a crime that is enabled by, or that targets computers. Cyber Crime can involve the theft of intellectual property, a violation of patent, trade secret, or copyright laws. However, cybercrime also includes attacks against computers to deliberately disrupt the processing or may include espionage to make unauthorized copies of classified data. Some of the major tools of cybercrime may be Botnets, Estonia, 2007, Malicious Code Hosted on Websites, Cyber Espionage, etc. It is pertinent to mark here that there are other forms that could be covered under the heading of Cyber Crime & simultaneously are also the important tools for terrorist activities. Discussing these criminal activities one by one area:

  1. Attack on Infrastructure

Our banks and financial institutions; air, sea, rail, and highway transportation systems; telecommunications; electric power grids; oil and natural gas supply lines-all are operated, controlled, and facilitated by advanced computers, networks, and software. Typically, the control centers and major nodes in these systems are more vulnerable to cyber than a physical attack, presenting a considerable opportunity for cyber terrorists. There, could be possible consequences of a cyber-terrorism act against an infrastructure or business, with a division of costs into direct and indirect implications:
i. Direct Cost Implications by cyber terrorism:
– Loss of sales during the disruption
– Staff time, network delays, irregular access for business users
– Increased insurance costs due to litigation
– Loss of intellectual property – research, pricing, etc.
– Costs of forensics for recovery and litigation
– Loss of critical communications in time of emergency
ii. Indirect Cost Implications by cyber terrorism:
– Loss of confidence and credibility in our financial systems
– Tarnished relationships and public image globally
– Strained business partner relationships – domestic and internationally
– Loss of future customer revenues for an individual or group of companies
– Loss of trust in the government and computer industry.
iii. Attacks on Human Life:
Examples:-

  • In the case of an air traffic system that is mainly computerized and is set to establish the flight routes for the airplanes, calculating the flight courses for all the planes in the air to follow. Also, plane pilots have to check the course as well as the other planes being around using the onboard radar systems that are not connected to external networks; therefore it can be attacked by the cyber-terrorist.
  • A different example would be the act of cyber-terrorism against a highly automated factory or plant production of any kind of product: food, equipment, vehicles, etc. In case this organization is highly reliant on technological control, including a human control only at the end of production, not on the checkpoint stages, then any malfunction would be extremely hard to point out, fix and as a result to spot out a cyber-crime being committed.
  1. Privacy violation

The law of privacy is the recognition of the individual’s right to be let alone and to have his personal space inviolate.’ The right to privacy as an independent and distinctive concept originated in the field of Tort law. In recent times, however, this right has acquired a constitutional status in Rajagopal v. State of Tamil Nadu; the violation of which attracts both civil as well as criminal consequences under the respective laws. Modern enterprise and invention have, through invasions upon his privacy, subjected him to mental pain and distress, far greater than could be inflicted by mere bodily injury. The right to privacy is a part of the right to life and personal liberty enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. With the advent of information technology, the traditional concept of the right to privacy has taken new dimensions, which require a different legal outlook. To meet this challenge recourse of the Information Technology Act, 2000 can be taken. The various provisions of the Act protect the online privacy rights of net users.
These rights are available against private individuals as well as against cyber terrorists. Section (2) read with Section 75 of the Act provides for an extraterritorial application of the provisions of the Act. Thus, if a person including a foreign national contravenes the privacy of an individual by means of a computer, computer system, or computer network located in India, he would be liable under the provisions of the Act. This makes it clear that the jurisdiction is equally available against a cyber-terrorist, whose act has resulted in the damage of the property, whether tangible or intangible.

  1. Secret information appropriation and data theft:

The information technology can be misused for appropriating the valuable Government secrets and data of private individuals and the Government and its agencies. A computer network owned by the Government may contain valuable information concerning defense and other top secrets which the Government will not wish to share otherwise. The same can be targeted by the terrorists to facilitate their activities, including the destruction of property. It must be noted that the definition of property is not restricted to moveable or immoveable alone.
In R.K. Dalmia v. Delhi Administration, the Supreme Court held that the word “property” is used in the I.P.C in a much wider sense than the expression “movable property”. There is no good reason to restrict the meaning of the word “property” to the moveable property only when it is used without any qualification. Whether the offense defined in a particular section of IPC can be committed in respect of any particular kind of property, will depend not on the interpretation of the word “property” but on the fact whether that particular kind of property can be subject to the acts covered by that section.

  1. Demolition of e-governance base

The aim of e-governance is to make hassle-free interaction of the citizens with the government offices and to share information in a free and transparent manner. It further makes the right to information a meaningful reality. In P.U.C.L. V. U.O.I the SC specified the grounds on which the government can withhold information relating to various matters, including trade secrets. The Supreme Court observed: “Every right, legal or moral carries with it a corresponding objection. It is subjected to several exemptions/ exceptions indicated in broad terms”.
In a nutshell, Cyber terrorists use various tools and methods to unleash their terrorism. Some of the major tools are as follows:

  1. Hacking
  2. Cryptography
  3. Trojan Attacks
  4. Computer worms
  5. Computer viruses
  6. Denial of service attacks
  7. E-mail related crimes

b. Motives behind any Attacks are:

  1. Putting the public or any section of the public in fear; or
  2. Affecting adversely the harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities; or
  3. Coercing or overawing the government established by law; or
  4. Endangering the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.

c. The terrorism matrix
When terrorism is examined in view of these definitions, there are some pervasive elements: people (or groups), locations (of perpetrators, facilitators, and victims), methods/modes of action; tools, targets, affiliations, and motivations. When we examine the elements in these categories in terms of the definitions provided by the government agencies, we see there is congruence between the terrorism event and the definitions used by the various agencies tasked with providing protection. This congruence is a good thing, as it results in people tasked with defense being able to determine that certain functional tasks fit within the definitions used within their agencies/organizations. For example, as mentioned above, the United States Department of State (DOS) defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents”. Thus, the activities of both of these groups fit the DOS criteria for ‘terrorism’.
a. PERPETRATOR
Interactions between human beings are complex; while the obvious solutions gravitate toward monitoring, we are concerned with the virtualization of interactions, which can lead to relative anonymity and desensitization. Topics of interest include methods to measure and diminish the impact of computer-mediated interactions on potential recruits and the ability for defenders to use virtual identities to influence intra- and inter-group dynamics (dissension, ‘behind the scenes’ communication, and destabilization).
b. PLACE
Location exists as an element but is not a ‘required’ element in traditional terrorism in that an event does not have to occur in a particular location. Thus, whether an act is virtual/virtual, virtual/real-world, or real-world/virtual is of interest only as a factor in modeling solutions. In addition, the Internet has introduced globalization of the environments. Actions that take place in virtual environments have demonstrably had real-world consequences. An April Fool’s Day hoax posted to Usenet demonstrated this when claims of the resignation of Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin resulted in the decrease in value of the Canadian dollar.
c. ACTION
In traditional scenarios, terrorist scenarios typically are violent or involve threats of violence. While there have been many studies of violence in the physical world, more research is called for in terms of ‘violence’ as a virtual phenomenon. Violence in virtual environments is a relatively new field, with many unanswered questions. These open issues include the psychological effects of traditional real-world violence portrayed in virtual environments, possible behavior modification resulting from violence in virtual environments, physical trauma from virtual violence, and the use of virtual violence in military training. However, despite the prevalence of traditional violence portrayed in virtual environments, ‘cyber violence’ is still very much an unknown quantity. For example, the destruction of someone’s computer with a hammer constitutes a violent act. Should destruction of the data on that machine by a virus also be considered ‘violence’? Perhaps violence should be considered in terms of hostile action, or threat thereof!
d. TOOL
There is an almost uncountable number of ways that the terrorist can use the computer as a tool. Facilitating identity theft, computer viruses, hacking, and use of malware, destruction, or manipulation of data all fall under this category. These uses of the computer, when combined with ‘computer as target’ form the ‘traditional’ picture of cyber terrorism.
e. TARGET
There are a large number of potential targets that involve, either directly or indirectly, computers. Consider, for example, the impact of Personal Identity Theft. While the incidence of identity theft is comparatively low, the impact of theft upon the unfortunate soul whose ID is stolen can be large: terrorists could use the stolen identity to mask their work, carrying out certain operations under their target’s name, not their own. This would help evade detection by authorities, as well as potentially acting as a ‘signal’ that identity or operation had been compromised. The Internet, especially the essentially useless authentication provided by email, provides the perfect breeding ground for identity theft. Another interesting twist on this scenario is that of ‘virtual identity theft. For example, many users have multiple online personalities or profiles. Conceptually, there may be reasons why a terrorist would benefit from stealing a user’s online identity. Attacks could be as trivial as exploiting trusts relationships with other users when logged in as the stolen identity, to the planting of Trojans, etc., via ‘trusted’ email. Similarly, the rise of online stock trading and stock message boards has created an environment in which it is possible to deliberately manipulate a stock price (perhaps via a stolen identity). A terrorist could use such techniques as a funding source, or even attempt to move the markets towards chaos. Thus, a well-organized virtual attack upon a bank or corporation’s stock rather than the bank or corporation itself, could in fact prove to be highly effective. In the opinion of the authors, all of the attacks mentioned above are more likely to be successful when carried out against individual users or corporations rather than governments. However, governmental control currently relies heavily on the stability of the overall economy; thus economic destabilization is a viable attack against a government as well as the attacked third-party entity. Using the terrorism matrix, effective solutions for computers as ‘target’ can be conceptualized and designed, but these will be useless overall unless problems (technical, social, legal) arising from the interaction of computers with every cell of the terrorism matrix is addressed. If I can buy a ticket for an unknown ‘friend’ in Bulgaria to fly to London and blow up the London Eye, antivirus software on the computer controlling the London Eye is of little relevance.
It is possible for a person to read all about a given cause and chat with proponents of the cause without ever leaving the safety of his or her own home. New recruits can thus become affiliated with a terrorist group, commit to carrying out given actions, all without ever actually coming into contact with another human being. At the same time, these loose affiliations can complicate investigations and confuse media reports. Additionally, the introduction of computing technology facilitates alliances between groups with similar agendas; this type of affiliation can result in a strengthening of the individual organizations as they can immediately acquire access to the information resources of their allies.
f. MOTIVATION
Political, social, and economic changes are the motivations present in real-world terrorism. Combining a dependence on Internet-connected systems for banking and E-commerce with the ability of anyone with a desire and readily available tool to disrupt these areas, results in a situation that is all too clear: unless steps are taken to significantly reduce risks, disaster is inevitable. Even with the best risk reduction, there are still likely to be problems.
d. Pure Cyber Terrorism
The concept of ‘pure’ cyber terrorism, that is, terrorism activities that are carried out entirely (or primarily); in the virtual world is an interesting one. The Internet provides many different ways of anonymously meeting with ‘like-minded’ individuals in a safe way. Furthermore, a successful cyber terrorism event could require no more prerequisite than knowledge; something that is essentially free to the owner once acquired, and an asset that can be used over and over again. Thus, it would be possible that such an environment could facilitate the creation of entirely new terrorist groups no monies would be required for actions, and members could organize themselves quickly and easily in the anonymity of cyberspace. This is very different from certain examples given above, where the computer can aid the task of the terrorist, but ‘real’ resources are still required to execute the plan. It is this pure cyber terrorism that most writers mean when they discuss the dangers posed by the cyber-terrorist, and this compartmentalization poses a significant barrier to our ability to protect ourselves. One question that has not been adequately addressed is, what this terrorism might look like. At this time, there is much confusion, based largely upon a lack of agreement in definitions. However, using ‘traditional’ terrorism models should help make the situation more suited to analysis, and this is certainly a topic for future research.
e. Computers — The Weapons Of The Cyber Terrorist
Following on from the discussions above, it becomes obvious that the most likely ‘weapon’ of the cyber-terrorist is the computer. Thus, one might ask, are we arguing that one should restrict access to computers, just as access to explosives is restricted? Not actually in the same sense but close to it. It is believed that the stockpile of connected computers needs to be protected. There are many laws that define how one should protect a firearm from illegal/dangerous use. The mandatory use of trigger locks, though controversial, has been put forward to prevent danger should the gun end up in the wrong hands. Similarly, powerful explosives like C4 are not simply sold over the counter at the corner store. Explosives and guns are certainly not entirely analogous to computers. A better analogy might stem from the concept of an ‘attractive nuisance’. For example, a homeowner shares some responsibility for injury caused by a pool on his property, it is deemed an attractive nuisance, and as such, the innocent should be prevented from simply being attracted and harmed. Thus, there are many instances of laws that already discuss the damage done by or to a third party from the intentional/unintentional misuse of a piece of corporate or personal property. The application of these laws or the definition of ‘misuse’ with respect to computers seems unclear. However, there is a need for clear laws and standards that require operators of large networks of Internet-connected computers to exercise appropriate due diligence in their upkeep and security.
To this end, it was believed that there is an urgent need for a definition of a minimum standard of security for computer networks. The definition of such a standard has far-reaching implications not only for the usability of America’s technology foundation, but the security of corporations and indeed of the nation itself. By formalizing an industry best practice guideline, companies will have a clear understanding of what must be carried out. Clearly, such a guideline is a moving target, but its inception would allow the structuring of a valid and robust posture against both terrorist threats and other hostile entities.
Such a set of minimum standards would have to be easily and affordably supported by the security/application vendors themselves, rather than relying on individual user’s needs/requirements to drive the best practice guidelines. This is not exactly a novel concept. International standards have been developed in other areas where safety and security are a concern. Consider the airline industry. There are international guidelines for airport safety; in cases where these standards are not met, consequences range from warnings to prohibited travel. The needs for such changes, and how a due diligence standard could be created are subjects of future research. However, it seems clear that such standards are urgently needed.

  • Methods of Attacks

The most popular weapon in cyber terrorism is the use of computer viruses and worms. That is why in some cases of cyber terrorism is also called ‘computer terrorism’. The attacks or methods on the computer infrastructure can be classified into three different categories.
Physical Attack– The computer infrastructure is damaged by using conventional methods like bombs, fire, etc.
Syntactic Attack– The computer infrastructure is damaged by modifying the logic of the system to introduce delay or make the system unpredictable. Computer viruses and Trojans are used in this type of attack.
Semantic Attack– This is more treacherous as it exploits the confidence of the user in the system. During the attack the information keyed in the system during entering and exiting the system is modified without the user’s knowledge to induce errors, Cybercrime isn’t just constrained to deadening PC foundations, yet it has gone a long way past that. It is additionally the utilization of PCs, the Internet and data portals to help the customary types of fear-based oppression like suicide bombings. Web and email can be utilized for sorting out a psychological militant assault too. Most regular utilization of the Internet is by planning and transferring sites on which false purposeful publicity can be glued. This goes under the classification of utilizing innovation for mental fighting.

  • Tools of Cyber Terrorism

Cyber terrorists use certain tools and methods to unleash this new age of terrorism. These are:
i. Hacking- The most popular method used by a terrorist. It is a generic term used for any kind of unauthorized access to a computer or a network of computers. Some ingredient technologies like packet sniffing, tempest attack, password cracking, and buffer outflow facilitates hacking.
ii. Trojans- Programmes which pretend to do one thing while actually the~ are meant for doing something different, like the wooden Trojan Horse of the 1z’ Century BC.
iii. Computer Viruses- It is a computer program, which infects other computer, programs by modifying them. They spread very fast.
iv. Computer Worm- The term ‘worm’ in relation to computers is a self-contained program or a set of programs that can spread functional copies of itself or its segments to other computer systems usually via network connections.
v. E-Mail Related Crime- Usually worms and viruses must attach themselves to a host program to be injected. Certain emails are used as hosts by viruses and worms. E-mails are also used for spreading disinformation, threats, and defamatory stuff.
vi. Denial of Service- These attacks are aimed at denying authorized persons access to a computer or computer network.
vii. Cryptology- Terrorists have started using encryption, high-frequency encrypted voice/data links, etc. It would be a Herculean task to decrypt the information terrorist is sending by using 512-bit symmetric encryption.

  1. Future Research

Certainly, there are many unanswered questions. Most people, governments included, consider cyber terrorism primarily as the premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data by sub-national groups or clandestine agents. However, as we have seen, the real impact of the computer on the terrorism matrix is considerably wider. By limiting our understanding of cyber terrorism to the traditional ‘computer as target’ viewpoint, we leave our nation open to attacks that rely on the computer for other aspects of the operation. Even when considering the purely virtual impact of cyber terrorism, the approach is not adequately thought out. For example, consider an act that incorporated a desire for political change with the release of an otherwise benign computer virus within which an anti-government message is embedded.
For example, if the Melissa virus had contained the message “The Clinton regime must be defeated”, would it have been the act of a terrorist instead of a misguided computer programmer, and would the ultimate punishment really fit the crime if that programmer were meted out the same punishment as the terrorists responsible for blowing up a US embassy? What role does incitement to violence play? A swastika emblazed on the WWW site of UK politician John Major may constitute some violation of a law, but probably does not constitute terrorism. But what if swastikas were digitally painted on the WWW sites of every Jewish organization in the country? What if a message was included inciting people to violence against their Jewish neighbors? Would these acts fall under the domain of ‘using violence’? What if these images and messages were put there by a known terrorist organization? Would the act take on the characteristic of the perpetrator? Would these acts be hate crimes or cyber terrorism? Given the lack of physical boundaries in the virtual community, does a group’s physical location have any bearing on whether or not they may be considered a sub-national group? What is a ‘national group’ in cyberspace anyway? Which government agency deals with that? What constitutes combatant targets in virtual environments? Consider the 1998 response by the Pentagon to civilian target computers as a response to Flood net protests. Is the system that automatically strikes back considered combatant? Are its owners moved from ‘non-combatant’ to ‘combatant’ based on an auto-response? Is the response perhaps engaging in ‘violence’? Some claim “terrorists and activists have bombed more than 600 computer facilities”. What specific components may be considered an element of a cyber system; what differentiates these incidents from conventional terrorism? Physical property, civil disorder, and economic harm are easily understood in the physical world; however, are there virtual equivalents that could lead to a broadening of the concept of cyber terrorism?

  1. Defending Against The New Terrorism

Defending against terrorism where a computer or the Internet plays an important part in the terrorism matrix is very similar to defending against terrorism that does not. The regular practices (deterrence, law, defense, negotiations, diplomacy, etc.) are still effective, except that the scope of certain elements is expanded. For example, traditional strikes against military bases, targeting of key leaders, and collective punishment have been effective in traditional terrorism and certainly have the potential for dealing with some aspects of cyber terrorism. These techniques are often presented and can be to be updated to include their ‘virtual counterparts. It should be noted, however, that differences in international law and culture could make this process a complex task. Crenshaw presented here at length, examines a summary of traditional counterterrorist techniques:

  1. DETERRENCE

Governments can use their coercive capacity to make terrorism too costly for those who seek to use it. They can do this by military strikes against terrorist bases, assassinations of key leaders, collective punishment, or other methods. There are several drawbacks to this approach, however. On the one hand, it can lead to unacceptable human rights violations. In addition, groups may not come to government attention until movements are so well developed that efforts to contain them through deterrent methods are insufficient.

  1. CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Governments can treat terrorism primarily as a crime and therefore pursue the extradition, prosecution and incarceration of suspects. One drawback to this approach is that the prosecution of terrorists in a court of law can compromise government efforts to gather intelligence on terrorist organizations. In addition, criminal justice efforts (like deterrent efforts) are deployed mostly after terrorists have struck, meaning that significant damage and loss of life may have already occurred.

  • ENHANCED DEFENSE

Governments can make targets harder to attack, and they can use intelligence capabilities to gain advanced knowledge of when attacks may take place. As targets are hardened, however, some terrorist groups may shift their sights to softer targets. An example is the targeting of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998 by truck bombs. Although the attacks are believed to have been coordinated by individuals with Middle Eastern ties, targets in Africa were chosen because of their relatively lax security compared with targets in the Middle East.

  1. NEGOTIATIONS

Governments can elect into negotiations with terrorist groups and make concessions in exchange for the groups’ renunciation of violence. While governments are often reluctant to do so at the beginning of terror campaigns, negotiations may be the only way to resolve some long-standing disputes.
For example, data gathering and monitoring operations of terrorist communications have typically been applied to signal intelligence and fieldwork. In a virtual environment, the ability to gather information from various sources is eminently achievable in a somewhat automated manner. Specific groups can be watched easily, and computers are comparatively simple to ‘bug’. All contacts that a particular user interacts with could then be tracked, and the network of communication mapped. Furthermore, much of this surveillance can be carried out over the very same network that the terrorists intend to use to facilitate their plot.
This extension, however, must be carried out with care. Consider, for example, the original US export regulations on the export of ‘strong encryption’ (ITAR). Under such regulations, certain encryption products were classified as munitions. While ITAR has since been replaced, the revamped ‘Export Administration Regulations’ (DOC, 2002), while somewhat more relaxed, continue to blacklist several countries from receiving encryption products, despite the fact that strong encryption technology is freely available via the Internet. While this law seems to be aimed at preventing the use of strong encryption by other potentially hostile governments and terrorist entities, strong encryption algorithms and implementations remain trivially available to pretty much anyone.
This classification of knowledge as munitions seems to be the ultimate and flawed extension of traditional anti-terrorist tactics into the virtual realm. Clearly, it is not sufficient to quickly draw analogies that are not, in fact, correct. A far better approach is to carefully consider the impact of the computer in the different cells of the terrorism matrix. For example, banning the export of encryption from just America is akin to banning the sale of C4 only on weekdays, the asset would be hard even an inconvenience to the would-be terrorists. A far better solution is to consider the safeguard in the context of the virtual world. When examined in this aspect, for example, it is reasonably clear that the original classification of encryption products as munitions is not likely to be effective. Similarly, while the use of export-grade encryption can result in the ability of officials to read some terrorist communiqués, a restrictive “export to here, not here” ban is unlikely to succeed in any meaningful way.
A forward-looking approach to terrorism that involves computers is therefore highly contextual in its basis. Traditional antiterrorism defenses must be deployed, but these countermeasures must fully take into account the virtual factors.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND TERRORISM A DANGEROUS MECHANISM

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Social media and terrorism have come out as life-threatening issues, with the fast and rapidly changing world, terrorist organizations have also adopted high technologies and started using social media as a medium to attract followers, interact with them and whether to take responsibility for their actions or to follow their plan, they have started taking the digital way. The world saw the starting of terrorism and the link to the digital world during the end 20th century. To understand the concept of social media and terrorism we need to understand first the term “Social media” and “Terrorism” separately. Terrorism is defined in many ways, and with so many definitions, terrorism in India is defined as Any intentional act of violence that causes death, injury, property damage, induces fear, and is targeted again any group of people identified by their political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature. Whereas social media is a space of cyber-based applications which allows the creation of UGC (user-generated content) on websites and apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and so on, with blogs being the starting of such content. Social media has become an effective way for terrorist organizations to recruit, interact and manage the whole plan of action through its help. Terrorist organizations such as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or Al-Qaeda and many others have started publishing their plans on social media to create havoc among the communities and to induce fear among people. With the increased usage of social media by terror organizations, it has become a matter of life-threatening issue, you never know when any one of your family, friends, or known gets trapped into such activities and is radicalized. Social media has millions and billions of users due to its user-friendly activities and with such a large population the terrorist must find it easy to communicate with anyone, know their ideology and keep in touch whenever and wherever. With easy options of information sharing and poor privacy, terrorists find it convenient and fast enough to use social media. Various forums and social media platforms with their groups are consistently increasing with time. Extremists and terror organizations opt for many ways to trap people where one of the ways is to redirect users on their pages or websites and either taking information out of their visit or by engaging them with their ideology. Government, cybercrime departments, Intelligence agencies all have to monitor the social media websites and analyze activities making the application owners or companies like Google, Facebook, and so on under pressure to increase up their security and to cooperate with the government as well. In 2011, Al-Qaeda launched its “Jihadist Cloud” and its members have encouraged the development of media mujahidin since then. Every day a huge amount of propaganda is posted online to recruit and to interact and absorb they interact on more.
personal and closed pages/forums created by them. Between all this, the main motive of terrorist organizations and extremist groups is to strengthen their propaganda and maintain unity among them. Since we are living in a digital age, social media plays a vital role in everyone’s life and as much as it plays a vital role it gives an unrealistic responsibility on the shoulders of companies, government for the protection of their citizens. Terrorism is not something new and so the concept of social media and terrorism shows the adaptability of the terrorist organization with the changing time, therefore, the challenges are not decreased but have increased to a larger extent. The usage of social media by terror organizations to train, recruit, communicate or simply engage and spread propaganda is serving these organizations in their favor, considering the fact that people from around the world interact using social media. Countries like Syria, Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and so on have shown homegrown terror organizations which have created instability among the nations, and hence, it shows a deeper level of radicalization which creates destruction. The world cannot run away or ignore the fact that cyber terrorism is present over social media however, steps can be taken to secure the citizens as well as the information which is over the network. As the world is moving towards more and advanced digitalization it is essential for the government to stay alert and so the citizens, people have to be more aware of the kind of information they put up on the internet in order to avoid getting trapped into their provoking ideology and radicalization process. Terrorism has clearly shown the world that what happens due to terror attacks is much enhanced based to induce fear among people in a view to getting their demands or any aspect fulfill. Hence, cyber terrorism will keep on happening until it is totally eradicated from the root though it is a long as well as short term aim, with increased security and keeping a check on the cyber world, cyber-terrorist can be locked up before they even take any action.

Eco-Terrorism and Eco-Activism: A Security Perspective

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Author:Neha Ramesh
GCTC
 
 
Although ‘Ecoterrorism’ was coined in the 1980s, history dates to the 18th century when peasants revolted forest reforms in France. The term has since evolved and covered an array of attacks carried out for the protection of the environment. The most famous examples being the Earth Liberation Front and the Unabomber. In the path towards sustainable development, the idea of environmental preservation is given great importance. Regrettably, this was not always the case. The industrial revolution was made possible by fossil fuels and the degradation of the environment. In this piece, I wish to explore the security threat posed by eco-terrorism while outlining the need for eco-activism.
The farmers protest in India was an event of historic proportions that gained traction and support globally from celebrities and environmental activists. The government released a bill that was perceived to be detrimental to farmers. The intricacies of the bill aside, it was met with backlash by farmers of the northern states of India who took to blocking one of the capitals most coveted expressways. The government of India treated the farmers as anti-governmental forces. This is an example of eco-activism being treated as eco-terrorism. The line between the two may be slim but distinct.
Here it is important to note the divided perception of the bill. Both sides deserve merit for their respective arguments. Now let us discuss how environmental activism can be used as a gateway into terrorist elements. Psychologically there is merit to using causes that people are passionate about to drive them into anti-national and anti-governmental entities. There is a president of eco-terrorists being regarded as extremists however it is important to note that the government often uses the excuse of eco-terrorism to suppress eco-activism.
The lack of clarity in policy when defining eco-terrorism or environmental extremism has caused a lot of damage in the form of ill-constructed policy and state response. States are now resonating with the term eco-terrorism to avert potentially dangerous environmental activism, targeting protestors as terrorists with extreme outcomes for the protection of civil liberties. For example, at least a dozen of environmental activists were deported back, or denied entry to Poland, on the occasion of the 2018 United Nations Climate Conference in Katowice, because they were considered a threat to national security.
Some argue that to clearly define terrorism and make it a useful term, we must draw the line at human life. If an act seeks to destroy human life, and, therefore, coerce or intimidate through the threat to human life, it is terrorism. However, if an act destroys property and is careful not to injure or kill, it may be vandalism or arson, but it is not terrorism.
Climate change and the stress it places on environmental resources has been linked to conflicts of various nature. For some, this relationship has smaller effects within country-armed conflicts, as compared to other drivers of conflicts. Others have shown that climate stressors are linked to increased opportunity for violence and conflicts in areas of low living standards and poor governance. However, climate change has now been recognized to fuel greater political instability and conflicts due to resource competition and increasing global insecurity that places the most affected areas at the mercy of insurgencies, organized crime, and terrorism recruitment.
However, environmental activists are being increasingly categorized and targeted as terrorists by well-established democracies. The exacerbated role of these states may fuel a sense of injustice and desperateness capable of compelling radical individuals to join the likes of the Earth Liberation Front or to drive themselves to a new terrorism threat. This could trigger a security risk effect at the heart of advanced regions, where not yet the scarcity of water, but the loss of civil rights would potentiate the rise of a new form of eco-terrorism. Thereafter, the conditions linked to climate change have provided both, an opportunity for environmental terrorism developments in areas of resources scarcity, and a potential platform for a new form of terrorism born from extreme anti-progress ideologies.
At this point let us look at some important lessons we can take away from the mistakes we have made in the past. First, we need to go about establishing a clear understanding of eco-terrorism and differentiate it from environmental activism. Second, we need to protect environmental activists. Finally, we need to embrace sustainable growth and agricultural practices which will help us achieve our growth goals without compromising the environment.

THE NOT SO FREE INDIA

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India is not a free country anymore. According to the latest reports by the American NGO (Freedom House), the State of India has downgraded from a free nation to a partially free one. India got a score of 73 out of 100 downgrading it from free to partially free.
 
This however doesn’t come as a surprise for many. With the path, the country has followed in the past few years, this seemed inevitable. With The rising intolerance and hate crimes, India fails to make everyone feel safe.
But what actually is freedom?
What actually defines a country as a free nation?
Well according to me, a country shall be considered free when every individual living in the same is happy. That doesn’t seem to be the case either for India. According to the World Happiness report published by UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, India ranks 139 out of 149 Countries in the happiness index. These might just sound like numbers but in reality, these numbers frame a bigger story. The way India is working right now, the National level politics have come out to be religion oriented.  And it is trying its level best to utilize it to its best. Religion being the biggest missile in the hands of ruling parties’ arsenal, they have used it for their betterment by reducing the fraternity among citizens and making a society desperate to soak in the communal blood. The way society has responded to blasphemy is a result of these tactics that teach, “it’s not ok to have different opinions”.
But that’s not all that makes India a not so free nation. The present situation is dangerous, other than religion, other aspects of the democracy are being attacked. The media, also known as the fourth pillar of democracy has collapsed under the constant desire of the government to serve news as per their will. The draconian laws such as UAPA, NSA and the colonial Sedition law have further helped the government to silence the voices which dare to differ.
Fundamental freedoms such as expression, religion etc. has suffered a lot in the last 7 years. The current ruling party has the intention of ruling pan India. In some quite contemporary unfold of events, state governments have put forward laws that have made inter religion marriages difficult. The alleged concept of “Love Jihad” got into popularity after the new government came into power.  The law makes it difficult for the inter religion couples to get married attacking an important pillar of freedom,’ the freedom of Religion.’
The beauty of Federal system lies in its diversity and the deadlocks between the ruling Central and State governments. The deadlock tries to bring the best of both and come to a middle ground which serves the citizens best. However, the attempts by the ruling governments not so new for India, still is not appropriate as it takes out the essence of a federal democracy. This is what the Congress system was. However, the contemporary situation is a bit different, in some recent happenings, the central government has tried to sabotage the Delhi government. The new law intends to reduce the power of the elected legislative Council and give them to a puppet of the center mostly known as the Lieutenant Governor.
Analyzing the overall situation of the country, it seems as if India is losing its image as a free democracy. The heart of democracy lies in the freedom, in the aspect of   its people feeling free and happy. Going forward as a country is difficult, especially for a diverse country like India. Moving forward for the central government it will be necessary to consider the diversity of India as an important aspect and not try sabotaging communal harmony.
The falling global status can be retained if the government tries getting out of religion-based politics and non-democratic methods of governing the country. India losing its status as a free country is a big deal for the entire world. It would be a big blow to democracy if the world’s largest democracy goes into Autocracy. It might just be the right time for us to take a stand for our nation, to take a stand for democracy, to make sure to keep it alive.

Revisiting the French devised Code de l’indigénat and its aftermath

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Author:Ritankar Mallick
GCTC
 
Is withdrawal of troops an ongoing sudden nationalist in-vogue trend or a hasty measure for the appeasement of the domestic populace? As Western powers prepare to leave their grounds in Asian and African regions, to whom will these outcomes benefit? Quite a few questions hover around as the world begun to slowly fuel its engines, preparing to kickstart in the post-pandemic situation, as the current international events shape the upcoming global timeline.
Previously the occupational therapy that the colonial powers used to provide to their dominion outposts were labelled as “civilizing the uncivilized ” or “making them westernized”   or something almost similar.  With the United States preparing to leave the Afghani ground by September 11 of this year completely1 marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the French President on the other hand, has been vocal about reducing the troops from the Military Operation Barkhane in Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger.
President Macron has expressed to be committed in the Sahel region but he voiced that a “profound transformation”2  being on its way and the military operations won’t be the same anymore. With this recent move,  let’s trace back to a time in African history to revisit the regime de I’indigenat of French colonization in Africa.
The French pronouncement on Algeria for nearly 135 years led to the code of nativity (Code de l’indigénat) being an integral part of their colonial policy from the beginning. They imposed similar laws in the other parts of Africa as they annexed territories across the continent. The French invasion ceased the Algerian slave trade and piracy but it instead summoned aggression against the resistance towards colonization resulting in bloodshed and inviting more.
The French devised a way where it relied upon its subjects to maintain their colonialism in their lands. The policy was demographically divided into three categories which were called communes. The communes with a significant amount of French people elected their administrative bodies and were the self-governing3 parts of the colons (colonies). The native Muslim communes elected some but had a grand chieftain who was selected to head the elected council. The communes with more uninhabitable or uninhabited places were under the military’s jurisdiction. This began after the implementation of the Royal decree of 1845 in Algeria.
But as a de facto ruler tightens its grip and becomes a colonial power, a small group of natives, those who exercise certain influence over the settlers come in handy for the occupiers. The small group of French-speaking indigenous influential elites formed during this time mainly consisting of the Berbers, mostly Kabyles. Therefore, it resulted in a loving attitude towards the Kabyles. Almost about 80% of the indigenous schools were constructed for the Kabyles. Similarly, the French government favoured them in the local positions and vice versa.
The Code of the Indigénat categorized the citizenship of its population and subjects into two: the French citizens (with metropolitan descent) and French subjects, namely black Africans, Malagasy, Algerians, West Indians, Melanesians, etc. The code of the Senatus Consulte deprived them of most of their freedom and political rights; among the people, they only retain their own religious or customary descent identity.
A method of promotion was laid for the assimilation of the African people or the “civilizing” people. On July 14th, 1865, king Napoleon III in the first clause of the Senatus Consulte of full citizenship allowance4 request made it clear that though a Muslim or a Jew indigenous is French, even after that if he or she wants to enjoy the rights of a French citizen he or she will have to admit it, to be a subject to the French political and civil laws. It established specific penalties for the indigenous and organized lawful dispossession of their lands. But this wasn’t where it ended, as these establishments went through further improvements (1874, 1876, 1877, and 1881) as more offences went on getting specified and enlisted since then. Since the 1860s several changes were made in the upcoming years. The laws on exercising public movement and assembly turned more restrictive for the indigenous people. Punishment for the natives included fines or penalty of a demotion other than the prevailing sequestration.
The attempt towards naturalization that the French government tried to carry out was very depressing. In 1865 the first clause of the Senatus Consulte highlighted the requirement of naturalization that was expected to happen for healthy assimilation to take place. This initiative didn’t turn out well as in a country of millions they received less than 200 naturalization requests from the Muslims and nearly 160 requests from the Jews and other groups. This reaction wasn’t satisfactory at all for the French government back then.
The French administered the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria5 as an integral part and departement of the nation from 1848 till independence. When the French entered, only 1.5 million Algerians lived and when they gained independence it was more than seven times of it.
From 1825 onwards, fifty thousand6 French people moved to Algeria within the next 22 years. The confiscation of communal or tribal lands benefitted these Frenchmen on the Algerian lands as the application of modern agricultural techniques became easier and therefore increased the amount of arable land. Thus, the number of  Europeans settling in7 increased so much that they formed the majority in the cities of Oran and Algiers by the early 20th century. The improvements of the code eventually went on widening the difference between the thought processes invested, separately for the indigenous and the French settlers from Europe. The true harsh identity8 of the code of the nativity was becoming visible as in 1881 some specific offences were codified, which were to be distinguished from the crimes or acts committed in violation of the French law.
Since 1887, different colonial powers started implementing such similar kind of codes in their respective colonies. The implementation of the native Algerian code acted as an inspiration for most of the then contemporary European colonial powers behind the implementation of such similar kind of codes in their colonies. The code made colonialism shine again and enabled the brewing of more injustice and inequality for a several more decades as the 20th century arrived.
 

UNFCCC and the subsequent climate change conference

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UNFCCC and the subsequent climate change conference.
–Anondeeta Chakraborty
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change can very well be described as the first institutional attempt to officially recognize the imminent threat of climate change, as well as one of the earliest attempts to bring the world onto a common platform to fight the menace of climate change.
 
Environmental issues became very much noticeable from the latter half of the 20th century. The discovery of the ozone hole depletion in 1985, signaled a change in how environmental concerns were perceived. Till then, environmental issues were discerned as some peripheral obstacle. This discovery ultimately led to the signing of the most successful environmental treaty till date, namely the Montreal Protocol of 1987, with the promise to cut back on ozone depleting substances. This success and the impending peril of climate change, led to the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988, by the WMO and the UNEP, to evaluate the magnitude and timing of changes, estimate their impacts, publish strategies for how to respond and to provide an authoritative source of up-to-date interdisciplinary knowledge on climate change. The formation of IPCC, eventually led to the culmination of the UNFCCC.
The UNFCCC was negotiated and signed by 154 countries in 1992 (at present 197), at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, informally known as the “Earth Summit” in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The apex decision making body of the UNFCCC is known as the Conference of the Parties (COP). This body is responsible for organizing all the subsequent COP conferences.  Till date, there have been around 14 COP sessions and has been meeting biennially since 2001. Following the signing of the UNFCCC agreement the first session of the CoP (1) was held in Berlin in 1995. The important COP climate change conferences and the impact it sought to bring to fight climate change are discussed below thoroughly.
The Conference of Parties 2 (COP 2)1996:, Geneva, Switzerland-  The second report of the IPCC was evaluated at this conference. The economic and social dimension of the issue of climate change was also considered thoroughly. It called for flexibility and “legally binding mid-term targets” by rejecting uniform “harmonized policy” for combating climate change.
The Conference of Parties 3 (COP 3)1997: Kyoto, Japan- One of the most important sessions of the COP.  This conference saw the participation of different NGOs, intergovernmental bodies, along with official representations from 125 states. The delegation after a week of intense negotiation formally accepted the Kyoto Protocol.   In the Kyoto Protocol, Parties in Annex I of the FCCC, committed to reduce their overall emission of six greenhouse gases by around 5% below 1990 levels, between 2008 and 2012.  It  also established emissions trading, joint implementation between developed countries, and a “clean development mechanism” to encourage joint emissions reduction projects between developed and developing countries. But its success has been very much limited as several industrialised countries left the agreement, with Canada withdrawing from it in 2012 and the US never ratified the treaty. In 2020, the Kyoto protocol was amended, known as the Doha Amendment, which established the Kyoto Protocol’s 2013-2020 second commitment period.
The Conference of Parties 6 (COP 6)2000: Hague, Netherlands- The conference at Hague featured a  major controversy over the United States’ proposal to allow credit for carbon “sinks” in forests and agricultural lands that would satisfy a major proportion of the U.S. emissions reductions. This talk failed but was further continued in the next session at Bonn.
  The Conference of Parties 6 (COP 6)2001: Bonn, Germany: As the US rejected the Kyoto protocol, it participated in the conference as an observer. Some major political loopholes in the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in this conference. These include the introduction of The “flexibility mechanisms” including emissions trading, joint implementation (JI) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) which allows industrialized countries to fund emissions reduction activities in developing countries as an alternative to domestic emission reductions. A big helping hand was extended to Annex B countries through this process. Carbon sinks credit and compliance procedures and mechanisms were also taken into discussion. Finally, three new funds were introduced for the implementation of the protocol as well as to tackle other environmental menaces arising out of climate change.
The Conference of Parties 7 (COP 7) 2001: Marrakech, Morocco: It set the stage for the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. The work on the Buenos Aires Plan of Action was finalized and the completed package of decisions was given official recognition by signing the Marrakech Accords.
The Conference of Parties 10 (COP 10): 2004: Buenos Aires, Argentina: The conference discussed the progress made in fighting climate change since the setup of the COP conferences, a decade ago in Berlin.  To help the developing countries to better fight with the threats posed by climate change, the Buenos Aires Plan of Action was adopted.
The Conference of Parties 11 (COP 11): 2005: Montreal, Canada: This conference is one of the largest intergovernmental conferences on climate change ever.  The Kyoto Protocol finally came into force at this conference.. The Montreal Action Plan was adopted at this conference, with the aim to “extend the life of the Kyoto Protocol beyond its 2012 expiration date and negotiate deeper cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions.
The Conference of Parties 16 (COP 16): 2010: Cancún, Mexico: The outcome of the summit was an agreement adopted by the states’ parties that called for the US$100 billion per annum “Green Climate Fund”, and a” “Climate Technology Centre” and network. It recognized the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report goal of a maximum 2 °C global warming and all parties should take urgent action to meet this goal.
The Conference of Parties 18 (COP 18): 2012, Doha, Qatar: This conference produced a package of documents collectively titled The Doha Climate Gateway. It contained the 2nd Amendment period and the extension of the Kyoto Protocol. This conference also inspected the role of the developing countries like Brazil, India and China as the big emitter of greenhouse gases who are not subjected to emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol.
The Conference of Parties 20 (COP 20): 2014, Lima, Peru:  The Common But Differentiated Responsibility, which is one of the founding pillar of the subsequent Paris Treaty of 2015, was for the first time envisaged in this conference.
The Conference of Parties 21 (COP 21): 2015, Paris, France:  One of the most important CoP Conference till date. It resulted in the signing of the Paris Agreement, governing climate change reduction measure. The parties to this conference decided to adopt “concerted efforts” to keep the net average rise in temperature to 1.5 degree Celsius. Taking a departure from the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Treaty embarked on the “Nationally Determined Contribution”, meaning that the country entering the agreement can have the option to voluntary set their emission reduction target. The success of the Paris Agreement has still more or large has been limited.
The Conference of Parties 23 (COP 23): 2017, Bonn, Germany:  The main aim of this conference has been to discuss the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, after it enters into force in 2020. COP23 was winded up with the signing of the ‘Fiji Momentum for Implementation,’ which drafted the steps that need to be taken in 2018 to make the Paris Agreement operational. The Talanoa Dialogue was also launched at this conference, which is a process devised to help countries enhance and implement their Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020.
 Evaluation – Its undeniable how the signing of the UNFCCC in 1992, heralded a new epoch in the concerted global effort to fight climate change. While the success of the Montreal Protocol greatly inspired environmentalist all over the world and the same degree of favorable outcome was also envisaged from the UNFCCC and the successive climate change conferences. To our much dismay, the potential of these conferences and the subsequent climate treaties have not been properly utilized. As most of the agreements remain non-binding, the implementation and the success of those are left to the sweet will of respective states. There have been several notions where countries have literally shunned away from their responsibility to fight climate change. Moreover, the many heavy greenhouse emitters like China, Brazil and India, under the guise of being developing countries, have performed minimally when compared to the extent of their role in polluting the environment. Moreover, there are no effective enforcement mechanisms. The lack of finance for the implementation of the climate agreements is yet another stumbling block. The ongoing debate among the states about the implementation of the Green Fund is a burning example.
However, it can be taken as the success of the UNFCCC in amassing such a huge opinion on Climate Change. Each and every country of the world today are looking forward to adopt clean technology, renewable sources of energy, and eyeing for a sustainable and environment friendly lifestyle of the general population. The UNFCCC and the subsequent climate conferences have also helped the developing countries immensely by providing them a platform for finance, technology transfers, discussions, global partnerships, etc. in combating climate change. Thanks to UNFCCC and the COPs, today the world is much better equipped with innovative ideas like the Clean Development mechanism (CDM), the National Adaptations Programme of Action (NAPAs) or the ever budding pioneering technological innovations across all fronts to mitigate the risks from climate change.  It has provided the world with a common platform to discuss, analyze and come up with effective measures to counter the peril that climate change poses…but most importantly, it has provided the human civilization with the hope of survival.

A Turkish Hypocrisy

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Author:Anondeeta Chakraborty 

GCTC

 
August 5, marked the one year anniversary of the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.The effect of the decision has been felt both in the domestic as well as the foreign affairs of India. It was a bit uncanny, that there had not been much criticism of this decision by other states, as was “expected” and “feared” by the leaders of the ruling Party (as other past events on Jammu and Kashmir have shown). On the contrary, it was branded as an internal matter of India and rightly under its sovereign jurisdiction. Such an international stance on this issue was not well received by our neighbour Pakistan, and it tried its best to culminate an international response against this. Needless to say, that failed but it did manage to solicit responses from China (which was expected) and Turkey (thanks to their budding bilateral relationship)
With Erdogan taking over the presidency in 2014, there has been a sea change in Turkey’s pursuance of its internal as well as foreign affairs. Erdogan is known for his conservative and populist policies. The conversion of Hagia Sophia back into a mosque or the state sponsorship of the Ertugrul drama series, to woo Islamic sentiments in Turkey as well as, all over the world, can well attest the statement. Under him, Turkey is turning away from the secularist way of governance as was laid down by Ataturk, and religion is taking precedence more than ever. This equation of the prevalence of a common religion is bringing Turkey and Pakistan closer, not to mention the efforts put by the two populist leaders to foster those sentiments in their respective population.
Erdogan has always been vocal about the rights of the Kashmiri population in India and has taken a negative stance about the revocation of Article 370. It has also shown unflinching support to Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir. Many a times, Erdogan has openly talked about the human rights violation in Kashmir. Even though his constant concern and vigilance about the “protection of human rights” is welcomed, it would be really appreciative, if he shows the same amount of responsibility, towards the Kurdish people and the people of Northern Cyprus, because “charity should begin at home”
It is not unknown to the world the grave injustices, Turkey had done and is still doing to its minority Kurdish population. A minority of historians have even gone to the extent of calling it a “genocide”, aimed at their total elimination. Since the republic was formed in 1923, Turkey has embarked upon “ingenious” ways to crush the Kurdish people; banning Kurdish names, folklores, attires and all other forms of cultural representation by 1978. In an attempt to deny their very existence, the government had kept on categorizing the Kurds as “Mountain Turks” until the 1980s.  Time and again, the Kurds have wanted to assert their right to self-determination, the Dersim and Ararat Rebellion would be the best to cite as examples. The Ararat rebellion culminated into Zilan Massacre; where about 5,000- 47,000 Kurds were killed mercilessly by the Turkish Army. Such state sponsored atrocities are still continuing to this day, and the Kurds are being denied of basic political and social rights in Turkey.
The situation is similar in Northern Cyprus as well, where Turkey has been accused of violation of several basic rights by the European Court of Human Rights, as per the European Convention of Human Rights, since its Invasion in 1974. This self-proclaimed territory of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey, has been seeing major disregards to international Human rights law, especially towards Greek Cypriots. The Turkish authority has constantly embarked on unjustified killings, police brutality and violence on this minority section. The Cyprus 2018 Human Rights Report by the US, shows an accurate picture of severe repression of basic human rights in Northern Cyprus. The European Court of Human Rights, again and again, in various rulings, has asked Turkey to address these burning issues, which has never been into serious consideration by the Republic. (Andreou V. Turkey,  Loizidou V. Turkey, etc.)
Although Erdogan’s deep concern to “safeguard human rights” in Kashmir is genuinely appreciated, but his primary focus should be elsewhere. While his own country has been the perpetrator of violence and injustice towards certain minorities, with no respect for basic human rights whatsoever; where religious orthodoxy, repression of female rights, radicalism has grappled the state once again…in such circumstances it is really not prudent of him to be commenting about the internal affairs of another state. He needs to hold on tightly to the loose reins of his own country first and can then embark upon his “duty” to salvage the  world population of injustice, because “those who live in glass houses should not throw stone at others”.

Economics of Cybersecurity

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National security is often regarded as a conical public good. Are all members of society equally covered under this especially in the cyber realm? Security and defence experts claim that the Cyberworld could be the ‘5th Dimension’ of warfare. With the growing number of technological advances, some profit from misusing the technology for personal gain. Why do breaches happen when there are technological solutions to prevent them? Is the cost of providing said security more than a possible loss from breach of information?
You would think that tech companies and banking and financial institutions would not take risks while handling your personal information and other confidential information you divulge to them, however, the numbers may differ. Companies often compare the possible loss from a breach and the possibility of breach against the cost of having adequate security infrastructure. The risks associated with cyber-attacks are real and the reality has not reached all the sectors of society.
Any expert in the field of information security would argue that there is clear price discrimination in the availability of good security measures. Price discrimination is economically efficient but socially controversial. In the USA, banks are generally liable for the costs of card fraud; when a customer disputes a transaction, the bank must either show that she is trying to cheat or refund her money. In the UK, the banks had a much easier ride: they generally got away with claiming that the ATM system was ‘secure’, so a customer who complained must be mistaken or lying. “Lucky bankers,” you might think; yet UK banks spent more on security and suffered more fraud. How could this be? It appears to have been what economists call a moral-hazard effect: UK bank staff knew that customer complaint would not be taken seriously, so they became lazy and careless. This situation led to an avalanche of fraud.
The software industry tends toward dominant firms thanks to the benefits of interoperability. Economists call this a network externality or the law of large numbers: a network, or a community of software users, is more valuable to its members the larger it is. This not only helps explain the rise and dominance of operating systems, from System/360 through Windows to Symbian, and of music platforms such as iTunes; it also helps explain the typical pattern of security flaws. Put simply, while a platform vendor is building market dominance, he has to appeal to vendors of complementary products as well as to his direct customers; not only does this divert energy that might be spent on securing the platform, but security could get in the way by making life harder for the competitors. So platform vendors commonly ignore security in the beginning, as they are building their market position; later, once they have captured a lucrative market, they add excessive security to lock their customers in tightly.
Exposing and debating vulnerabilities can have damaging effects of its own but in a world of deep fakes and cyber phishing attacking even the most esteemed members of society, a debate is necessary. The erosion of personal data and a lack of privacy increases substantially with the rise in technology. Despite the existence of privacy-enhancing technology, it has surprisingly not hit the market place; economic thought suggests that it is because of wanting to charge different prices for similar services. Privacy reduces the chance of price discrimination.
We have discussed how many information security failures are caused by incentive failures, for example where the people who guard a system aren’t the people who suffer when it fails. Externalities make many security problems somewhat like environmental pollution; some aspects of information security are public goods, like clean air and water. Externalities also play a key role in determining which security products succeed in the market, and which fail. We started the discussion with the understanding that national security is a public good. Now we acknowledge how skewed that benefit truly is. In this piece, I hoped to expose some security risks that can be mitigated by applying the basic principles of economics.
-Neha Ramesh

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