Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (Agence France-Presse)
NEW DELHI — Top India military commanders meeting here have discussed establishing an independent Cyber Command. Addressing the Combined Commanders Nov. 22, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh highlighted the need for developing capacities to counter what he described as “global surveillance operation.”
“While globalization has induced growing and complex inter-dependencies among states and multinationals on the economic and trade front, it has also nurtured intense competition and rivalries in the security domain. Managing this contradictory tenor, which has been highlighted by the global surveillance operation mounted by the US National Security Agency, is also a policy imperative for us.
“Naturally, our objective must be to acquire tangible national capacity, or what the lexicon now refers to as comprehensive national power. This is the amalgam of economic, technological and industrial prowess, buttressed by the appropriate military sinews,” said Singh.
According to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA had allegedly collected information and intercepted communications in India.
Support is unanimous for establishing an independent Cyber Command to protect the nation’s cyber security, said a Defence Ministry source. While the commanders want a separate command for the armed forces, MoD sources said, it is still not decided who would be in charge.
Last year, hackers from China broke into sensitive computer systems at Vishakhapatnam, the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command where the indigenous nuclear submarine Arihant is undergoing sea trials.
“Cyber warfare is the new battlefield and India is not prepared for this battle,” said Mahindra Singh, retired Indian Army major general and defense analyst.