With the British Prime Minister David Cameron raising cyber-security issue with Chinese authorities during his recent visit to China, the two countries could set an example for other countries.
Guardian has reported that Cameron asked Li Keqiang, the Chinese premier, to agree to a formal dialogue on cyber security. Li said Beijing was prepared to discuss the issue.
The issue assumes importance for both the countries. In Britain, a Commons committee had earlier raised concerns about Britain's decision to license £600m in cryptographic equipment to Chinese companies.
Interestingly, the observations of Commons committee are similar to that of the Indian intelligence agencies. The Commons committee had noted that “China is a one-party state, where there is no clear boundary between the Communist party and the private sector. It would seem highly likely that there is a real risk that some cryptographic exports that may be going into the private sector initially end up being utilised by security services in China."
Indian intelligence agencies have gone one step ahead and have said that Chinese major Huawei is controlled by people who have close links with PLA.
Guardian reports that Cameron raised the issue of cyber-security during a formal plenary session with his counterpart in Beijing. The prime minister said in Shanghai: "I think that a proper cyber-dialogue between countries is necessary and I have raised this with the Chinese leadership, that we need to properly discuss these issues. It is an issue of mutual concern and one that we should be discussing."
Cameron asked Li to agree to a more structured dialogue on cyber-security along the lines of three other areas, economic and financial, people to people and human rights.
If the dialogue between the two countries moves in the right direction, it will set an example for other countries and help in protecting privacy of people and of course, national security of a country.