BRICS to beef up in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity Min­is­te­rial-level con­fer­ence high­lights vi­tal role of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By MA SI and SHI XIAOFENG in Hangzhou

BRICS na­tions will step up co­op­er­a­tion on in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity, as dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy plays an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role in driv­ing eco­nomic growth, min­is­ters from the five coun­tries said in a state­ment on Thurs­day.

China, Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia and South Africa re­al­ize that the in­creas­ing ap­pli­ca­tion of in­for­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy is bring­ing tremen­dous op­por­tu­ni­ties, but also new se­cu­rity threats, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, which came as the third meet­ing of BRICS com­mu­ni­ca­tion min­is­ters con­cluded in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

Liu Li­hua, China’s vicem­i­nis­ter of in­dus­try and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, said: “It is agreed that we should strengthen di­a­logue on how to re­spond to se­cu­rity threats and es­tab­lish ef­fec­tive mech­a­nisms to tackle cy­ber emer­gen­cies. More joint ef­forts will be made to build a safe and re­li­able net­work, and es­tab­lish a proper in­ter­net gov­er­nance sys­tem.”

BRICS na­tions, which ac­counted for 23 per­cent of global GDP in 2016, are ac­cel­er­at­ing their push to build the dig­i­tal econ­omy. The meet­ing of BRICS com­mu­ni­ca­tion min­is­ters is a pre­lude to the BRICS Lead­ers Meet­ing, which will be held in Xi­a­men, Fu­jian prov­ince, in Septem­ber.

Niko­lay Nik­i­forov, Rus­sia’s min­is­ter of tele­com and mass com­mu­ni­ca­tions, said: BRICS coun­tries ac­count for al­most half of the pop­u­la­tion of the planet, and it is be­lieved that ev­ery sin­gle cit­i­zen of these coun­tries will be con­nected to the net­work, or mo­bile de­vices, which will equal al­most half of the world’s ICT mar­ket.

“The in­ter­net is the foun­da­tion of the global dig­i­tal econ­omy. But now there is not an in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized le­gal frame­work to en­sure the net­work is safe. More ef­forts are needed in this di­rec­tion,” Nik­i­forov said.

Ac­cord­ing to Kasper­sky Lab, a Russian cy­ber­se­cu­rity and anti-virus provider, around 300,000 new dig­i­tal virus sam­ples ap­pear ev­ery day, high­light­ing the press­ing need for global co­op­er­a­tion against cy­ber­at­tacks.

The meet­ing of com­mu­ni­ca­tion min­is­ters also called for in­ten­si­fied ef­forts to strengthen the in­ter-con­nec­tiv­ity of dig­i­tal in­fra­struc­ture and deepen co­op­er­a­tion in new tech­nolo­gies such as 5G, cloud com­put­ing and big data among the five coun­tries.

Zhao Houlin, sec­re­tary­gen­eral of the In­ter­na­tional Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion Union, said in­for­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy is rapidly up­grad­ing tra­di­tional in­dus­tries and em­pow­er­ing in­di­vid­u­als and BRICS na­tions.

China, for in­stance, has a strong edge in man­u­fac­tur­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion hard­ware while In­dia ex­cels in soft­ware ca­pa­bil­i­ties. The two sides can step up their ef­forts to learn from each other, Zhao said.

Nik­i­forov, the Russian com­mu­ni­ca­tion min­is­ter, also added that as a rapidly grow­ing vol­ume of data is be­ing trans­mit­ted across con­ti­nents, Rus­sia can be a trust­wor­thy part­ner to help China ex­change data with Europe, given the coun­try is in be­tween.

Con­tact the writ­ers at masi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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Liu Li­hua, vice-min­is­ter of in­dus­try and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy

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