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Cyberspace can be described as the digital ecosystem between interconnected devices and ICT systems. The maintenance and management of cyberspace aids in the social, political and economical development of a country. This brings rise for the importance of cyber-security, to protect data on ICT systems or that uploaded onto the internet. With newer technology, online search patterns can be determined, travel-logs can be accessed and accordingly people can be profiled according to what they like, places they eat and where they live. This way people can even be influenced in certain ways. On the other hand, cyber espionage by Governments is extremely debatable and controversial. Some countries believe that keeping advance surveillance systems should be allowed while others do not feel the same. Some Governments even spy on their citizens, like the US, that has even authorised the NSA to do so (Ward). The debate goes on to the ethics of cyber spying, as well as how countries abuse their access to these methods. Additionally, cyber-terrorism is another big worry as it can be used to cause extreme damage to critical infrastructure of a nation.
When Edward Snowden leaked classified NSA files, he was forced to go on the run. Some countries opened their arms to him offering him asylum, amongst these countries was Nicaragua. Nicaragua has been very supportive of the actions of Edward Snowden, and is processing his request sent to their Moscow embassy (Galeno). Considering the many security and data breaches around the world, Nicaragua is one of the countries that don’t have a CIRT. This stands for Computer Incident Response Team, and is responsible for handling anything involving computer security breaches. Again Nicaragua has no real developed cybersecurity policy, causing them to be vulnerable to attack (ITU). People do not have the knowledge to prevent simple cyber attacks in countries like Nicaragua making them very vulnerable.
When it comes down to cyber-espionage, the US fears that Russia’s aid provided to Nicaragua also means that they are setting up a cyber spying network, that can intercept traffic in the ARCOS -1 fibre-optic cable that covers area from Miami, to the Caribbean coast of Central America (Partlow). Nicaragua, of course appreciates the aid Russia has been providing them. Another looming threat is the ease of conducting a cyber attack, and this can be dangerous as non-state actors can take advantage of this. Non-State Actors can take advantage of either the extensive cyber connectivity of a countries infrastructure or their weak cyber security infrastructure to launch an attack and cause extensive damage. Under operation ‘Olympic Games’, the US and Israel launched a cyber attack against Iran, by exposing a worm into Iran’s nuclear centrifuge systems, heavily damaging them. This shows the capabilities of cyber attacks and how it can even affect nuclear centrifuges. The damage could have been much more, as well as much more dangerous.
Nicaragua has been subject to a cyber attack in 2017, a DDoS attack on the countries leading radio station website rendering it unusable (radio station went offline). The country was not able to respond to this attack appropriately as they didn’t have the sophisticated technology and knowledge to do so. While there is no strong evidence, it was suspected that the attack originated from the US, and the damage caused was part of the cyber attacks the US government had decided to launch against the Russian Federation. Again, on the April 23 rd, 2018, the websites of Nicaragua’s biggest newspapers La Prensa and Confidencial were subject to DDoS attacks. Luckily La Prensa had adopted Project Shield technology to detect the attack and hence respond appropriately. Several news companies in Nicaragua were then urged to adopt Project Shield (IAPA).
Bitcoin uses Blockchain technology, and the same concept and technology can be used as a means of developing better means of cyber security. Companies such as SatoshiTango (company for crypto currency transactions) that operate in Latin American countries including Nicaragua, could go on to help in developing these means (Ravindra).
To cut it short, Nicaragua believes that cybersecurity and surveillance methods must be made accessible to all countries, and that the sovereignty of a foreign nation must be respected, therefore keeping surveillance limited within the nation’s borders. Nicaragua believes that the most effective solution will be better and more advanced cyber security methods, thus arming all nations to combat any cyber attacks and threats on the cyber space.
a) The following done under the supervision of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU),
b) Help forming public-private partnerships with companies like Google and Microsoft in order to provide a means of developing new solutions for cyber security,
c) Implementation of Project Shield wherever possible to minimize DDoS attacks and the damage caused, d) Investing more capital in combating and responding to cyber security threats;
i) The formation of a Computer Incident Response Teams (CIRTs) in order to appropriately and effectively respond in case of a cyber attack,
ii) To advertise and spread awareness on the importance of the use of methods to secure one self from a cyber attack, anti-viruses and firewalls to name a few, as well as possible threats on the internet, by television advertisements, online advertisements, radio advertisements,
e) Negotiating to form a comprehensive national cyber security policy in nations that don’t have a clearly outlined cyber security policy or no policy at all regarding the same,
f) Supporting and aiding any start-ups involving Blockchain technology, and the implementation of the same technology as a means of cybersecurity;
g) The formation of an annual Cyber Security Meet discussing the following subjects but not limited to:
i) Advances in cyber security technology,
ii) Security of critical infrastructure connected to the cyber space;
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