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Text of Press Statement of Shri Kapil Sibal on Telecom Testing and Security Certification

New Delhi : June 30,2011

The following is the text of the speech of Shri Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister of Communications & IT, on Telecom Testing and Security Certification delivered in a Press Conference here today:

“Apprehensions have been recently expressed in certain sections of media regarding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore and Chinese company Huawei, to provide documentation, expertise, methods and standards for studying telecom equipment. This may not be based on proper assessment of facts.

“Government had recently approved “Center for Telecom testing and Security Certification”, which was earlier a pilot project at IISc Bangalore, to be scaled up to a full-fledged center in due course of time, at estimated cost of Rs 60 Cr, out of which, Government funding may be to the tune of Rs 50 Cr. This decision had been taken due to the fact that in today’s multi operator/vendor environment, risk to security of networks and related services, possibilities of theft and misuse of database, leakage of secure and personal information passing through the networks have nowadays increased considerably due to factors like service denial attacks on the networks, possible presence of malwares/security bugs in the network elements etc. The proposed Centre would formulate standards and policies as well as provide facilities for testing, validation and security certification for various network elements in order to render the networks secure and less vulnerable from internal and external threats. The Center would also involve creation of test bed facilities and capacity building for networks’ security so that each network element is tested and validated before integration with the networks.

“In order to perform ‘Testing’ on recent generation of Telecom Hardware being manufactured world over, IISc Bangalore had simultaneously approached several vendors (like CISCO, Juniper, Huawei etc) from US, Europe & Asia to share internal details of their Telecom equipments like Detailed Design Document & Internal Architecture (both software and hardware), which are vital for detailed testing. These are common details that the companies would share with "testing laboratories" world over but not to any ordinary buyer. Further, given the commercially secretive nature of such valuable information, all vendors normally insist that Testing laboratories should sign “Non-Disclosure-Agreement”, prohibiting Labs to make their study report public in a manner prejudicial to business interests of vendor, without explicit prior consent of Vendor. Huawei responded proactively before other vendors and hence requisite MOU got signed on 15th June, 2011 between IISc Bangalore and Huawei.

“It may be understood that Huawei is not helping IISc Bangalore to setup any Lab as IISc has already set up the same as part of old pilot project, wherein all the equipments and software are theirs. MOU signed between the two is more like a NON-DISCLOSURE-AGREEMENT so that the information that IISc gets from Huawei is not disclosed to others. Further, IISc Bangalore had contacted simultaneously several vendors from US, Europe &Asia to give the internal details, for getting their telecom equipments tested. Selection of vendor is an on-going process and more vendors from US, Europe & Asia will be selected for getting their Telecom gear tested, as soon as they respond positively to IISc/Department of Communications.”

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