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United States and India agree to share cyber threat information

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Government representatives from the United States and India signed July 19 a memorandum of understanding to promote closer cooperation and the timely exchange of cybersecurity information in New Delhi, according to a Homeland Security Department statement.

Jane Holl Lute, deputy secretary at DHS signed the MOU on behalf of the United States, agreeing to exchange critical cybersecurity information and expertise between the two governments' computer emergency response teams: CERT-In and US-CERT.

"This MOU will improve understanding and exchanges between our countries on the issue of cyber-security and protecting critical national infrastructure from cyber-attacks," says a State Department fact sheet.

In a July 12 White House blog post, Howard Schmidt, cybersecurity coordinator and special assistant to the president revealed a similar information-sharing agreement with Russia. By year end both countries will begin a regular information exchange between each nations' CERTs, according to the joint statement.

"The U.S. and Russia are committed to tackling common cybersecurity threats while at the same time reducing the chances a misunderstood incident could negatively affect our relationship," said Schmidt in the blog post.

Information sharing agreements with Russia and India call into question the nature of international commitments in the cyber realm. During a press availability following the July 14 announcement of the first unified Defense Department cyber strategy, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said it was unlikely traditional treaties would be utilized in the cyber domain. Instead, Lynn suggested the DoD would pursue the development of established "norms" in international forums.

For more:
- see the DHS press release
- see the State Department fact sheet

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