Safer Internet Day is observed every year on the 9th of February in approximately 170 countries worldwide to raise awareness of emerging online issues and current concerns and to promote a safer and better internet experience for all. To mark the occasion, CyberPeace Foundation, a global think tank and grassroot NGO working on CyberPeace and CyberSecurity, organized award ceremonies for the eRaksha competition and the Global CyberPeace Challenge along with a panel discussion on “Infusing CyberPeace in CyberSpace“. CyberPeace is also running campaigns online on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Linkedin to spread awareness on CyberPeace, CyberSecurity, Cyber Ethics and online safety.
The Global CyberPeace Challenge 2.0
The Global CyberPeace Challenge 2.0 was organized globally and aimed to present technical challenges to identify cyber talents and to tap into the participant’s innovative approach to solving critical real-world problems. It was divided into three parts – Cyber Policy & Strategy Challenge, Peace-a-Thon: The innovation challenge and Capture The Flag (CTF – IT & OT), and awards were presented to winners. Participants from 55 countries participated in the Global CyberPeace Challenge 2.0. The winners were chosen from a competitive participant pool of security experts, technologists, community leaders, civil society bodies, students, developers, UX/UI designers, CXOs, business analysts, education professionals, advisors, mentors, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and investors. The challenge had been organized in association with reputed partners such as the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Australian eSafety commissioner, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government of Australia, World Wide Web Foundation, Internet Society, CyberChallenge UK, ICANN, NCMEC, ICMEC, New York University, Indiana University, TISS Mumbai, Autobot Infosec, FICCI, SANS, Palo Alto Networks, Twitter, Maltego, Kaspersky and Zoom.
The eRaksha competition, which was organized by CyberPeace Foundation in collaboration with NCERT, NCPCR & NCRB, and was opened for registration on 30th June, 2020, strove to focus exclusively on digital citizenship, online safety and tackling fake news & misinformation. The competition was open for entries in three categories for students from schools and colleges and for teachers, parents and guardians. The competition received entries close to 50,000. The prizes were awarded to thirteen individuals for the six different sections that they had participated in- Artcade, WordHack, Screenmasters, Tech Avishkar, CyberPeace Honours and Special Recognition. This competition was supported by UNICEF India, Whatsapp, Google, Maltego, Autobot Infosec and Twitter.
After the award ceremony, a panel discussion was conducted on the subject of “Infusing CyberPeace in the CyberSpace”, with participation from many reputed personalities like Lt Gen (Dr.) Rajesh Pant, National CyberSecurity Coordinator, Government of India; Ms. Julie Inman Grant, eSafety Commissioner, Government of Australia; Mr. James Scott Shakelford, Indiana University and Vineet Kumar, Founder and President, CyberPeace Foundation.
Commenting on the program, Vineet Kumar, Founder and President, CyberPeace Foundation, said, “We were glad to have honoured budding CyberPeace keepers who will surely make a positive difference in the cyberspace in the near future with their exceptional abilities and unparalleled talent on Safer Internet Day, which is observed every year to achieve objectives that align with the ultimate goals of the competitions that we organized. The panel discussion toward the end also facilitated meaningful discussions that are bound to go a long way in generating ideas to ensure a Peaceful and stable cyberspace for everyone. On behalf of the entire organising committee I would like to thank all our partners and supporters from the Government, Industry, Academia, UN agencies and civil societies without whose support this event would not have achieved the success it has.”
Appreciating the Global CyberPeace Challenge 2.0, The eSafety Commissioner Ms. Julie Inman-Grant said, “To all the Global Cyber Peace Challenge participants, we thank you for your valuable contribution towards a safer cyberspace. It has been a great pleasure working with Cyber Peace Foundation, and I would like to thank the organizers for all of their hard work on such a fantastic initiative.”
Rebecca Razavi, Chief Operating Officer at the E-safety Commissioner in Australia, added, “It is so important to provide children and young people with the opportunity to participate and work alongside policymakers in finding solutions to challenging problems. And the eRaksha competition provides school students with this opportunity which is really promising. So, thank you to the CyberPeace Foundation for organizing the competition, and we look forward to eRaksha 2021.”
Shri Priyank Kanoongo, NCPCR chairperson, also said, “I would like to applaud Cyberpeace Foundation’s efforts in investing in the future of the country and choosing the right volunteers – the children of the nation- to promote a better, safer cyberspace. I congratulate the students who participated, CyberPeace Foundation and everyone else associated with this successful venture.”
Dr. Amarendra Kumar Behera, Joint Director, CIET, said, “We are happy to mention that CyberPeace Foundation and NCERT had collaboratively organized several competitions, including the competition organized on eRaksha in 2020, where a large number of entries, essays and creatives developed by students have been received. I convey my congratulations to all the students, teachers, educators and stakeholders who are a part of this directly and indirectly.”
“The growing importance of the internet has also given rise to new threats and opportunities for bad actors to exploit weaknesses in the internet’s infrastructure, which is why events like this Global Cyber Peace Challenge are so critical. They are an opportunity for the members of the global internet community to put their heads together to find creative solutions to these ever growing threats. Only by collaborating and cooperating can we ensure that the internet remains open, secure and resilient,” Maarten Botterman, Chairman, ICAAN Board of Directors, commented.
Mr. Rakesh Maheshwari, from MeitY, said, “I wish all the participants and winners of the Global Cybersecurity challenge 3.0, all the best. Cyber Peace Foundation, as I have known, has been doing an excellent job in creating an awareness in children about cybersecurity and cybersafety issues. They have also been doing an excellent job in infusing cyber peace in cyberspace.”
“The Cyber Peace Foundation’s Global Cyber Peace Challenge is a fantastic initiative to address some of the key challenges we face in cyberspace as well as embracing some of its opportunities. In the digital age, multistakeholder international initiatives such as this one are vital for ensuring that we continue to use cyberspace to reflect our collective values and interest in the pursuit of stability, security and prosperity,” Tobias Feakin, Australian Ambassador for Cyberaffairs and Critical Technology, said.
For more details, please visit: www.cyberchallenge.net.