back to article Britain to spend £22m influencing Indo-Pacific nations' cybersecurity policies against 'authoritarian regimes'

Britain is to spend £22m on training African and Indo-Pacific nations to stave off cyber influences from "authoritarian regimes", foreign secretary Dominic Raab said today. "I'm very pleased to announce that the UK government will invest £22m in new funding to support cyber capacity building in those vulnerable countries," …

  1. John Robson Silver badge

    Oh really?

    ""We've been at this a while. Ten years ago, the UK government brought together in London more than 60 countries to try and establish the principles for governing behaviour in cyberspace, talking about basic principles, things like universal access to the internet, protecting individual human rights online,""

    Is that the right to be spied on, and the right to have all your data hoovered up by the lowest bidder, and then held "securely" in a public facing, open access, S3 bucket?

  2. taxman

    Gov Overseas Work

    This has been going on for some years now, with Civil Servants from the UK getting a couple of weeks in the sun looking at African countries set ups, writing a report while sat round the pool and topping up the tan. Nice jolly that may attract a promotion or sometimes a gong.

    Most advice goes along the lines of lock doors and windows when office is closed, put decent locks on doors and bars on windows, don't write down passwords, carry bags away from the roadside and so on.

  3. Potemkine! Silver badge

    We've got the world-beating coders, the world-beating scientists, the ground-breaking innovators. And at the same time, we've also got GCHQ, the NCSC, the National Cyber force, the capacity to defend our liberties at home, and to protect the world's online freedoms from those who would poison the well. And that's our mission as global Britain to flourish as a tech superpower and to serve as an even stronger force for good in the world.

    And don't forget world-beating modesty!

    alongside French-built Mirage 2000s in the late 1980s.

    India also bought 36 Rafales in 2019. Its Air Force has an impressive mix of aircrafts in term of origins. There's clearly a political choice to have an equilibrium and not choosing a side against the other.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >There's clearly a political choice

      After independence the USA turned up and said, "hello little brown people, would you like to swap your tea drinking colonial masters for some new coffee drinking colonial masters?"

      Then uncle Joe turned up and said "Want to annoy the colonial oppressors, while learning how to control millions of peasants? Join our club!"

      It's why the USA is such a staunch ally of Pakistan.

      France as always, will sell weapons to both sides - it's why they have all those philosophers.

      1. Lars Silver badge

        "would you like to swap your tea drinking colonial masters for some new coffee drinking colonial masters?".

        Probably the reason they have surpassed Britain as an economic power.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Yep that $2000/person GDP really adds up.

          But once we worked out how to grow Tea in Yorkshire we didn't really need an empire

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        France as always, will sell weapons to both sides



        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Binraider Silver badge

          You do know the Arg navy had the type 42 destroyer and sea wolf of British origin. And the German Roland SAM.

          1. Binraider Silver badge

            Correcting myself. We sold Argentina the Sea Dart, not the Sea Wolf. But point still stands!

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    World beating coders ?

    Really ? Where ?

    In all those companies you've sold off to foreign interests ?

    Tip : Bletchley Park has been closed for some time now.

    1. Oh Matron!

      Re: World beating coders ?

      World-beating Cod. Not coders. Cod.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: World beating coders ?


        No, Spanish and French fishermen have most of the cod.

        Maybe he meant we have a lot of old cod's?

        He was certainly spouting a lot.

  5. A random security guy

    Doesn't the UK hoover data?

    The UK doesn't have a good record. They have been implicated in looking into people's lives a bit too closely online and also with wire-taps and such. They also share the data with other countries without due process and also spy for other countries in order to get around due process requirements in those countries.

    Finally, the UK has been trying to legislate backdoors into encryption.

    Given those data points, I would like to ask the UK if they are the right advisors in this area. We could rely on the US instead; obviously the NSA and the CIA will give us better advice (sarcasm)

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Advice such as ban end-to-end encryption for the plebs.

  7. A random security guy

    About the comment about fighter aircraft from Russia and the West

    India, I believe, flies Russian Sukhois and MiGs along side French, British fighter/fighter bombers, US helicopters, surveillance & drones aircraft, and Israeli drones. Throw in some Italian choppers and Brazilian aircraft. All they now need to do is to buy a few Swedish Gripens to complete the logistics nightmare.

  8. steamnut

    USA too?

    After a recent, and possibly ongoing, US cyberattack which has caused fuel shortages, maybe the US should attend too?

  9. Tempest

    It Might be a Good Idea to Start at Home - the UK InterNet is Censored

    Out here in VietNam we have more InterNet freedom that subscribers in the UK and other European countries.

    The only noticeable blocks are to those websites who claim Ha Noi is not the legitimate government of the south, although most countries accept and support VietNam as a single entity.

    Compared to many countries, the UK is a Nanny domain with many restrictions forced on the great unwashed in the UK. The new satellite venture by Elton Musk and SpacEx is an opportunity to tell Whitehall to go to Hell.

    1. smudge

      Re: It Might be a Good Idea to Start at Home - the UK InterNet is Censored

      Compared to many countries, the UK is a Nanny domain with many restrictions forced on the great unwashed in the UK.

      I am genuinely curious. Can you give us some examples of these restrictions, please?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: It Might be a Good Idea to Start at Home - the UK InterNet is Censored

        I don't know if you can see this in your absolute monarchy List_of_websites_blocked_in_the_United_Kingdom and Web_blocking_in_the_United_Kingdom

  10. JWLong

    22 Million

    is pocket change today.

    What are they going to do, buy them some toilet paper and lottery tickets.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: 22 Million .... No good, boss man. No wannabe white man slave, no more.

      is pocket change today.

      What are they going to do, buy them some toilet paper and lottery tickets. .... JWLong

      That's almost exactly what I be thinking, JWLong. Such a paltry sum doesn't deliver and sustain anything worth having to be Great and Good and certainly nothing superbly almighty and well worth having in arsenals for effective efficient defence against the universal scourge of the postmodern virtualisable machine age ... practically anonymous plundering attackers and mercenary marauders/renegade rogue nations and private pirate operations .... which coincidentally was also shared here on El Reg as recently as yesterday early evening [ Wed 12 May 17:42] Does it identify and register such paltry sum offers as a trend which insults the novel intelligence of emergent national and constantly realigning international services? Who needs enemies if you have skinflint friends like that?

      That would make IT a Superb Almighty Weapon well deserving of the Great and the Good having.

      I wonder if that is similar to anything Dominic Raab, the most recent media face for the UKGNI Foreign Office, is pimping GB can supply to African nations, with government trying to hold on to doing their usual thing of assuming the position of a vital indispensible middleman/snake oiler between canny supplier, that and/or those with the much sought after, sensitive and secure proprietary intellectual property portfolios, and exceptionally excited and enthusiastic customer client partner. ………

      Oh,… and why did nobody around the Cabinet table tell Mr Raab that £22 million is peanuts nowadays and practically always buys one next to nothing worth having? Such suggests to me that he is not up to the task of securing the brief …… with his close colleagues attending meetings at No 10 also leaving far too much to be desired and for too much left undone to be thought the best available to make a success of the job required.

      J’accuse. ........

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Er, geography lesson

    The article teaser says "Indo-pacific nations"

    The article says "mostly in Africa"

    The two are not even close to being the same.

    Which is it?

    1. Shalghar

      Re: Er, geography lesson

      One might add antarctica and other locations to make it more precise but i believe "everywhere we can get in" should be sufficient.

  12. Mike Richards


    "authoritarian regimes like North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, who use digital tech to sabotage and to steal, or to control and censor,"

    All of which apply to this government's new best friend, Modi's government in India.

  13. scrubber


    Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the most authoritarian of them all?

    1. Tempest

      Re: Grimm


  14. Shalghar

    Once in a lifetime, germany was faster in something "online". We already have the censorship law, called "Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz", also allegedly to protect children, delete hatespeech and suchlike. To "augment" on this "protection" the Landesmedienanstalten (some kind of half ministry mostly involved in being the thug squad for enforcement of our version of the british "tv license fee".) have been given official censorship powers, finely tuned to not see nor act on the daily fails of politically infiltrated state backed media. All those spearheads for "protecting democracy" strangely avoid precisely the cesspits of big corp asocial media like farcebook and concentrate on "threats" from private bloggers, whistleblowers, politically unwanted information and other such dangers to democracy (tm).

    Meanwhile our ministry for something digital and traffic and whatevermore (the longer its name gets, the less i could care to remember it) spends public money on financing cute dinosaur park micropayment game apps so at least the risk of doing something useful is mitigated.

    Investments in cybersecurity ? Left to the private sector due to its legendary "efficiency". Nearly every city formerly using Linux for their red tape processing has reverted back to microsoft, allegedly because noone would be able to handle the "complicated" software on anything *ix. And yes, the "digital vaccination pass" that has already failed everywhere it was tried as well as centralised storage of health data including public private "partnership" is also something we will spend money on. As we have already on this "corona warn app" that after more than a year is still unable to reliably warn, which may be due to the fact that its a mere frontend for googles ENF.

    I fail to see any relevance of the amount of professionals in any country if politicians and management nearly always decide not to listen to them nor to accept their value, knowledge and input.

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