Saikat Datta has worked at the intersection of public policy, journalism and security in a career spanning over two decades. During his work as an editor and an investigative journalist his work was awarded the International Press Institute award (2007), the Jagan Phadnis Memorial award for investigative journalism (2007) and the National RTI award for journalism (2010).
He has been called upon by India’s Supreme Court to submit his technical and policy recommendations on how to create oversight on surveillance systems and practices in India. He has also authored peer-reviewed research papers on national security and intelligence published by the US Army War College, Johns Hopkins University, The Stimson Center and other national and international institutions. He has also been a member of several Track 1.5 and Track 2 peace and back-channel initiatives between India and the US, China and Pakistan. He has presented at RightsCon (Belgium, 2017), NullCon, which is Asia’s biggest cybersecurity conference (2014-2023), NATO (C-DAT, Turkey 2021)and AISS organized by the Data Security Council of India (2018-2023). He regularly advises and collaborates with rights groups, public policy teams and technology companies.
As a risk mitigation and public policy professional, he has been associated with Nullcon – Asia’s biggest cybersecurity conference and hub; The Dialogue – a think tank on technology and policy in India; and a Policy Director with the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS). He was also the lead researcher on a cybersecurity project for the New Delhi-based Internet Democracy Project.
He was the Vice President & Head, De-risking Strategies, of Reliance Global Corporate Security (RGCS) specialising in counter-terrorism and cybersecurity projects. He was also a consultant to the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre, a body created under India’s Information Technology Act (amended) 2008 as the designated national agency for all cyberthreats to critical information infrastructure (CII).
He has been the South Asia Editor for Asia Times, Resident Editor of DNA, the National Security Editor of Hindustan Times, Assistant Editor with the Outlook magazine and the Security and Strategic Affairs correspondent with The Indian Express.
He has co-authored a book on India’s special operations capabilities – ‘India’s Special Forces – The History & Future of Special Forces’. His research papers on India’s intelligence and counter-terrorism capabilities have been published by The Stimson Centre, the US Army War College, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) and the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS).
Saikat’s work covers public policy, security, intelligence, military power, cybersecurity, communication, technology and sustainability among others. As a CEO and Co-Founder he works at growing DeepStrat, and brings years of varied experience and networks in the government, security, academia and civil society.