Russian plans for development of Information Society

11 October 2007

Veni MarkovskiVeni Markovski, VP, UN Engagement - New York

Some of the Russian media reported in July 2007 that the Russian government plans to build its own Internet, independent of the World Wide Web, which will service Russia and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries, such as Armenia, Moldova and the Ukraine.

A number of articles from DP.ru (“Russia to build its own www.web.rus”), Regions.ru, and Obozrevatel.com have appeared in off line and online media. Even Gari Kasparov – a political opponent to Russian president Vladimir Putin – took that news and published it, based on a story in “Vechernaja Moskva” (Evening Moscow). Today the DP.ru article was re-published on the civil society’s Internet governance mailing list, this time translated in English and French.

It is important to publish a review not of the publications in the Russian media, but of the original documents, which inspired the above mentioned articles.

It seems the headlines do not match the reality, as they all appear to be based on “military sources, speaking under the condition of anonymity”, and here is what the official information from the Russian President says:

Strategy for Development of Information Society in Russia (draft, in Russian), the relevant part about ICANN is in the following paragraph:


Важной составляющей деятельности по развитию информационного общества в России является международное сотрудничество, направленное на создание условий для ускорения формирования постиндустриальных тенденций в экономической, социально-политической и духовной сферах жизни российского общества, реализацию положений Окинавской хартии и итоговых документов Всемирной встречи на высшем уровне по вопросам информационного общества (2003-2005 гг., Женева, Тунис).

Основными мероприятиями, осуществляемыми Россией в рамках международного сотрудничества в области развития информационного общества, являются:

участие России в определении путей решения вопросов формирования глобального информационного общества, в выработке международных норм и механизмов, регулирующих отношения в области использования глобальной информационной инфраструктуры, включая вопросы управления использованием Интернета, определения системы показателей развития информационного общества на глобальном и национальном уровнях;

участие в международном информационном обмене по вопросам развития информационного общества, распространение объективной информации о социально значимых событиях российской и международной жизни, культурного разнообразия и самобытности народов России;

содействие развитию информационного обмена между государственными органами и негосударственными организациями России и зарубежных стран;

создание экономических условий для продвижения российских информационных продуктов и услуг на рынки зарубежных стран;

содействие привлечению инвестиций международных финансовых организаций и зарубежных компаний в производство отечественных информационно-коммуникационных технологий;

совершенствование взаимодействия национальных правоохранительных органов в области выявления, пресечения и ликвидации последствий использования потенциала глобальных информационно-коммуникационных технологий в террористических и иных преступных целях, защиты прав на объекты интеллектуальной собственности;

содействие защите прав российских правообладателей за рубежом;

продолжение международного переговорного процесса в целях определения возможных совместных мер по устранению существующих и потенциальных угроз международной информационной безопасности военно-политического, террористического или иного преступного характера и содействия формированию соответствующих международных механизмов, в том числе правовых.

Here’s a brief translation (please forgive errors, neither Russian nor English is my native language):

An important part of the development of the Information Society (IS) in Russia is international cooperation, aimed at creating conditions for fast formation of post-industrial tendencies in the economic, social-political and cultural life of the Russian society, realization of the positions of the Okinawa charter and the WSIS documents (2003-2005 Geneva, Tunis)

Main activities, performed by Russia in the framework of international cooperation in development of IS, are:

  • Participation of Russia in defining the way for solving the issues about formation of global IS, in creation of international norms and mechanisms, regulating the relations in using the global information infrastructure, including questions about governing the Internet usage, defining criteria for development of IS at global and national levels
  • Participation in international information exchange on issues of developing IS, spreading information for socially important events from the Russian and intenational arena, cultural diversity and national characteristics of the people of Russia
  • Cooperation in development of information exchange between governmental structures and non-governmental organizations of Russia and foreign countries
  • Creating economic conditions for promoting Russian information products and services on the foreign markets
  • Help in encouraging investments from international financial organizations and foreign companies in production of Russian ITC
  • Improving cooperation of national law enforcement bodies in the field of finding, intercepting and damage management of usage of the potential of ICT for terrorist and other criminal goals, copyright protection
  • Organizing protection of Russian copyright holders abroad
  • Continue international negotiations process in order to define possible common measures for eliminating current and potential threats upon international information security from military-political, terrorism, or of other criminal character and support in formation of adequate international mechanisms, including legal ones.

The above statements form the draft of the Strategy for Development of Information Society in Russia, plus the opening notes of President Putin in Moscow show that Russia is to start a new, pragmatic approach towards development of Information Society.

It is encouraging also to see that Russia plans to be more actively involved in international cooperation, and that it would like to be part of the solution. ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) deals with the input and concerns expressed by governments within ICANN’s limited technical remit, and its chair recently announced he “would like to extend an open invitation to representatives of all governments” within that process. We are expecting some of the ccTLD administrators from the whole region (Russia and CIS) to come to the ICANN Los Angeles meeting at the end of October, and thus continue to positively contribute to the development of ICANN.

Our work in the region also has had recent positive developments, when ICANN received a letter (PDF, 1.76Mb) from Alexei Platonov and Alexei Soldatov on the .SU ccTLD RosNIIROS, and last month ICANN had a number of successful meetings in Russia. In just two weeks, we’ll participate with keynote speakers at a Moscow Round table, organized by the influential Institute for Information Security Issues to the Moscow State University. Among the conference organizers are also the Academy of Cryptography of the Russian Federation, the State University of New York (SUNY, USA), the Cambridge University, (UK), the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, and it takes place with the support of the Security Council of the Russian Federation and the National Anti-Terrorist Committee.

Veni Markovski
Veni Markovski
VP, UN Engagement - New York

Veni Markovski

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