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Russian experts should be more active on specialized international platforms

On October 13-14, 2021, Moscow hosted the 21st annual Conference on the Current Situation and Development Prospects of ICT Infrastructure organized by Russian Association of Networks and Services (RANS), a public-state organization.
The conference focused on current trends in the development of ICT infrastructure, improving the regulatory framework, import substitution and export orientation. The event was attended by representatives of government agencies, public organizations, IT companies, and the research community.

The conference was preceded by a report and election meeting of the RANS Executive Committee. Arkady Kremer was unanimously elected President of RANS, and Alexander Ivanyuk was elected Chairman of the RANS Executive Committee. Director of the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ Andrey Vorobyev also joined the RANS Executive Committee.

The conference opened with a plenary session on the Current State of the Industry's Regulatory Framework and Prospects for its Development. The participants included representatives of the Presidential Executive Office, the Ministry of Digital Development, the Federal Security Service, the CERT.GOV.RU national computer emergency response and coordination center, the Ministry of the Interior, and leading industry organizations. The participants discussed issues concerning regulation of the ICT industry as a single interconnected area of activity that includes communications, information technology and information security, as well as ways to expand international cooperation on ICT, information protection and international information security.

The Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ hosted a round table on Russian experts’ involvement in the global process of internet governance. At the session, Director of the Coordination Center Andrey Vorobyev noted that over the past 10 years, the Coordination Center had become the main operator of national forums and other projects concerning internet governance. “This situation has developed for a reason. It is the Coordination Center’s mission to ensure the development of the internet in the Russian Federation in the interests of the national and global internet communities. For this purpose, over a decade ago, the Coordination Center became actively involved in the internet governance process. Its experts took part in the first global internet governance forums, and in 2010, Russia joined the family of national IGFs by holding the First Russian Internet Governance Forum RIGF 2010,” Andrey Vorobyev continued. He also spoke of the international aspects of the Coordination Center's activity and its projects related to cybersecurity, IDN development and the involvement of young people in internet governance.

Vlad Ivanets, a member of the Coordination Center’s Youth Council, elaborated on the topic of youth involvement. He spoke about the Summer School on Internet Governance, a project the Coordination Center held for the second time this year jointly with the International Relations Department at St. Petersburg State University. The school is part of the Schools on Internet Governance (SIG) global movement. Its goal is to immerse students in current issues of internet governance and digital cooperation at the global and local levels and also to develop skills for full participation in international organizations, conferences and dialogues on these topics. In 2021, the Summer School organizers received over 120 applications from people interested in internet regulation, not only from Russia and the CIS, but also from European and Latin American countries. After completing two stages of training, 34 of the most successful graduates who completed the full course and developed their research graduation projects were awarded Summer School certificates. The course is accredited by St. Petersburg State University and the certificates are recognized as official professional development certificates.

Vlad Ivanets also spoke about the work of the Youth Council, a body established to discuss projects and initiatives aimed at the development and popularization of national domains .RU/.РФ and social and awareness-raising projects to increase digital literacy among young people.
Director of the Global IT Cooperation Competence Center Vadim Glushchenko highlighted the fact that the internet is an integral part of modern life, and the global audience of the World Wide Web has reached 4.66 billion people. However, this kind of deep penetration also has its dark side such as the rise in cybercrime and the proliferation of destructive content. The digital divide has not gone anywhere either: 40 percent of the world's population still do not have access to the internet. At the same time, legal regulations do not always keep pace with the rapid technological changes in the online landscape. To fix this, more and more proposals are put forth on international platforms on the need to develop common rules that would help reduce the digital divide, on the one hand, and would enable us to jointly address the downside issues, on the other.

“Given the current developments, we certainly cannot remain uninvolved. It is the responsibility of the state, businesses in the industry, and the entire professional community to vigorously participate in specialized international events and organizations, including those engaged in the development of international IT standards and promotion of multistakeholder internet governance. We view the UN as the most important of them. As a reminder, improving the quality and level of the Russian expert community’s involvement in international IT cooperation is one of the key tasks of our Center, and we are ready to provide a platform for developing cooperative approaches in this area,” Vadim Glushchenko said.

Other participants in the session included representative of the Foreign Ministry’s Department of International Information Security Alexander Koshkin, representative of the Ministry of Digital Development Alan Khubayev, Advisor to the Director of ANO Dialogue Boris Shoikhet, and representative of GLONASS Anton Baskov.

More details about international cooperation on internet governance can be found in the new issue of the RANS journal, Dokumentalnaya Elektrosvyaz, which includes publications on this topic by experts from the Coordination Center, the Global IT Cooperation Competence Center and the Ministry of Digital Development.

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