Leonid Levin: Russia is confidently becoming a leader of the internet industry

05.12.2018

The opening ceremony of the EE DNS Forum 2018 took place on December 5. The forum is organized by ICANN and the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ.

When opening the forum Director of the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ Andrey Vorobyev said that on that day the participants were going to talk about legal aspects, international cooperation on the internet and other humanitarian aspects of internet governance. He noted that today the state is getting more involved in the domain industry and internet governance and gave the floor to Chair of the Russian State Duma Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications Leonid Levin.

In his speech Levin noted that Russia was confidently becoming a leading country in the internet industry, which was made possible due to the attention the country had been paying to the development of science, technology and IT oriented education since the Soviet era. “We have our own social networks and search engines, as well as Russian software solutions, including anti-viruses that successfully compete on the global market,” Leonid Levin noted.

“Since  the very moment the national segment of the global web appeared (which happened almost 25 years ago when the .RU domain was delegated – by the way, next year we will have a large celebration of Runet’s 25th anniversary), Russia has been using the multistakeholder approach in the internet governance. High-tech companies, public organizations and government bodies have been taking part in developing solutions and policies on equal terms, which has resulted in an impressive level of digital technology spreading in the Russian society. Over 80 percent of the adult Russians use the internet; the number has reached 98 percent among youth. Mobile banking, online interaction with government bodies and managing logistics, marketing and even the urban environment using neural networks and artificial intelligence have become a reality our society has got used to,” Levin pointed out.

He noted that Russia’s position on the global stage is proactive and Russian experts participated in dialogues and promoted initiatives at various levels, from industrial forums to interparliamentary work within the UN and the ITU. “This work is understood and supported by the international community; there is a recent example when the UN General Assembly First Committee approved the draft Russian resolution proposing a code of conduct for countries on the internet,” Leonid Levin said. The deputy suggested that the technical community and internet businesses should participate in these processes more actively and develop the internet development policy together with the government.

ICANN Head of Global Stakeholder Engagement for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Alexandra Kulikova agreed that the government and the rest of the internet community should cooperate and have many things in common. “Speaking about the ICANN community, we definitely agree that it is necessary to provide stability and security to the internet infrastructure. Our event is a good opportunity to discuss various aspects of cooperation between the state, noncommercial organizations and the technical community. At the same time, our task is not simply to explain and promote the mission of the Coordination Center, ICANN and other DNS industry stakeholders, but to involve the forum participants in the topical global processes of developing DNS policies,” Alexandra Kulikova said.

The second forum day began with the section, DNS in Retrospect: Global History Through a Regional Lens, that attracted veterans of the internet. The section participants focused on the history of relations between regional TLD registries and international organizations.The “fathers” of the modern regional internet and those directly involved in the creation of Russian domain space, and the appearance of the first national domains addressed the participants.

Next year .RU will mark its 25th anniversary, and April 7, 1994 is considered the day Runet was created. The section’s moderator Mikhail Medrish (AMT-GROUP) reminded the participants how the Russian internet began and recalled all the important events that happened over the 25 years of its existence. The participants discussed why the idea of the internet turned out to be so viable. Elena Voronina (MSK-IX) voiced a very interesting idea about the reasons of success. “The success of the internet does not lie in the technical implementation but in the idea itself. Technologies provide connection between people and computers, and DNS works like Esperanto of the internet,” she pointed out.

Alexey Soldatov (Russian Institute of Public Networks) focused on subjects related to the critical infrastructure. “For some reason the government thinks that if you interfere in the DNS work you govern the internet in the country, when in fact DNS is not governance; it is no more than a separate business. Even if all the root services fail no one will notice: this is how many proxies, mirrors and other things we have. And 24 hours later, when something will be noticed, the root services will already be restored. This is the internet’s sustainability,” Soldatov said. The internet is characterized with a wide range of technologies and architectures with a strict regulation of how they interact, said David Conrad from ICANN. The topic was supported by Dmitry Burkov (FAITID) who also focused on personal data protection: “Today I would like private property for my personal data to return. I would like to understand who has access to my personal data: I don’t like uncontrolled access and I hope that this topic will become known to engineers who will discover a way to do this.”

The EE DNS Forum 2018 continues its work; please follow our publications.

Online broadcasts are available via: eednsforum.org