Boundary demarcation in virtual space: Separating or uniting?


Director of the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ Andrei Vorobyov and his first deputy, Vladimir Gorzhaltsan, attended a scientific seminar, Technical Issues of Delineation and Demarcation of Boundaries of Responsibility of States in Information and Communication Technology, organized by the Russian National Association of International Information Security (NAIIS). The seminar’s key objective was to discuss the main provisions of the international responsibility boundaries in the digital space and the technical aspects of its realization, as well as international cooperation in this area.

Member of the NAIIS Presidium Anatoly Streltsov and senior research fellow at the MSU Institute of Information Security Pavel Pilyugin delivered reports. Participants in the seminar discussed the relevance of outlining areas of responsibility in the virtual space. They believe that resolving this problem will pave the way for the practical implementation of regulations, rules and principles of responsible behavior of states, which are outlined in UN General Assembly Resolution А/73/27 of December 4, 2018. The resolution says, in particular, that “state sovereignty and international norms and principles that flow from sovereignty apply to State conduct of ICT-related activities and to their jurisdiction over ICT infrastructure within their territory.”

In their speeches, Coordination Center experts said that the attribution of actions is considered to be the biggest challenge, and unfortunately, there are no technical ways to determine who did what on the net.

“The Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ has long and fruitfully taken part in the NAIIS activities. For instance, it attends the International Forum on Information Security that takes place annually in Germany’s Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The recent NAIIS seminar is the follow-up to the Garmisch process, where it has often been said that there is a need to create a multi-tier distributed border regime with many contact points between the digital spaces of various countries. Following the seminar, it was suggested that a survey be done on improving the international technical regulations of relations concerning international responsibility boundaries in the digital space. The Coordination Center will take an active part in this research,” Vorobyov said.

Vorobyov and Gorzhaltsan also presented the NAIIS leadership with the postage stamps issued to mark the 25th anniversary of the Russian national domain .RU. In conclusion, participants in the meeting agreed to hold the next seminar at the Coordination Center as part of an expanded meeting of the center’s Committee on Internet Governance.