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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

03.11.2017

Statement of the Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Oleg Khramov at the international OSCE conference on cybersecurity, Vienna, 3 November 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is absolutely clear that in the foreseeable future global informatization will be the key trend in the development of society.

Under such conditions, security in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) becomes one of the major items on the international agenda, the topic to consolidate the international community.

However, today there are controversies between participants of the discussion regarding the basic principles upon which the system of international information security is to be built.

A number of countries proceed from the assumption that information space has already become a battleground. Thus, their suggestion is to focus one's efforts on regulating inevitable - as they believe - military and political conflicts implying the use of ICT, while it is stated that the regulation mechanisms are to be based on unconditional applicability of existing norms of the international law, the norms that were developed in the «рrе-digital age».

Taking into consideration that in reality it is impossible to reliably determine a source of computer attacks, we believe that such an approach in fact legitimatizes the possibility to carry out not only informational but military operations against «unfavourable» States.

The other approach, the one that Russia is adhering to, is based on non- admission of information space militarization and on non-interference in the internal affairs of other States. On unconditional recognition of «digital» sovereignty of States.

We believe that it is unacceptable to resort to unfounded accusations of having carried out computer attacks while using the accusations as a tool in order to exert political pressure.

We proceed from the fact that, despite differences between the approaches, all of us are united by a common goal that is prevention of conflicts in the information field.

To this end after twenty years of collaborative work, the major step should be finally taken. That means that additional legal norms should be specified, the norms that take into account unique characteristics of modem information technologies. At the same time, discussion of issues of military and political application of ICT should be held at the top expert level.

We are convinced that there can be no alternative to the United Nations as a representative platform for it. The UN Group of Governmental Experts on

International Information Security, that united representatives of 25 countries, studied the issues of application of international law to ICT-usage by the States, including norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviour of States.

Unfortunately, the group failed to reach consensus while preparing the final report. However, it should not halt the discussion on the key issues of the international information security or - even worse - be used as a pretext to devaluate the UN role and to switch to discussing the issues at the regional level or even on bilateral basis.

Without a doubt, such formats of cooperation constitute an important part of the architecture of the international information security. However, global issues, that involve the interests of almost all countries of the world, should be discussed systematically only under the aegis of the United Nations.

The rules of responsible behaviour should lay the groundwork for the mechanism of their implementation. We believe that it is necessary to continue this work finalizing it by jointly adopting the rules in the form of the UN General Assembly resolution.

One of the basic tools for ensuring international information security are confidence-building measures, adopted within the framework of the OSCE. Confidence-building measures are designed to reduce the risks of conflicts stemming from the use of information and communication technologies. We believe that the efficiency of this mechanism should be improved, thus strengthening the role of OSCE in settling information incidents.

Currently there is only one platform for discussion of the ICT security- related issues in the Organisation. This is the Informal Working Group, established by the OSCE Permanent Council Decision 1039.

We believe that the following procedural factors hinder the efficiency of its work:

Firstly, the Group ranks as an informal one, what significantly reduces its political authority.

Secondly, the Group lacks a clear working procedure. It meets on the initiative of the Chairperson on the irregular basis. Agenda of the Group's meeting includes a great number of items with not enough time to discuss them.

Thirdly, the Group's mandate is limited and does not include the aspects of ensuring ICT-security, which are considered by the OSCE Secretariat and other non-specialized structures. It narrows the scope of issues discussed in the interstate format and reduces the efficiency of the OSCE as such.

Moreover, the Informal Working Group has in fact exhausted its mandate after having finalized the development of the list of confidence-building measures to reduce the risks of conflicts stemming from the use of ICT and the adoption in 2016 of the OSCE Ministerial Council Decision 5/16 titled The OSCE Efforts Related to Reducing the Risks of Conflicts Stemming from the Use of ICT.

In 2016, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, at the meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council presented The Peaceful Cyberplan for OSCE, taking into consideration constructive ideas earlier voiced by other member-states of the Organisation,

The Plan envisaged the following:

- consider strengthening the role of the OSCE in peaceful settlement of incidents in the field related to the ICT-use as well as in preventing conflict situations from developing into a full-fledged confrontation;

- hold under the auspices of the OSCE an inclusive international conference on the most acute issues of ensuring information security;

- grant an official status in the OSCE's framework to the Informal Working Group on Developing Confidence-building Measures in Information Space;

- consider and work through the issue of establishing a special subdivision within the OSCE Secretariat on the problems related to ensuring international information security.

Our proposal to this end is to start an OSCE discussion on improving the Organisation's efficiency in ensuring international information security as early as in 2018.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasise that the high level of holding this conference, its timely character and meaningfulness, as well as of the one held in Vienna in February 2017, both under the Austrian chairmanship, make it possible to say that one of the items of the above mentioned plan is already being implemented.

Thank you for your attention

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2938933




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