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Russian communications minister urges for joint efforts to prevent cyber threats

August 07, 2013, 6:52 UTC+3

Russian Minister of Communications Nikolai Nikiforov believes close cooperation in communications area will help avoid possible mistakes and react promptly to any problems

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WASHINGTON, August 7 (Itar-Tass) - States can counteract cyber threats and prevent computer incidents only through polling efforts on the path of international cooperation in the area of information and communications technologies, Russian Minister of Communications Nikolai Nikiforov told journalists on Tuesday after his working visit to Washington.

When asked by Itar-Tass whether his talks touched upon the recent Russia-U.S. agreement on the exchange of information to prevent incidents in the cyber space, Nikiforov said, “We discussed the subject of cyber security as a key one on the agenda, and our ministry is dealing with this problem in Russia.”

Commenting of the joint statement of the Russian and U.S. presidents at a June Group of Eight summit in Northern Ireland, Nikiforov stressed that mere fact that such topics were raised by heads of state demonstrates “the role information and communications technologies are playing in the life of our countries.”

“We hear only too often such words as cyber security, cyber wars, cyber troops,” he noted. “You can take it as media exaggerations but these threats are absolutely real.” And the fact that Russia and the United States have agreed to take measures to prevent computer incidents and ensure security in the sphere of information and communications technologies “is a guarantee of constructive cooperation in this area,” he said.

“I am confident that such close cooperation between relevant structures in our states will, first, help avoid possible unwanted mistakes in this area, and, second, will make it possible to react promptly to any problems that might arise,” Nikiforov noted. “On the one hand, we are doing our best to offer access to such technologies to as many people as possible, since it is the guarantee of the country’s competitiveness; while on the other hand, these are utterly new threats. So, it is absolutely logical that states are so attentive to the subject of Internet management,” which should be the domain of a single organization but requires a decentralized model.

“In thinks in the next several year, we are bound to come to a new understanding of how such systems should be administered and how states should learn to work together to prevent cyber attacks or to take proper joint measures if such attacks do take place,” the Russian minister said, stressing that these should be only joint measures. “It is impossible for a single state to prevent something in the Internet, which has no administrative borders.”

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