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Russia praises China’s initiative to host first global Internet conference

November 20, 2014, 10:13 UTC+3 WUZHEN
“Many issues have been accumulated on what route the Internet will take," Russian presidential aide Igor Schegolev said
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WUZHEN, November 20. /TASS/. Moscow highly appreciates the initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping to host the first-ever World Internet Conference to discuss Internet governance issues, Russian presidential aide Igor Schegolev said on Thursday.

The conference, held in Wuzhen, east China's Zhejiang province, on November 19-21, involves over 1,500 experts from 175 countries and calls for global Internet interconnectivity and shared governance by all.

“Many issues have been accumulated on what route the Internet will take — whether it will develop as a common information space, which unites people, or disintegrate into various national or regional segments due to lack of response towards many threats related to the Internet development,” Schegolev said.

According to him, the major threats are “cybercrime and cyberterrorism, cyberespionage, lack of global rules of game and virtual monopoly of one country for governing the Internet.” “All this is pushing many countries towards searching for alternative decisions,” he said.

Monopoly on Internet regulation

This year such a discussion has been launched, and the CEO of the US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Fadi Chehade confirmed this, saying Washington is ready to give up its monopoly.

“Of course, we need to check that the monopoly of one state is not replaced by the monopoly of global companies. The discussion of multilateral participation and attracting various organizations and experts gives no assurances that this will be an efficient leadership, ensuring that everyone complies with the game rules which should be established during the dialogue,” Schegolev said.

Russia has recently set forward its proposals on creating a code of conduct in the Internet. “As part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the United Nations, we made a proposal on what the first steps towards creating such game rules could be. This is the code of conduct in the Internet, and many countries welcome it,” he said.

Russia not planning to cut off Internet

Schegolev dismissed claims that Russia is trying to fence itself off from the Internet. “We are not planning to do this, but we must not allow the Russian segment of the Internet to be switched off from outside. Now such a threat is real enough,” he stressed.

“We plan to ensure that multi-billion investments of this country, private companies and our citizens into using the Internet, as well as purchases of equipment and software, are effectively protected,” Schegolev said.

Russia’s officials have earlier announced plans to take steps to improve the protection of the country’s segment of the global Internet network, known as RuNet.The Kremlin earlier said rumors saying the authorities are ready to switch off the Internet “do not correspond to reality.” Schegolev also said Russia did not consider China’s experience on tough regulation of virtual space as an example.

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