Russia and International Information Security (by Ambassador Vladimir Malygin, The Malta Independent, 3 November 2018)

Russia and International Information Security

by Ambassador of Russia to Malta Mr. Vladimir Malygin

(The Malta Independent, Saturday, 3 November 2018)


As many readers might have noted, the rampant Western anti-Russia campaign shows no signs of fading.

More and more groundless assertions against our country in the vein of the notorious ‘highly likely’ are being planted in the media almost on a daily basis to keep the hysteria going. Unfounded allegations about Russia’s meddling in elections, involvement into poisoning incidents in the UK and conspiracies about the Flight MH17 downing can serve as vivid examples of this trend.

The fact that, to this day, no reliable evidence has been provided to back either of these claims, does not seem to bother those who keep on instigating them using the media.

This is also the case with the most recent accusations against Russia – those of staging cyber attacks. While the media keeps reproducing these fabrications, it fails to mention a number of important things.

One of them is that Russia has always stood ready to discuss any issues related to information crime in a professional and serious manner. For example, there existed a Russia-US bilateral group on cybersecurity, which several years ago stopped functioning on the Americans’ initiative. We are constantly calling on the US to resume its work, but so far nothing has happened.

Another thing totally ignored by the media is the fact that for decades Russia has been working hard to duly address the international issue of information security.

In fact, as far back as 20 years ago Russia was the first country in the world to raise in the United Nations the problem of challenges and threats originating in the information space. We initiated the discussion on international information security (IIS) at the UN and ever since that time have been promoting a number of specific proposals both at the UN and other international platforms to strengthen IIS and deal with the actual, not mythical, malicious cyber activity.

As part of these efforts, last year Russia presented a draft UN Convention on Cooperation in Combating Information Crimes, which seeks to address the existing problems while respecting the sovereignty of member states.

Being the pioneer of the IIS discussions in the UN, Russia, together with like-minded UN members, is planning to address the ongoing 73rd session of the UN General Assembly with a proposal to endorse the initial list of rules of responsible behavior of states in the information space. Among them are such important provisions as the use of information and communications technologies for peaceful purposes only, non-use of force or threats of force, non-interference in domestic affairs, and respect for state sovereignty.

Russia stands for a just and equitable digital world order that would safeguard the interests of all countries regardless of their level of technological development. We oppose any attempts to establish hegemony in the digital sphere or unilaterally impose ‘rules of the game’ which would benefit only certain players.

Our country remains open to pragmatic cooperation on international information security and calls on all stakeholders to engage in constructive efforts. We strongly believe that the way to peace and security in the global information space lies through dialogue, while the intentions of those making groundless accusatory statements are far from being peaceful.