Summary of 3rd National Cyberguard volunteer meeting

25
Aug

The Republic of Dagestan is to have its own branch of the Cyberguard movement, to join forces with the Safe Internet League in fighting extremism and separatism online. Such was the outcome of the 3rd National Cyberguard volunteer meeting that took place last weekend in the Republic of Dagestan. The meeting was organized by the Safe Internet League with the help of the Republic’s Ministry for the Press and Information.

«It is the first time the Cyberguard volunteer meeting takes place outside Moscow. We gratefully accepted the invitation to organize the event here, in the Republic of Dagestan. It will strengthen our partnership, which was begun last year with the Safe Internet League and the Ministry for the Press and Information of Dagestan signing a cooperation agreement. The Agreement is aimed at expanding information security in the Republic and throughout Russia in general. The first steps were taken this May in Moscow at the 6th International Safer Internet Forum, which for the first time welcomed representatives from the Republic of Dagestan. This Cyberguard meeting is the next stage of that partnership» Safe Internet League Chairman of the Board Denis Davydov announced in its opening speech.

Replying, the Republic’s Minister for the Press and Information Aznaur Adzhiyev greeted the assembled Cyberguard volunteers: «We regard this occasion as a very important and necessary event. Our local activists and public figures dealing with issues of Internet security will get a change to meet their colleagues, adopt their experience, and share their own best practices. I am positive our concerted efforts will soon yield the results.»

The importance of teamwork was likewise emphasized by the Republic’s Minister for Communications and Telecom Yusup Mallamagomedov: «Unfortunately, 9 out of every 10 people judge our Republic of Dagestan by the kind of information they are being told by the mass media, and online media in particular. That information is not always correct. The government cannot always control this situation, and that makes public initiatives, initiatives launched by organizations like the Cyberguard, very important.»

Chief Presidential Advisor on the use of IT and development of electronic democracy Aleksandr Zaveryatchev, likewise present at the meeting, delivered a message from Aide to President of the Russian Federation Igor Schegolev to the Cyberguard volunteers, speaking of their latest successes: «Since the moment the Cyberguard was established, its volunteers helped prosecute 1 500 criminal cases of distribution of child pornography online, block over 1 000 websites selling drugs, uncover many serial paedophiles. The Cyberguard is now a real force. I am sure that, joining forces with the Safe Internet League and Cyberguards, young Dagestani men and women will help our government to create a safer information space.»

Separate video greetings were also addressed to the meeting’s members by CEO of Ashmanov & Partners Igor Ashmanov, Vice President of Rostelekom Aleksey Basov, and President of Information Democracy Development Foundation Ilya Massukh.

The three-day event in Dagestan saw a total of about 200 participants, including representatives of the IT industry, information security experts, government officials, activists from regional Cyberguard branches (currently present in 26 regions of Russia). One of the meeting’s results was the establishment of a local Cyberguard office in Dagestan. Soon, it will begin drawing in like-minded people willing to join the Cyberguard. Before them will be two main objectives: preventing and combatting the spread of dangerous online content.

«The Dagestan branch will be our main fighting force in the struggle against the extremist and separatist information that is actively being disseminated on the Internet» said Denis Davydov, announcing that, apart from child pornography and promotion of illegal drugs and suicide, the Safe Internet League is now to also combat separatist and extremist activities online. In particular, it will organize a joint operation monitoring the Internet for dangerous content, as well as develop a standard of responding to such material and the persons distributing it. The League’s official website is soon to have a hotline where Cyberguard volunteers or any conscientious citizens can report Web pages containing dangerous extremist and separatist content. The organization’s specialists would analyse the reports and, if the information is confirmed, approach Roskomnadzor or the page’s owner directly demanding the illegal content to be deleted.

An important part of this effort would be conducting an awareness-raising campaign aimed at improving online literacy among young people, schoolchildren and their parents, and educators.