2013 Safer Internet Forum – Industry’s Main Annual Online Security Conference

7 February 2013: The 2013 Safer Internet Forum, the industry’s main annual conference devoted to issues of children’s and adults’ online safety, has just concluded in RIA Novosti’s International Media Centre.

The participants were greeted with an address by Russian President Vladimir Putin: “The Safer Internet Forum is a sign of the Internet community’s readiness to act to make Russian Cyberspace a safe place, full of information, providing tangible benefits to all Russian citizens.”

The opening speech was made by Mr Putin’s aide Igor Schegolev, who said that the Blacklist was becoming an effective integrated means of combatting malicious content and urged the participants to take joint steps to form “a space we won’t be ashamed to let our children in”.

Roskomnadzor’s head Aleksandr Zharov announced the agency was drafting a document on information security of children, with rules on, among other things, a procedure for pre-trial examination of controversial decisions, formulated in cooperation with the industry. “It is difficult for a government official to step into IT specialist’s shoes, but all your arguments will be heard and considered,” assured the official. According to Mr Zharov, the document will soon be submitted for public scrutiny.

Also taking part in the opening part were Ruslan Gattarov (Federation Council of the Russian Federation), Elena Mizulina (State Duma of the Russian Federation), Konstantin Malofeyev (Safe Internet League), Robert Schlegel (State Duma of the Russian Federation), Aleksandr Provotorov (Rostelekom), Nikolay Pryanishnikov (Microsoft), Calvina Fay (Drug Free America Foundation), Jack Hanick (Fox News), and other representatives of relevant governmental bodies and public organizations.

Main issues discussed during the conference were:

• Particularities of enforcing Federal Law no. 139. First results and long-term aims;
• Creating positive content and whitelisting;
• International expertise in online safety;
• Digital literacy and online safety classes;
• Online retail and business security;
• Content protection and filtering systems;
• Countering cybercrime and fraud.

The Forum’s organizers managed to bring together projects aimed at different spheres of online activity, but each dedicated to creating a safe Internet environment. Projects presented ranged from creating and promoting positive content to raising digital literacy, and from filtering negative content to preventing and countering cybercrime.

The 2013 Forum pioneered a Digital Sovereignty and Security workshop with specialists discussing important near- and long-term global threats facing Russia in the context of Internet development in the country.

Building on the foundations laid by the workshop, the participants resolved to continue the discussion beyond the Forum’s timeframe, with a roadmap of agreed recommendations submitted to the authorities on behalf of the Internet community before mid-2013.

“We need a single technological chain, with Russian-made hardware, operating systems, and software suites,” said Safe Internet League CEO Denis Davydov. “I am talking about breaking the cycle of technological and software dependency. It is possible to achieve it by stimulating the public and governmental demand for specific software products with organizational and administrative financial measures; it does not require regulation,” said Mr Davydov summing up the discussion.

The event also saw the first International Safer Internet Day Youth Forum welcoming industry specialists, child-oriented organizations representatives, and students. The participants discussed creating and developing positive content and also ran a number of internal events, such as the 6th Interneshka International Online Contest for Children (organized by MTS, the Safe Internet League, and Kaspersky Lab), the Positivniy Kontent children’s and teenagers’ web sites contest (sponsored by RU-CENTER), and other educational activities.

The one-day annual Forum was visited by more than 800 people.

Organized by the Safe Internet League, with the support of RIA Novosti.
Partners: Rostelekom, Beeline, Megafon, MTS, Microsoft.