RIGF-2023: Day 1

RIGF-2023: Day 1

The first day of the 13th Russian Internet Governance Forum (RIGF-2023) has passed. Speakers and guests at the forum had time to discuss several interesting topics, including the role of the state and the individual in the new digital age, evolving technologies, digital sovereignty, and the fight against disinformation on the Internet.

RIGF-2023: Day 1

At the opening plenary session of the Forum, Alexander Khinstein, Chairman of the State Duma Committee of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications, noted that it is extremely important for lawmakers and the state as a whole to hear what the industry and experts are concerned about. "Today, the situation in the IT sector is good from the outside - Russia is one of the IT leaders. This is a deceptive sense of calm, because the government has a lot of measures in place for the stabilization of the situation in this sphere. Our perception of reality needs to be more critical. We can quickly lose today's positions if we do not take breakthrough actions. We are looking at 5 to 10 years in which the country is expected to break through with innovation," he added. Alexander Khinstein was also hopeful that "some concrete ideas and proposals will be on the table" during the two days of the forum. They are very important and necessary, because the market participants, the users, the people who encounter the Internet and "digital" every day, must be full participants in the development of the changes. 

Director of Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization "Digital Economy" Sergey Plugotarenko emphasized that today one of the key tasks for the state and business is the development of import substitution products and services. To this end, the concept of the Technology Leadership Center will be developed in Russia in the spring, which will support domestic technologies, leaders and solutions through the development of import substitution and digital technologies, market analysis, international cooperation, assistance in marketing, promotion and replication. He said: "We plan to launch a pilot project in the summer. The purpose of such a pilot project will be to collect the best practices of import substitution in different industries, to work out services of replication and promotion of created domestic software within the framework of autumn-winter period both in Russia and abroad", - he concluded. 

Russian Internet Governance Forum is the largest national forum in the regions of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and throughout all the years of its existence the Forum has dealt with the most topical issues of the global and Russian information space, noted Andrey Vorobyev, Director of the .RU/.RF Coordinating Domen Center. "This year, one of the main topics of RIGF will be the Global Digital Compact, which aims to find a compromise between the interests of states, companies and users, while preventing the Internet fragmentation. Attempts to divide the Internet network could have dire consequences for the Internet itself, but also for the economies of all countries and for civilization as a whole. The role of the Internet today can hardly be overestimated, and the Digital Compact is the way to ensure that the interests of states and cultures are taken into account when regulating the Internet network. That's why work on the Global Digital Compact will not stop, even in a difficult political situation," Mr. Vorobyev said.  

Chengetai Masango, Head of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Secretariat, added that the RIGF 2023 program is very rich and the forum format allows for the inclusion of representatives from all stakeholders in the discussion of Internet governance issues. 

"By actively discussing these issues, we can identify opportunities and potential threats, and develop norms and ethical frameworks that shape our digital present and future," he added. “Many of the issues discussed at RIGF 2023 will be on the agenda of the 18th Global Internet Governance Forum, and we invite the Russian Internet community to actively participate in its work.”

Vadim Gluschenko, Director of the Center for Global IT Cooperation, while speaking at the "Global Internet and Digital Sovereignty" session focused on the topics of this year's Internet Governance Forum. He noted that the issue of Internet fragmentation, which was identified as a separate track in 2022, is no longer as popular as it was recently, and the discussion of the Global Digital Compact has come to the forefront. "Developing universally shared principles for an open, free and secure digital future is the goal of the Global Digital Compact. "Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization “Dialog”, the Coordination Center for .RU/.RF domains, the Internet Development Institute, Roskachevo and other organizations from our country take part in the work on its preparation. And we plan to include the idea of sustainable digital dialog and the ability to access the Internet in any language, as well as the right to freedom of expression, participation in the digital economy, and protection of privacy in the digital environment in Russia's proposals for the Global Digital Compact," he concluded.

Fragmentation has always been there, even when it was in the context of the "fight against piracy," said Vyacheslav Erokhin, deputy head of the STC EMC analysis laboratory at the Radio Research and Development Institute (NIIR) FSBI. "It has been expressed, for example, in the inaccessibility of certain types of content on the territory of this or that country. Now we are talking about fragmentation, because there is regulatory fragmentation or political fragmentation, as they sometimes say on foreign platforms. This is because the government, which had been ignoring the Internet for a long time, realized that the Internet had become a public good. And now there is too much that is tied up in it. It has become clear that there are essentially different types of regulators that operate in the same environment. For this reason, the Russian Federation is always in favor of dialog and harmonization of legislation, because, unfortunately, it is not always possible to bring different schools of law to a common denominator" - he added.  

Boris Vasilyev, Advisor of the Department of International Information Security of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, emphasized that today the Internet has become the property of all mankind, and we cannot leave it in the zone of corporate regulation. Therefore, we need to focus on the formation of an independent and transparent model of global network governance under the auspices of the UN, with equal participation of states in decision-making process. "But we should keep in mind the fact that countries have sovereignty over the regulation of their information space. This is stated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, but the USA, for example, does not want to limit itself by any laws," Boris Vasilyev concluded. 

The forum will be held on April 6-7, 2023 in a hybrid format with the participation of industry experts, business people, government and public figures. The forum is organized by the Coordination Center for .RU/.RF domains and the Competence Center for Global IT Cooperation with the support of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.


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