Building Trust Internet Governance

Russian Internet Governance Forum: Standing by the Internet of opportunity


On 7 April, the Russian Internet Governance Forum (RIGF) took place in the new city of Innopolis, near Kazan. My main takeaways from this 8th RIGF converge around three themes: digital economy, trust and the next generation of Internet aficionados.

Very much in line with the discussions between the G20 leaders in Germany last week, one of the key messages at RIGF was the importance of digital economy to Russia and its citizens. In his keynote address, Sergey Plugotarenko, Director of Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC), emphasized the importance of the Internet to the Russian economy. RAEC estimates that the Russian Internet sector (RUNET) made up 2,4% of the Russian GDP in 2015 and 19% of GDP when including other sectors relying on the Internet. Despite the challenging economic circumstances in Russia, Plugotarenko noted that the Internet sector is still growing and that the Internet enabled digital economy is a “force for good”. The Internet has obviously delivered on the promise of economic opportunities.

However, there has been a shift in the regulatory environment in Russia since the early days of the Internet towards more restrictive policies, largely explained by concerns about national security. This evolution is not unique to Russia – we have seen similar developments in many parts of the world. In order to ensure a prosperous digital economy, we must address the concerns about Internet security. As Kathy Brown stated in her message from the G20 meeting: “The digital economy will only continue to thrive and generate opportunities for citizens if the Internet is strong, secure, and trusted”.

The cybersecurity session at this RIGF focused on the current landscape of global cyberattacks and on whether it is possible to attribute them to any specific party. While attempting to bring culprits to justice is important, we must make sure that organisations and individual users deploy available tools and practices to prevent and mitigate attacks. Using tools such as encryption will reinforce trust in the digital economy and other Internet services. In the longer term, stakeholders share a collective responsibility to secure the Internet ecosystem and increased cooperation at global level is necessary.

Finally, why in Innopolis? Innopolis is a purpose-built city for high-tech businesses, innovators and students – a showcase of the opportunities provided by the Internet. The Russian Internet community is making great efforts to get the youth engaged in the policy and technical discussions regarding the future of the Internet. As part of the ‘IP&IT Law competition’, held by and the IP Club, a number of students were awarded for their policy research projects in areas such as online licensing and blockchain regulation. It was truly motivating to have the young Internet enthusiasts present in the discussions – the future of the digital economy and security is in good hands.

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Talking Internet of Things and Standards @Russian Internet Forum

The Russian Internet Forum (RIF), organised by the Russian Association of Electronic Communications (RAEC) with support of other Russian Internet organisations, took place on the outskirts of Moscow on 13-15 April. This annual event gathers more than 7,000 IT professionals and other Internet enthusiasts to debate the hottest tech trends in Russia and to network with their peers.

This year, the Internet Society (ISOC) joined forces with RAEC to widen the discussion on the role of standards in an increasingly interconnected world. The Internet of Things (IoT) – or Internet+ as it is often referred to in Russia – has become very visible on the Russian policy agenda in the past months. The objective of the panel debate organised by RAEC and ISOC was to address the opportunities and challenges related to the ever more complex connectivity environment and to debate the importance (or not!) of standards.

Although often labelled as a buzzword, the Internet of Things will and already has influenced the connectivity environment both at technical and policy level. In the discussions, the panellists raised concerns about the influx of exported devices, which could become a risk to the Russian Internet infrastructure without some minimum standards. The business representatives in the panel were well familiar with the global standardisation bodies and procedures, but considered English language as a significant barrier to participation. Also, it was noted that in some specific cases nationally defined standards or guidelines would be more relevant.

We at ISOC firmly believe that global and open Internet standards are building blocks that enable interoperability, compatibility, and consistency across markets. And overall, our panellists also agreed on the importance of standards in relation to the Internet of Things and the wider Internet environment. However, a number of open questions remain: Which parts of the increasingly complex Internet eco-system should be standardised? And what would be the ideal division of labour between national and global standards bodies?

The Internet Society published an overview paper analysing the issues and challenges related to the Internet of Things in October 2015. This paper is now also available in Russian.

You can view the Internet Society’s paper on the Internet of Things at:

In English:
In Russian:интернет-вещей-краткий-обзор

You can also visit our Internet of Things page at for more information.

Internet Governance

Moscow Calling… Здравствуйте!

This year’s Russian Internet Governance Forum (RIGF) that took place on 7 April in Moscow offered something old, something new, and well, something borrowed.

The high-level messages from the Russian government representatives made it clear that the Internet is a strategic platform for the country’s economic and social development. The representative of the Ministry of Telecommunications and Mass Media quoted impressive numbers reflecting the increasing importance of the Internet to the Russian economy. In 2015, the size of the Internet economy increased from 750 million RUR to 1 billion RUR, and the number of jobs related to the Internet increased from 1,2 million to 2 million. In parallel, it was recognised that the Internet enables democratic processes, social life, and equal access to information and services.

The hot topic on everyone’s lips was security. I had a pleasure to participate on a panel discussion on Internet infrastructure resilience and critical infrastructure protection. The Russian government is currently working on an Internet security strategy or doctrine, which served as an interesting backdrop to the discussion. Some of the key issues raised concerned the definition of critical infrastructures and the lack of funding in Russia for improving the Internet infrastructure resiliency. Many parallels were drawn and comparisons made between the plans and practices related to critical infrastructure protection in Russia and the European Union.

What was new in this year’s RIGF was the presence of the youth. Ludmila Bokova raised online culture and behaviour as an important aspect of Internet governance at national level. A new campaign to raise awareness amongst Russian high-school students in this regard has been launched with support of the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ (CcTLD.RU). Furthermore, four students were awarded at RIGF for their research projects on Internet policy topics. The projects included analysis of “Legal Aspects of Pressing the ‘Like’ Button” and “Right to Be Forgotten”. Clearly, the Russian youth are following their time.

Finally, Moscow calling… can you hear us Buenos Aires? The technical community in Latin America have been attending Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meetings through remote hubs for a while already. As the IETF 95 meeting in Buenos Aires took place at the same time with the RIGF, this was a perfect opportunity to pilot remote hubs in Russia. The CcTLD.RU took a lead in organizing the hubs for the technical sessions at their premises, and in addition, we connected with colleagues in Buenos Aires live through video during RIGF. Dan York, Jari Arkko and regular participants from the Russian technical community talked about the work at the IETF and its relevance to Internet development at national level. (A video recording of the session is available.)

Russia has a strong and dynamic Internet community – a real asset to the country. The RIGF provides an open platform for the Internet stakeholders to get together to reflect on both national and international issues linked to the Internet in a transparent manner. It is the right venue to celebrate the successes and opportunities brought on by the Internet, and to debate some of the perceived threats and uncertainties. Long may this tradition continue!

Image credit: Mariusz Kluzniak on Flickr  CC BY NC ND 2.0

Internet Governance

Roundtable on April 7 Discussing Data Localisation and Internet Governance in Russia

The 6th Russian Internet Governance Forum (RIGF) is fast approaching and, for the first time, the Internet Society (ISOC) is participating as an organisational partner.

In addition to contributing to the traditionally animated policy and technical debates at the RIGF itself, the Internet Society European Regional Bureau will be organising a roundtable discussion on data localisation together with the Russian ISOC Chapter and the Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC). This discussion will occur on 7 April 2015 at 17.00-19.00 at the Lotte Hotel after the RIGF has ended.

Following the disclosures of pervasive surveillance of Internet traffic in the recent past, various proposals have emerged in many countries across the globe to “localize” Internet users’ data and to change Internet traffic routing patterns. With the help of local and international experts, this roundtable discussion aims to clarify the economic, legal and technical consequences of data localisation. We will also explore and debate alternative measures to increase the resiliency of the Internet.

The panellists include:

  • Jari Arkko, Chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
  • Mikhail Emelyannikov, Managing Partner, Emelyannikov, Popov & Partners
  • Karen Kazaryan, Chief Analyst, Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC)
  • Alexandra Kulikova, Program Coordinator, PIR Center
  • Fedor Smirnov, Board Member, ISOC Russia
  • Uliana Zinina, Advisor on Legislation and Regulation, Microsoft

In parallel with the policy and technical discussions, the ISOC European Regional Bureau will be celebrating the launch of the Russian translation of the IETF journal at the RIGF in the presence of Jari Arkko and the Russian ISOC Chapter. See previous blogs in English or in Russian for more information about this project.

How to get involved?

The roundtable discussion on data localisation will take place after the RIGF on 7 April 2015 at 17.00-19.00 at the Lotte Hotel. The registration is open at: Russian only).

Regarding the Russian translations of the IETF journals, pick up your copy from the ISOC table during the RIGF!

We look forward to a lively discussion and debate!

Image credit: mariusz kluzniak on Flickr.

Growing the Internet IETF

Журнал IETF на русском языке! Скачивайте и читайте!

Многие из нас, для кого Интернет стал профессией, стараются быть в курсе ключевых трендов и самых актуальных вопросов, которые обсуждаются в этой крайне динамичной среде.

Уже почти 10 лет Журнал IETF (Инженерного совета Интернета) знакомит читателей с дискуссиями и обсуждениями, которые касаются стандартизации Интернета и работы IETF. Журнал IETF старается излагать сложные вещи простым языком, чтобы делать новости из сферы технологий доступными широкой аудитории и привлекать новых экспертов к участию в работе IETF.

Исходя из глобальной природы Интернета, IETF стремится к достижению баланса в структуре участников – привлекая к работе экспертов из разных стран. Так сложилось, что до настоящего времени российское экспертное сообщество вносило незначительный вклад в работу IETF, что удивительно, учитывая традиционно высокий уровень компетенции российских технических специалистов.

Для привлечения внимания к деятельности IETF и стимулирования технических специалистов из России к активному участию в работе этой организации, Европейское региональное бюро ISOC совместно с Российским отделением ISOC (НП «Интернет Сообщество») и Фондом поддержки Интернет ( стартовали совместный проект по переводу Журнала IETF на русский язык. Переводную версию журнала планируется распространять в среде русскоговорящих технических специалистов, на 2015 года запланировано также несколько профильных активностей.

Журнал IETF на русском языке можно скачать:

Если вы хотите узнать больше о проектах и мероприятиях ISOC в России, пожалуйста, свяжитесь с Маарит Паловирта, менеджером по Европейским проектам ISOC (, либо Федором Смирновым, членом Правления и секретарем Российского отделения ISOC (

Сайт Российского отделения ISOC:

Growing the Internet IETF

The IETF Journal Now Available in Russian!

Many of us who are professionally engaged in the world of the Internet seek ways to stay abreast of the latest developments and hot topics in this fast-moving environment.

For nearly ten years now, the IETF Journal has been providing highlights of the ongoing discussions and debates related to Internet standards and to the work of the IETF. The IETF Journal aims to keep its content easily understandable, so as to share its often complex technical news with a wider audience and to facilitate the participation of newcomers to join IETF activities.

With the global nature of the Internet, the IETF strives to attract a balanced number of contributors and participants from across the world. Historically, contributions from the Russian technical community to the IETF work have been relatively low, which is surprising given the traditionally high levels of technical competence in the country.

With a view to raising awareness and increasing contributions from Russia to the IETF’s work on the development of new Internet standard specifications, the European Regional Bureau of the Internet Society together with the Russian ISOC Chapter and the Foundation for Support of Internet Development joined forces to translate the IETF Journal into Russian. The translated Journal will be distributed amongst the Russian technical community and a number of profile-raising activities are planned in Russia for 2015.

The Russian translation of the latest IETF Journal is available from the main IETF Journal page, or directly at

To learn more about ISOC’s activities in Russia, please contact Maarit Palovirta, Manager of European Regional Affairs (, or Fedor Smirnov, Secretary of the Russian ISOC Chapter Board (