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Michael Yakushev on global internet governance and "the NPT for Cyberspace" - from Buenos Aires

05.12.2013

BUENOS AIRES, 5 DECEMBER 2013. PIR PRESS  “The Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance which was announced by Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and planned for April 2014 will be important because it’s the first time that an internet governance meeting is purely political. This Meeting would look at two very significant aspects of internet governance: the management of root servers  which are responsible for the most basic routing of information across the Internet - and the management of the first level domain names. And the problem with the root servers is not where they are located but rather who manages them”,  Chairman of PIR Center Executive Board Michael Yakushev.

On November 19, 2013 Chairman of PIR Center Executive Board Michael Yakushev visited the office of the Non-Proliferation for Global Security Foundation (NPSGlobal) in Buenos Aires for a  discussion with the Foundation’s experts and an interview on the vital issues of cybersecurity and global internet governance. The meeting was also attended by the experts of the NPSGlobal Foundation.

NPSGlobal Foundation is one of the leading non-governmental think tanks in Argentina focused on research in the field of global security, including the reduction of risks derived from proliferation and use of arms, with special emphasis on weapons of mass destruction and the ways of countering their proliferation. The Founder and Chair of the NPSGlobal Foundation Dr. Irma Arguello is a Member of PIR Center International Expert Group.

Among the issues highlighted by Mr. Yakushev at the meeting were prospects of international cooperation in order to prevent grave serious cyberattacks on critical infrastructure and politically motivated acts of aggression in cyberspace. Also, the Chairman of PIR Center Executive Board touched upon the issues of transformation of the global internet governance architecture as a consequence of revelations made by Edward Snowden.

Speaking on the possible scenarios of cyberattacks that could affect the operations of nuclear facilities, Mr. Yakushev emphasized: “A well prepared attack could be the equivalent to the explosion of a nuclear arm and it is something that should be avoided. Among the potential objectives of cyberattacks would the attempt to cripple critical national infrastructure, including telecommunications, airlines, railways or electrical power networks. An attack on one of these networks could provoke negative results in another part of the world”.

At the same time, as the Chairman of PIR Center Executive Board stressed, today more and more sophisticated attacks are initiated by state actors. This raises the issue of a global “cybertreaty” or a code of norms aimed at regulation of state behaviour in cyberspace and restricting the use of cyberwarfare. According to Mr. Yakushev, such legal tool could incorporate positive experience of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Mr. Yakushev’s visit to the NPSGlobal took place on the margins of his participation in the 48th Meeting of ICANN which took place in Buenos Aires on November 17-21, 2013. Commenting on the ongoing debates on reform of the current mechanism of internet governance and the recent initiative of the President of Brazil to host a global discussion on that issue, the Chairman of PIR Center Executive Board mentioned: “The Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance which was announced by Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and planned for April 2014 will be important because it’s the first time that an internet governance meeting is purely political. This Meeting would look at two very significant aspects of internet governance: the management of root servers - which are responsible for the most basic routing of information across the Internet - and the management of the first level domain names. And the problem with the root servers is not where they are located but rather who manages them”.

Prior to going to Buenos Aires to ICANN Meeting, the Chairman of PIR Center Executive Board attended the IGF 2013 in Bali (Indonesia) and also took part in the seminar on global cybersecurity held by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation studies (CNS) at the Monterey Institute of International Studies on November 7, 2013. The outcomes of these discussions were summarized by Mr. Yakushev in his post in PIR Center blog “From Brazil to Argentina through Germany and Indonesia” (in Russian).

PIR Center is actively working on information technology issues in the field of international security within the framework of the program "International Information Security and Global Internet Governance". As a part of the program, a special issue of PIR Center’s Security Index journal No. 1 (104) Spring 2013 "Global Security in the Digital Age,” was published (in Russian). Also, the work on the PIR Center’s non-governmental report – a White Paper on the issues of cybersecurity and internet governance - is conducted by PIR Center.

On May 30, 2013 PIR Center with the support of the Internet Support Foundation conducted the international seminar “Internet governance after WCIT-2012: Mapping key global trends and assessing Russia’s national interests” which was attended by over 50 leading experts in the field of internet governance and cybersecurity including senior representatives of ICANN and ITU.

For all issues concerning PIR Center’s program "International Information Security and Global Internet Governance” please contact Program Director Oleg Demidov by phone: +7 (495) 987-19-15, fax: +7 (495) 987-19-14, or by e-mail: demidov at pircenter.org.

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