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Official website of the President of Russia

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Security Council meeting

October 26, 2017, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin chaired an extended meeting of the Security Council at the Kremlin.

The participants discussed matters related to the protection of the state information infrastructure and measures on its development.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.

Today we will discuss a set of issues on ensuring the security of Russia’s information infrastructure.

 Obviously, the sustainable performance of information systems, means of communication and mass media and their protection are of strategic importance to the country. This is an important factor in ensuring the state’s sovereignty, defence capability and security and the efficient development of the economy, the social sector and state administration that are all based on advanced technology, including digital technology.

We discussed these issues in detail, mapping out immediate and long-range goals three years ago at the Security Council meeting on October 1, 2014. Much has been done since then to ensure the reliability of the information infrastructure, especially in government bodies.

Russia’s Doctrine of Information Security was endorsed in December 2016. The Federal Law on the security of critical information infrastructure of Russia will enter into force on January 1, 2018.

Thus, the legal foundation for further practical steps in this area has been laid.

The federal bodies that have the authority to monitor this are operating successfully. I am referring to the Federal Service for Technical and Export Control and the FSB that ensures the operation of the government system of detection, warning and remedial action of computer attacks on information resources. Experts at Roskomnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) are also working on this.

Meanwhile, it is imperative to keep in mind that the level of threat in the information space is on the rise, the number of risks is increasing, and the implications of various kinds of cyber attacks are no longer local, but truly global in nature and scale. For example, the spread of the WannaCry virus in May and June affected information resources in 150 countries, including Russia.

External invasion of electronic systems in the field of defence and public administration, life-supporting infrastructure and finance, and leaking of electronic documents can lead to the worst possible outcome.

I would also like to note that a number of countries are actually using information technology as part of their defence system and have formed cyber units, and are also actively using the information space to weaken their competitors, to promote their economic and political interests, and to achieve their geopolitical goals in general, including as soft power.

In this regard, we must have a clear understanding of the trends underlying the development of the global information sphere and predict potential threats and risks. Most importantly, we should outline additional measures that will allow us to not merely identify threats in a timely manner, but to actively respond to them as well.

Now, with regard to the primary focus of our efforts.

First, we need to improve the state system for identifying, preventing and eliminating computer attacks on Russia's information resources. This, in particular, concerns the interaction mechanisms used by its departmental segments.

Second, we need to increase the level of protection of state bodies’ information systems and communication networks. I believe that it is necessary to raise the executives’ personal responsibility for ensuring information security. I will say later why I am focusing on this.

The next important task is to reduce as far as possible the risks related to the objective need to use foreign software and telecommunications equipment.

We must consistently implement import substitution projects. We have had this programme for several years now. I would like to hear your opinion on what we should do to provide additional support for our domestic producers and encourage them with a view to enhancing their potential and competitiveness.

Fourth, it is necessary to enhance the security and sustainability of the Russian segment of the Internet. If additional normative acts must be adopted, let us today discuss your ideas and proposals on this score.

I would like to emphasise that this has nothing to do with limiting access of law-abiding citizens to the Internet or some total barriers and filters. It is essential to strictly observe and respect the Constitutional right to receive and disseminate information.

Like other democratic countries, we should fight against those who are using the information space for propaganda of radical ideas and justification of terrorism and extremism and nip in the bud any attempts to post online materials that threaten the security of our state, society as a whole and its individual members.

As you know, this year the liability for setting up sites that urge children and teenagers to commit suicide has been legally raised. Our law enforcement bodies and security services have started identifying and curbing cases of recruitment into terrorist groups, including ISIS, which is banned in Russia, and similar organisations.

It is necessary to be tough as regards those persons and groups that are using the Internet and the information space for criminal purposes.

And, finally, the fifth point. We should be more active in facilitating the formation of the system of international information security, develop cooperation with our partners at global and regional venues, such as the UN, BRICS, the  SCO, APEC, CSTO and  CIS and conduct interdepartmental consultations and talks with them. Obviously, by pooling our efforts we will combat modern threats more successfully.

October 26, 2017, The Kremlin, Moscow