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Security Officials Propose Banning Use of the Internet for the Purposes of “Regime Change”

Source: (info), 23/09/11

· Freedom of Speech · The Police · Sverdlovsk Region

A draft United Nations Convention “on ensuring international information security”, drawn up by the Russian Security Council and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, forbids the use of Internet for military purposes and with the aim of overthrowing political regimes.

Kommersant reported on this development on 23 September, citing a document it had obtained.

According to Rosbalt News Agency, the draft convention was first presented on 22 September at a closed meeting of heads of intelligence and security agencies of 52 countries in Ekaterinburg organized by the Russian Security Council.

Among the chief threats that the authors of the document propose should be fought, are the use of information technology for the subversion of political, economic, and social systems; the manipulation of the flow of information within foreign countries; and also mass brainwashing of a population for the purposes of destabilizing society and government.

According to the newspaper, Moscow believes that the above mentioned actions constitute “information war” and is demanding that they be considered crimes against international peace and security.

Russia is seeking to ensure inclusion in a convention of the principle of non-intervention in the information policy of other states. The document specifically states that governments must protect freedom of speech on the Internet and “have no right to restrict citizens' access to information”. However, the text includes an important caveat: governments may impose restrictions “in order to protect national and public security”.

Moscow is hoping that the resolution will be adopted next year. However, as some officials from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Security Council point out, there may be difficulties with getting the US and China to vote for the resolution.

According to the newspaper, a final draft of the resolution ready for presentation to the United Nations should be developed by the next meeting of heads of intelligence and security agencies, which will take place in either St. Petersburg or Moscow.
Rights in Russia,
1 Oct 2011, 02:44