Threats to cyber security can only be deterred together (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for RT)

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are being increasingly used for unlawful and hostile purposes that are inconsistent with the basic principles of international law. Some members of the international community are openly strengthening their cyber offensive potentials, forgetting that it could undermine international stability and security. The examples of ICTs being used as a means of achieving political goals are growing by the day. This also includes the expansion of extremist ideology and criminal activity. Under the circumstances, ensuring of cyber security on an agreed and acceptable basis by the UN member-states is the only way to effectively respond to the evolving threat.

Having that in mind, Russia welcomes the UN Group of Governmental Experts' (GGE) recent report on this issue. An idea of an international code of conduct for information security has been discussed and the necessity of its adoption has been underlined. This fully reflects Russia's position on the issue. In 2011 Russia together with some other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization put forward a draft paper "International code of conduct for Information Security" that has been circulated as a "food for thought" at the 66th UNGA session. Later the SCO's members tabled a new version of this paper as an official document of the UN with the view to put emphasis on human rights. Besides, Russian draft resolution "Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security" has been adopted by consensus at the 69th session of the UNGA.

From our point of view, the GGE report is important in that it provides a foundation to a further practical discussion of the challenges the international community is facing in this area. In particular, it puts emphasis on the prevention of ICTs' use for military and political ends, on the necessity to use ICTs exclusively  for peaceful  purposes,  and to  avoid  unreasonable  or unfounded exchanges of accusations of cyber attacks among states. It is a huge step forward in terms of where we have been a few years ago. Of course, ideally, Russia would prefer to launch a discussion on a legally binding international convention on global information security, though we understand that our partners are not ready for it yet. Like in nuclear weapons story, some still hope to have a permanent edge over others. History will prove them wrong again.

Under these circumstances, the ongoing search for a common ground in the sphere of ICTs became even more important. Just one example: in 2014, Russian Government's websites and information systems have been deliberately attacked 74 million times! The same happens in other countries, as our partners confirm. According to some reports, some countries exchange 1 million cyber attacks on a daily basis. I am sure all of us in the international community should know better than that.