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RIPN Included in Organising Committee of the Russian Safe Internet Year

At the beginning of 2009, a number of nonprofit organisations, such as Infoforum, ROCIT, Internet Development Foundation, Internet Operator Union, Coordination Centre for RU TLD, Friendly Internet Foundation and Internet & Business Association declared an initiative of holding the Russian Safe Internet Year. Representatives of the Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN) were also included in organising the committee of the Safe Internet Year.

Igor Shchegolev, RF Minister of Communications and Mass Links, rendered support to the public initiative. In his letter addressed to the Organising Committee, he mentioned, in particular: "The problem of providing user safety and security in the Internet network and their protection against illegal and aggressive content is today rather a momentous one. Regretfully, in the modern world the new information and communication technologies, apart from their progressive and innovative principles, are bringing the risk of negative impacts. Now it is ever more important to join the efforts exerted by all the participants of the information exchange process - state, business and civil society - for the purpose of building a safe and secure Internet medium, forming a positive content and popularising a 'healthy' Internet."

Russia is moving at an accelerated rate towards the introduction of information technologies and Internet into the day-to-day life of its citizens. Within this process our children are most of all exposed to the risks concealed in the cyberspace. Their protection is an objective which requires, taking into account a high development rate of the information society, an active position on behalf of everyone.

A number of events and actions have been planned for the Safe Internet Year (see the detailed programme):

  • monthly open events on socially significant problems to include both scheduled forums of the Organising Committee's participating entities and new common events to be held with the participation of the best Russian and international Internet community experts;
  • foundation of the Public Analytical Centre Safe Internet Studies to include the best Russian and international community experts, its research results to be published and officially communicated to the relevant state agencies;
  • development of the Safe Internet Year Organising Committee's Internet portal as part of creating an interactive communication channel between the public and the decision-makers in the area of information industry development and Internet service and mass communication media development in the Russian Federation;
  • organisation of a full-fledged representation of the Russian Federation in the European Union and European Commission departments dealing with the safe Internet problems; and
  • other activity directions to be initiated by the active Internet community members, public organisations and state agencies.

The round table Protecting Our Children in the Internet held on 30 March 2009 in the ITAR-TASS was among such first events. A permanent exhibition at the RF Public Chamber dedicated to the safe Internet was presented to the mass media community, and video clips dedicated to children protection against aggressive content and safe conduct in the Net were demonstrated. In the near future ROCIT plans to have these clips broadcast on the federal TV channels.

The RUNET children's audience currently numbers 8-10 million users under 14 years of age. At the same time, about 40% of the children who visit the Network on a regular basis are viewing the websites with an aggressive and illegal content, are subjected to cyber harassment or virtual canvassing. The focal point of the conference was the announcement of the Russian competition for the best web resource with a positive content intended for children and youths. Internet resources with a high social significance and cognitive, educational, informative, communicative or entertaining profile are invited for participation. Winners will be celebrated on 25 November 2009 as part of the ceremony held under the auspices of the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications to award the National RUNET Prize.

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