Fifth Safer Internet Day Forum in Russia. First day: Forum of Experts - February 6
February 13, 2012 4:11 PM
The main event of Safe Runet Week – 2012 was Safer Internet Day Forum which was held on February 6 and 7 in Public Chamber of Russian Federation.
his Safer Internet Day Forum was the fifth one – the first online safety conference in Safe Runet Week was held in 2008. Marking the forum’s first anniversary, the forum was for the first time held in two-day format. The first day of the Forum, February 6, was the Expert Forum which traditionally gathered experts from government and legislative institutions, Internet-industry, education sphere, NGOs, media, bloggers. The second day of the Forum – February 7, SID date – was the Youth Forum where children and youth replaced adults. Another notable thing of the Forum was participation of Western experts – “physically” and by videoconference.
Safer Internet Day Forum was traditionally organized by Safer Internet Centre – Russia and ROCIT under patronage of Public Chamber of Russian Federation. The Forum received greetings from Speaker of Council of Federation (upper chamber of Russian Parliament) Valentina Matvienko, Child Ombudsman of Russia Pavel Astakhov and President of Microsoft-Russia Nikolai Pryanishnikov.
The opening ceremony and Plenary Session was moderated by Coordinator of Safer Internet Centre Urvan Parfentyev. The speakers were:
- Magomed Vakhaev, Vice-Chairman of Security Committee of State Duma of Russian Federation (lower Parliament chamber);
- Lyudmila Narusova, Vice-Head of Committee for education, science, culture and information politics of Council of Federation;
- Marina Zhunich, Google-Russia GR director;
- Marina Gordeeva, Chairman of Board of the Russian Children in Need Fund;
- Alexander Spivak, Executive Director of the National Foundation for Child Protection from Violence;
- Mark Tverdynin, ROCIT Chairman of Board;
- Dmitry Nekorkin, spokesperson for Child Ombudsman of Russia;
- Tatiana Zhukova, President of Russian School Libraries Association;
- Larry Magid, founder of SafeKids.org.
After the Plenary Session, there was an awarding ceremony for the winners of the Fourth Family Online Safety Contest “Moya Bezopasnaya Set” which was traditionally organized by Russian Safer Internet Centre and Russian State Children’s Library under patronage of Child Ombudsman of Russia and Public Chamber of Russia. The awards were provided by Rostelecom- major Russian telecom operator, Kaspersky Lab, TrendMicro, Beeline mobile and Internet provider, Entensys software developer and Safer Internet Centre. The diplomas and gifts were handed by Rostelecom PR director Yuliana Sokolenko, Beeline social programmes director Evgenia Chistova and RGDB director Svetlana Mitsul. The contest was held from December 1, 2011 till January 25, 2012, 1233 works from 36 regions were received in three nominations: “Video”, “Picture” and “Story”. The exhibition of best works of the Contest was opened in the hall of Public Chamber.
Then thematic workshops were started:
- Safer Internet Day and world solutions in online safety (moderator – Sam Green, SafeKids.org). This workshop was devoted to experience exchange between Russian and Western experts, and foreign experts were concentrated there. Also a video participation by English colleagues was provided during it.
Internet communications in Russia: freedom of speech or censorship? (moderator – Alexey Leonov, Safer Internet Centre). The workshop, where members of Public Chamber Boris Panteleev and Irina Plesheva took part, was devoted to the issue which is very important for Russia – freedom of speech and expression on the Internet in Russia. As Alexander Verhovsky from Sova NGO noticed, there are problems in dividing political expression from so-called “extremism”, and we have to admit that many active protesters are from youth. The Internet is a direct way for them to be heard and express their protest. The participants of the workshop agreed that Russian Internet-communication sphere cannot be considered totally free and politically motivated censorship is present. At the same time suppressions for expressing political and social views cannot be explained as activities for promoting public safety and combating other online threats.
- Consulting and rehabilitation for victims of Internet-threats: present and future (moderator – Marina Gordeeva, The Russian Children in Need Fund). This workshop gathered psychologists, specialists of different psychological helpline services, psychiatrists, and Internet consultants. Researchers and practicing specialists discussed the situation, percentage of different Internet-threats affecting victims seeking consulting, age of clients – children and parents, possibilities of more effective rehabilitation, issues regarding consulting as providing safety information before one became a victim.
- Dangers and protection: Hardware and Software issues (moderator – Andrey Yarnikh, Kaspersky Lab). This workshop was dedicated to the matters of malicious software and fraud, their combination with content threats, and mainly to the problem of use of software ways of protection from illegal content. Ilya Shabanov (Anti-Malware) presented evaluation of different approaches to technical means of protection, Andrey Yarnikh (Kaspersky Lab) – statistical review on combinations of content threats and software threats for 2011. As it was pointed out, technical means of protection (blacklist, filters, etc.) cannot provide 100% protection without appropriate awareness about non-technical reaction to illegal actions online.
Dangers and protection – continuation: Content Threats (moderator – Urvan Parfentyev, Safer Internet Centre). This workshop was planned as a continuation of discussions from the previous one, with focus on the situation on non-technical means of protection. The speakers presented reviews of evolution of content threats online (illegal content and conduct), expressed their views on new focuses in awareness-raising. Larisa Efimova (RGSU) presented her analytical review of adequateness of child online protection which should be introduced by new legislation “On Child Protection from Harmful Information” and stated that legislation still has many “black holes” dealing particularly with the Internet. Civil society activities on combating illegal conduct were presented by Anna Levchenko (Child Ombudsman of Russia Apparatus).
Positive, educating and ethical Internet: how to reach it? (moderators: Vera Chudinova, Russian State Children’s Library, and Vladimir Zhuravlev, Russian School Libraries Association). This section was designed not only as discussion panel but also as a project laboratory where new approaches to ensure safe and educative places for children online were presented. Leading Russian mobile operators – Beeline and MTS – presented their activities in ensuring positive and responsible attitude to online activities by children. Beeline announced the project of creating and maintaining all-Russian open list of recommended resources with positive and developing content which should be reviewed by experts in content suitable for children – child librarians all over Russia – with consultations from regional Youth Panels acting under regional branches of Safer Internet Centre. MTS presented its awareness lessons for young schoolchildren and exhibition “Children Online” in Polytechnical Museum in Moscow. Positive websites for children (Tirnet, Smeshariki, Tvidi.Ru, Zhuzha) presented their activities in providing safe and educative environment. Konstantin Preobrazhensky (Zhuzha) specially pointed out the
problem of absence of positive content for mobile devices – as he reminded, more than 30% children use mobile gadgets for accessing the Internet, and positive content providers should be up-to-date in creating positive environment in mobile content. Teachers and educators pointed out absence of Internet-safety courses as part of school curriculum and presented their plans as “guides” to positive Internet for children. The role of cultural institutions as promoters of useful and positive Internet for children was raised by Tatyana Manilova from Ministry of Culture of Russian Federation.
- Moderation and self-regulation online: actionable alternative to regulation or decoration? (moderator – Dmitry Kravchuk, Stihi.Ru, Proza.Ru). This section’s main topic was the effectiveness of self-regulation mechanisms for preventing illegal content and conduct online and further increase of quality of self-regulation activities in ensuring safer Internet. One of the crucial issues of discussion was the level of moderators of private Internet-resources and their effectiveness and commitment to elimination of illegal content. Dmitry Kravchuk presented the effective system of “civil moderation” of user-generated content on Stihi.Ru and Proza.Ru websites and role of appropriate pre-instructions to civil moderators. Irina Levova, RAEC analyst, presented a summary of self-regulation mechanisms by RAEC members and noted legal issues that make the base for blocking illegal content. Oleg Ulyansky (Tvidi.Ru) presented self-regulation mechanisms in practice for child positive content resources. Much attention at the workshop was paid to the problem of distinguishing socially dangerous illegal content from violations of civil right to express information and opinion (freedom of speech).
Internet and Law: present situation and problems (moderator – Anton Sergo, Internet and law Lawyers). This workshop gathered professional lawyers who discussed legal regulations regarding online safety issues, their effectiveness and problems. Lawyers were touching absolutely different issues of legal regulation of Internet-
related matters in Russia – starting with new child protective legislation finishing with general articles of Penal Code prosecuting computer crimes. In particular, law experts paid attention to the problems of expert evaluation of content under law “On Protecting Children from Harmful Information”, age categories in said legislation, new changes in Article 28 of Penal Code (computer crimes) with their projection on combination of malicious software and content threats, problems of using domain names for disseminating illegal content and ways to effectively counteract that, and some other issues. As a result, some initiatives were proposed to move to legislators regarding laws and acts concerning Internet.
During the first day of the Forum, its participants had an opportunity to visit Safer Internet Centre exhibition where awareness-raising materials, research results, Hotline and Helpline materials, legislative projects, positive content examples from all over the world were presented.
The second day of the Forum was to be Youth Forum with children and youth as main participants.