Start of Safe Runet Week - 2012: Press-Conference about illegal content in 2011
February 13, 2012 2:51 PM
On January 31, 2012 the fifth Safe Runet Week was started in Russia with press-conference “Illegal content in Runet: trends, statistics, analysis for 2011” in RIA Novosti – main Russian information agency. The press-conference was broadcasted live on RIA Novosti web portal.
The participants of the event were:
Lyudmila Narusova, Council of Federation (upper chamber of Russian Parliament), Vice-Head of Committee for education, science, culture and information politics;
Alexander Prostokishin, Vice-Head of State Narcotics Control LEA for the City of Moscow;
Evgenia Chistova, Head of Social Programs Department of Beeline mobile and Internet provider;
Irina Levova, analyst of Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC),
Mark Tverdynin, ROCIT Chief of Board,
Urvan Parfentyev, Safer Internet Centre – Russia Coordinator.
Press-conference was devoted to illegal content and conduct issues online during the year 2011 in Russian Internet. In particular, the speakers focused on statistics and dynamics of evolution of Internet-threats, new ways of protecting children, youth and adults from online dangers and on the issues of regulation and self-regulation for the Internet.
As Lyudmila Narusova mentioned, Russian legislation still lacks good definition of child pornography – it is still regarded to the images of real children, excluding texts and animated images, what gives big opportunities for distributing different types of content exploiting interest to sexual acts with minors. Also the Parliament member mentioned that law enforcement is still not really active in combating child pornography.
For the Safer Internet Centre this event was a Hotline-related one. Safer Internet Centre coordinator Urvan Parfentyev presented a Hotline report for the second half of 2011 with some statistics and trends. During the second half of 2011, Hotline received 10 681 report regarding illegal content what is 39% more than in the first half of the year. The new trend was 15-times increase of reports regarding propaganda and distribution of narcotics online – in November amount of such reports was more than regarding child pornography (although for the whole reporting period child pornography is still a leader on amount of reports). The reason for that was raising awareness about this type of threat together with State Narcotics Control and promoting the Hotline. Confirmation level for reports on this category remains high (55,6%), as well as on cyberbullying scenes (55,4%). As for child sexual abuse scenes, this category still stays low-confirmed (39,5%) due to the problems in Russian legislation which does not allow the approach “everything that intentionally tries to look as a child should be treated by law as a child”.
Alexander Prostokishin reminded the audience about the Hotline and the possibility to report about illegal content via Hotline – in particular, he confirmed blocking 85 websites regarding distribution of drugs just in Moscow area.
Evgenia Chistova from Beeline was speaking about the positive alternative to illegal content. She announced the project of all-Russian list of positive content which will be constantly updated and reviewed by child librarians – professional experts in the content suitable for children and youth. Also youth participants will evaluate websites recommended by adult experts and recommend them other websites for evaluation – this work will be led by Youth Panels in regions.
Mark Tverdynin reminded that social demand for online safety began to emerge at the same time when Internet-audience begat to grow with general people who are not ICT-professionals. At this point every second citizen of Russia is an Internet-user, Mr. Tverdynin said, so the task of awareness-raising becomes more important than three years ago – and, since Internet grows by regional users, awareness work should be intensified in regions.
Irina Levova, RAEC analyst, pointed out the effectiveness of industry self-regulation mechanisms in combating distribution of illegal content. Also she noticed that industry is in close dialog with government on legislation initiatives regarding Internet.
Safer Internet Centre materials were distributed among journalists: Hotline report, information about Helpline and Youth panel, agenda of Safe Runet Week. Safer Internet Day Forum was specially announced which was to be held on February 6 and 7.