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New Kremlin Information-Security Doctrine Calls For 'Managing' Internet In Russia

Russia's new information-security doctrine comes as the governments of Western and former Soviet countries accuse Moscow of waging informational warfare and conducting cyberattacks (file photo).

Russia's new information-security doctrine calls for the government to develop "a national system of managing the Russian segment of the Internet."

The doctrine took effect upon being published on December 6. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed it the previous day, superseding a similar doctrine dating from 2000.

The 17-page document broadly outlines the Russian government's perception of threats to its national interests and security in the information sphere and priorities for countering those threats.

Much of it discusses the need to counter the propaganda and recruitment efforts of terrorist organizations and to secure computers from cyberespionage and cybercrime.

The call for a system to "manage" the Russian Internet comes toward the end of the document and is not elaborated.

It may lead to concerns that Putin's government will seek to increase control over content and use of the Internet, despite past remarks in which he has said that state authorities should not restrict Internet freedoms.

Among the threats identified in the document are the expansion of the use of "informational-psychological influences" by foreign intelligence services "aimed at the destabilization" of various regions of the world, including Russia.

The new information-security doctrine comes as the governments of Western and former Soviet countries accuse Moscow of waging informational warfare and conducting cyberattacks. U.S. intelligence agencies accused Moscow of using both tactics in a bid to influence the U.S. presidential election last month.

'Spiritual And Moral Values'

The Russian document also cites "a tendency toward an increase of materials containing biased assessments of the state policies of the Russian Federation in foreign media."

It also asserts that Russian mass-media outlets endure "open discrimination" abroad and Russian journalists "often encounter obstacles aimed at keeping them from carrying out their professional activities."

The doctrine further asserts there has been increased informational activity targeting Russians, "particularly young Russians, with the goal of undermining traditional Russian spiritual and moral values."

It also calls for efforts to "neutralize informational-psychological activities aimed at disrupting the historical foundations and patriotic traditions association with the defense of the Fatherland," which is presumably a reference to what the Kremlin says are attempts to challenge the Soviet interpretation of the history of World War II.

Among the strategic priorities it mentions are protecting the information-security interests of Russian allies and blocking the activity of foreign states, organizations, and individuals aimed at undermining Russia's sovereignty or territorial integrity.

The doctrine also calls for "liquidating the dependence of domestic industries on foreign information technologies" and ensuring information security by developing effective Russian technologies.

Russian Internet and cybersecurity analyst Andrei Soldatov told RFE/RL earlier this month that the Russian government was actively cooperating with China "on the development of a new, second phase of the Internet-filtration system" aimed at enabling the government to monitor and filter online requests for information.

With reporting by RIA Novosti and