US, Russia to Boost Cooperation on Information Security; UNGA Adopts Draft Resolution

It seems that information security has brought the US closer to Russia, and the UN General Assembly has played an important role in this regard. Reports suggest that the First Committee of the 76th session of the UNGA has adopted a draft resolution on international information security, which was sponsored by the two countries, by consensus. Apart from Russia and the US, 107 countries have co-sponsored the document. According to sources close to the UNGA, the draft resolution will go through a vote at the General Assembly in December.

Experts are of the opinion that Russia and the US have made a positive and significant step, as they have prepared the joint draft resolution in an attempt to bolster the global information security. It may be noted that the UN hosted two competing platforms between 2019 and 2021. While the Open‑Ended Working Group (OEWG) was formed at Moscow's initiative, the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) was led by Washington.

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden made a surprise trip to attend the Congressional baseball game on Wednesday night. Twitter

Talking to the media, Russian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the US Anatoly Antonov has said that the joint draft resolution would help institutionalize the agreement reached by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden on June 16, 2021. According to the Ambassador, the UN Security Council hosted four rounds of expert consultations to discuss this particular issue.

Meanwhile, the Russian diplomat has expressed satisfaction over successfully suppressing the hackers' activities, and combating the criminal use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). Earlier, the US highlighted the importance of the fight against cybercrime, especially in tackling the high-profile ransomware attacks on the energy and food industries. While the US transferred materials for the legal suppression of the activities of international cybergroups, like Evil Corp, TrickBot and Revil, to Russia; Moscow informed Washington that it managed to thwart the activities of a criminal group by using the Dyre/TrickBot malware, apart from prosecuting those responsible.

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin
Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin Reuters

Later, the two countries stressed on closer cooperation in an attempt to establish a universal international regime for global information security. Commenting on the issue, Sergey Ryabkov, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, stressed that it became necessary to address broad range of issues, related to international information security, including military and political use of ICTs. The Russian minister believes that safe and secured use of ICTs could only ensure international stability. Since 1998, the Kremlin has been calling for a international regulation of global interaction in information security, requesting the global community to prepare rules under the auspices of the UN in order to ensure responsible behavior of states in this regard.

For his part, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Office in Geneva Andrey Belousov stated: "The international community has proven in practice that it is capable of negotiating and working out acceptable solutions when it comes to resolving fundamental issues of national and international security."