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Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Yuri Chaika took part in the III meeting of the heads of the prosecutorial services of the BRICS states, devoted to countering cybercrime

Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Yuri Chaika took part in the III meeting of the heads of the prosecutorial services of the BRICS states, devoted to countering cybercrime

24 august 2017, 10:12

Today, on August 24, 2017, the delegation of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation, within the business visit to the city off Brasilia, the capital of the Federal Republic of Brazil, took part in the III Meeting of the heads of the Prosecution services of the BRICS countries, devoted to countering cybercrime.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Yuri Chaika drew the attention of the participants to the relevance of the topic touched upon by the growing list of unlawful acts committed using the Internet and communication devices. Cyber fraud, information blockade, computer espionage, and other encroachments, which pose a heightened danger to the society, are becoming increasingly widespread.

He noted that in the Russian Federation the number of crimes committed using the modern information and communication technologies has increased 6-fold from 2013 to 2016 (from 11,000 to 66,000). Their significant growth is observed in the current year as well (+ 26%, 40 thousand).

The World Wide Web is widely used to promote various extremist ideas and movements.

For example, in 2016 in Russia, two thirds of extremist crimes and every ninth crime of a terrorist nature are committed using the Internet.

Monitoring of Russian and foreign social networks reveals numerous text and video materials that justify and promote the activities of terrorist and extremist communities calling for extremism. Upon the prosecutor’s request, sent to the federal executive body, these sites are blocked out of court. The relevant powers are granted to the prosecutor’s office by the national legislation on the protection of information and information technologies.

For three and a half years since the introduction of the aforementioned rule, upon requests from the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia access to more than 3 thousand Internet pages was blocked out-of-court, and the illegal information was removed from 50 thousand resources.

At the same time, materials are being identified, although they do not directly call for the implementation of terrorist and extremist activities, but are no less dangerous. For example, they demonstrate ways of manufacturing and using explosive devices, skills of holding sabotage. The Prosecutor’s office also seeks to remove this information from the Internet, but by appealing to the court.

A significant number of crimes committed using the modern information technology is associated with the illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

Many drug distributors switch to a non-contact way of selling them, when the seller, using special software or the Internet, informs the acquirer of the place where the narcotic is placed, and he/she transfers the monetary funds to his/her account through Internet payments. The law enforcement agencies of Russia take measures to suppress such activities.

In addition thereto, there is bill in the State Duma under consideration, prohibiting the anonymous use of “messengers”. The organizers of instant messaging are obliged to ensure their transfer only to users identified on the basis of the subscriber number and the relevant agreement. Thus, mass distribution of such messages to an undefined circle of persons will be limited. We believe that this measure will have a positive impact on counteraction to crimes, including illegal drug trafficking.

A wide range of unlawful acts committed using the Internet and communication devices cause significant property damage and encroach on the national security. According to the data of the official statistics in Russia for the first half of 2017, the damage amounted to more than USD 18 million. This dictates the need to improve the effectiveness of the law enforcement in the sphere of countering cybercrime.

Pursuant to the Russian legislation, the function of coordinating their activities in the fight against crime is vested in prosecutors.

The prosecution authorities perform this work in various forms, the main one is a coordination meeting of heads of the law enforcement agencies. Last September such an event was held in Moscow to develop additional measures to counteract crimes committed using the modern information technologies.

To respond in a timely manner to new challenges, the law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are focused on monitoring the situation in the Internet space, continuous staff development, and methodological support of their activities.

As there have recently been more cases of computer attacks on the information infrastructure and management systems of the state bodies and institutions, prosecutors take measures to protect their databases.

For the purpose thereof, a special sub-division has been established in the Russian Prosecutor’s Office, the task of which is to detect malicious software, to establish and eliminate the causes of threats to the integrity, accessibility and unchanging of the stored information.

Yuri Chaika emphasized that the effective counteraction to cybercrime is impossible without the established international cooperation. Thus, over the past two and a half years, 36 requests for legal assistance have been sent to the competent authorities of foreign countries. The investigative authorities requested therein for information about IP addresses, users of social networks and “messengers”, viewing electronic data carriers, and making malware examinations.

At the same time, the Russian side takes all necessary measures to promptly fulfill the requests of foreign partners for the prosecution of citizens of our country who committed computer fraud in Russia and also for the creation of malicious programs.

The representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia take an active part in the work of the Expert Group on Cybercrime. For example, during such a meeting, held under the auspices of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in April this year in Vienna, our representatives noted that the existing international legal framework for combating cybercrime is not sufficiently developed. In particular, among the most urgent threats not covered by the international law, one can single out cyberterrorism (hacker attacks on websites).

The Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime in the sphere of computer information of November 23, 2001, is not without its drawbacks. This act is outdated and does not contain all the computer crimes known to date. In addition, the Convention has provisions permitting violation of the right of nations to sovereignty, which hinders its ratification by many states. Under such circumstances one of the most effective ways to counteract this type of crime is the development within the UN of a comprehensive multilateral international document.

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia intends to further develop the international cooperation in the sphere of combating crimes committed using the modern information technologies.

In conclusion, the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Yuri Chaika expressed his confidence that it is joint efforts that will allow minimizing criminal activity in the information and communication spheres at the international level.