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Report on the 2015 Russian IGF

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The sixth annual Russian Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was held on 7 April 2015 in Moscow, Russia. The meeting attracted over 500 participants and focused on Internet governance and regulation, as well as the technical, political and economic aspects of ICT development.

In the opening plenary, concerns were raised about the stability and resiliency of the Russian Internet (Runet). Representatives from the Russian Telecommunications Ministry and the Russian Parliament joined a number of attendees expressing concern at the case of registrars closing the accounts of Crimean domain holders following sanctions by the United States. Several speakers described this as a dangerous precedent and a serious problem for global Internet governance, with several noting that the Internet by its nature should be trans-border.

The Internet of Things (IoT) was a major topic of discussion, and seen by many participants as an inevitable development, though still some way off. IPv6 was recognised as necessary for the IoT and the role of the RIPE NCC and other Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) in helping to facilitate this was acknowledged. Privacy and security issues associated with IoT were also a cause for concern, with many feeling that they were not yet being addressed.

The meeting included discussions on the importance of dialogue between industry and government. The main message from the Ministry was that the Russian Government was actively seeking industry's feedback and provided multiple channels for this. Some speakers made the contentious observation that there has been a lack of engagement on the side of industry, and while others disagreed with that observation, all parties agreed that effective dialogue was vital.

Kaveh Ranjbar, RIPE NCC Chief Information Officer, participated in a panel session entitled “We Share the Same Technology Regardless of Ideology”. This was a broad discussion on security, technology and standards – primarily within the context of the IoT – with a focus on the importance of stable, accepted standards in facilitating Internet growth.

More information, including video archives, is available on the Russian IGF website.

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