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12 March 2019, 12:21

Draft Belarus information security concept presented to head of state

MINSK, 12 March (BelTA) – The draft of the national information security concept is a purely Belarusian national product designed for broad domestic and foreign consumption. State Secretary of the Security Council Stanislav Zas made the relevant statement at a session of the Security Council on 12 March, BelTA has learned. The head of state took part in the session.

Stanislav Zas said: “It is purely our own product. We didn't borrow it from anyone. It is intended for broad domestic and foreign consumption and builds up on the national security concept. It is designed to streamline information security efforts, add concreteness and drive to achieve results. It is also designed to enable conditions for further advancement in this matter.”

The official reminded that the information security concept had been drafted upon instructions of the head of state. All the agencies concerned and the country's most competent specialists had taken part in this work. Specialists from nearly 20 government agencies and organizations, representatives of leading mass media, members of the parliament, scientists, and experts had helped put together the document.

The document was worked out taking into account Belarus' geopolitical interests, its place and role in the modern world. It takes into account agreements on cooperation in ensuring information security of the CIS member states, the Collective Security Treaty Organization member states as well as bilateral agreements and other commitments of Belarus in the area of international information security. The draft concept takes into account the main provisions of acts of international organizations, including resolutions of the UN General Assembly and OSCE recommendations.

“The concept was briefly outlined and discussed at more than 20 international meetings and conferences. Moreover, the main points have been published inside the Republic of Belarus and in foreign publications and met genuine interest in our approaches,” the official noted. “In January the draft concept was approved by the interagency commission on security in the information sphere under the Security Council.”

The document reflects modern challenges and threats, which are evolving in the information sphere and pose danger to the constitutional foundation and operation of states such as manipulation of the collective consciousness, discrediting of ideals and values, erosion of national sovereignty, instability of information infrastructure.

Bearing this in mind, the draft concept stipulates information sovereignty as an inalienable and exclusive supreme right of the state to independently determine rules of ownership, usage, and management of national information resources, to pursue an independent foreign and domestic state information policy, to shape the national information infrastructure, and ensure information security.

It is supposed to be achieved among other things by pursuing the policy of information neutrality, which provides for recognition of universally acknowledged and accepted rights of any state in this sphere and rules out interference with the information sphere of other countries.

It is the first time the draft concept has stipulated the readiness of the state to incessantly detect risks, challenges, and threats in the information sphere and respond to them. The document introduces the term “cyber security”. This novelty the authors believe clearly identifies the government's intention to embrace the internationally acknowledged and rather well-established main approaches to counteracting computer incidents and crimes.

Apart from effective work of mass media the draft concept underlines the importance of active presence of the state in the Internet. In addition to official websites of government agencies the document mentions blogs, instant messaging apps, and social networks.

After the session Stanislav Zas told reporters that the draft information security concept had been backed by members of the Security Council. The document's adoption will allow establishing systemic work in this sphere and forming the necessary legal base.

“We certainly need the concept. It is a pressing matter. We've worked out common views on ensuring information security. It has not been done up till now. Specialists of every agency had acted on their own understanding of the matter. We've now combined all the points of view. It was not a simple task,” he noted.

According to the source, participants of the session discussed the practical implementation of the concept among other things. In particular, more active work of government agencies in the Internet was mentioned as well as public oversight over information space. This approach has already been tested in several countries. “People volunteer to monitor information space and take part in information space oversight. Reports about, let's say, extremism, terrorism, violence, pornography are then forwarded to the relevant authorities,” Stanislav Zas explained.

Public private partnership was also mentioned. “We should informationally support our own producers, the relevant equipment, and products. We should not be ashamed of doing it,” he believes.

An entire chapter of the concept is dedicated to the protection of traditional values. The state secretary noted that traditional values are believed to be a key asset worth protecting in the information space. “The need to pass a dedicated program to protect traditional values and foundations of our society is being considered,” Stanislav Zas added.

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