Russia, U.S. to agree joint steps in event of cyber attacks

The U. S. has backed the proposed adoption of a cyber code of conduct for the first time, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at an international conference on cyberspace in Budapest.

Moscow's insistent efforts to get such rules adopted have been categorically rejected by Washington, and even though the U.S. has supported Russia's proposal partially, talks have gotten underway regarding the establishment of special hotlines, as during the Cold War era, to be used in the event of large-scale cyber attacks, the business daily Kommersant writes.

The conference on cyberspace, held in Budapest at the end of last week, is a second forum of its kind ever held.

During the first forum, held in London last year, Russia proposed adopting international cyber rules and submitted a draft UN convention on information security drawn up by its Security Council and Foreign Ministry. The draft lists the rules for regulating cyber space with due account taken of the present-day military-political, criminal and terror threats.

The draft bans the use of the Internet for military purposes or for regime change in foreign countries, but gives governments greater freedom of action within the national segments of the Internet. The U.S. flatly rejected the Russian initiative which, it said, was an attempt to introduce censorship and tighten state control over the Internet.

Against this backdrop, Clinton's statement in support of rules governing states' responsible conduct on the Internet, was quite unexpected. Moreover, the idea was also backed by British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and other Western officials who were previously critical of the Russian proposal.

Meanwhile, it is clear from their statements that the West is not yet prepared to share fully Russia's vision of the future of the Internet. The West still thinks that unlimited access to the Internet and online freedom are far more important than the Moscow-proposed principles of sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs.

It is not clear yet which rules from the cyber code of conduct the U.S. and its allies are ready to support. Be all accounts, their readiness does not extend beyond the fight against cyber crime so far, the Kommersant writes.

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