Russia and U.S. to resume cybersecurity cooperation

Russia and the US are to revive a series of bilateral agreements on cyber-defence including the world's first non-aggression treaty on IT

The first IT non-aggression treaty has been signed between the US and Russia
The first IT non-aggression treaty has been signed between the US and Russia

Russia and the US plan to resume the cyber-security cooperation that was almost suspended after the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis and western sanctions against Russia.

As part of these plans, the partners plan to accelerate the execution of a package of agreements in the field of cyber-defence, signed by the Russian and US Premiers as far back as in 2013.

One of the most important of those agreements involves the establishment of a hotline between Moscow and Washington to prevent escalation of cyber incidents between the two countries, as well as the signing of the first-ever non-aggression pact in the field of IT.

The established hotline became an analogue of direct communication channel which was launched by the USSR and the US during the times of the Cold War in order reduce the risks of all out nuclear war.

As part of the agreements, signed in 2013, the partners have agreed to establish national centres for reduction of IT threats, similar to the centres of nuclear danger, established in 1987.

According to Nikolay Nikiforov, an official spokesman for Russia's Ministry of Communications, the new around-the-clock IT security centres allow Russia and the US military to notify each other about the attacks on crucial objects of IT infrastructure of both countries.

These centres have already been used during Russian preparation to the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, however operations were almost suspended in February, 2014.

The partners are also ready to resume the operations of a special working group on cyber issues, which was established in 2013.

Russia also currently holds an agreement with China, signed during a recent visit of Xi Jinping, the Chinese Premier.

It ensures significantly closer cooperation in this field, compared to the US-Russian agreement. Both sides have agreed not to carry out cyber attacks against each other as well as to jointly prevent the use of modern technologies "for terrorist purposes" and  "interference in internal affairs", as well as destabilizing "the internal political and socio-economic situation ". 

In addition, Moscow and Beijing have agreed to come up with common positions in the field of IT security at key sites, including the United Nations and the International Telecommunication Union.

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