Child Online Protection Initiatives of RU-CENTER

November 12-13, 2009 Russian-European Conference "Children’s Safety in the Internet: Prevention, Education, Cooperation" took place. The sponsors were Expert Group for Cooperation in the Field of Aid to Children in Case of Danger under the Council of the Baltic Sea States in Cooperation with the European Commission Plan "Improvement of the Internet Safety", Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

The conference was oriented to create a basis for strengthening cooperation between all experts interested in the Internet becoming a more beneficial and a safer environment. Members of the Organizing Committee of the Year of Safe Internet in Russia: The Foundation for Internet Development, "Friendly Runet" Fund, ROCIT, RU-CENTER, etc., took active part in the conference.

According to European colleagues, one of the major threats for underage Internet-users remains sexual exploitation and spreading of such scenes through the Net. The focal point of the conference was fast growth of content with elements of cyber-humiliation and cyber-violence, as well as propaganda of racial, national intolerance and terrorism in the Internet.

Complex steps on improvement of knowledge level for children, parents and teachers on the problem of Internet threats are in place in the European countries by Safe Internet Centers created on the initiative of the European Commission and supported by it on the EU territory. European centers are united in Insafe network, and Hotlines from all over the world have their own INHOPE association. In Russia there are two such hotlines: "Friendly Runet" Fund and Safe Internet Center.

RU-CENTER representatives briefed on their attempts to prevent spreading of children pornography and the experience of cooperation with the Hotlines; the first was launched in August 2008. Their efforts were quite notable. European colleagues stated that last year the share of illegal content posted on the Russian territory, particularly children pornography, started to decrease.

RU-CENTER legal experts offered their options to resolve the problem of children pornography spreading in the Internet:

  1. amending the applicable legislation, in particular, introducing a proper term of pornography;
  2. since no legal base for such problem exists, RU-CENTER deems it necessary that registrars and web-hosting providers enhance and strengthen control over pornographic materials placed at web-sites, prohibit prostitution advertisements, set up a dedicated authority (agency, department) on the basis of the Coordination Center for TLD RU to act as a supervisor and a coordinator for issue of instructions to all accredited registrars for locking the services, if the facts of placement of pornographic materials, prostitution advertisements and other illegal activities have been disclosed.

The attendees stressed that a supervising authority should be established in particular on the basis of the RU domain sponsor enabling proper functioning of DNS and monitoring the activities of accredited domain registrars. To follow the interface procedure suggested by Coordination Center for TLD RU and accredited registrars it is necessary to introduce the above certain amendments to the Terms and Conditions for Domains Registration in RU TLD and to agreements entered into by the Coordination Center for TLD RU and registrars.

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