This week,

  1. Russia approved the “Digital Economy” program;
  2. Belarus to launch a FinCERT;
  3. Ukraine increases the use of digital technologies;
  4. Digitalization of the Russian healthcare;
  5. The concept of Information Security of Moldova is under the critics;
  6. A single cryptocurrency for the Eurasian Union is discussed;
  7. Russia announced the creation of Internet traffic filtering system.

1. Dmitry Medvedev Approved the Implementation of the “Digital Economy”.

On July 31, the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev finally signed the program that was delayed for several times. Initially, it was supposed to be submitted by 1 June. Then, the publication was pushed back to mid-June, however, it was approved by President Putin on July 5.

The program was criticized by many experts and government officials on the early stages, however, it looks like the government is now satisfied with it. Medvedev noted that in early July the program was discussed at a meeting with the president, and then the document was finalized. “Now it has acquired legal force”, said Medvedev. It appears that there were different groups preparing different programs of “Digital Economy” at the same time. The comprehensive nature of the digitalization of economy caused multiple approaches to its development, and that may explain the differences in the program provisions during the preparation.

The draft plan outlined eight areas as key priorities: Legislative and Regulatory Environment; Human Resources and Education; Digital Health; Infrastructure; Information Security; Research & Development; Smart Cities; and Management System and Governance. Nevertheless, in the final version, it is focused on five key vectors: Normative regulation; Human Resources and Education; Research & Development; Information infrastructure; and Information Security, while Healthcare, the creation of Smart Cities and e-Governance systems are declared as three main practical industries to be digitalized.

It is expected that the share of households with access to 100Mbit/s broadband Internet should reach 50% by 2020, and 97% by 2024; the proportion of government services delivered digitally should reach 50% by 2020 and 80% by 2024; unmanned public transportation should operate in 12 cities by 2024. According to estimates of the Ministry of Communications, the program will require $ USD 1.68 billion a year.

DR Comments: Some experts noted, that originally the completion of the program was scheduled on 2025, but in the final document, it changed to 2024, coinciding with the end of the next future term of the presidency. It is still unclear whether Russian leadership is truly trying to move from a natural resources-oriented economy to the digital economy. Nevertheless, DR Analytica will continue monitoring the digital economy’s updates in Russia.

2. Why Does Belarus Need a FinCERT?

The National Bank of Belarus plans to launch a financial cyber security center – the FinCERT in 2017-2018. The center will become a hub for data exchange between banks, credit and financial organizations, software developers, equipment suppliers, telecom operators and law enforcement agencies. This initiative should improve the interaction between the key market actors and cause them to share the information on potential computer attacks, current threats to information security, and the vulnerabilities of software used. The current level of information exchange is considered low and ineffective as it does not allow making timely decisions to prevent criminal actions.

The financial sector is not the only target of cyber attacks – in 2016, health and education systems were the most attacked targets. According to experts from the Operational and Analytical Center under the President of Belarus, 62% of cyber attacks were target attacks, including 5 large DDoS attacks. The experts hope the new FinCERT would increase the national security level.

3. How Digital Technologies Improve the Life of Ukrainians?

Ukraine developed a web-service called Investigate-online, which allows to quickly monitor e-payments and ATM frauds. The new service would assist the law enforcement agencies with up-to-date background information on processing and tracking of crimes in banking and information systems and fraud schemes that criminals use in both bank cards payments and ATMs. Moreover, the service explains about effective methods of interaction between banks and law enforcement. All materials are in private access and are intended for use by only a certain group of specialists.

The Government approved the transfer of the Register of Real Estate and Rights to Immovable Property to the blockchain system. The implementation of the blockchain technology is performed by the American company BitFury Group. According to unofficial information, the Minister of Justice of Ukraine, Pavel Petrenko, said that the Electronic Trading System of Arrested Property will begin using blockchain in few weeks while the Register of Real Estate and Rights to Immovable Property will be transferred to the blockchain beginning January 1, 2018. These decisions have already been adopted by the Government and do not require voting in the Verkhovna Rada.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian State Center for Radio Frequencies (UCRF) canceled the tender on MNP implementation, which began in 2015, and is preparing to submit a new tender – this time – in the government e-procurement system ProZorro. The decision to cancel the results of the tender was adopted by the UCRF on July 31 as a result of litigation between the companies that were participating in it.

DR Comments: Since the events of 2013-2014, the introduction of digital technologies in Ukraine is rising. The Ukrainian officials themselves mark that technologies reduce corruption and increase transparency in the public sector. DR Analytica will keep looking at Ukrainian reforms in the digital domain.

4. The Russian Healthcare: Blockchain and Telemedicine.

The Law “On Telemedicine” was approved by President Putin. On January 1, 2018, Russia will begin providing medical services online, including remote monitoring of the patient’s medical condition and communication between doctors and patients. The law also allows the issuance of prescriptions for medicines and electronic medical certificates.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health in cooperation with Vnesheconombank plans to launch pilot healthcare projects based on blockchain technology, however, the specific areas of technology application have to be determined yet.

5. What Are the Pitfalls of the New Information Security Concept of Moldova?

The draft of the Information Security Concept of Moldova was approved in the first reading in June, and its consideration will continue at the next session of the Parliament. However, experts are concerned that if the Concept is going to be adopted in its present form, Moldova may face some negative consequences. The introduction of such definitions as “information weapons” and “information war” in the defense policy of the country, causes a lot of suspicion on the part of international actors. Foreign observers may get the impression that Moldova is preparing for information wars. Since a number of states and military blocs declared that information attacks in certain cases can serve as an act of external aggression, Moldovan information policy may be misunderstood.

DR Comments: Our experts who participated in the public discussion at the Institute for Information Policy recommend that the Concept should be further developed or integrated into the National Security Strategy of Moldova.

6. Will the Eurasian Union Develop a Single Cryptocurrency?

The central banks of the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will consider a creation of a single cryptocurrency. The idea to use cryptocurrency in this capacity was first voiced by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and was supported by the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB).

Head of the Financial Policy Department of the Eurasian Economic Commission (ECE) Tigran Davtyan stated that such an innovation could further increase the share of national currencies in trade within the Union. However, many experts believe that the idea is untenable as many questions on the functioning of the currency arise immediately – like the issuance and control of money turnover. The level of integration between the EU member-stated was a fundament for the introduction of Euro (after it reached the 60% of internal trade), while in the Eurasian Union the trade integration is way lower, and the trends show the decrease in trade.

7. The National Internet Traffic Filtering System for “Children Protection”.

The national system for filtering Internet traffic (NasFIT) will be launched in Russia by 2020. The main goal of introducing a “white list” of websites is to protect the younger generation from negative content. According to the state “Digital Economy” program, in the first quarter of 2019, the architecture and prototype of the system should be developed and the resources required for development and implementation identified.

There are two options for the NasFIT implementation. The first is suggesting to filter traffic in educational institutions only, while the second suggests the introduction of filtering by default for all Internet users in Russia.

DR Comments: The experts consider this initiative as another policy towards strict control over the Internet that is using the protection of children as a cover to implement the state priorities of the Internet regulation. DR Analytica will keep monitoring the Internet Freedom in the region.