Igor Schegolev, the Russian Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications spoke at the opening of the InfoCom 2008 exhibition in Moscow. Among other things, which made news (for example, that the Russian government will be implementing a free and open source based operating system on all computers in the Russian schools), he also made the following remarks (translated by me in English):
“In the whole society, the Internet resources play major role in securing national standard for access to information.
At the same time, in every country, if the Internet is not protected from malicious actions, that causes direct risks for the political and economic stability, and social prosperity, as there are many processes (including business), relaying on the Net.
It is important to state the “critically important” resources of the national segment of the Internet. We need to define the risks, the weak spots, develop measures for ensuring information security. We need technologies and defense mechanisms from foreign, as well as from domestic actions.
Not long ago, the Internet entered a new phase in its development. Before for writing a domain name, one could use only Latin alphabet, while the usage of national alphabets means multilingual of the Net.
The Ministry has started a program for promoting Russian language in the domain name system. We hope that in the next year we’ll be able to finish the process, and we already have serious allies and partners on that road, and not only from the states of the former Soviet Union, but from other countries, where Cyrillic is being used, namely Bulgaria.”
His talk shows a continuous support for the development of the Russian country-code top level domain in Cyrillic (.рф, .rf for Russian Federation).
The whole process has started in the beginning of the year, as stated in this letter, and has continued after the formation of the new Russian cabinet, under Prime Minister Putin, as expressed in this letter from the Russian Minister to Paul Twomey, ICANN’s President and CEO.