On 21-25 October 2019, Shenzhen, China, was the venue of the 10th International Conference Infoforum-China Trust and Security in Digital Future.
Those taking part in the conference exchanged views on matters concerning countering cybercrime, implementing smart logistics and digital customs technologies, 5G technologies and new-generation services, Internet management, efforts to build a safe information space, as well as risk assessments and the need for international cooperation under the conditions of digital transformations, the digital economy, online commerce, smart-city concepts and artificial intelligence technologies.
At the event, people showcased their inventions and achievements in the field of digital communications, data processing and protection systems and also discussed the practical introduction of innovative technologies inside various economic and management sectors.
SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov sent a message of greetings to Infoforum participants, and Baurzhan Imandosov, a representative of the SCO Secretariat, read out the message during the opening ceremony.
The message states that the SCO prioritises expanded cooperation in the field of maintaining international information security, the fight against cyber-terrorism and cybercrime, as well as efforts to prevent the spread of terrorist, separatist and extremist ideas via information and communications networks.
The SCO Development Strategy until 2025 notes the need for strengthening cooperation in the sphere of controlling the Internet and efforts to prevent its use for activities undermining regional security and stability.
The message also notes the practical efforts of the SCO's Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) to expose, prevent and thwart manifestations of online terrorism and extremism, to eliminate their causes and factors and to counter the spread of their ideology and propaganda among young people via media outlets.
The SCO Secretary-General also noted that SCO member states were urging the international community to work for creating a peaceful, safe, streamlined and cooperation-based information space.
Under the conference programme, the participants visited the headquarters of major Chinese companies that are leading the way in the IT industry, cyber security and which use state-of-the-art technologies in their work. They visited the headquarters of Huawei, a leading manufacturer of portable equipment, China Telecom, the largest Asian mobile services operator, SF Express, a leading company of China's transport-logistics industry, Tencent that develops software mechanisms, algorithms and mobile apps, the Pengcheng hi-tech laboratory and the headquarters of the Cloud Security Alliance. The latter hosted most conference events.
Representatives of over ten states, departmental and commercial companies from China, Russia and Kazakhstan, including such giants as China Telecom, Huawei, Rostelecom, the Rossiya Television and Radio Network and others, took part in the forum.
The event is sponsored by the Russian Foreign Ministry, with Huawei acting as its traditional partner.
Below is the full text of the SCO Secretary-General's message:
"First of all, please accept my cordial congratulations on opening the regular Infoforum-China 2019. I would like to thank the organisers for the invitation to take part in the event and to wish all the participants every success in their work.
"The Infoforum that has won well-deserved recognition has become an influential and popular venue for discussing topical matters of information collaboration, including international information security, within the framework of the expert community.
"This is vividly confirmed by the fact that, each year, the international conference involves more and more participants who discuss various new subjects. Its agenda includes the most topical and relevant contemporary issues. The SCO also keeps tabs on them, and they are the subject of our everyday attention.
"Today, information ranks among the most powerful tools of political and psychological influence. Cyber attacks are conducted on a regular basis, and the elaboration of a common position on how to counter them is a highly topical task.
"Throughout its 18 years of development, the Organisation has made a noticeable contribution to maintaining security and advancement in the vast Eurasian region. The SCO region accounting for 60 percent of Eurasian territory has been building up steadily and facilitating all-round collaboration between SCO member states.
"SCO members focus on expanded cooperation aiming to maintain international information security, to fight cyber terrorism and cybercrime and to prevent the spread of terrorist, separatist and extremist ideas online.
"Passed in 2015, the SCO Development Strategy until 2025 devoted substantial attention to international information security matters. The Strategy notes the need for more effectively controlling the Internet and preventing its use in activities undermining regional security and stability. For these purposes, the concerned parties voiced their intention to streamline the cooperation mechanism for preventing the use of information and communications technologies for terrorist purposes and for countering cyber threats that jeopardise the security of SCO states.
"The SCO's Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in Tashkent conducts practical work to expose, prevent and thwart online manifestations of the Three Evils and to counter the spread of their ideology and propaganda among young
people via media outlets, social media networks and other online communications, data storage and transmission systems.
"In 2018 alone, RATS officers limited access to over 165,000 online resources in an effort to prevent the Internet's use for terrorist and extremist purposes. They thwarted the activities of 3,000 members of terrorist and religious-extremist online communities.
"All these trends considered, the SCO is taking the appropriate action to prevent young people from becoming involved in the activities of terrorist, separatist and extremist organisations. The Organisation's specific position regarding young people, current problems and challenges as well as ways of resolving them is set forth in the Joint Appeal by SCO Heads of State to Young People, passed at the SCO Summit in Qingdao in June 2018.
"This year, members of the SCO's Special Working Group for Information and Telecommunications Technologies stepped up their efforts and conducted the relevant work to coordinate the Concept of SCO Member States' Cooperation in the Area of Digitalisation, Information and Telecommunications Technologies. On 14 June 2019, this document was inked at the Summit of SCO Heads of State in Bishkek. It is called on to chart the most promising aspects of SCO member states' collaboration in the field of digital transformations and topical engineering solutions for facilitating digital integration and creating a common digital space in SCO member and observer states.
SCO countries always coordinate their approaches towards international information security at the UN. On 5 December 2018, the UN General Assembly passed its resolution Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security.
Member states are urging the international community to exert efforts for creating a peaceful, safe, open, streamlined and cooperation-based information space. They are noting the UN's central role in drafting universal international norms, rules and principles of the states' responsible conduct inside information space. They deem it necessary to create an intra-UN working mechanism for elaborating norms, rules and principles of the states' responsible conduct inside information space and their formalisation by passing the relevant UN General Assembly resolution. This should be accomplished in line with an equitable geographical representation.
"We are ready for cooperation, and we suggest holding joint events in this direction, for the purpose of using innovations more effectively and jointly countering the spread of unconstructive ideas of terrorism, extremism and other crimes, as well as preventing the use of information and communications technologies for these purposes.
"To wind up, I would like to underscore the fact that the SCO intends to expand international cooperation in the fight against the malicious use of information and communications technologies, including for terrorist and criminal purposes, and it also urges the concerned parties to draft an international-law document regarding the fight against the criminal use of information and communications technologies under the auspices of the UN.