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The first seminar of the ASEAN Regional Forum on Security (ARF) on countering the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for criminal purposes was held on April 23 and 26 in the format of a video conference under the joint chairmanship of the Russian Federation, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the People’s Republic of China. The initiative to hold this event was approved in September 2020 during the 27th ministerial session of the ARF.

The seminar was attended by over 100 representatives of law enforcement agencies, diplomatic departments, scientific and business circles from 16 ARF member countries – Australia, Timor Leste, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Canada, China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, USA, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, as well as such international and regional structures as ASEAN, EU, Interpol and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

The Russian interdepartmental delegation included representatives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Russian Ministry of Digital Affairs, the Russian Ministry of Justice, the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation and the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.

The seminar consisted of four sections: criminalization and crime prevention, international legal aspects of combating information crime, topical issues of international cooperation in the field of combating information crime and the practice of conducting national and cross-border investigations.

The event participants noted the rapid growth in the use of ICT for criminal purposes, which requires the development of common solutions to counter cybercriminals. Such features of information crime as its cross-border character, anonymity on the Internet, lack of legal mechanisms at the national and international levels were identified. Many experts stressed the need to establish international cooperation, primarily the early development under the auspices of the UN of a universal convention on countering the use of ICTs for criminal purposes.

The workshop demonstrated the particular importance of this topic for the rapidly developing economies of the Asia-Pacific region, and also laid the foundation for the further development of the dialogue on combating information crime within the framework of the ARF.



EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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