• Affiliation : Master student at the Higher School of Economics
  • Affiliation : Executive Vice-President for Cooperation with Public Authorities, PJSC VimpelCom
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Nonproliferation in Cyber Age


MOSCOW, 2 AUGUST, 2012. PIR-PRESS -simonenko.jpgOn July 31, 2012 within the framework of PIR Center's Midweek Brainstorming session PIR Center intern Maxim Simonenko presented his research paper on Cyberesurity and Internet Governance — Opportunities and Risks for Peaceful Atom and Nonproliferation.

The seminar brought together leading experts in the field of nuclear nonproliferation and information technologies:, Columnist at the Foreign Policy Department of the publishing house Kommersant Elena Chernenko, Head of Private International Law Department at the Diplomatic Academy of MFA of Russia Madina Kasenova, Division Head at the Department of innovation development, MGIMO (University) MFA of Russia Vitaly Kabernik, Special Coordinator for political use of information and communication technologies, Ambassador-at-large Andrey Krutskikh, Counsellor of General Director, State Corporation Rosatom Vladimir Kuchinov, Head of Strategic studies department, Russian Association of Electronic Communications Irina Levova, Deputy Chief, Defense policy department of  the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies Vladimir Novikov, Counsellor of Chief, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russia Alexander Radchuk, Deputy Director, Coordination Center for Top-level domain RU Andrey Romanov, Chairman of the PIR Center Executive Board Mikhail Yakushev and other members of PIR Center staff.


One of the key objectives which Maksim Simonenko tried to meet in his research is finding common ground and identifying new opportunities and risks which arise at the interсonnection of information and communication technologies in politics and issues of nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear security and disarmament. According to Mr. Simonenko, «nuclear and information technologies have become tightly interconnected. Civil nuclear infrastructure is becoming unprecedentedly vulnerable to cyber threats. Information technologies make impact on strategic positions of a nation state in the world. They also can be useful for tackling new challenges in the field of nonproliferation. In its turn, the experience of nuclear nonproliferation and arms control regimes would be useful for decision making in the field of international regulation of cyberspace».

Participants of the seminar supported the idea of connections existing between these two technological domains. There is a clear understanding of this problem in nuclear community. One of convincing evidence of this fact became the introduction of information security section in the final communiqué of the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit. Understanding of importance of the issue was also expressed by representatives of IT-community and it was Stuxnet to generate major impulse for that. However, some of participants were puzzled by the fact the during discussions on global internet governance and cybersecurity experts prefer to discuss everything from cyber threats to sewer systems to development issues of developing countries, but almost never taking into consideration nuclear issues.

p7343_3.jpg"Is it possible to use the experience of the nuclear nonproliferation regime to construct a similar regime for cyberspace? - this question was raised by Maksim Simonenko in the final part of his work. - In this context, it might be interesting to examine the experience of National Nuclear Threat Reduction Centers, used to exchange information about threats". Participants of the Midweek Brainstorming session also demonstrated remarkable interest to this issue. In particular, the idea of establishing the so-called cyberIAEA or some other format of technical control over cyberweapons was discussed. As a result of the discussion, participants agreed that a simple copy of the technical control of the nuclear technologies to information field is impossible. Nevertheless, the experience of the nuclear age may be of great use and value for cyberspace domain at least in terms of development of interstate confidence-building measures in this field.

PIR Center pays significant attention to issues of international security and global Internet governance. The article by PIR Center junior research fellow Oleg Demidov Social Networks in the International and National Security was published in the international edition of Security Index Journal # 2 (99), Winter 2012. Currently PIR Center experts are working on a collection of articles on international cyber security and global internet governance to be published in October 2012 as a thematic issue # 3 (102) of Security Index journal.

For all questions related to the International Cyber Security and Global Internet Governance project please contact PIR Center junior research fellow Oleg Demidov, by phone: +7 (495) 987-19-15, fax: +7 (495) 987-19-14 or e-mail: demidov at