As a partner country at this year's CeBIT, Russia wants to show the world that it is an emerging high-tech industrial nation. Part of a good reputation, though, is combating computer crime and software piracy at home. "We are aware of the problem. We hope we can solve it soon," Russian Telecommunications Minister Leonid Reiman told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) on Friday. He said that Russian authorities were already taking far-reaching steps to combat computer crime.
"But problems with copyright, such as piracy and illegal copies, are something that plagues all western industrialized countries, not just Russia," Reiman stressed. He says that Russia has made progress over the past few years. For instance, a number of plants that were producing illegal copies of CDs and DVDs have been closed down. Current loopholes in the law are to be closed when the Civil Code is revised. Oleg Bjachow, chief strategist for the Ministry of High Technology and Communication, recently stated that the share of pirated copies of all software programs is around 60 percent in Russia.
IT security experts say Russia is one of the main countries that produce spam emails and virus programs after China and Latin America. But Reiman says such claims are "a myth." "Viruses are written all over the world. Russia is waging a consistent and successful war on malicious software." The Russian minister called for a legal foundation to allow prosecutors to work together across national borders to combat Internet crime.