NB: Administrative Law and Administration PracticeReference:
Organization of the Activities of the Internal Affairs Bodies in the Context of the Emergence of New Challenges to Russia's Cybersecurity
Abstract: The article deals with the problem of the organization and effectiveness of law enforcement agencies in ensuring cyber security of the Russian Federation. Based on the analysis of regulatory legal acts and the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies. Cybercrime is gaining more and more popularity every year, and thus more and more importance is attached to it by law enforcement agencies. Statistics of the GIAC of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia on the state of crime in the Russian Federation for January - October 2022 shows that the number of crimes committed using information technology decreased by 5.6%. However, such statistics only confirm that law enforcement agencies are successfully coping with the performance of a preventive function, preventing and suppressing crimes in the field of information technology. At the same time, statistics do not indicate that cybercrimes are losing their relevance. They are acquiring a new format, becoming more sophisticated in technical terms, which, of course, requires more competence and professionalism from law enforcement agencies in this area. In 2022, a new department is operating in the structure of the internal affairs bodies – the "Department for the Organization of Combating the Illegal Use of Information and Communication Technologies" as a specialized department in the structure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. The legislator points out as the reasons for the creation of the Department – the growth of computer attacks, remote theft of funds and the active development of the illegal digital industry.
Keywords:cybercrime, cryptocurrency, crime, fraud, programmer, law enforcement agencies, information technology, Internet, national security, cybersecurity
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The time we live in is unique primarily because we have the happy opportunity to observe the continuous process of the emergence of new and very different technologies. Every year scientists, programmers and enthusiasts come up with and create revolutionary technical solutions in the digital environment, some of which simplify our lives, others can become a serious problem because they are used for cyber fraud. For example, cyber fraud with cryptocurrency, the creation of phishing sites, the creation of fake exchanges and much more.
Cybercrime is becoming more and more popular every year, and thus more and more importance is attached to it by law enforcement agencies. Statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia on the state of crime in the Russian Federation for 2022 shows that, compared with 2021, the proportion of registered cybercrimes increased by only 0.7%, however, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia reports that every fourth crime is committed using information technology.
Statistics confirm the dominant role of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in ensuring cybersecurity in Russia – the majority of cybercrimes (98.7%) are detected by the internal affairs bodies, and only 1.3% by the investigative bodies of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation and the Federal Security Service. At the same time, the detection rate of crimes committed using IT technologies increased by 4.4% in 2022 compared to 2021, which indicates an increase in the efficiency of disclosure and investigation of criminal acts of this category.
Statistics of the GIAC of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia on the state of crime in the Russian Federation for January 2023 shows that cybercrime rates increased by 14.2%. Such statistics, showing a negative trend of increasing cybercrime, are associated with the digitalization of public relations, openness and accessibility of information on the Internet, in which it is also easy to remain anonymous.
Back in 2021, the Prosecutor General of Russia Igor Krasnov noted that cybercrime is becoming a real new threat to national security both in Russia and the CIS countries. The head of the Main Organizational and Analytical Department of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation Andrey Nekrasov also reported a low detection rate of crimes in the field of information technology, fixed at a level of no more than 25%.
In the system of law enforcement agencies, the main role in the fight against cybercrime is occupied by the internal affairs bodies, which is explained, firstly, by the powers established by law. Secondly, their dominant role as the body authorized to ensure the national security of the Russian Federation (hereinafter – the Russian Federation). The dominant role of internal affairs bodies in ensuring national security has been repeatedly emphasized in the literature, for example: Zhaglin A.V., Mazov S.G..
It is worth explaining that cybersecurity and national security are correlated as part and whole, respectively, which follows from the analysis The National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation of 2021, which speaks not directly about cybersecurity, but about information security. The Strategy states that ensuring information security is one of the strategic national priorities.
In the doctrine of Russian law, some authors also note that national security is the combined name of various types of security, including information security. Thus, I.B. Kardashova points out that "security is a generic concept for all types of security", and A.A. Prokhozhev considers it necessary to allocate special types of national security that cover the whole set of public relations.
Indeed, cybersecurity is a structural element of the national security of the state, while no less important than other types of security. Taking into account the dominant role of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in ensuring cybersecurity, special attention should be paid to the organization of the activities of this body, which will allow increasing efficiency and efficiency in detecting, suppressing and disclosing cybercrimes.
Since September 2022, a new department has been operating in the structure of the internal affairs bodies – the Department for Organizing the Fight against the Illegal Use of Information and Communication Technologies (hereinafter referred to as the Department) as a specialized department in the structure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. The legislator points out as the reasons for the creation of the Department – the growth of computer attacks, remote theft of funds and the active development of the illegal digital industry.
Thus, the powers to combat crimes in the digital industry, e-commerce, including crimes that infringe on the information security of the Russian Federation, have been transferred to the Management statement. Prevention, detection, suppression and disclosure of crimes and other offenses in the field of information and communication technologies, coordination of these activities in the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia are the main tasks of the Department.
In December 2022, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia approved the "Regulations on the Department for the Organization of Combating the Illegal Use of Information and Communication Technologies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation" (hereinafter referred to as the Regulation), which defined the main tasks, functions, powers of the Department, and also specified the provisions on the organization and maintenance of the Department .
The regulation limited the authority of the Department to organize and participate in the detection, prevention, suppression and disclosure of crimes, defining their category – grave and especially grave crimes committed using information technology or in the field of information technology. Thus, the Department takes on the main burden in the fight against cybercrime, since, as the statistics of the GIAC of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia show, more than half of cybercrimes (52.1%) belong to the categories of serious and especially serious .
Subject to article 15 The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (hereinafter – the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) such crimes are the following crimes of Chapter 28 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation: Part 4 of Article 272; Part 3 of Article 272; Part 3-5 of Article 274.1. It is noteworthy that the new corpus delicti that appeared in 2022, provided for in Article 274.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (violation of the rules of centralized management of technical means countering threats to the stability, security and integrity of the functioning of the Internet) does not fall within the scope of the authority of the Department, since it belongs to the category of crimes of minor gravity.
In addition, the Department is authorized to investigate such elements of crimes in which life, health, sexual integrity, private life, secret correspondence, property, copyrights and others are the direct object of encroachment. Such crimes must be either connected with the use and dissemination of prohibited information on the Internet, or with illegal access to computer information and (or) the use of malicious software.
So, in fact, the authority of the Department includes the investigation of any crimes provided for by the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which are directly or indirectly related to ensuring cybersecurity of the Russian Federation. The above suggests that the Department as a structural unit in the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia plays a key role in ensuring the cybersecurity of the Russian Federation, which indicates the need to organize the effective functioning of the Department.
It is worth noting that despite the apparent legal certainty of the Management's activities and the appearance of the Provision, still some issues have not been disclosed by the legislator and still remain unresolved. In particular, the issues of organizing the interaction of the Department with other public authorities that also specialize in ensuring cybersecurity.
It is assumed that the Department will be forced to interact, in particular, with the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation (hereinafter – the Ministry) and the body subordinate to the Ministry – the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communications (hereinafter – Roskomnadzor).
At the same time, the Provision was limited only to indicating the authority of the Department for interaction with state authorities of the subjects of the Russian Federation, other state and municipal bodies. However, taking into account the specifics of the Department's field of activity, it seems necessary to specify the issues of its communication at least with Roskomnadzor, which carries out state control and supervision in the field of information technology.
Roskomnadzor carries out its activities in the field of protecting children from information that harms their health and (or) development, and also restricts access to information on the Internet. The scope of Roskomnadzor's activities intersects with the activities of the Department, which is authorized to investigate crimes related to copyright and related rights violations committed in conjunction with unlawful access to computer information and (or) the use of malicious software .
If information is found, the dissemination of which is prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia may, out of court, apply to Roskomnadzor with a request to restrict access to the information resource on which such information is posted18. However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia may decide to restrict access only to information related to narcotic, psychotropic and other similar substances. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia may also apply to Roskomnadzor to restrict access to "web mirrors" of Internet sites containing extremist materials20.
At the same time, the legislator did not indicate the possibility of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia to make decisions regarding other illegal content and information, the distribution of which is prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation. For example, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, and accordingly the Department, do not have the opportunity to apply to Roskomnadzor for restricting access to information resources that contain information that poses a threat of harm to the life, health and property of citizens. Although the organization of the suppression of the dissemination of such information on the Internet belongs to the Management statement .
The solution to this problem is seen in the creation of a regulatory legal act that would regulate the issues of interaction of Management with other public authorities, in particular with Roskomnadzor. Particular importance should be given to the organization of restricting access to information on the Internet, presenting the Department with the authority to make decisions regarding information that poses a threat of harm to the life, health and property of citizens.
Thus, as a result of studying the topic, material was obtained, the analysis of which allowed us to conclude that at the moment the organization of the activities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in terms of ensuring cybersecurity is at the proper level. In connection with the creation of the Department, it seems possible to further harmonize legislative and local regulations in the field of cybersecurity of the Russian Federation.
In addition, as a result of studying the legislation, it was found out that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia does not have the ability to make decisions on restricting access to illegal information, the distribution and placement on the Internet of which the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia not only monitors, but also investigates crimes. In this regard, it seems necessary to investigate in detail the order of interaction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, in particular Management, with other public authorities, in particular with Roskomnadzor.
It seems necessary to allow the Department to independently make decisions regarding the restriction of access to information resources on the Internet, which contain information that poses a threat of harm to the life, health and property of citizens, and which the Department has identified by monitoring information resources for compliance with legislation.