What is the relation of the Runet associations to its regulation?

The article is devoted to the role of non-profit associations and public associations that do not belong to the state and represent the interests of groups related to the Internet space in Internet regulation.

The investigation included:

  • Association for the Protection of Copyright on the Internet (AZAPI);

  • Media Communication Union (ISS);

  • Russian Public Center for Internet Technologies (ROCIT);

  • Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC);

  • Internet Development Institute (IRI).

Using their example, we studied the possible ways in which associations can influence the degree of state control of the Internet space. We did not pursue the goal of fully describing their work, but only wanted to give our general idea of ​​their structure, potential “red flags” in their activities and the attitude of these organizations to Internet regulation issues.

The investigation did not include:

  • Safe Internet League. Because they did not write about organizations created for the purpose of blocking.

  • Roskomsvoboda. Because they did not write about organizations created to combat restrictions.

The article itself can be read in full. on our website (WARNING, there are 20 thousand words). And here I will share my observations and conclusions.

To begin with, the word infographics, in which we tried to reflect the degree of state participation in associations (where it is possible to find out):

These organizations are in a state of active interaction with each other, which is evident from the history of the movement of leaders from one structure to another:

In this article, we consider in great detail the role of associations in blocking iconic services and projects (Telegram, RuTracker), their contribution to the Yarovaya Laws, regulation of search engines, the fight against piracy, etc.

More details about the reasoning and findings – in the article itself, and the conclusions we got are the following (the conclusions are the subjective opinion of the author of the text, formed on the basis of the read media materials, laws and literature. He does not pretend to be the Universal Truth).

Certain industry associations positioned as representatives of Internet groups, in our opinion, are in fact in many cases, they promote the initiatives needed by the state or individual representatives of business, under the guise of public interests

Associations can influence the regulation of the Internet both legislatively and by dividing spheres of influence: according to the materials we have analyzed, AZAPI prefers lawsuits against Internet companies, MKS – the introduction of profitable bills through friendly deputies, ROCIT and IRI – the implementation of the provisions of the laws, and RAEC – support for relevant projects.

According to the results of the study, it can be concluded that many Internet associations registered as non-profit and non-governmental associations, are associated with government agencies, receive funding from the state budget and work on government orders (including on the discussion of bills and their implementation), which may affect the position of associations regarding Internet regulation. The associations are attended by representatives of state structures, which can also influence the expression of opinion.

Associations position themselves as intermediaries between the state and members of the industry, therefore they react in accordance with the collective opinion of most of the participants. However, at the same time, the state can use associations to promote bills. Associations can act not only as observers and consolidators of opinions, but also as something more: in some cases, they are the regulators of the boarding school, propose bills and distribute content. Associations declare equality in the status of their members, but certain members may have more influence and greater voice weight

In our opinion, many associations and their representatives may directly or indirectly be the beneficiaries of bills related to government regulation of the Internet. Benefits can be expressed in the execution of government orders for the implementation of adopted laws, lobbying their interests when discussing or introducing bills, concentrating commercial aspects around one association or weakening competitors.

Despite the fact that the task of associations is to protect the interests of their members before the state, the loyal nature of their activities, in our opinion, often does not allow talking about the interaction of two structures independent of each other. The reactions expressed by the associations regarding the legal regulation of the Internet are in most cases positive, in rare cases – moderately critical. It is likely that the associations are not ready to go to active confrontation with the state on the legislative regulation of the Internet, even if individual initiatives significantly harm the interests of their members or the groups they represent.

Read the article and share your opinions!

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