Overall, Russia has been concerned with creating international regimes to deal with cyber issues. In Russia’s perspective, the absence of a treaty justifies an arms race between nations. Russia has been promoting this “regime” approach through organizations like the United Nations (UN), and more specifically the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Through the UN and ITU, Russia has promoted organizations such as the World Summit on the Information Society, the ITU High Level Expert Group on Information Security, and the International Multilateral Partnerships Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT). Political implications and protection have always been focal points for Russia when dealing with cyber issues. The Russian Information Security Doctrine from 2000 characterized information security as the “protection of its national interests in the information sphere defined by the totality of balanced interests of the individual, society, and the state.” This “international security” perspective of cyber issues can be seen in their priorities to secure support of state activities, counter destructive ideologies, and counter disruptions of stability and safety and functioning of national information infrastructure.
The United States, however, has traditionally favored a defensive approach and improved cooperation among international law enforcement actors as the central element in international cooperation. The Budapest Convention on Cybercrime Treaty (2001) has been considered to be a major multilateral effort to deal with cybercrime by addressing international law enforcement cooperation. The United States is a signatory of this treaty and has ratified it; Russia is not a signatory. The United States actively coordinates activities between national Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERT’s) to further this defensive approach. While the United States is on the cutting edge of offensive capabilities, this has not been a focal point of its international cooperation. The United States has also very much against the idea of “cyberspace borders” (which Russia supports), and sees it as a direct challenge to democratic principles. The United States is a part of multilateral initiatives such as the ITU, but has had little bilateral interaction with Russia.