A Technology, Research, and Development Point of View on Global Security
His Excellency Andrey Fursenko
Russian First Deputy Minister of Industry, Science, and Technology
Recently, President Putin mentioned in a speech that, in the modern world, relations between states are largely defined by the grave challenges that they must face. At the present time, it is possibly international terrorism and the related problems of personal security-the dangers that our citizens face as individuals-that constitute the greatest threats. In addressing global security, there are opportunities for cooperation not only in political, economic, and military areas, but also in science and technology-the special interest and activity of the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology of the Russian Federation. Therefore, I will discuss the challenges of global security from the standpoint of technology, research, and development.
In recent decades, a large number of countries have made vast military investments. Yet, despite the tremendous levels of weapons acquisition, we cannot effectively fight terrorism, which often relies on very simple means. This paradox arises from the way in which we have traditionally thought about security, and especially our belief in national security as the first priority. We used to think that, if countries were secure, individual citizens would be secure. Today, however, we must view the challenge of security in a completely new way: we must focus on providing security for individuals. If our citizens feel more secure, all countries will benefit-including the U.S., Russia, India, and others throughout the globe.
International cooperation will facilitate the development of new security technologies by permitting countries to contribute their best efforts and knowledge for mutual advantage. In so doing, we can benefit from the very different approaches to security that various countries have taken. In Russia, moreover, we have certain competitive advantages because we have-unfortunately for us-more experience than most other countries in protecting our citizens from terrorism. In fact, our only real competitor in this respect may be Israel, which faces an even greater terrorism problem that ours. Our practical experience and the understanding that we have developed in dealing with terrorism could be useful to Europe, the U.S., and other countries. Of course, we all know that these are not the best times for Russian science and technology. On the other hand, we are a relatively safe country and we are developing our science and technology in some unique ways. Thus, our knowledge can be viewed as additive to the approaches of other countries-and that is potentially very important. Let me offer a few examples:
First, let me consider systems for personal identification, which address a globally important need. For example, we have developed technologies to identify individuals through temperature mapping instead of fingerprinting. According to our scientific research, each person has his own, unique pattern of temperatures-which is different from that of anyone else. Through extensive studies, we have developed special software that permits us to map individual temperature patterns. Thus, we believe that there are excellent opportunities to further develop and utilize these systems in cooperation with other countries.
A second opportunity for international cooperation is offered by a system that we have developed to correlate databases of our Intelligence services with commercial airline reservation systems. In this way, we can easily check for potential terrorists whenever air tickets are reserved-thereby benefiting not only individual passengers, but the airlines, related businesses, and our government. To be most effective, these systems should be used both domestically and internationally in order to cooperate and exchange information about possible terrorist risks. These opportunities show the vast potential of partnerships between governments and business in a wide range of countries.
I would like to wish the Workshop good luck!