Wednesday, 24 April, 2019

Russian Federation to disconnect from the internet as part of a planned test

New legislation would require internet service providers to be able to route all exchanges of online information within Russia Russia to disconnect from the internet as part of a planned test
Cecil Davis | 12 February, 2019, 11:38

The big picture: A recently proposed Russian law would mandate that service providers be able to completely disconnect Russia from the Internet.

Russian Federation is considering a plan to disconnect from the internet temporarily in order to determine how its cyber-defenses would fare in case of foreign aggression.

Roskomnazor will inspect the traffic to block prohibited content and make sure traffic between Russian users stays inside the country, and is not re-routed uselessly through servers overseas, where it could be intercepted.

The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russia's ISPs to ensure that it can operate in the event of foreign powers acting to isolate the country online.

A group of major private and state telecoms led by Natalya Kaspersky, co-founder of Kaspersky Lab antivirus maker, have made a decision to conduct the test to disconnect "Runet" from the rest of the internet before April 1 - the deadline for amendments to legislation that would ostensibly allow Russian Federation to protect itself from foreign aggression in the digital sphere.

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The Russian government has been working on the complex cyber defense tactic for several years. This is reportedly being done to protect Russia from potential cyberattacks, but it could also be used to more closely censor the internet use of Russian citizens.

This comes after repeated threats from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to sanction Russian Federation for being behind several cyberattacks. An alternative localised DNS would allow Runet to function without access to servers located across the world.

The Russian government is planning to temporarily shut down the Russian internet.

RosBiznesKonsalting reported that a Kremlin source told the Russian news outlet that President Vladimir Putin supports the proposed law. This is similar to the Great Firewall of China, but with the ability to maintain independence with an isolated intranet if needed. Russia has also set up "troll farms", or fake accounts run by Russian government officials, who use Facebook and Twitter to spread disinformation about domestic politics in countries such as the United States.