Monday, 18 February, 2019

Russian Federation plans to temporarily disconnect the entire country from the internet

Russia plans to temporarily disconnect the entire country from the internet Russia Plans To Temporarily Disconnect Entire Country From Internet Before April
Jeannette Daniel | 12 February, 2019, 19:33

The draft law, entitled the Digital Economy National Programme, necessitates the country making sure their own local networks can continue to function in the event the West tries to seal the Kremlin off from the wider web. The draft legislation, which was introduced in Russia's parliament in December 2018, would also require Russian telecom companies to be able to reroute all internet traffic to exchange points approved by Roskomnadzor, Russia's telecoms regulator.

Internet providers in Russia are preparing to conduct exercises that will help the nation build a path toward possible internet independence, according to Russian news reports. The test disconnection would provide ISPs with data about how their networks would react. In 2017, Russian officials said they plan to route 95 percent of all internet traffic locally by 2020.

In particular, politicians are anxious that Western accusations of Russian hacking could lead to retaliatory cyberattacks and are trying to develop a way to isolate the Russian internet.

The test is being carried out as Russian Federation faces numerous sanctions threats from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and others over its alleged use of cyber-hacking tactics in global espionage. Agora, a Russian human rights group, said in a report this month that Russian internet freedoms had fallen fivefold in the past 12 months.

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By carrying out this test, Russian Federation is believed to be one step closer to a situation in which all domestic internet service providers will have to direct data through state-controlled routers.

The proposed law, fully endorsed by President Putin, is expected to pass.

Supporters say the proposal is necessary in case Russian Federation was to be cut off from the global internet, but opponents fear the measure would lead to widespread censorship.

However, many observers think the creation of a Russian intranet is a further step towards a goal of duplicating the Great Firewall of China to restrict the access of the country's internet users to content deemed harmful by the authorities.

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