Russian Federation plans to disconnect from the internet

12 February, 2019, 11:36 | Author: Sammy Rose
  • Oleg Yakovlev  RBC  TASS

Russian authorities and major internet providers are planning to disconnect the country from the internet as part of a planned experiment, Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK) reported last week.

The test, due to be held before 1 April, will keep all data circulating between Russian citizens and organisations within the country's borders rather than passing through global routes.

The Russian government, however, has promised to foot the bill to help concerned ISPs pay the costs related to new infrastructure and servers that will be required under the new law.

A date for the test has not been set, but is supposed to happen before April 1, according to a law introduced past year.

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

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Russian internet providers are working with the government to execute this temporary internet blackout. 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.

Russia's response comes as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries announced several times that they were mulling a stronger response to cyber attacks, of which Russian Federation is constantly accused of carrying out. The Russian state is said to have been behind several large scale attacks on Western governments in recent years, using anonymous hacker groups such as APT 28, which is also known as Fancy Bear, as cover.

Average Russians would not lose internet access; the plan would instead change how internet traffic is handled on the back-end.

Authorities have even built a local backup of the Domain Name System (DNS), which they first tested in 2014, and again in 2018, and which will now be a major component of the Runet when ISPs plan to disconnect the country from the rest of the world.

According to the BBC, Russia eventually wants all internet traffic to flow through its private network, which could create a system like that in China, where popular websites are banned and internet use is heavily monitored.

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