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

12 February, 2019, 19:33 | Author: Wade Massey

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.

They want the ability to inspect traffic and ensure it is not routed outside of Russian Federation.

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 test disconnect experiment has been agreed on in a session of the Information Security Working Group at the end of January.

The State Duma has passed the first reading of legislation co-authored by Senator Andrey Klishas that would allow the federal authorities to take control over the connection points linking Russian Federation to the global Internet.

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Why? The aim is to find out whether a proposed new Russian law works. ZDNet reports that corporate support for the project is strong but that there are questions and divisions over how best to accomplish it. Russian Federation publicly stated in 2017 that it wishes to be capable of routing 95 percent of its communication through local services by 2020. In 2017, Russian officials said they plan to route 95 percent of all internet traffic locally by 2020.

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.

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.

Russian internet providers have reportedly been tasked by April 1, to come up with a way that the country could reliably shield itself from cyberattacks.

The Russian government has agreed to foot the bill and to cover the costs of ISPs modifying their infrastructure and installing new servers for redirecting traffic towards Roskomnazor's approved exchange point. This is similar to the Great Firewall of China, but with the ability to maintain independence with an isolated intranet if needed.

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