World News

Russia Will 'Unplug' From Internet to Test Cyberdefenses, Censorship

Russia Will 'Unplug' From Internet to Test Cyberdefenses, Censorship

The test will mean data passing between Russian citizens and organizations stays inside the nation rather than being routed internationally, BBC explained.

Russia's new bill proposes creating a centre to "ensure and control the routing of internet traffic" and requires that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) install "technical measures to withstand threats".

A draft law called the Digital Economy National Program was introduced to parliament past year that would force all state internet providers to re-route internet traffic through exchange points managed by Russia's telecommunications regulator, Roskomndazor.

The bill also proposes installing network equipment that would be able to identify the source of web traffic and also block banned content.

There is no exact date for the test but it's expected to be carried out before April 1.

Natalya Kasperskaya, the president of the information security working group that has recommended the experiment, told RBC that the law "has good goals, but the mechanisms for its implementation raise many questions and disputes".

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Finanz.ru also reported that local internet services Mail.ru and Yandex.ru were also supportive of the test disconnection.

Those behind the legislation say the aim is to create "defence mechanisms to ensure the long-term stable function of internet networks in Russia" in the event the U.S. takes any action in cyberspace to threaten them.

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.

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

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. 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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