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Russian Federation plans to unplug from internet in cyber-defense test

Russian Federation plans to unplug from internet in cyber-defense test

Russian Federation is planning to temporarily disconnect from the global Internet in the coming weeks as it tests its defenses against cyberattacks.

The exact test date has not been revealed, but it's scheduled to take place before April 1, 2019.

The announcement comes after a draft law called the Digital Economy National Program - which requires Russian internet service providers (ISPs) to make technical changes as the nation prepares for sanctions - was introduced to Russian parliament a year ago.

It requires Russia's Internet providers to stay functional in the event the country gets cut off from worldwide internet.

They are also under orders to route internet traffic entering and leaving Russia through Russian-controlled gateways.

He added that it will be hard for them to shut down all the outside router points if they want to carry out the test, since they have to attack different servers from hundreds of providers, while only some of the providers are Russian companies.

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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.

Once in force, the system will protect Russian Federation in the event of cyberwar while also filtering Internet traffic to the country. There has been talk of increased sanctions against Russian Federation by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union, in retaliation for cyber attacks and other online intrusions Russian Federation is accused of carrying out. Agora, a Russian human rights group, said in a report this month that Russian internet freedoms had fallen fivefold in the past 12 months.

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

Russian Federation may cut itself off from the wider internet, at least temporarily.

The Russian government is providing cash for ISPs to modify their infrastructure so the redirection effort can be properly tested. The end goal is for Russian authorities to implement a web traffic filtering system like China's Great Firewall, but also have a fully working country-wide intranet in case the country needs to disconnect.