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Russia Considers Briefly Disconnecting From Global Internet

14 February 2019
Russia Considers Briefly Disconnecting From Global Internet

A draft law mandating technical changes needed to operate independently was introduced to its parliament previous year.

Although the exact date has not been announced, the test is expected to happen before April 1, according to local news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK).

The test is being carried out as Russian Federation receives various threats regarding sanctions from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and others over its alleged use of cyber-hacking tactics that involves global espionage. Part of the plan also involves Russian Federation building its own version of the Domain Name System (DNS) - an address book of the internet.

Currently, 12 groups oversee the key servers for DNS and none of them are in Russian Federation. However many copies of the net's core address book do already exist inside Russian Federation suggesting its net systems could keep working even if punitive action was taken to cut it off. These will act as filters so that internal traffic will continue to its destination, but foreign traffic will be cut off. Russia's ultimate plan is to route all traffic to the designated routing points and BBC believes that this is the government's plan for a mass censorship system.

In a Working Group Session at the end of January, telecom operators including Megafon, Beeline, MTS, Rostelecom, and others said they agreed with the law's goals, but disagreed with technical implications, which they said would interrupt Russia's internet traffic. Every major Russian ISP will redirect all network traffic to nodes that are controlled by the Russian government.

The proposed experiment is a part of the government's efforts to collect information and provide feedback and suggestions to legislation proposed by the Russian lawmakers in December 2018.

It's important to understand a little about how the internet works.

They suggested disconnected from the internet to learn more about how their networks would react. Not only are Russian Internet users accustomed to having their pick of Western online services, but Russia's domestic market isn't big enough to sustain competition in isolation, and its unfriendly business climate remains a major hindrance, Shakirov says. Roskomnazor will inspect the traffic to block prohibited content and make sure traffic between Russian users stays inside the country, and is not re-routed through servers overseas, where it could be intercepted.

Countries have been known to accidentally disconnect themselves from the net.