Russian Federation considers 'unplugging' from internet

Remigio Civitarese
Febbraio 12, 2019

The goal of the experiment is to provide feedback and gather insight on how the Russian national intranet would perform if severed from the main internet backbone, ZDNet reports.

Once approved, the legislation will require the local Internet, known as the RUnet, to pass through exchange points managed by Russia's telecommunications regulator, Roskomnadzor.

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 uselessly through servers overseas, where it could be intercepted.

The outage will take place before April 1, although an official date has yet to be released, the BBC reports.

The disconnect experiment is being overseen by Russia's Information Security Working Group; its members include Natalya Kaspersky, the co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, which has faced backlash overseas over allegations that the Russian government used Kaspersky Lab products to spy on computers.

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.

Some opposition figures were sceptical about the plan to temporarily disconnect from the global internet.

Internet providers are effectively planning to flick the switch and cut Russian Federation off from the rest of the not-so-world wide web. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and its allies have threatened to sanction Moscow over frequent allegations of online interference and cyber attacks.

By carrying out this test, Russian Federation is believed to be one step closer to a situation in which all domestic internet service providers will have to direct data through state-controlled routers.

Russian Federation is reportedly preparing to turn its internet into a nationwide intranet as preparation for hacking attacks from the West. She is now president of a data loss prevention outfit called Infowatch and heads up the Russian ISPs' working group tasked with implementing the new law once it is passed.

The Russian government is providing cash for ISPs to modify their infrastructure so the redirection effort can be properly tested.

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