Russian Federation plans to disconnect from the internet

Remigio Civitarese
Febbraio 12, 2019

The test, due to be held before 1 April, will keep all data circulating between Russian citizens and organisations within the country's borders rather than passing through worldwide routes.

The big picture: A recently proposed Russian law would mandate that service providers be able to completely disconnect Russia from the Internet. It requires Russian ISPs to ensure they can continue to function even if disconnected by a foreign aggressor.

The bill would require telecoms to be able to redirect all traffic through routing points controlled by the Russian state, giving it a brake on the flow of information to networks overseas. The exact test date has not been revealed, but it's scheduled to take place before April 1, 2019.

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. Natalya Kaspersky, Director of Russian cyber-security firm InfoWatch, and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, presides over the group, which also includes major Russian telcos such as MegaFon, Beeline, MTS, RosTelecom, and others.

Russian internet providers are working with the government to execute this temporary internet blackout. The test disconnection would provide ISPs with data about how their networks would react.

The Russian government is planning to temporarily shut down the Russian internet.

According to ZDNet, ISPs across the country are concerned that the new law's implementation could cause a "major disruption".

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. ISPs in the region are now preparing to test a system that would re-route web traffic in Russian Federation to exchange points controlled by Russia's telecom agency, Roskomnazor, ZDNet says. 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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