Bill to create separate Russian internet gets first approval

12 Февраля, 2019, 22:58 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Russia plans to switch its internet off and on again to see how it copes

The reason for the experiment is to gather insight and provide feedback and modifications to a proposed law introduced in the Russian Parliament in December 2018.

The test would ensure all data passing between the country's citizens and organisations can stay local rather than being routed internationally.

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.

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday backed a bill aimed at ensuring the security and availability of Russian Internet (Runet) in the event of potential isolation from the global network.

Russia has tried, so far with extremely limited success, to block Telegram, a popular encrypted messaging service, but its use continues to be widespread, including among some senior Russian government officials who are reported to use VPNs to circumvent the ban.

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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.

But Artem Kozlyuk, head of Russian digital rights NGO RosKomSvoboda, told Euronews the new bill was just one more layer of censorship from the government, which will end up costing consumers more money for internet services and risks further isolating them from the outside world.

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

But it also is meant to test if all Russian internet traffic can be gathered and routed through a few points controlled by government sources. 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.

It's not clear if this test will disrupt Internet connectivity inside Russian Federation or not but all Internet providers have agreed to participate.

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