Saturday, 20 July, 2019

Russian parliament approves bill to isolate country's internet

Patty Aguilar | 12 February, 2019, 22:56

Russian authorities and major internet providers are planning to disconnect the country from the internet as part of a planned experiment, Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK) reported last week.

The bill also proposes installing network equipment that would be able to identify the source of web traffic and also block banned content.

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

Russia's data localization requirements were a topic of some discussion in 2018, after the country passed laws requiring companies that provide service to Russian customers to physically locate their servers within Russia itself.

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.

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.

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The Russian government has been working on this project for years.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations recently said they planned to hit Russian Federation with a stronger response to its own cyber attacks.

Average Russians would not lose internet access; the plan would instead change how internet traffic is handled on the back-end.

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

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

"Theoretically, the U.S has the ability to cut off Russia's Internet connectivity from outside, but there is no precedent to trace worldwide", said the team leader of Ru-center, one of Russia's largest domain name registrars and hosting providers. This initiative has been compared to China's Great Firewall, which allows the Chinese government to control the flow of information across the internet.

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