Russian Federation plans to temporarily disconnect the entire country from the internet

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

The announcement comes after a draft law called the Digital Economy National Program - which requires Russian internet service providers (ISPs) to make technical changes as the nation prepares for sanctions - was introduced to Russian parliament a year ago.

The Russian government, however, has promised to foot the bill to help concerned ISPs pay the costs related to new infrastructure and servers that will be required under the new law. The draft legislation, which was introduced in Russia's parliament in December 2018, would also require Russian telecom companies to be able to reroute all internet traffic to exchange points approved by Roskomnadzor, Russia's telecoms regulator.

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. The test disconnection would provide ISPs with data about how their networks would react.

Russian internet providers are working with the government to execute this temporary internet blackout.

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

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.

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

According to the Independent, this will also allow the Russian government to monitor and filter its citizens' internet traffic more, similar to what the Chinese government does with its "Great Firewall of China".

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