Russia Considers Briefly Disconnecting From Global Internet

Russia to disconnect from the internet as part of a planned test

Russia plans to temporarily disconnect the entire country from the internet

RosBiznesKonsalting reported that a Kremlin source told the Russian news outlet that President Vladimir Putin supports the proposed law.

A first draft of the law mandated that Russian internet providers should ensure the independence of the Russian internet space (Runet) in the case of foreign aggression to disconnect the country from the rest of the internet. ZDNet also highlights that under the law, telecom groups would have to install a means to counter a cyber attack threat, largely by rerouting all Russian traffic to exchange points overseen by Russia's federal communications regulator (and censorship mechanism) Roskomnadzor.

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 global routes.

A date for the test has not been revealed, but it's supposed to take place before April 1, the deadline for submitting amendments to the law -known as the Digital Economy National Program.

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 task force has been considering whether the country could completely disconnect itself from the global internet, Russian independent news agency RBC reported earlier. The test disconnection would provide ISPs with data about how their networks would react.

Russian Federation has been accused of carrying out cyberattacks and of using the Internet - particularly social networks such as Facebook and Twitter - to attempt to sow discord and interfere in elections in the West.

Eventually the Russian government wants all domestic traffic to pass through these routing points.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations recently said they planned to hit Russian Federation with a stronger response to its own cyber attacks. Ongoing discussions are in regards to finding the proper technical methods to disconnect Russian Federation from the internet with minimal downtime to consumers and government agencies. 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.

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