Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
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Russia Plans To Temporarily Disconnect Entire Country From Internet Before April

Russia Plans To Temporarily Disconnect Entire Country From Internet Before April

Russian Federation is considering whether to disconnect from the global internet briefly, as part of a test of its cyber-defences.

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 test is expected to happen before 1 April but no exact date has been set.

The plan is part of a draft law, called Digital Economy National Program, which was submitted to Russia's parliament a year ago, BBC News reports, citing Russian media.

Internet providers in Russia are preparing to conduct exercises that will help the nation build a path toward possible internet independence, according to Russian news reports. 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. It's not clear if this test will disrupt Internet connectivity inside Russian Federation or not but all Internet providers have agreed to participate. The test disconnection would provide ISPs with data about how their networks would react.

While Russia has deftly used the internet to advance its own interests, it is apparently concerned about other countries deploying its own tactics, so it is preparing to "disconnect" from the internet, ZDNet reports. The Russian state is said to have been behind several large scale attacks on Western governments in recent years, using anonymous hacker groups such as APT 28, which is also known as Fancy Bear, as cover.

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

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and its allies have threatened to sanction Russian Federation over the cyber-attacks and other online interference which it is regularly accused of instigating.

RosBiznesKonsalting reported that a Kremlin source told the Russian news outlet that President Vladimir Putin supports the proposed law. The government would create a Russian version of DNS, the address system for the internet. 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.

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