Russian MPs back bill to isolate country's internet

Cheryl Sanders
February 12, 2019

That's according to Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting, which made the announcement last week.

Russian authorities and internet providers will conduct a test to make sure data passing between its citizens and organizations can stay inside the country rather than being routed internationally, ZDNet reports.

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday backed a bill that could cut off the country's internet traffic from servers overseas which critics say is a step towards censorship and possibly an isolated network like in North Korea.

In addition, Russian telecom firms would also have to install "technical means" to re-route all Russian internet traffic to exchange points approved or managed by Roskomnazor, Russia's telecom watchdog.


A test related to a draft law aimed at making Russian Federation more digitally independent could be carried out before April 1, the BBC reports, but no exact date has been set.

The test disconnect experiment has been agreed on in a session of the Information Security Working Group at the end of January.

The formal objective of the new test is to ensure that the Russian internet can function independently in the event that access is cut off by other countries.

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


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. Russia has also set up "troll farms", or fake accounts run by Russian government officials, who use Facebook and Twitter to spread disinformation about domestic politics in countries such as the United States.

The test would involve temporarily unplugging from the global network and routing all data within the country instead of through worldwide servers.

The concept appears similar to China's Great Firewall, which regulates internet operations in view of reinforcing national sovereignty.


Other reports by iNewsToday

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