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

Russian parliament approves bill to isolate country's internet

Russian Federation is preparing to detach itself from the rest of the world by briefly disconnecting from the internet, as it readies for future cyber warfare.

The test will mean data passing between Russian citizens and organisations stays inside the nation rather than being routed internationally.

The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russia's ISPs to ensure that it can operate in the event of foreign powers acting to isolate the country online.

Why? The aim is to find out whether a proposed new Russian law works.

A date for the test has not been set, but is supposed to happen before April 1, according to a law introduced a year ago. Natalya Kaspersky, Director of Russian cyber-security firm InfoWatch, and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, presides over the group, which also includes major Russian telcos such as MegaFon, Beeline, MTS, RosTelecom, and others.

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

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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.

Finanz.ru also reported that local internet services Mail.ru and Yandex.ru were also supportive of the test disconnection.

By carrying out this test, Russian Federation is believed to be one step closer to a situation in which all domestic internet service providers will have to direct data through state-controlled routers. An alternative localised DNS would allow Runet to function without access to servers located across the world.

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

The Russian government has agreed to foot the bill and to cover the costs of ISPs modifying their infrastructure and installing new servers for redirecting traffic towards Roskomnazor's approved exchange point. 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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