Russia Considers Briefly Disconnecting From Global Internet

Russia Considers Briefly Disconnecting From Global Internet

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

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

The bill proposes that all internet traffic to users be routed through servers in Russian Federation - making VPNs (virtual private networks) ineffective.

The Lower House of Parliament passed in the first reading a law ensuring the security of the Russian part of the internet.

The test is planned for sometime in the coming weeks but the exact date is unknown.

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.

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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.

But Artem Kozlyuk, head of Russian digital rights NGO RosKomSvoboda, told Euronews the new bill was just one more layer of censorship from the government, which will end up costing consumers more money for internet services and risks further isolating them from the outside world.

The test is being carried out as Russian Federation faces numerous sanctions threats from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and others over its alleged use of cyber-hacking tactics in global espionage.

It proposes creating a centre to "ensure and control the routing of internet traffic" and requires that internet service providers (ISPs) install "technical measures to withstand threats". 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.

"Theoretically, the U.S has the ability to cut off Russia's Internet connectivity from outside, but there is no precedent to trace worldwide", said the team leader of Ru-center, one of Russia's largest domain name registrars and hosting providers.

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