Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Russian parliament approves bill to isolate country's internet

Russian parliament approves bill to isolate country's internet

Russian news outlet RosBiznesKonsalting reported the tests were set in motion by a proposed law called the Digital Economy National Program, which parliament introduced last December.

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

So far Russian Federation has built a local DNS copy to allow its internet to keep working if local officials pull the plug on connectivity to the rest of the world.

The bill would require telecoms to be able to redirect all traffic through routing points controlled by the Russian state.

The announcement comes after a draft law called the Digital Economy National Program - which requires Russian internet service providers (ISPs) to make technical changes as the nation prepares for sanctions - was introduced to Russian parliament past year.

According to the bill, "technical devices" will be installed in the Russian segment of the Internet to locate traffic sources. Russian Federation is accused of cyber attacks on other nations and organisations, including interference in Western elections and referendums.

The government has agreed to provide funding towards these tests and goals, which are not now scheduled but are meant to take place before April 1.

Named the Digital Economy National Programme (DENP), measures include the creation of Russia's own internet address system so that its online access could continue if connections to worldwide servers were severed.

He added that it will be hard for them to shut down all the outside router points if they want to carry out the test, since they have to attack different servers from hundreds of providers, while only some of the providers are Russian companies.

It also mandates regular "drills" to test whether Russia's internet can function in an isolated mode.

Roskomnadzor would reportedly pay for the installation of whatever tools are necessary under this plan-meaning the Russian government would pay for a new infrastructure that will give it more control over the internet within the country, allowing Russia to get closer to the kind of internet regulation that exists under the Great Firewall of China.

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