Why Russia Is About To Switch Off The Internet

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Moscow is making plans to disconnect the country from the world-wide-web as part its plans to test the country's cyber defences in the event of an attack or retaliation from the West (U.S. and allies).

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 said law ordered some changes to be imposed so that Russian Federation could independently operate on the internet, should the necessity arise.

The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Programme, ensures that Russia's internet service can continue to function in the event of external powers attempting to disable it. This "Digital Economy National Program" calls on Russian Federation to develop its own form of the internet's address system (DNS). That way the communications regulator could block content and keep traffic between Russian users inside the country, where it cannot be intercepted by global actors.

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He said the internet's "root servers" - which act as a sort of backbone structure - are located "in the Pentagon, in NASA, in Amsterdam" while Russian authorities have no idea how traffic is routed even within Russia.

The proposed law, fully endorsed by President Putin, is expected to pass.

Not only would the new laws protect the country from cyber attacks, but they would also ensure all internet traffic to the country is filtered, much like in China. The Russian government is providing cash for ISPs to modify their infrastructure so the redirection effort can be properly tested. It is essentially a series of thousands of digital networks along which information travels.

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Average Russians would not lose internet access; the plan would instead change how internet traffic is handled on the back-end.

The bill provides for the possibility of installing technical equipment on communication networks that determine the source of transmitted traffic.

In case the system needs to be used to effectively disconnect the country from the internet, it would have to be done with minimal downtime to consumers and governmental agencies, meaning that Runet should be up and running as soon as the government would uncouple Russia's internet from the world's.

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