Russian Federation is building its own internet to disconnect from the world

13 February, 2019, 15:52 | Author: Sheila Harris
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It requires Russian ISPs to ensure they can continue to function even if disconnected by a foreign aggressor. This will mean that data sent between Russians will arrive but traffic directed to foreign computers will be discarded.

Local media outlets have reported that some providers are largely in favour of the legislation, as the state has agreed to give out cash in exchange for proof that such a system could be established. Russia's ultimate plan is to route all traffic to the designated routing points and BBC believes that this is the government's plan for a mass censorship system.

The bill has been drafted taking into account "a violent nature of the U.S. National Cybersecurity Strategy adopted in September 2018", an explanatory note to the initiative reads. 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. It creates an opportunity to minimize the transfer of data Russian users exchange overseas.

Ostensibly the goal of the legislation is to protect the Russian internet from the USA, which has an offensive cybersecurity strategy and lists Russia as one of the major sources of hacking attacks. As a result, during the country's brief disconnect, the Internet service disruption may not be noticeable.

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In particular, politicians are anxious that Western accusations of Russian hacking could lead to retaliatory cyberattacks and are trying to develop a way to isolate the Russian internet. The law was officially presented as an anti-terrorism measure - but many criticized it as an attempt to control online platforms that can be used to organize anti-Kremlin demonstrations.

The Agora human rights group said earlier this month that the legislation was one of several new bills drafted in December that "seriously threaten Internet freedom".

The bill was introduced after the White House aired its worries over cyberattacks by Russia, China, and other countries past year, USA public broadcaster NPR writes.

But, following the parliament's vote today, Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin emphasized that the goal of the law is "not to close or shut off [the internet] but to ensure internet security". Putin has previously called the internet a "CIA project".

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