The Great Russian Firewall: Putin to unplug his country from the internet

The Great Russian Firewall: Putin to unplug his country from the internet

The planned unplugging is part of a cyber war-gaming exercise to make sure Russian Federation can still operate even if it is disconnected from outside its borders.

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 aim of the legislation to control internet traffic is to create "defence mechanisms to ensure the long-term stable function of internet networks in Russia".

Its measures include the creation of the own internet address system that is exclusive to Russian Federation so that its online access could continue once the connections to global servers were cut.

Russian Federation has regularly been accused of cyber attacks on other nations and organisations.

The proposed experiment is a part of the government's efforts to collect information and provide feedback and suggestions to legislation proposed by the Russian lawmakers in December 2018.

Russian Federation wants to be able to disconnect from the worldwide internet while keeping intact a local internet that would keep its citizens connected to local services and providers.

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The legal changes would introduce a national domain name registry.

According to ZDNet, ISPs across the country are concerned that the new law's implementation could cause a "major disruption".

The bill, co-authored by Andrei Lugovoi - one of the main suspects in the 2006 murder of Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in the United Kingdom - passed its first reading in the lower house of parliament on Tuesday by 334 votes to 47.

The concept appears similar to China's Great Firewall, which regulates internet operations in view of reinforcing national sovereignty. The government has also agreed to pay for the additional infrastructure needed to reroute traffic appropriately. The Russian state is said to have been behind several large scale attacks on Western governments in recent years, using anonymous hacker groups such as APT 28, which is also known as Fancy Bear, as cover.

Others predicted it would trigger a dysfunctional "Internet Brexit" or wondered how Russian Federation would build the technical infrastructure required to support the legal provisions.

Russian Federation plans to disconnect the entire country from the Internet briefly as an experiment to gather data and provide insights for its Digital Economy National Program.