Russia Considers Briefly Disconnecting From Global Internet


The new law states that state internet providers must be ready to ensure Russia's internet runs smoothly and independently in the event of a foreign attack that disconnects the country from the web.

Roskomnazor will inspect the traffic to block prohibited content and make sure traffic between Russian users stays inside the country, and is not re-routed uselessly through servers overseas, where it could be intercepted. Natalya Kaspersky, Director of Russian cyber-security firm InfoWatch, and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, presides over the group, which also includes major Russian telcos such as MegaFon, Beeline, MTS, RosTelecom, and others.

The task force has been considering whether the country could completely disconnect itself from the global internet, Russian independent news agency RBC reported earlier. The test disconnection would provide ISPs with data about how their networks would react. There has been talk of increased sanctions against Russian Federation by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union, in retaliation for cyber attacks and other online intrusions Russian Federation is accused of carrying out.

Eventually the Russian government wants all domestic traffic to pass through these routing points.

Russian Federation service providers as a whole have been working towards this disconnect for several years but are still unsure of exactly how to perform the disconnect to minimize downtime.

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

As a result, the Russian government began working on defence tactics years ago.

A group of major private and state telecoms led by Natalya Kaspersky, co-founder of Kaspersky Lab antivirus maker, have chose to conduct the test to disconnect "Runet" from the rest of the internet before April 1 - the deadline for amendments to legislation that would ostensibly allow Russian Federation to protect itself from foreign aggression in the digital sphere.

The Russian government is providing cash for ISPs to modify their infrastructure so the redirection effort can be properly tested.