Russian Federation plans to temporarily disconnect the entire country from the internet


Russian Federation is shutting off its internet as part of a dramatic test to help it defend against devastating cyber attacks. ZDNet also highlights that under the law, telecom groups would have to install a means to counter a cyber attack threat, largely by rerouting all Russian traffic to exchange points overseen by Russia's federal communications regulator (and censorship mechanism) Roskomnadzor.

ZDNet, which originally reported the news in the US, points out that the experiments are meant to take place before the deadline for Digital Economy National Program law amendment submissions, which is April 1. It's not clear if this test will disrupt Internet connectivity inside Russian Federation or not but all Internet providers have agreed to participate.

Russian internet providers are working with the government to execute this temporary internet blackout. The test disconnection would provide ISPs with data about how their networks would react.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations recently said they planned to hit Russian Federation with a stronger response to its own cyber attacks. However, it is unclear from the original Russian report if internet providers will actually disconnect the internet in Russia as a part of these tests.

The experiment is part of preparations for a potential cyber war with the U.S. that could see President Donald Trump shut down Russia's internet access.

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Authorities have even built a local backup of the Domain Name System (DNS), which they first tested in 2014, and again in 2018, and which will now be a major component of the Runet when ISPs plan to disconnect the country from the rest of the world.

The proposed law, fully endorsed by President Putin, is expected to pass. This "Digital Economy National Program" calls on Russian Federation to develop its own form of the internet's address system (DNS).

The Russian government has agreed to foot the bill and to cover the costs of ISPs modifying their infrastructure and installing new servers for redirecting traffic towards Roskomnazor's approved exchange point.

According to the Independent, this will also allow the Russian government to monitor and filter its citizens' internet traffic more, similar to what the Chinese government does with its "Great Firewall of China".