Why Russia Is About To Switch Off The Internet

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

Officials will use the test to gather information and provide feedback on a proposed law introduced by the state in December 2018, according to Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK). In addition to being able to disconnect from the broader Internet, the proposed law also requires ISPs to install equipment to reroute all Russian traffic through the Roskomnazor, the government body that is responsible for censorship and tracking the online activities of Russian citizens.

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.

There's no official date for when this move might take place, but the BBC reports that it would likely occur before April 1.

While Russia has deftly used the internet to advance its own interests, it is apparently concerned about other countries deploying its own tactics, so it is preparing to "disconnect" from the internet, ZDNet reports.

Finanz.ru also reported that local internet services Mail.ru and Yandex.ru were also supportive of the test disconnection.

Russia's Lower House of Parliament on Tuesday gave tentative approval to draft legislation for the country to instate measures to isolate itself from the global internet.

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The Russian government has been working on this project for years.

The announcement comes after a draft law called the Digital Economy National Program - which requires Russian internet service providers (ISPs) to make technical changes as the nation prepares for sanctions - was introduced to Russian parliament past year.

The move has been in the works for years, and is meant to seal Russian Federation off from incoming cyber attacks.

Russian Federation is shutting off its internet as part of a dramatic test to help it defend against devastating cyber attacks.

A part of the test is expected to involve ISPs directing data to government-controlled routing points.

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