Russia is going to test disconnection from internet

Feb

11

2019

Russia is going to hold a test in which the country decouples from the rest of the internet. The test is related to a bill that requires that the internet in the country must be able to function independently of that of abroad.

When the test has to take place, it is not known. The big internet companies such as Mail.ru and Yandex.ru in Russia are behind it, reports ZDNet on the basis of news from the Russian RosBiznesKonsalting .

All internet providers, including the major providers MegaFon, Beeline, MTS and RosTelecom, also take part in the test. Disconnection must provide them with information about how their networks will hold if the connections are broken abroad and what costs are involved. The internet providers would fear major disruptions and still have a lot of questions about implementation. They have to run traffic via systems of the Russian telecommunication authority Roskomnadzor, which can control the content and route of the data traffic.

The decision to continue the test was taken at a meeting of an information security working group, led by Natalya Kaspersky, co-founder of Kaspersky Lab and CEO of security company InfoWatch.

Plans for an autonomous Russian internet have been around for some time, but in December 2018 Russian senators introduced a bill to make this possible. The proposal stems from fear that foreign powers can shut down Russia from the rest of the internet. The possibility to fall back on an autonomous ‘Runet’ should prevent this from leading to chaos.

Among others, Roskomnadzor and the Ministry of Communications support the bill and President Putin would also be in favor. However, the Russian National Audit Office gives a negative opinion , because implementation leads to costs that are not included in the government budget. The costs for an autonomous Runet are estimated at 20 billion rubles, converted 270 million euros.

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