Russian Federation is preparing to detach itself from the rest of the world by briefly disconnecting from the internet, as it readies for future cyber warfare. A draft law mandating technical changes needed to operate independently was introduced to its parliament past year.
A date for the test has not been set, but is supposed to happen before April 1, according to a law introduced past year.
The rather odd decision by Vladimir Putin's country to prepare to close off its internet connections from the outside world comes in response to what local news agency RosBiznesKonsalting* (RBK) described as a new draft law "on a sustainable Runet". As per this internet traffic routing, only Russian websites will be able to work.
Russian Federation is set to temporarily "unplug" from the internet as part of its planning for a potential future cyber-war.
That is the deadline for amendments to "sovereign internet" legislation that ostensibly will allow Russian Federation to protect itself from foreign aggression in the digital sphere. Further, the legislation would mandate Russian ISPs have the capacity to redirect all Russian internet traffic to exchange points either managed or overseen by the national watchdog.
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For years, western countries have pointed to Russia as the likely offender in various hacks, and cyber attacks attributed to the Russian government earned the country sanctions, as well as promises from Western governments to improve their cyber defenses. It was introduced after the White House published its 2018 National Security Strategy, which attributed cyberattacks on the United States to Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. According to the providers, it will lead to major disruptions in Russian Internet traffic.
The bill passed its first reading by 334 votes to 47 after an unusually heated debate in the State Duma, where many lawmakers from minority parties criticised it as too costly and argued that it was not written by experts.
Russian Federation is perhaps keen to emulate big brother and former communist ally China here, by building its own system on the lines of the Great Firewall.
The objective of the test is to make sure that traffic doesn't leave Runet, and can't be re-routed via servers in other countries, where it could then be intercepted.