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Is Russia Establishing A Tightly Controlled Domestic Internet?

Everything can now be purchased online from the nude undershirt to used cars and gadgets. However, what will happen if a county decides to control domestic internet? Over the past year, Russia has spoken about the establishment of a domestic internet that is tightly controlled by the government and disconnected entirely from the global internet.

Russia is planning to execute the supposedly disconnection test of the internet on November 1 when the new law on domestic internet kicks into gear with plans to repeat the test every year. Many have called Russia’s plans as fantasy but it now closer to reality with implications towards global cybersecurity.

Last February, a draft law was introduced to Russian Parliament that will make the long-discussed domestic internet a reality. There were several revisions to the draft but the gist of the proposal remains as a broader regulatory oversight of the internet to Roskomnadzor, Russia’s internet regulator.

While the disconnect test scheduled last April 1 did not push through, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the bill into law last May to become effective on November 1. News about RuNet has been relatively quiet but it is clear that the Russian government has been quiet busy since the passage of the law.

According to Alexander Zharov, head of Roskomnadzor, equipment is being installed on the networks of major telecommunication operators. Tests are being carefully done to ensure that traffic and servers are not affected. Combat modes will be initiated even if the meaning is still unclear. In theory, this is the closest to total isolation of RuNet.

A more sophisticated internet filtering technique has purportedly been rolled out by the Russian government and testing has started last year. Better control of internet traffic that flows in and out of Russia is the major component that pushes the domestic Russian internet.

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