Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Russian Federation to disconnect from the internet as part of a planned test

The test would ensure all data passing between the country's citizens and organisations can stay local rather than being routed internationally.

Russian Federation is planning to temporarily disconnect from the global Internet in the coming weeks as it tests its defenses against cyberattacks.

It requires Russian ISPs to ensure they can continue to function even if disconnected by a foreign aggressor.

The plan is part of a draft law, called Digital Economy National Program, which was submitted to Russia's parliament past year, BBC News reports, citing Russian media.

It's supposed to take place sometime before April 1, as this is the last day for submitting amendments to the proposed law.

A group of major private and state telecoms led by Natalya Kaspersky, co-founder of Kaspersky Lab antivirus maker, have made a decision to conduct the test to disconnect "Runet" from the rest of the internet before April 1 - the deadline for amendments to legislation that would ostensibly allow Russian Federation to protect itself from foreign aggression in the digital sphere. But it also is meant to test if all Russian internet traffic can be gathered and routed through a few points controlled by government sources.

Russian Federation and its main internet providers may be planning to disconnect the country from the internet.

This "Digital Economy National Program" calls on Russian Federation to develop its own form of the internet's address system (DNS). The country announced plans to launch an "independent internet" in late 2017.

Russia's response comes as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries announced several times that they were mulling a stronger response to cyber attacks, of which Russian Federation is constantly accused of carrying out.

In March past year, Putin's then-Internet adviser, German Klimenko, said Russian Federation would be prepared with its own segment of the Internet should Western countries seek to punish it by cutting off all access.

The Russian government is providing cash for ISPs to modify their infrastructure so the redirection effort can be properly tested.

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