Russia Will 'Unplug' From Internet to Test Cyberdefenses, Censorship

Russia Will 'Unplug' From Internet to Test Cyberdefenses, Censorship

Russia Will 'Unplug' From Internet to Test Cyberdefenses, Censorship

The reason for the experiment is to gather insight and provide feedback and modifications to a proposed law introduced in the Russian Parliament in December 2018.

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday backed a bill that could cut off the country's internet traffic from servers overseas which critics say is a step towards censorship and possibly an isolated network like in North Korea. ISPs in the region are now preparing to test a system that would re-route web traffic in Russian Federation to exchange points controlled by Russia's telecom agency, Roskomnazor, ZDNet says.

Roskomnazor, Russia's telecom watchdog, will monitor all traffic flowing through these points to make sure data is not being routed outside of Russia.

The test is planned for sometime in the coming weeks but the exact date is unknown. Natalya Kaspersky, Director of Russian cyber-security firm InfoWatch, and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, presides over the group, which also includes major Russian telcos such as MegaFon, Beeline, MTS, RosTelecom, and others.

But Artem Kozlyuk, head of Russian digital rights NGO RosKomSvoboda, told Euronews the new bill was just one more layer of censorship from the government, which will end up costing consumers more money for internet services and risks further isolating them from the outside world.

The Russian government has been working on the complex cyber defense tactic for several years.

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The State Duma has passed the first reading of legislation co-authored by Senator Andrey Klishas that would allow the federal authorities to take control over the connection points linking Russian Federation to the global Internet.

Those behind the legislation say the aim is to create "defence mechanisms to ensure the long-term stable function of internet networks in Russia" in the event the U.S. takes any action in cyberspace to threaten them.

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.

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.

Critics say the bill would create an internet firewall similar to China's.

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