Russian Federation may unplug from the internet to test its cyberdefenses


According to a report on the Russian news site RBC, the planned disconnection is meant to analyse the country's preparedness for a draft law mandating a "sovereign" internet.

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday backed a bill aimed at ensuring the security and availability of Russian Internet (Runet) in the event of potential isolation from the global network.

ZDNet also reports that Russian officials "plan to route 95 percent of all internet traffic locally by 2020".

Potential sources of the online foreign aggression that Russia evidently fears so much are not hard to find: only yesterday British defence secretary Gavin Williamson announced in a speech that the United Kingdom will be spending more of its defence budget on "offensive cyber capabilities" (otherwise called "hacking"), while North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has not been shy of publicly confronting Russian aggression, online and offline, with similar moves to improve what could be called its cyber-deterrent. This is similar to the Great Firewall of China, but with the ability to maintain independence with an isolated intranet if needed.

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Cost ranks high among the ISPs' concerns.

Russian Federation and its main internet providers may be planning to disconnect the country from the internet. "Moreover, the methods of its implementation have not yet been precisely defined". Putin has previously called the internet a "CIA project".

The internet shutdown is part of a continuing effort on the part of the Russian Federation and President Vladimir Putin to allow the country's internet to operate independently.

Internet providers are effectively planning to flick the switch and cut Russian Federation off from the rest of the not-so-world wide web. "In this situation we should be thinking how to grow potatoes in a nuclear winter, and not about the internet". The Russian state is said to have been behind several large scale attacks on Western governments in recent years, using anonymous hacker groups such as APT 28, which is also known as Fancy Bear, as cover. Leonid Volkov, a Navalny aide and IT expert, said Russian Federation had tried and failed to unplug from the internet in 2014.