Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Russia may test cyber defences with internet 'unplugging' test

Russia may test cyber defences with internet 'unplugging' test

"The disconnection of Russia from the global web would mean that we are already at war with everyone", Filipp Kulin, a Russian internet expert, told the BBC's Russian language service.

This means that data from its own organisations and users would stay within Russian Federation, rather than be distributed globally.

A note attached to the proposed amendments to the Law on Communications cited what it said was the "aggressive nature" of the USA cybersecurity strategy released in September 2018, in which, the note said, "Russia directly and without any evidence is accused of cyberattacks".

You could say that this test is Russia's response to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations threatening Russian Federation with sanctions due to the country's cyber attacks against other countries, including the United States.

Any tools required for effecting proposals outlined by the new law known as the Digital Economy National Program will be sponsored by the state and provided to the ISPs free of charge.

The law's authors say that Russian Federation will unplug itself in case of a major cyber threat.

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Of the 12 organisations that run the DNS root servers, none are in Russian Federation. The Lower House of Parliament passed in the first reading a law ensuring the security of the Russian part of the internet.

The proposed law, fully endorsed by President Putin, is expected to pass.

The Digital Economy National Program is not only set up to protect Russian Federation in the event of cyber war, but also to filter internet traffic to the country in a similar way to the "Great Firewall of China". There are no guarantees that Russians will not be switched off the Internet during the elections and that social media platforms will not be blocked.

"This is very serious", he said, adding that it seemed the Bill had official support "so the chances that it will become law are very high". Klishas said more than $350 million has been earmarked for the bill. Telecom organisations are also concerned they will have to pay even more.

Russian Federation is reportedly preparing to turn its internet into a nationwide intranet as preparation for hacking attacks from the West. Levin said it would not bring "any additional restrictions on freedom of speech or freedom or information".

The task force has been considering whether the country could completely disconnect itself from the global internet, Russian independent news agency RBC reported earlier.

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