Russian Internet-Isolation Bill Advances, Despite Doubts In Duma

New legislation would require internet service providers to be able to route all exchanges of online information within Russia

Russia to disconnect from the internet as part of a planned test

The test will mean that data travelling between Russian citizens and other organisations will remain within Russia rather than being routed internationally.

A date for the test has not been revealed, but it's supposed to take place before April 1, the deadline for submitting amendments to the law -known as the Digital Economy National Program.

RBK reported that all internet providers agreed with the law's goals, but disagreed with its technical implementation, which they believe will cause major disruptions to Russian internet traffic.

The Russian government will provide funding for ISPs to update their infrastructure so they can bypass all worldwide servers.

The programme also requires the ISPs to show that they are able to direct data to government-sanctioned routing points.

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Named the Digital Economy National Programme (DENP), measures include the creation of Russia's own internet address system so that its online access could continue if connections to global servers were severed.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and its allies have threatened to sanction Moscow over frequent allegations of online interference and cyber attacks. That means that the country would be prepared should other countries attempt to cut Russian Federation off from the internet.

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

Moscow has also said it will look into alternatives to the system that translated internet names into computer-readable form, the Domain Name System, which is administered by a California-based non-profit, ICANN, according to NPR.

The move comes after a law was passed in the Kremlin in 2018.

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The project has received support from Russia's president Vladimir Putin.

The Runet is managed by Russia's telecommunications regulator Roskomnazor and is hence being called a mass surveillance system similar to the Great Firewall of China.

Russia's Lower House of Parliament on Tuesday gave tentative approval to draft legislation for the country to instate measures to isolate itself from the global internet.

If passed, the law could make it possible to cut Russian Federation off from the global web, or to initiate an Internet blackout in an isolated region if it is rocked by unrest or opposition, said Mr Andrei Soldatov, who co-authored a book on the history of Internet surveillance in Russian Federation.

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