Russian authorities and leading Internet service providers plan to disconnect the country from the Internet as part of a planned experiment, reported last week the Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK ).

The purpose of the experiment is to collect information and provide feedback and amendments to a draft law submitted to the Russian Parliament in December 2018.

A first bill provided that Russian Internet service providers had to guarantee the independence of the Russian internet space (Runet) in case of foreign aggression in order to disconnect the country from the rest of l & # 39; internet.

In addition, Russian telecommunications companies should also put in place "technical means" to redirect all Russian Internet traffic to exchange points approved or managed by Roskomnazor, the telecommunications supervisory body in Russia .

Roskomnazor will inspect the traffic to block the banned content and ensure that traffic between Russian users stays inside the country and is not redirected unnecessarily via servers abroad, where it could to be intercepted.

The date of the test has not yet been revealed, but it is supposed to take place before April 1, the deadline for filing amendments to the law, known as the National Program on the Digital Economy. .

The test disconnect experiment was approved at the end of January by the Information Security Working Group. Natalya Kaspersky, director of the Russian cyber security company InfoWatch and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, chairs the group, which also includes major Russian telecommunications companies such as MegaFon, Beeline, MTS, RosTelecom, etc.

RBK said that all Internet service providers were in agreement with the objectives of the law, but disagreed with its technical implementation, which, in their view, would cause major disruptions in Russian Internet traffic . The test disconnect would provide ISPs with data on the reaction of their networks. also said that local internet services and were also in favor of disconnecting the test.

The Russian government has been working on this project for years. In 2017, Russian officials announced their intention to route 95% of all Internet traffic locally by 2020.

The authorities have even implemented a local backup of the Domain Name System (DNS), which they tested for the first time in 2014 and again in 2018, and which will now be a major component of the Runet when ISPs plan to disconnect the country from the rest of the country. the world.

Russia's response came as NATO countries repeatedly announced that they were considering a stronger response to cyber-attacks, which Russia is constantly accused of leading.

The bill, fully approved by President Putin, should be adopted. Ongoing discussions focus on researching the appropriate technical methods to disconnect Russia from the Internet with minimal downtime for consumers and government agencies.

The Russian government has agreed to pay the bill and cover the costs of changing the infrastructure of its suppliers to access and install new servers to redirect traffic to the point of contact. Authorized exchange of Roskomnazor. The ultimate goal is that the Russian authorities set up a web traffic filtering system such as China's Great Firewall, but also have a fully operational national intranet in case the country needs it. to disconnect.

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