While Russia has deftly used the internet to advance its own interests, it is apparently concerned about other countries deploying its own tactics, so it is preparing to “disconnect” from the internet, ZDNet reports.
Average Russians would not lose internet access; the plan would instead change how internet traffic is handled on the back-end.
The move has been in the works for years, and is intended to seal Russia off from incoming cyber attacks. ISPs in the region are now preparing to test a system that would re-route web traffic in Russia to exchange points controlled by Russia’s telecom agency, Roskomnazor, ZDNet says.
A date for the test has not been set, but is supposed to happen before April 1, according to a law introduced last year. This “Digital Economy National Program” calls on Russia to develop its own form of the internet’s address system (DNS). None of the 12 independent organizations that manage these servers are in Russia, the BBC notes, but copies of the core address books are, so Russia could stay connected in an emergency.
The disconnect experiment is being overseen by Russia’s Information Security Working Group; its members include Natalya Kaspersky, the co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, which has faced backlash abroad over allegations that the Russian government used Kaspersky Lab products to spy on computers.
According to the BBC, Russia eventually wants all internet traffic to flow through its private network, which could create a system like that in China, where popular websites are banned and internet use is heavily monitored.