Russia Prepares To Disconnect From The World Wide Web

Vladimir Putin's government has been saying for some time that it is ready to isolate itself from the global Internet and bring down a digital barrier to cutoff its citizens from the rest of the world. Now, in the middle of its failing military campaign in Ukraine, Russian officials say they have worked out how to take their country off the Internet.

The Russian government has been working for years on ways to monitor Russians’ Internet activities and to block overseas information.  

“The Russian segment of the Internet has proven its ability to work steadily in the event of its complete disconnection from the World Wide Web,” the Russian news site CNews.ru said recently. But it also acknowledged that some Russian websites rely on “foreign software libraries.”

Russian TV and most of the country's newspapers are under the government's influence, but unlike in China, the Russian Internet has so far remained a comparatively open place for discussion, albeit one contested by state-sponsored bloggers and Putin fans.

In 2016, the Russian government set up another Internet for military use with the aim of eventually expanding it for wider use.

The following year, Russia created another Domain Name System, to take the Russian Internet users away from websites the government didn’t approve of. In 2019, the Russian parliament passed a law to better monitor the country’s Internet and help enable the disconnection of Russia from the broader digital world. 

A series of subsequent tests revealed some problems causing some scepticism that Russia might be able to simply disconnect from the outside world with little disruption to Russian usershowever, this most recent announcement confirms that Russia’s infrastructure is prepared.

DefenseOne:       Guardian:    TRTWorld:     Fortune:     Moscow Times:      Vice:

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