New Russian internet bill 'just another layer of censorship', says tech expert

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

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

Russian Federation is set to temporarily "unplug" from the internet as part of its planning for a potential future cyber-war.

It would gather data as politicians assess the Digital Economy National Program, a draft law that would require the country's internet providers to ensure that Russia's internet can operate in isolation if a foreign power cuts it off.

The formal goal of the new test is to ensure that the Russian internet can function independently in the event that access is cut off by other countries.

Technical detail is sadly lacking from the various Russian and English-language reports on precisely how this will be done, though the Russian state is reportedly reimbursing ISPs for the cost of extra infrastructure needed to make it happen.

"If in Europe, citizens' rights are violated due to internet censorship, then they have a higher probability of proving the negative impacts of internet surveillance than in Russian Federation". "Moreover, the methods of its implementation have not yet been precisely defined".

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Russian Federation is planning to briefly disconnect from cyberspace to test its cyber-defences. Putin has previously called the internet a "CIA project".

Proponents say the bill will increase the security and stability of Russian internet in the event of foreign meddling.

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. "In this situation we should be thinking how to grow potatoes in a nuclear winter, and not about the internet".

Russia has tried, so far with extremely limited success, to block Telegram, a popular encrypted messaging service, but its use continues to be widespread, including among some senior Russian government officials who are reported to use VPNs to circumvent the ban. The Russian state is said to have been behind several large scale attacks on Western governments in recent years, using anonymous hacker groups such as APT 28, which is also known as Fancy Bear, as cover.

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