Russia is going to temporarily unplug from the internet as part of what the country is calling a planned experiment. According to a report from Russian news site RBC, the planned disconnection is intended to examine whether the country run by Vladimir Putin is prepared for a draft law that mandates a “sovereign” internet.
ZDNet reports that a draft of the law required that Russian internet service providers must ensure the independence of the Russian internet space (Runet) in the case of foreign aggression to disconnect the country from the rest of the internet.
The legislation’s goal is to prevent any aggression from the U.S., which has listed Russia as a major source of cybersecurity attacks, according to the Guardian.
Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election – with the use of its troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency – as a way to sow division in America and boost the candidacy of Donald Trump. Russia has repeatedly denied these accusations.
However, some observers told the British publication that they believe the move is another step toward duplicating China’s Great Firewall – which restricts access of that country’s internet users to content approved by the communist government – in Russia.
Russia’s telecom watchdog, Roskomnazor, will inspect traffic to block prohibited content and make sure that traffic between Russian internet users is not re-routed to servers outside of the country, according to ZDNet.
In 2017, Russian officials said they wanted to route 95 percent of all internet traffic locally by 2020, ZDNet added. Meanwhile, a group of NATO countries is reportedly considering a more aggressive response to state-sponsored computer hacking and cyber attacks.