Russia Will 'Unplug' From Internet to Test Cyberdefenses, Censorship

The goal of the experiment is to provide feedback and gather insight on how the Russian national intranet would perform if severed from the main internet backbone, ZDNet reports.

It requires Russian ISPs to ensure they can continue to function even if disconnected by a foreign aggressor. ZDNet also highlights that under the law, telecom groups would have to install a means to counter a cyber attack threat, largely by rerouting all Russian traffic to exchange points overseen by Russia's federal communications regulator (and censorship mechanism) Roskomnadzor.

They want the ability to inspect traffic and ensure it is not routed outside of Russian Federation.

A test related to a draft law aimed at making Russian Federation more digitally independent could be carried out before April 1, the BBC reports, but no exact date has been set. The government wants this ability to ensure they can protect their Internet assets from foreign aggression and be able to route all traffic internally.

The experiment is part of preparations for a potential cyber war with the U.S. that could see President Donald Trump shut down Russia's internet access.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and its allies have threatened to retaliate against Moscow's online aggression but are yet to take drastic action.

The official Duma news feed (translated from Russian) said the proposed law on a sovereign Runet (the Russian term for the internet within Russia's borders) would isolate the country from the global network in the event of "targeted large-scale external influence".

Once in force, the system will protect Russian Federation in the event of cyberwar while also filtering Internet traffic to the country.

Finanz.ru also reported that local internet services Mail.ru and Yandex.ru were also supportive of the test disconnection.

The proposed law, fully endorsed by President Putin, is expected to pass.

The Russian government is providing cash for ISPs to modify their infrastructure so the redirection effort can be properly tested. This initiative has been compared to China's Great Firewall, which allows the Chinese government to control the flow of information across the internet.

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