In the near future, Russia will conduct its disconnection experiment, where the country as a whole will disconnect from the internet for a period of time, ZDNet reports.
The experiment, which is in fact planned, will help Russian authorities collect data and provide feedback on a proposed law; a draft of that law mandates that “Russian internet providers should 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,” ZDNet says.
On top of that, Russian telecom firms will be required to reroute internet traffic to approved exchange points managed by Roskomnazor, “Russia’s telecom watchdog.” “Roskomnazor will inspect the traffic to block prohibited content and make sure traffic between Russian users stays inside the country, and is not re-routed uselessly through servers abroad, where it could be intercepted,” according to ZDNet.
Russia has been putting efforts into this project for a long time. Just in 2017, the country declared that it planned on routing 95 percent of its internet traffic locally by 2020. Russia also built the Domain Name System (DMS), a local backup, which was tested in 2014 and 2018. ZDNet says this will be a big piece of the Runet when Russia disconnects from the rest of the world.
What decision makers should keep in mind:
Russia, whose deadline is April 1 to conduct the disconnection experiment, seems to be responding to the issue of internet traffic during a time when it is constantly accused of cyberattacks by other countries. Additionally, which may appear concerning, ZDNet says that one of the experiment’s end goals is to develop a web traffic filtering system similar to China’s Great Firewall, “but also have a fully working country-wide intranet in case the country needs to disconnect.”
As a result, decision makers, especially those in cybersecurity, should consider watching this experiment; there may be lessons and examples to glean from it for their own ISPs. Plus, it could serve as an example for how the United States could strengthen its cybersecurity and minimize the risks of data breaches, as in the case of 2016 presidential election.