Russian Federation considers 'unplugging' from internet

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

The goal of the exercise is to prepare for a law that is expected to pass called the Digital Economy National Program, which would reroute all internet traffic inside Russia's borders to travel through Russian servers.

The Russian government, however, has promised to foot the bill to help concerned ISPs pay the costs related to new infrastructure and servers that will be required under the new law.

The test will mean data passing between Russian citizens and organisations stays inside the nation rather than being routed internationally.

A group of major private and state telecoms led by Natalya Kaspersky, co-founder of Kaspersky Lab antivirus maker, have made a decision to conduct the test to disconnect "Runet" from the rest of the internet before April 1 - the deadline for amendments to legislation that would ostensibly allow Russian Federation to protect itself from foreign aggression in the digital sphere. The test disconnection would provide ISPs with data about how their networks would react. However, it is unclear from the original Russian report if internet providers will actually disconnect the internet in Russia as a part of these tests. 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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The test is being carried out as Russian Federation faces numerous sanctions threats from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and others over its alleged use of cyber-hacking tactics in global espionage.

Russian Federation is planning to temporarily cut off internet access throughout the entire country as it prepares for potential cyber warfare.

RosBiznesKonsalting reported that a Kremlin source told the Russian news outlet that President Vladimir Putin supports the proposed law. Ongoing discussions are in regards to finding the proper technical methods to disconnect Russian Federation from the internet with minimal downtime to consumers and government agencies. 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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