Russia is planning to disconnect its internet from the rest of the world as part of an upcoming test.
Providing coverage on the initiative via a report from Russian news outlet RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK), ZDNet explained the test pertains to a law the Russian Parliament saw at the end of 2018.
ZDNet explained, “[a] first draft of the law mandated 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.”
The plan reportedly also included a redirecting of web activity toward regulated stations for authorization. Russia’s specified monitoring body, Roskomnazor, will monitor such points. “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,” ZDNet said.
Reportedly occurring sometime prior to April 1, the experiment ultimately aims to mimic “China’s Great Firewall” of internet screening, ZDNet noted, while allowing Russia to have internet independence in case it needs to separate its web from the rest of the world.
The test reportedly looks to compile data for the mentioned proposed law, in order to make any necessary changes. April 1 is the due date for turning in law alterations.
The Information Security Working Group initiating the Digital Economy National Program are behind the test, according to the mentioned report from RBK. The group reportedly touts members such as “MegaFon, VimpelCom (Beeline brand), MTS, Restelecom and others, headed by its President InfoWatch Company (dealing with cybersecurity issues) Natalya Kasperskaya,” RBK included.
An April 2018 report from The New York Times documented protests against Russia’s blocking of the Telegram messaging app.
The editor in chief of the internet news provider Mediazona, Sergei Smirnov, lobbied Putin might have been to blame for the ban. “Telegram is just the first step […] If they block Telegram, it will be worse later. They will block everything. They want to block our future and the future of our children,” Smirnov said, as quoted in The New York Times article.
The New York Times article explained, “[t]he rally comes two weeks after Roskomnadzor, the official internet watchdog, began its bumbling effort to shut down Telegram by blocking what the regulator said was some 18 million I.P. addresses.”
Roskomnadzor is the same entity that reportedly will receive and regulate internet traffic in the above Russian test.
The impact on crypto
Given Russia seems to be on the path toward “China’s Great Firewall,” as ZDNet mentioned, one might wonder the implications on the crypto space.
— Yuji Nakamura (@ynakamura56) September 4, 2017
TheNextWeb reported on China’s bitcoin involvement in a July 2018 article, stating:
China’s central bank has hailed it’s cryptocurrency crackdown a complete success. Declared by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and reported by state media, data apparently shows that the Chinese currency is now involved in less than one percent of all Bitcoin $BTC▼0.43% trades worldwide.”