RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – According to Belarusian media Nexta TV, Russia is entering the active preparation phase to disconnect from the global Internet. Nexta published photos of official documents related to the maneuver.
It is plausible if you know that Putin has already signed the Runet law, which allows Russia to disconnect from the global Internet and make it its sovereign Internet. It is a kind of Chinese-style digital wall that can be justified in the current context of military operations in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia.
Read also: Will Russia become the first post-globalist civilization state?
“By March 11, all servers and domains must be moved to the Russian zone. In addition, detailed data on the network infrastructure of the sites will be collected,” Nexta said.
The point of the Runet law is for Russian ISPs to ensure the independence of the Russian Internet space (Runet) to cut the country off from the rest of the Internet in the event of foreign aggression.
In addition, Russian telecommunications companies are responsible for managing the technical means to reroute all Russian Internet traffic to exchange points approved or controlled by Roskomnazor, the Russian telecommunications monitoring agency.
This agency is responsible for screening traffic to block prohibited content. It will ensure that traffic between Russian users remains within the country and is not routed to servers abroad where it could be intercepted.
The Russian president presented this initiative as a defensive response to the U.S. cyber strategy, including harsh measures against Russia and other designated adversaries.
The ultimate goal, Putin said, is to ensure that Runet continues to function even if foreign governments attempt to isolate Russia in particular digitally. Putin takes the issue of Russian sovereignty over its cyberspace very seriously and does not rule out the possibility that, in a worst-case scenario, the United States might decide to cut his country off from the Internet.
This could have happened with Ukraine’s request to cut Russia off from the global Internet: “Dear Mr. President and CEO, as a representative of Ukraine in the ICANN GAC, I am sending you this letter on behalf of the Ukrainian people with a request to respond to the urgent need to introduce strict sanctions against the Russian Federation in the field of DNS regulation, in response to its aggressive actions against Ukraine and its citizens.”
“In our role as the technical coordinator of unique identifiers for the Internet, we take steps to ensure that the operation of the Internet is not politicized, and we have no sanctioning powers. ICANN was created to ensure that the Internet works, not to prevent it from working through its coordination role,” the ICANN chief said.
Nevertheless, Russia continues to face numerous sanctions: Russian news channel RT (Russia Today) has switched to the online video platform Rumble, where it will continue to broadcast its shows. Google has blocked mobile apps related to RT and Sputnik in its Play app store in Europe, etc.