In the modern world, it seems almost unthinkable to stay away from the Internet, completely disconnecting from the system. Especially when it comes to an entire nation. Russia seems to want to push the boundaries and has effectively disconnected from the global Internet network for some time.
Although the effective offline time is not known, it was aimed at improving several factors related to the Internet network in Russia.
In late 2019, Russia adopted the so-called “sovereign law of the Internet”. This gave the government the power to disconnect the country from the global Internet, in case of emergency or foreign cyber attacks. The law requires operators to install network equipment capable of thoroughly inspecting packages, and authorizes annual network testing.
Then, Russia purposely disconnected from the global Internet between June 15 and July 15, according to RBC Daily. Despite this report, Reuters notes that the duration of the test is unclear, as is the impact on Russian citizens.
As reported by the RBC Daily, the state communications regulator explained that the tests that were carried out were aimed at the integrity, stability, and security of Russia’s Internet infrastructure.
The likelihood of Russian law
It’s not just to those outside the country that the law seems strange. After all, this is extremely controversial and raises many concerns on the part of citizens.
Although the government of Russia says that its intention is only to reduce cyberattacks, increasing security, many are skeptics who fear that Russia is trying to create its “Great Firewall”, similar to China. This skepticism triggers concerns about a possible path of censorship as well as protests.
Increasingly, authoritarian countries that want to control what citizens see are looking at what Iran and China have already done. This means that people will not have access to dialogue about what is going on in their own country… they will be kept within their own bubble.
University of Surrey computer scientist Alan Woodward told the BBC in 2019.