This week a controversial law entered into effect in Russia, it would allow the government to cut internet traffic from the global Internet.
This week a controversial law entered into effect in Russia, it would allow the Russian government to disconnect the country from the global Internet.
The law was signed by President Vladimir Putin in May, it requires Russian to route traffic through nodes under the control of the Russian Government. ISPs are obliged to install technical devices provided by the authorities to allow traffic inspection.
Of course, the concentration of the traffic through nodes controlled by Moscow and the deployment of technical hardware provided by the government could open the door to a massive surveillance
Russian authorities will be able to censor online content and to spy on persons of interest.
According to the Russian government, the law aims at ensuring that Russian sites will be reachable even if disconnected to the global internet, a scenario that could result from a cyber attack or an outage caused by an incident.
This year, Russia announced the disconnection from the global Internet for a limited period of time to conduct a test aimed at assessing the security of its infrastructure. Russian citizens should be able to reach only Internet resources within the national territory, any other only resource hosted outside the country will be not reachable.
The news was reported by the Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK), the experiment could have been conducted before April 1st.
According to the “The National Digital Economy Program” bill submitted to Parliament in 2018, Russian Internet service providers (ISPs) should ensure operations even if nation-state actors carry out cyber attacks to isolate Russia from the Internet. The authorities want to ensure that the access to Russian Internet resources will be maintained also under attack, to do this, Russian experts are thinking a sort of DNS managed by Moscow.
Currently, among the 12 organizations that oversee DNS base servers worldwide there isn’t an entity in Russia.
ISPs should be able to route traffic through nodes under the control of the Russian Government to allow the connections between Russians entities.
Human Rights Watch and activists fear Russia aims to build a system like the Chinese Great Firewall that could be used to apply strict censorship.
Experts warn that the controversial law means the “Russian government will gain even greater control over freedom of speech and information online”.
“Now the government can directly censor content or even turn Russia’s internet into a closed system without telling the public what they are doing or why,” said HRW’s deputy Europe and Central Asian editor Rachel Denber.
In March thousands of people joined street protests against the controversial law in Moscow and other cities.
The Moscow Government denied any intent of disconnecting Russian netizens from the Internet.
“No one is suggesting cutting the internet,” said spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
According to the AFP press, one of the authors of this controversial law, the nationalist lawmaker Andrei Lugovoi, is suspected of the murder of the opponent Alexander Litvinenko.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.