Russian Federation moves to isolate itself from global internet

Russia to disconnect from the internet as part of a planned test

Under the draft law, all internal internet traffic would be carried within the country's own networks.

"Theoretically, the U.S has the ability to cut off Russia's Internet connectivity from outside, but there is no precedent to trace worldwide", said the team leader of Ru-center, one of Russia's largest domain name registrars and hosting providers.

Russian Federation has already moved to block webpages run by opposition figures such as Alexei Navalny, a prominent Kremlin critic.

The draft law, entitled the Digital Economy National Programme, necessitates the country making sure its internet provision can continue to function in the event of external powers attempting to disable the country's service.

In 2017, officials said 95 percent of all internet traffic will be routed locally by 2020. Natalya Kaspersky, Director of Russian cyber-security firm InfoWatch, and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, presides over the group, which also includes major Russian telcos such as MegaFon, Beeline, MTS, RosTelecom, and others.

Cost ranks high among the ISPs' concerns.

By carrying out this test, Russian Federation is believed to be one step closer to a situation in which all domestic internet service providers will have to direct data through state-controlled routers. Putin has previously called the internet a "CIA project".

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday backed a bill that could cut off the country's internet traffic from servers overseas which critics say is a step towards censorship and possibly an isolated network like in North Korea.

According to the BBC, Russia eventually wants all internet traffic to flow through its private network, which could create a system like that in China, where popular websites are banned and internet use is heavily monitored. "In this situation we should be thinking how to grow potatoes in a nuclear winter, and not about the internet". Russia has also set up "troll farms", or fake accounts run by Russian government officials, who use Facebook and Twitter to spread disinformation about domestic politics in countries such as the United States. Leonid Volkov, a Navalny aide and IT expert, said Russian Federation had tried and failed to unplug from the internet in 2014.

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