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Russia plans to disconnect from the internet

Russia is considering whether to disconnect from the global internet briefly, as part of a test of its cyber-defenses. The test will mean data passing between Russian citizens and organizations stays inside the nation rather than being routed internationally.

A draft law mandating technical changes needed to operate independently was introduced to its parliament last year. The test is expected to happen before 1 April but no exact date has been set.

The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russia’s ISPs to ensure that it can operate in the event of foreign powers acting to isolate the country online.

Nato and its allies have threatened to sanction Russia over the cyber-attacks and other online interference which it is regularly accused of instigating.

The measures outlined in the law include Russia building its own version of the net’s address system, known as DNS, so it can operate if links to these internationally-located servers are cut.

The Russian government is providing cash for ISPs to modify their infrastructure so the redirection effort can be properly tested.

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