Is it possible to disconnect from the internet? Yes, Russia did.

By:  |  Category: Blog Monday, January 6th, 2020  |  No Comments

It’s the World Wide Web for a reason, it encompasses the good, the bad, and the ugly. Tests in Russia however, have confirmed It can be effectively disconnected.

The Russian government announced that through a series of long planned tests, carried out over multiple days, “it successfully disconnected the country from the worldwide internet.” The tests “involved government agencies, local internet providers, and Russian internet companies.”

Why disconnect from the WWW?

Although not much information has been released on the technical details, the tests were an experiment to see if the countries internal “national internet infrastructure” known as RuNet, could operate without access to “the global DNS system and the external internet.”

RuNet is an isolated intranet that can handle all internal traffic and inspect all outbound traffic. During the experiment “internet traffic was re-routed internally, effectively making Russia’s RuNet the world’s largest intranet.”

What prompted the experiment?

The Russian government tested 18 “disconnection scenarios” including a cyber-attack from a foreign country. Should they be under attack, “federal and commercial telecom operators can effectively separate Russia from the Internet while still allowing access to local services using a DNS cache.”

Alexi Sokolov, deputy head of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, said “It turned out that, in general, that both authorities and telecom operators are ready to effectively respond to possible risks and threats and ensure the functioning of the Internet and the unified telecommunication network in Russia.”  

For this all to take place, the Russian government had to pass a law “requiring internet service providers to make it possible to inspect all outbound traffic and maintain an isolated intranet dubbed RuNet if necessary.”

The legislation is called the “internet sovereignty” law, granting the government power to disconnect the country from the rest of the internet at will, and “with little explanation” on the grounds of “national security.”

Intended as a defense mechanism, this law and new ability to disconnect from the rest of the world is viewed by some to be similar to the current surveillance and censorship in China. Russia already requires all smartphones to come pre-installed with specific Russian software. 

With ever increasing cyber attacks and social media influence throughout the world, this is most certainly a goal to establish greater security and censorship: keep what’s inside in, and what’s outside out.

If you need assistance with Managed IT services and Security give EnhancedTECH a call at 714-970-9330 or contact us at [email protected]

–Emmy Seigler




Image Source: https://www.canva.com/design/DADvPYnxxBE/OtISoEBCFQdlSZUy_hSmOg/edit

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