TEKNOKU.me – If China implements an internet restriction policy for its citizens, the story is different from the Russian government.
To protect themselves from cyberspace threats, the Russian government chose to build a local internet network in order to be free from global internet connections.
The Russian government also claims to have succeeded in creating the network. This was revealed by the Russian government after conducting a series of trials since last week.
The trial involved government agencies and local internet service provider companies there.
The purpose of the trial is to see whether the local internet network infrastructure, known as RuNet, can function properly or not.
From the test results, it was concluded that RuNet can function properly even without access from DNS and global internet connections.
Alexei Sokolov, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communication and Mass Media said that the results will be presented to President Putin next year.
He also said that this trial had been planned for quite a long time.
“In general, telecommunications authorities and operators are ready to effectively respond to risks and threats that may occur and ensure the functioning of the internet and integrated telecommunications networks in Russia,” Alexei said.
Nevertheless, he did not explain the technical details related to the trials conducted. He only said that the Russian government had tested through a number of scenarios, including scenarios of cyberattacks from other countries.
As such, RuNet becomes the largest intranet that covers the national scale.
The trial was planned in advance by the Russian government.
However, this test was later delayed due to waiting for the ratification of the regulations that govern it.
Through the Internet Sovereignty Act, the Russian government has the authority to disconnect countries from global internet connections for reasons of national security.
The regulation also stipulates that all local internet service providers must change all internet traffic through chokepoints which are under the management of the Russian Ministry of Communication.
The Chokepoints can function as an internet surveillance tool by the Russian government, similar to China’s “Great Firewall” technology.
By creating its own internet, Russia can limit the points where users can connect to the internet worldwide.
The Russian government can also provide more restrictions for the type of content that can be accessed by its citizens.
Contrary to freedom of expression
Related to this, a cybersecurity policy expert in New America, Justin Sherman, said that the policy was contrary to freedom of expression.
He said the Russian government faces technical challenges when trying to improve control in cyberspace.
“Such an unsuccessful attempt to prevent Russian citizens from accessing the Telegram encrypted messaging application,” Justin said.
But he said, without further information about this trial, it is difficult to judge how far Russia has progressed in realizing isolated domestic internet.