If War Comes, Russia Could Disconnect from the Internet. Yes, the Entire Country



Robust internal networks will keep the military and government operating, says Putin’s top IT advisor.

A two-year-old effort to allow the Russian military to rely solely on internal networks during wartime has apparently blossomed into support for a digitally isolated government and civil society as well, a top advisor to Vladimir Putin said this week.

“Technically, we are ready for any action now,” Herman Klimenko told Russian television station NTV on March 6. He added that any such move would not be painless.

In 2016, the government began to operate the Closed Data Transfer Segment, an internal intranet for military and other officials. Klimenko seems to have suggested that the Segment could handle traffic for the rest of the country as well.

The Russian government has long worked to reduce dependence on foreign information technology. (Putin has called the Internet a CIA project.) In 2010, Russia launched an effort to create a Linux-based operating system to wean the government from Microsoft products. Five years later, the Russian government mandated that digital data on its citizens be stored on Russian soil, a move perhaps also intended to help keep tabs on the population. Last year, Russia announced that it would build an alternative Domain Name System for use by itself, Brazil, India, China, and South Africa.

Klimenko emphasized that moving to an entirely internal Internet would impose unspecified inconveniences for Russia, and would be “painful.”

Full article: If War Comes, Russia Could Disconnect from the Internet. Yes, the Entire Country (NextGov)

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