Russian Federation to cut itself off global internet

New legislation would require internet service providers to be able to route all exchanges of online information within Russia

Russian Federation is set to temporarily "unplug" from the internet as part of its planning for a potential future cyber-war. This is aimed to ensure that all data or information shared online by Russian users stays within the country, and is not re-routed through servers based in other countries where it could be intercepted and perhaps misused.

According to BBC, this massive exercise is slated to take place before 1st April 2019; however, no exact date has been announced.

Proponents say the bill aims to make what they call the Russian segment of the Internet - known as the "runet" - more independent.

For a limited period of time, the Russian government will completely disconnect Russia from the global internet.

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"What the Russians are talking about doing is essentially re-architecting the physical infrastructure of the internet - the actual wires and routers that carry the information - so that they would go through specific chokepoints that would be controlled by the Russians".

You could say that this test is Russia's response to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations threatening Russian Federation with sanctions due to the country's cyber attacks against other countries, including the United States.

But experts have said developing such sweeping capabilities, if not impossible, would be extremely expensive and could lead to major disruptions in the functioning of the internet.

Russia's Lower House of Parliament on Tuesday gave tentative approval to draft legislation for the country to instate measures to isolate itself from the global internet.

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The bill, co-authored by Andrei Lugovoi - one of the main suspects in the 2006 murder of Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in the United Kingdom - passed its first reading in the lower house of parliament on Tuesday by 334 votes to 47.

The Russian government has been working on this project for years.

The law has drawn comparisons to the Great Firewall internet restrictions in China, which blocks certain keywords and blacklists sites such as Facebook.

"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.

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As part of the experiment, communications oversight agency Roskomnadzor would examine whether data transmitted between Russia's users can remain in the country without being rerouted to servers overseas, where it could be subjected to interception.

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