Russia Managed to Disconnect the Entire Country from the Internet

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According to Russia’s announcement, the country recently conducted tests that allowed it to disconnect from the internet and create the world’s largest intranet.

Earlier this year, in May, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, signed a law that allows the country to disconnect from the internet as shared with the rest of the world. Then, about a month and a half ago, on November 1st, the country’s internet providers secured so-called deep packet inspection network equipment, in order to be able to disconnect, should the order arrive.

RuNet Coming to Fruition

All that was left to do was test the technology, which is what the Russian government did over the course of last week, finally announcing on Monday, December 23rd, that they were successful. Right now, the country has the option to disconnect with the wider internet whenever it wants, and make use of its intranet, known as RuNet.

The country’s government did not share technical details regarding the tests, or what they included. All that they were willing to say is that they tested multiple scenarios in which the country might disconnect, including the one with a simulated cyber attack from another country.

It appears that the experiments were successful, which the government confirmed in yesterday’s press conference.

Years of Planning Bore Fruit

Russia’s plans to disconnect from the web were in the works for a long time. Over the course of 2019, there were many speculations on whether disconnecting from the worldwide web is a good thing or a bad thing for the country, but also for the world. However, for better or worse, Russia managed to pull off its plans that were in the works for several years, now.

There was a lot to do, including years of planning, lawmaking, and physical modifications of the country’s internet infrastructure. Even so, the tests came months after they were supposed to arrive. Initially, the plan was to test the new capabilities in April 2019, although the country had to delay them in order for the proper laws to pass.

One law, in particular, the ‘internet sovereignty law,’ granted the Russian government the power to disconnect the entire country at will, and with little to no explanations. They are now able to do it simply on the grounds of national security, Many are concerned that this will allow Russia to follow in China’s footsteps, but also that it might inspire others to do the same, thus isolating countries around the world from one another.

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