October 24, 2019

Russia to Test Country's Ability to Function Without Global Internet

  • Flyover Country

By: Nate James

In Brief:

Russia is going to attempt to go off-line and see if it can function.

The Background:

Russia is working to develop its “RuNet network,” a domestic internet designed solely for the country.

D-Russia reported, “On Monday, the government approved the provision on conducting exercises to ensure the stable, safe and holistic functioning of the Internet and public communications networks in the Russian Federation.”

Defenseone.com reports the RuNet tests will begin after Nov. 1 and are “the latest move in a series of technical and policy steps intended to allow the Russian government to cut its citizens off from the rest of the world.”

Why It Matters:

Russia and the U.S. have always had tense relations, and any move the nation makes to be more independent and powerful should serve as a warning for the future. Express.co.uk also notes, “Critics argued [Ru-Net] was opening a door to a Chinese-style firewall disconnecting Russia from the outside world.”

Notable Quotes:

“The larger context is Russia’s dependence as a nation on imported/foreign hi-tech and the perceived vulnerabilities that Russia sees in such technology use. With so many government, public, and private-sector nodes using such foreign tech, the Russian government is seeking to impose a measure of control over how Internet communication over this technology is conducted.”

  • Samuel Bendett, an adviser at the CNA Corporation and a fellow in Russia studies at the American Foreign Policy Council

Nate James writes from Texas.

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