The Great Russian Firewall: Putin to unplug his country from the internet

Preliminary Draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Preliminary Draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Russian Federation is considering whether to disconnect from the global internet briefly, as part of a test of its cyber-defences.

Russian authorities and internet providers will conduct a test to make sure data passing between its citizens and organizations can stay inside the country rather than being routed internationally, ZDNet reports.

Russian news organisations reported that the nation's ISPs are broadly backing the aims of the draft law but are divided on how to do it. ISPs in the region are now preparing to test a system that would re-route web traffic in Russian Federation to exchange points controlled by Russia's telecom agency, Roskomnazor, ZDNet says.

A date for the test has not been revealed, but it's supposed to take place before April 1, the deadline for submitting amendments to the law -known as the Digital Economy National Program. It's not clear if this test will disrupt Internet connectivity inside Russian Federation or not but all Internet providers have agreed to participate.

The Russian government has been working on the complex cyber defense tactic for several years. The test disconnection would provide ISPs with data about how their networks would react.

The move has been in the works for years, and is meant to seal Russian Federation off from incoming cyber attacks. However, it is unclear from the original Russian report if internet providers will actually disconnect the internet in Russia as a part of these tests.

Roskomnadzor would reportedly pay for the installation of whatever tools are necessary under this plan-meaning the Russian government would pay for a new infrastructure that will give it more control over the internet within the country, allowing Russia to get closer to the kind of internet regulation that exists under the Great Firewall of China. An alternative localised DNS would allow Runet to function without access to servers located across the world.

The proposed law, fully endorsed by President Putin, is expected to pass. Russia has also set up "troll farms", or fake accounts run by Russian government officials, who use Facebook and Twitter to spread disinformation about domestic politics in countries such as the United States.