Russia announced it successfully completed a series of tests that disconnected the whole country from the internet (via ZDNet).

RuNet

Russia’s goal was to see if its internal intranet, called RuNet, could operate without using global DNS and the external internet infrastructure. We don’t know technical details but the government tested several scenarios, like what would happen if another country attacked Russia via the internet.

Alexei Sokolov, deputy head of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, commented:

It turned out that, in general, that both authorities and telecom operators are ready to effectively respond to possible risks and threats and ensure the functioning of the Internet and the unified telecommunication network in Russia.

These tests were years in the making, and are accompanied by an “internet sovereignty” law. This gives the government the power to route all local internet traffic through “strategic chokepoints” controlled by Russia’s Communications Ministry. The government can potentially create its own version of the Great Firewall of China for mass surveillance.

Further Reading

[Would Apple Leave Russia Over Device Ban?]

[Russian iCloud Data to be Stored Locally]

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