Can you imagine a whole country going completely offline? Does it sound absolutely crazy to you? You might be right. What could be the reason for it and what is the danger? Let’s find out.
Disconnecting from the internet is part of Russia’s Digital Economy Nacional Program law. In this document, the Russian government requires the ISPs on the territory of Russia, to be able to provide local-only service in case of foreign country attempts to stop Russia’s internet.
Sounds like a good security measure, especially when we think about how many of our communications happen through the Internet. In the 21st century, without the Internet, everything stops functioning properly, so this decision could be seen as a backup on a massive scale.
For the purpose, Russia is in the process of creating its own network of DNS servers around the country. The plan is that 95% of all the traffic should be local by 2020. Russians will be able to visit just sites on the Runet, the Internet of Russia.
It will also monitor and filter all of the passing traffic. To what extent, it is still unknown.
NATO and the allies to the country strongly disagree with this action. It can severely damage the democracy in the country by limiting the information that people could get. The same goes for outgoing information, the freedom of speech could be in jeopardy.
Another country that is completely disconnected is North Korea and it is not a great example.
China has a firewall that limits the traffic. You can go around it with a VPN, but you might have problems with the law.
There was a similar idea in the United States back in 2008. Bill Woodcock suggested a “kill switch” that can disconnect the states if needed. It seems that the plan was abandoned, but the USA might try it again in the future.
So when will it all start? A planned test was scheduled before the 1st of April 2019. The exact date was not public.
We can only watch and see what will happen with Russia and the world afterwards.