INFORMATION / DISINFORMATION / BA COMMENT
Cnbc.com: Russia just brought in a law to try to disconnect its internet from the rest of the world
It’s been called an online Iron Curtain.
On Friday, a controversial law went into force that enables Russia to try to disconnect its internet from the rest of the world, worrying critics who fear the measure will promote online censorship.
The Kremlin says its “sovereign internet” law, which was signed by President Vladimir Putin in May, is a security measure to protect Russia in the event of an emergency or foreign threat like a cyberattack. The law will allow Moscow to tighten control over the country’s internet by routing web traffic through state-controlled infrastructure and creating a national system of domain names.
In theory, the measure would allow Russia to operate its own internal networks that could run independently from the rest of the World Wide Web.
Many believe the primary effect of this new law is increased capability in monitoring internet activity and censorship. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to monitoring your internet activity, people in power have been able to do that as long as the internet has existed. Police can request information about activity of any user and your Internet Service Provider is required to oblige. This law doesn’t change much about the myth of privacy online, other then granting the Kremlin more tools to shut down VPN’s. However, this law does give the Kremlin ultimate dominion over the ability to completely “shut down” the internet and censor specific words if an emergency situation necessitated it, similar to the firewall in China. The difference being that Russia has operated in the “clearnet” for decades now whereas China has always had some sort of firewall. It will be quite a bit more difficult, and many argue impossible, for the Russian government to push its citizens back behind the curtain after decades of seeing the light of an unimpeded internet.