- Russia tested disconnecting itself from the global internet, Russian outlet RBC Daily said.
- It said the disconnect happened from mid-June to July, though Insider couldn’t verify that.
- Russia has wanted total control over the internet, to avoid US firms and potential cyber attacks.
Russian successfully tested disconnecting itself from the global internet, according to a report by the RBC Daily business newspaper.
RBC Daily says it obtained documents and spoke to sources who told them that the tests were conducted from June 15 to July 15 – and worked.
One source told the outlet that the tests included Russian physically disconnecting its networks from the worldwide internet.
Reuters says it’s unclear how long the disconnection lasted or whether it was noticeable to Russian residents.
Insider was not able to independently verify the RBC Daily report.
Russia has long been working on bringing more of its internet infrastructure under national control.
The regular internet is decentralized and not under the control of any single entity, making it hard for countries to restrict how it is used.
Laws banning certain sites or actions are often circumvented via networks in other countries.
In 2019, Russia’s “sovereign internet” law came into effect, which gave the government power to disconnect the country from the global internet in face of a cyberattack.
Because the law is vague over what constitutes a threat, critics said it was a step towards the heavily-restricted model of internet use enforced in China.
When the law was first proposed in 2019, there were protests in the country.
One part of the law was a requirement that Russian internet service providers (ISPs) install “deep package inspection” (DPI) tools within the country.
That allows providers to locate the source of web traffic, and reroute and block them if needed.
The Moscow Times reported in November 2019 that the new DPI technology had been tested in the Ural region in September 2019.
It cited the Novaya Gazeta newspaper as saying the trials were unsuccessful, with many internet users able to bypass the traffic monitoring technology.