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‘RuNet Sovereignty’: How Russia is trying to isolate its Internet segment from the rest of the world, maybe

27 minutes
‘RuNet Sovereignty’: How Russia is trying to isolate its Internet segment from the rest of the world, maybe

The “Agora” human rights group and digital activists at Roskomsvoboda recently released a report on Russian Internet freedom in 2019, where they argue that the state authorities have settled on an Internet policy vector focused on “control, censorship, and isolation.” Late last year, Meduza published a story about how a Federal Protective Service veteran and the descendant of one of Russia’s most celebrated families of missile engineers has been appointed to serve as the director of a powerful new monitoring center inside Roskomnadzor, Russia’s state censor, which is responsible for enforcing legislation that took effect in November 2019 that is ostensibly intended “to ensure the integrity, continuity, stability, resilience, and security of the functioning of the Internet’s Russian national segment.” 

The law, which charges a new division of Roskomnadzor with ensuring the RuNet’s stable operation and defense from external threats, is convoluted and potentially unenforceable. To find out more about Russia's push for Internet isolation and its feasibility, “The Naked Pravda” turns to three experts.

In this episode:

  • (4:35) Tanya Lokot, an assistant professor in the School of Communications at Dublin City University, looks at the strategic thinking in Moscow.
  • (9:28) Alena Epifanova, a program officer at the German Council on Foreign Relations and author of “Deciphering Russia’s ‘Sovereign Internet Law,” explains deep packet inspection.
  • (14:23) Marielle Wijermars, an assistant professor in cyber-security and politics at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and a visiting researcher at the University of Helsinki, asks why Russian regulators don't enforce all the Internet regulations on the books.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Fridays. Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at [email protected] with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Producer, sound editing, and mixing — Kevin Rothrock

Executive producer — Alexandr Sadikov

Music — Victor Davydov

Send any questions or comments to [email protected]

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