Russia's Communications Ministry plans to isolate the RuNet by 2020

Authorities are looking to make the Russian Internet, referred to as “RuNet” in Russia, a more autonomous but better regulated entity. Recent amendments to the Communications Ministry's “Information Society” program aim to have 99 percent of Russian Internet traffic transferred to within the country's borders by 2020, reports the newspaper Vedomosti.

The Communications Ministry is also planning to duplicate 99 percent of the Internet's critical infrastructure within Russia. Critical infrastructure refers to the infrastructure that enables the assigning and functioning of country-code domain names (domain names that end in .ru and .рф), systems that can manage the flows of Internet traffic, and other fundamental Internet communication hardware.

In 2014, no critical infrastructure at all was located in Russia. Since then, a good deal of progress has already been made toward this aim, and by the end of 2016 the Communications Ministry expects to see 40 percent of the RuNet's domestic infrastructure up and running. 

In part, this fast progress is because many of these Internet management systems already exist in Russia, but they have not yet been labeled as “critical infrastructure” and aren't held officially accountable for how they function, which is what the Communications Ministry hopes to change.

In 2014, Russia's Security Council ordered the development of measures to make the Russian Internet more secure. The order was given against the backdrop of sharply deteriorating relations with the West following the annexation of Crimea.

In February 2016, the Communications Ministry reported it had developed a new law to allow for state control over Internet traffic. Authorities say a more tightly regulated Internet will ensure stronger defense against external attacks.