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Russia's Security Council tells the government to develop a separate Internet for the BRICS

Source: RBC

Russia’s Security Council has instructed the Communications Ministry and Foreign Ministry to develop plans for a separate Internet infrastructure that would serve the five major “emerging national economies” (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), known as “the BRICS.” According to the magazine RBC, Russia’s Security Council discussed the initiative at a meeting on October 26, and President Putin ordered the government to draw up a proposal by August 1, 2018.

According to the Security Council’s initiative, the BRICS would create their own system of “duplicate domain name root servers,” supposedly in order to guard against “offensive operations in the information space” by Western countries, where the world’s core Internet infrastructure is based.

Experts told RBC that migrating to a duplicate copy of the Internet’s domain name root servers would effectively lead to the creation of an alternate and separate Internet, fracturing the World Wide Web.

Since 2014, Russian officials have conducted exercises to test the sustainability of the Russian Internet, in the event that Russia is disconnected from the World Wide Web. In these tests, Russia’s duplicate servers for the .RU and .РФ domains have functioned successfully.

In 2016, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) were freed from oversight by the U.S. Department of Commerce. These two nonprofit organizations are responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several important databases related to the namespaces of the Internet. Moscow has repeatedly called on other emerging economies to endorse initiatives to weaken the U.S. government’s control over the coordination and maintenance of the Internet.

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