Russia’s media and censorship agency, Roskomnadzor, has begun to install tools in Internet service providers’ networks that will allow the agency to cut off Russian web traffic from the rest of the world in case of a cyber threat to the RuNet as a whole. Alexander Zharov, the head of the agency, told TASS that the installation process was underway.
He said initial tests for the isolation mechanism would begin by the end of September and conclude by November. “At first, we’ll be doing technical testing to check whether [the system] affects traffic or not, whether all the services work successfully. And then we’ll test it in combat mode. So far, everything’s going fine. When we finish the experiment, I’ll announce the results,” Zharov said.
The law that allows Roskomnadzor to control all traffic flow into and out of Russia in certain cases passed in the spring of 2019 and is scheduled to take effect in November. However, Roskomnadzor began developing rules for the enforcement of the law in advance, and Russia’s Communications Ministry made a list of threats that would merit the isolation of Russian web traffic. Experts have said some of those regulations will be technically impossible to follow.