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Russia is struggling to implement the nationwide DPI system it needs for ‘Internet isolation’

Source: The Bell

Russia is reportedly experiencing a delay in the installation of its new nationwide DPI (deep packet inspection) system, because of a dispute between the Kremlin and the federal government’s cabinet, two sources familiar with the situation told the website The Bell

The cabinet and the Communications Ministry are reportedly insisting on the installation of only certified DPI equipment, which will take at least another year, while Kremlin officials are allegedly concerned that this will effectively implement Russia’s new “Internet isolation” legislation too soon before the 2021 State Duma elections. “By this time, the Kremlin would like to be able to respond adequately to threats on the Internet,” says one of The Bell’s sources.

Kremlin insiders provided roughly the same information to the newspaper Kommersant, stating that the new Internet isolation legislation has technically taken effect, but is not actually enforceable in all parts of the country currently.

The Russian authorities previously started testing its DPI system in the Urals. According to The Bell, the hardware malfunctioned at times. “The system was tested at night, and the network crashed,” a source told the website. Russia's federal media regulator, Roskomnadzor, is reportedly spending between 20 billion and 100 billion rubles ($312.5 million and $1.6 billion) on the new DPI equipment, which the state is supplying to Internet service providers. ISPs will be responsible for powering, servicing, and cooling the hardware, once it’s installed. This is expected to cost several billions of rubles a year, says The Bell.

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