Reports have today announced that Russia will enter discussions next week to examine its capacity to separate itself from the global internet in “emergency” scenarios.
It was reported in this morning’s Vedomosti newspaper that on 22nd September Vladimir Putin will meet with the Russian Security Council to discuss the probability of cutting off Russia from the foreign internet in times of crises, such as war or national protests. For example, Vedomosti cites the 2011 riots in Egypt when authorities disconnected all internet and mobile communications.
These emergency powers would reportedly allow the Council to disable non-Russian IP addresses. Russian service providers would be therefore be required to install new equipment to enable this request, and disconnect the country from the global network.
According to the Russian business paper, the emergency internet plans had been confirmed by contacts in various telco organisations, ISPs and a number of non-profit groups. It is thought that Monday’s meeting will also consider the results of a recent study on Russia’s online stability, which will be presented by the Communications and Mass Media Ministry.
The President’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said that the meeting planned on 22nd would include members of the Security Council. However, Peskov did not elaborate on what would be discussed, explaining that the agendas of such events are rarely disclosed.
The recent law, which enforces that Russian personal data is hosted on servers based within Russia’s borders, is expected to take effect from January next year. The regulation which was passed in July could now be seen as a vehicle to facilitate this proposed separation of the internet, experts suggest.