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Russia preparing to launch its own independent internet system

To avoid any possible international blockade Russia is preparing its own internet system

The incursion into Ukrainian territory by Russia has brought many international sanctions on Moscow, with major brands and entities all cutting ties with the country in the last week or so. There have also been moves by the top social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook, to block internet activity in Russia.

In response, the Putin government is reported to be rushing the final stages of a project to have its own internet system, something which it has been developing since around 2019.

“RuNet is aimed only at preventing the adverse consequences of global disconnection from the global network, which is largely controlled from abroad”, President Vladimir Putin explained back in 2019.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov recently called for Russia to be disconnected from the global network, and for the .ru domain to be removed. However, international rights activists believe that this measure would further the existing censorship in the country. Also, if this proposal were implemented, RuNet would then be a possible solution.

Putin’s government explained at the time that the creation of its own network was a ‘defensive move’ against external threats that could arise. However, the restriction of some platforms has meant that RuNet now takes on another meaning, and is a measure so that cybernetic isolation does not imply a major problem.

In order for Russia to be able to disconnect the global network in an emergency without judicial authorisation, or without having to notify providers, the ‘Sovereign Internet Law’ came into force on November 1, 2019.

Once this legislation was implemented, Russia invested money in developing its RuNet. To get such technology up and running, they had to make copies of DNS services and install data centres, with new platforms and applications.

The Russians have managed in recent years to imitate some famous pages worldwide. They copied the Wikipedia format with their own Russian encyclopedia and replaced the social networks Facebook and Twitter with the Russian platforms VK and Odnoklassniki, which are currently reportedly used by 78 per cent of the country’s citizens.

This situation of course, if it transpires, would seem to play right into Putin’s hands, where his government would have full control of 100 per cent of all content that appears on the internet in Russia.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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