Russia to Isolate Internet: Law Introducing New Controls Comes into Force
The Russian state is now authorised by law to isolate the internet in Russia from the rest of the world. All Russian internet traffic will from then on have to go through servers in their own country. Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed a law for this in May.
According to the government, the measure must protect the country against, for example, cyber attacks by other reasonably or prevent a worldwide failure of the internet.
Critics also see the law as a way for the government to increase its control over the internet. Through the isolated network – also called the ‘digital Iron Curtain’ – it is easier for the government to censor content and monitor internet traffic and it becomes more difficult to circumvent restrictions. The telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor also gets more powers to intervene.
At the beginning of March, thousands of people had argued against the law in Russia. However, after three readings, the text hit the parliament fairly quickly.