Russian president Vladimir Putin officially signed a bill into law yesterday, according to documents obtained by CNN, that will move the country toward the creation of a “sustainable, secure and fully functioning” local internet, as the Kremlin referred to it in the documents.
During states of emergency, the government would be able to cut off foreign internet entirely. It would give the Russian government extraordinary control over the flow of information, limiting its citizens’ access to foreign news and media that are not controlled or overseen by the Kremlin.
The new law could further threaten voices of dissent as well — this week’s news comes roughly a month after Russia’s parliament signed a new internet law allowing authorities to jail those who disrespect government officials online.
It’s Russia’s latest move to emulate the “Great Firewall of China,” which Chinese authorities use to control net.
Russian media had reported in 2017 that Russia’s Ministry of Communications waned to cut down Russian data routed through foreign servers to just five percent — a high of from 60 percent — by 2020. A similar 2014 law banned Russian citizens’ personal data being held on foreign servers.
Last year, Russia started blacklisting a number of websites including messaging apps and disallowed the use of virtual private networks in March of this year. The country had also warned of a brief shutdown of the internet in February to bolster its cybersecurity.
READ MORE: Putin signs law to create an independent Russian internet [CNN]
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