Turn It Off
Sometime before April, the Russian government plans to briefly disconnect the entire country from the internet.
The brief shutdown is part of an ongoing effort to bolster Russia’s cybersecurity against foreign attacks that would cut it off from the rest of the world, according to ZDNet — and it’s a sobering reminder that in a fractious era for international relations, a global internet isn’t a guarantee.
Turn It On Again
The push for the big experimental shutdown comes from proposed updates to Russian telecom laws. The Russian government announced in 2017 that it would handle up to 95 percent of all internet traffic locally — that is, independent from the rest of the world — by 2020.
The upcoming shutdown will test just how resilient those local networks are and how much internet traffic can slip through the cracks. A new law will also direct Russian internet providers to direct all traffic through government-approved servers to further enforce content bans, according to ZDNet.
The law has the full backing of President Putin and may be partially inspired by the Great Firewall of China, the colloquial name for the country’s censored internet.
So if the internet stays up and running, Russia is taking steps to make sure it’s filtering out forbidden content. And if Russia gets cut off, well, they’ll still be able to log on to their local internet and surf away, just so long as they don’t try to look at porn.
READ MORE: Russia to disconnect from the internet as part of a planned test [ZDNet]
More on internet censorship: The World of the Future Will Have Two Separate Internets, Former Google CEO Predicts