Putin Signs Law Allowing Kremlin to Cut Off Russian Internet from Rest of the World, Paving Way for Increased Censorship

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his press conference at the Second Belt and Road Forum for Econonic Cooperation on April 27, 2019 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his press conference at the Second Belt and Road Forum for Econonic Cooperation on April 27, 2019 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

Russia is one step closer to creating its own, independent internet—at least legally speaking.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law new measures that would enable the creation of a national network, able to operate separately from the rest of the world, according to documents posted on a government portal on Wednesday. For now, the network remains largely theoretical though, with few practical details disclosed.

In concept, the new law aims to protect Russia from foreign online restrictions by creating what the Kremlin calls a “sustainable, secure and fully functioning” local internet. The legislation takes effect in November, state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.

According to a summary from RIA-Novosti, the law calls for the creation of a monitoring and a management center supervised by Roskomnadzor, Russia’s telecoms agency. The state agency will be charged with ensuring the availability of communication services in Russia in extraordinary situations. During such situations, it would also be empowered to cut off external traffic exchange, creating a purely Russian web.

In addition, information from state entities and state-owned enterprises on the Internet will be protected via encryption, RIA-Novosti reported.

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SOURCE: Nathan Hodge and Mary Ilyushina, CNN