Russia announced that it had conducted a series of tests to disconnect its telecommunications network from the global Internet for a month, until July 15. Tests which show the Kremlin’s will to set up a true sovereign internet and which are not without raising some concerns.
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No one would have realized it in Russia but the country would have cut its connections to theGlobal Internet during tests that would have taken place between June 15 and July 15. This is what explains, with few details, the economic daily RBC Daily in an article dated July 21. Tests that have therefore strangely gone unnoticed, both for Russian Internet users and for the rest of the global network. However, they would have involved all operators in the country. Even if it is difficult to believe in a total disconnection from the network for a long time, the Kremlin therefore had to test the ability of Runet – this is the name of the Russian telecommunications network – to disconnect from the Internet. global, without actually doing so. On the other hand, with the success of these “tests”, the Kremlin seeks to demonstrate that the country is able to isolate its own telecommunications network from the global Internet to meet its objective set by its “Internet Sovereignty” law. . Passed in March 2019 by parliament, this law gives the government the power to disconnect the Runet from the global network for reasons of national security.
Runet: the language frontier
The official argument would be to protect the country from cyber attacks, from cyber espionage and foreign influences, especially American. But, for opponents of the regime, this shutdown of the global Internet would also result in increased control of Russian Internet users.
This is not the first time that Russia has claimed to have disconnected its network from the global Internet. The country has already carried out a first disconnection test in 2019. Another experiment was canceled last year due to the pandemic of coronavirus. Cut off or not from the global Internet, the real border between Runet and that of the global Internet is already that of language, if only with the use of Cyrillic characters. It is for this reason that many Russian speakers use their own tools such as the search engine. Yandex, where the social network VKontakte, instead of American platforms.
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