On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin signed a controversial sovereign internet bill into law. With this law, Russia can isolate its internet from the rest of the world. Many rights groups fought and still fighting against this move. The government, however, is convinced that this new law is for the best interest of the country and it is one way to ensure that the country’s online networks are secure.
A lot of people are against this law. Some say that with the new law, the Russian government now has censorship powers over online content and this is going to infringe the rights of the people. During a recent rally, thousands of Russians stood against this bill and other bills that will restrict communication through the internet.
While the content of the law was published on Wednesday, the action would not be taken until November. As soon as it is put into effect, the government will activate a technology that would be used to monitor the internet and ensure that Russia’s internet traffic doesn’t go anywhere near foreign servers. This would make it impossible for any country to shut it down.
Last year, the Trump administration released a new cybersecurity initiative which stated that the Russian government carries out cyber attacks frequently and with impunity. Citing this strategy, the authors of the sovereign internet bill stated that securing the Russian internet networks is now more important than ever.
As soon as the new law is enacted, all internet service providers in Russia will be required to use only systems that allow centralized traffic control that can be used to counter what the authorities consider “potential threats”.
Roskomnadzor, the media monitoring agency and FSB security service will oversee the content control. The agency will have the right to block any website that is providing content which it considers as inappropriate.