Russia plans to disconnect from global Internet for cyber-defense

Russia is considering “unplugging” itself from the global Internet temporarily as part of a test to avoid cyber-attacks, local media reported.

The test will mean data passing between Russian citizens and organizations stays inside the nation rather than being routed internationally, BBC explained.

Although the exact date has not been announced, the test is expected to happen before April 1, according to local news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK).

The test was set in motion under a draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, introduced by Russia last year. 

It requires Russia's Internet providers to stay functional in the event the country gets cut off from worldwide internet.

Russia has been heavily dependent on international servers. None of the 12 organizations that police the root servers for their net's address system (DNS) are in Russia.

A spokesman from the Kremlin said actions taken by the U.S. and some European countries are highly unpredictable, so they need to make preparations for all possibilities.

"Theoretically, the U.S has the ability to cut off Russia's Internet connectivity from outside, but there is no precedent to trace worldwide," said the team leader of Ru-center, one of Russia's largest domain name registrars and hosting providers.

He added that it will be difficult for them to shut down all the outside router points if they want to carry out the test, since they have to attack different servers from hundreds of providers, while only some of the providers are Russian companies.

But some officials think the voice that western countries will cut off Russia's network is very ridiculous, instead, the Russian government will do it automatically in emergency to eliminate the negative impacts on the nation.

According to Sputnik, the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation has already conducted pre-tests to protect Russia's network last July with the help of Russia's Ministry of Defence, the Federal Security Service and major domestic network operators.