Russia could secede from the global internet if the Kremlin cracks down on the internet, officials fear.
While a real war rages in Ukraine, Russia is fueling an intense information war on the Internet.
A key battleground in the Kremlin’s online crackdown is the Russian Internet.
Several companies have shut down their online and physical operations in Russia.
Meanwhile, Kremlin officials led by President Vladimir Putin have blocked access to some of the platforms that have not suspended service in Russia.
Instagram that is three times as popular like Facebook in Russia, has been blocked by state officials.
The Kremlin’s plans to isolate Russia from the global internet date back to before the invasion of Ukraine.
In 2019, Russia has the Sovereign Internet Law redirecting traffic through Russian servers – allowing a vigilant Kremlin to censor the internet.
In 2021, the Russian government designated the Internet as a threat to national security.
This month, Russia’s Deputy Digital Minister Andrei Chernenko instructed Russian websites to switch to DNS (Domain Name System) servers located within Russia’s borders.
At the same time, Internet operation in Russia is dependent on hardware in the country, which strengthens the state’s ability to control content.
Russian citizens can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to bypass Russia’s strict Internet restrictions.
A VPN shields your IP address, hides your physical location, and encrypts your browsing history.
But with Visa, Mastercard and American Express Discontinuation of activities in Russiamany citizens have no way of paying for web tools that help them circumvent Russian censorship policies.
Raid on the Kremlin
Russian efforts to domesticate the Internet are not dissimilar to the Internet policies of the Chinese Great Firewall.
China rules the internet with intense scrutiny and has many restrictions on international websites.
The Chinese government owns Internet channels and grants access to individuals and businesses.
Chinese internet users rarely explore websites based or created outside of China.
liberty housea non-profit organization focused on analyzing the strength of freedom around the world ranked the Chinese Internet as one of the least free in the world with a score of 10/100.
For comparison, the United States has an Internet Freedom score of 75/100.
By breaking up the Internet, China and Russia are leaving only state-approved networks as the only source of information for citizens.
“You want the ability to not go to one big global network, but to different networks where you can more easily monitor your citizens,” said Karen Kornbluh, an expert on US-EU diplomacy NBC News.
“In the long run, Russia wants to be able to cut off access to Signal,” Kornbluh said.
Signal is a secure messaging app used by journalists to avoid government snooping — and it is now fastest growing app in Russia.
RT, one of Russia’s state-controlled media networks, has been pushing wrong justifications for the invasion of Ukraine and has come under criticism for other propaganda tendencies.
Due to the isolation of the Russian internet, networks like RT could be the only source of information for Russian citizens.
The fragmentation of the internet is the latest part of Russia’s broader effort to limit free speech.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/news-tech/8519375/russia-could-split-off-from-global-internet/ Russia ‘could secede from global internet’ – and US fears Russian web could look like China’s Great Firewall