Russia fully prepared for possible disconnection from Internet

Disconnecting Russia from the world wide web can be possible, but the authorities have a special plan of action in this case, said Dmitry Medvedev, former President of Russia, currently - Deputy Chairman of the Security Council.

"The Internet, as you know, appeared at a certain time and, of course, the key rights to control it are in the United States of America. Therefore, potentially, if something extraordinary happens, if someone loses their head completely, this can happen. That is why the keys to this box are overseas," Medvedev said in an interview with Russian media.

Medvedev also referred to earlier voiced threats to disconnect the Russian Federation from the SWIFT international settlement system.

"This is not the Internet in its pure form, it is a part of banking activities, but they constantly threaten us with that. We were forced to create our own system for transmitting information, just in case, so that we could exchange electronic messages. The same may potentially happen to the Internet, and then we will not have access to the main hubs of this network," Medvedev added.

According to Medvedev, the Russian authorities adopted a law about the Russian segment of the Internet so that it could be controlled autonomously.

"Since the governance of the entire state today depends on the Internet, we could not leave this without control. Therefore, there is such a law, and, if necessary, it will come into force," concluded Medvedev.

The Financial Messaging System (FMS) was created in response to risks of Russia's possible disconnection from SWIFT - the international system, in which banks transmit information and make payment between each other. More than 11,000 largest banks in almost all countries of the world are connected to SWIFT. The West continues to voice opinions about the need to cut Russian banks from the system as part of economic sanctions against the Russian Fedeation.

The law about the sovereign of the Russian Internet (Runet) that gives broad powers to Roskomnadzor (a federal executive body responsible for control and supervision in the field of media, including electronic media and mass communications) came into force on November 1, 2019. According to the law, the federal executive body is responsible for "coordinating the provision of stable, safe and integral operation of the Internet on the territory of the Russian Federation."

In the event of threats to the stable operation of the Internet in Russia, Roskomnadzor can exercise "centralized management of the public communications network." The document states that telecom operators should ensure the installation of technical means of countering threats to stable operation (TSPU), security and integrity of the operation of the Internet in Russia. It goes about equipment for filtering traffic with the use of DPI technology, which can be used to block prohibited sites in a more reliable way.