JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian technology: can the Kremlin control the internet? Moscow is developing a ‘sovereign’ web that critics say will enhance official power to silence dissent” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon, Henry Foy

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

“… Activists fear Ingushetia’s blackouts could be repeated across Russia thanks to a law signed by … Putin in May. * * * … Half of Russia’s internet traffic passes through an unassuming 19-storey high rise in southwestern Moscow … hous[ing] MSK-IX [data center], the largest of the country’s internet exchange points. … the physical point of contact for over 500 providers, linking traffic in western Russia with the world. File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary CodeUnder Russia’s new internet ‘sovereignty’ law, providers are required to install black boxes at every stage of the process using deep packet inspection, a technology that can inspect, filter and reroute web traffic. A new internet monitoring centre will use DPI to give the Kremlin a closer look at all information going in and out of Russia. … Russia’s censors will create a parallel domain server to function as a domestically-run, back-up internet in the event of a cyber attack. It will also give the Kremlin far greater control over the web within its borders by placing censorship directly in the state’s hands. Russia can refine its censorship by blocking individual pages rather than whole servers. Should that fail, it can be used to reduce internet speed for targeted groups. … “

When Russia seized Crimea, one of the first priorities for Russian forces was to seize Crimea’s main internet exchange point and cable connections to the mainland.

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