Moscow, Apr 16 : The Russian lower house of Parliament, the State Duma, has adopted a bill ensuring security and availability of Russian Internet (Runet) in case of its isolation from the global network. The bill has been drafted taking into account “a violent nature of the US National Cybersecurity Strategy adopted in September 2018,” an explanatory note to the initiative reads, says the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI). The US Strategy accuses Russia of committing hacking attacks without evidence, according to the draft law’s sponsors.
Lawmakers believe that under such conditions there is a need for protective measures to ensure a long-term and robustness of Internet in Russia and to improve performance reliability of Russian websites. The initiative envisages creation of infrastructure that would assure security and operability of Russian Internet resources in case of inaccessibility of national providers’ connection to foreign root servers.
Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor would be authorized to coordinate provision of stable, secure and seamless Internet throughout Russia. The bill is expected to take effect on November 1, 2019, if signed into law. Provisions on information cryptosecurity and national system of domain names are to become effective on January 1, 2021. One of the law's goals is to keep as much of the data exchanged between Russian internet users within the country's borders as possible. Rrights groups, however, have said that the new measures could ultimately be directed at Kremlin critics rather than international adversaries.
The bill had sparked protests after its first reading in March. Thousands of people took to the streets in the Russian capital, chanting "Keep your hands off the internet!" and railing against the creation of what many called a new Iron Curtain, or a "Great Russian Firewall" — a reference to China's internet censorship measures. (UNI)