Independent Runet not to follow Chinese path

Independent Runet not to follow Chinese path

The Russian State Duma has passed the first reading of legislation that is designed to ensure the operation of the Internet in Russia if access to servers located abroad is cut off. 

The legislation is co-authored by chair of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building Andrey Klishas, his deputy Lyudmila Bokova and MP Andrey Lugovoy.

It proposes creating a centre to "ensure and control the routing of internet traffic" and requires that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) install "technical measures to withstand threats".

The rules for using this system will be determined by Roskomnadzor, which will also be responsible for registering the persons authorized to form domain names included in the national domain zone. Prohibited information will be blocked by Roskomnadzor itself, not by telecom operators.

Proponents say the bill aims to make what they call the Russian segment of the Internet - known as the "runet" - more independent. They argue that it is needed to guard Russia against potential cyberattacks.

A note attached to the proposed amendments to the Law on Communications cited what it said was the "aggressive nature" of the U.S. cybersecurity strategy released in September 2018, in which, the note said, "Russia directly and without any evidence is accused of cyberattacks."

At the same time, Bokova stressed that this initiative "has nothing to do with the Chinese path of developing the Internet."

The United Russia party supported it, while LDPR chief Vladimir Zhirinovsky said that party members would not back it. The Communist Party also criticized it.