RuNet: Is Russia shutting itself down on its Web?

Russia could isolate its Internet network by activating RuNet, a national intranet with no external connections • by Claudio Garau • March 8, 2022

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has one of its fronts in cyberspace where in recent days several platforms including TikTok, Facebook and Twitter have decided to suspend their services on the territory controlled by Moscow or, on the contrary, have been blocked by the authorities of the latter. The reasons for isolation In the next few hours, however, we could move on to a new phase of this clash. For some time, Russia had been preparing for the eventuality of isolating its Internet network from that of the rest of the world, a project that could become a reality at any moment by decision of Vladimir Putin and Roskomnadzor, i.e. the federal service for supervision in the sphere of connection and mass communication. This initiative would have become necessary following the ongoing protests in Russia against the invasion of a state considered in many ways a "twin", in the same way there would be a need to silence some anti-war voices from Russian media and Biellorussi who often use YouTube and Telegram to express their dissent. Not to be forgotten are the cyber attacks from various hacktivist crews including Anonymous, already the protagonist of some disturbing actions against the Kremlin's strategies. RuNet, the Russian intranet According to the Biellorussian broadcaster Nexta TV, the Russian digital development ministry has already announced the date by which the activation of a Russian-only Web will begin. In fact, the migration of Russian domains and servers within RuNet, the national network / intranet completely isolated from the rest of the network, should be completed by 11 March. The specifics of the move to Runet would also include the use of domain names with the extension ".ru" only, the mandatory use of Russian DNS (Domain Name System), the use of national hosting providers only and the removal from the web pages of all JavaScript codes that allow Internet sites to interact with foreign platforms.