Russia has long sought to establish a parallel, separate Internet minimizing U.S. control and influence, including Vkontakte, the Russian Facebook, and other social media copycats, as well as a separate “intranet” for the Russian military. Now the Russian government is preparing to test RuNet, an internal Internet infrastructure intended to allow the country to maintain its own Internet operations totally separate from the outside world, according to Defense One.
Beginning November 1 the government will test RuNet to “see whether the country can function without the global internet,” Defense One reports. The tests will occur at least once a year going forward, and possibly more often than that. The exercises will take place at the federal and regional levels.
In April the government passed a law calling for a “sovereign Internet,” which in effect means that all content sent within Russia must be filtered through hubs under government control. That will give the government the ability to shut down Web sites, conduct online surveillance and isolate the country from the outside world.
Russia has also moved to create its own domain name directories, which should allow it to reroute traffic from one website to another. Some officials have suggested that the military intranet could become the country’s main Internet — again, totally separate from the outside world.