After the final reading of the bill the State Duma (lower chamber of the Russian Parliament) adopted the law containing a set of amendments to the law on communications and the law on information and security. The amendments aim to protect the stability of the Internet in Russia in case of any threats to its operations from abroad, including external Internet shutdowns by adversaries.
The new law provides that Russia’s telecommunications regulatory authority, Roskomnadzor, will create a Centre for the monitoring and control of public networks in Russia that will co-ordinate the work of telecom operators and direct them in cases of emergencies. The law also requires Russia’s Internet traffic to be directed through predetermined Internet exchange points (IXPs) approved by the Ministry of Communications in co-ordination with the Federal Security Service (FSB).
Additionally, telecom operators are required to install special technical equipment that will act twofold: filter Internet traffic for illegal content, as well as protect Runet from other threats. The Government will define technical requirements and processes of installation later.
Finally, the law requires the creation of a national domain name system (DNS) and the use of national cryptographic protection of information on the Internet for the government entities. It will come into force on 1 November 2019, if approved by the Federation Council which is the upper chamber and signed by President Putin.
Cybersecurity is among the main concerns of governments, Internet users, technical and business communities. Cyberthreats and cyberattacks are on the increase, and so is the extent of the financial loss.
Yet, when the Internet was first invented, security was not a concern for the inventors. In fact, the Internet was originally designed for use by a closed circle of (mainly) academics. Communication among its users was open.
Cybersecurity came into sharper focus with the Internet expansion beyond the circle of the Internet pioneers. The Internet reiterated the old truism that technology can be both enabling and threatening. What can be used to the advantage of society can also be used to its disadvantage.