Russia is planning on disconnecting its entire country from the internet to simulate what would happen if cyberwarfare was to break out in the future.
The test is expected to take place before the April 1, 2019, but the exact date has been confirmed just yet.
It’s all part of the Russian government’s plans to make the country’s internet independent from the ‘global internet’. At present, nearly every single country in the world allows its users to access the same internet material and systems, with some nations censoring certain websites and content.
The successful shutdown would mean that the superpower’s internet could survive being cut off from other nations.
If Russia was to cut itself off from the rest of the world online, web traffic would have to be monitored and censored by its government’s telecom watchdog, according to a report from ZDNet.
The regulator Roskomnazor would inspect the traffic between users to block prohibited content and make sure traffic between Russian users would stay inside the country.
Last year, the country introduced the Digital Economy National Program, aiming to protect the country’s online infrastructure even if other countries were to cut it off. As part of this experiment, staying on an independent internet would help to protect the nation against potential cyberattacks.
Russian officials announced in 2017 that they planned to route 95% of all internet traffic locally by 2020, according to the Russian site Izvestia.
It’s unclear how easy it is to unplug an entire country from the internet. Russian officials are working to come up with solutions to prevent disruption.
There are worries that Russia may use the independent internet to censor information from outside sources reaching citizens. As pointed out by the BBC, China has a firewall that is used to keep out certain sources of information and tracking everything that its people see on the internet.
Cyberwarfare could be a real threat in the future and Russia seems to be making the first steps from cutting itself off from that threat. But at what cost will its people be shut out from the rest of the world?