Should Russia shut down the internet after invading Ukraine?

Should Russia shut down the internet after invading Ukraine?

Amid international sanctions, some wonder whether Russia should lose Internet access after Ukraine invades

The Internet itself is changing for Russian users: Twitter and Facebook are blocked, TikTok prevents Russian users from uploading videos to the platform.
The Internet itself is changing for Russian users: Twitter and Facebook are blocked, TikTok prevents Russian users from uploading videos to the platform.

The world, Both physical and digitalIt is an unprecedented time, as the conflict in Ukraine is raging. Megacorporations like Meta, Google and Apple, which have always presented themselves as neutral technology firms, are now said to be displaying their colors. In response to the invasion, politicians are banning their products in Russia.

Meanwhile, the Internet itself is changing for Russian users: Twitter and Facebook are blocked, TikTok prevents Russian users from uploading videos to its platform, and Messages about police officers allegedly stopping people on the street to see what they are seeing on their phones.

Now the question arises as to whether conflict can change only world geographyBut fundamentally change the nature of the internet.

Should Russia disconnect from the Internet?

The Ukrainian government has set aside separate tech firms to ask them to suspend their services in Russia as the list of tech companies refusing to do business or sell their products in the country is growing. Now Ukraine’s leaders and technical experts are calling for something stronger: to shut Russia off completely from the Internet.

The calls received an emphatic “no” from ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), which was responsible for managing the Internet. He was asked to revoke high-caliber Russian domains such as .ru as well as SSL certificates (Secure Socket Layers, or digital certificates as it is known in Spanish).

The Ukrainian government has singled out some tech firms that have asked them to suspend their services in Russia
The Ukrainian government has singled out some tech firms that have asked them to suspend their services in Russia

But in response to the corporation’s motto “One World, One Internet” and Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Fedorov, ICANN CEO Goran Marby said: “As part of our mission, we maintain neutrality and work to support the global Internet. Our mission does not extend to punitive measures, the imposition of sanctions or R.Restrict access to Internet segments, “Regardless of the type of provocation.”

The Digital Frontier Foundation (EFF) was one of the few organizations to support this position. In a statement, EFF’s Corinne Macsherry and Konstantinos Komaitis said the war was not a good time to “bother with the internet”.

They argued that interfering with Internet infrastructure protocols could have “dangerous far-reaching consequences.”

These include:

  • Deprive people of the most powerful tool for sharing information
  • Creating a dangerous precedent
  • Compromise security and privacy

Cloudfare, a web infrastructure firm that offers protection against cyberattacks, has also received a request from Ukraine to cut off services to Russia. In a blog post, the firm said it had considered such requests, but concluded that “Russia needs More internetNo less. “

What is a splinternet And how does it work?

For many, calls to leave Russia without the Internet have slipped into what is known as “splinternet‘, A situation where each country has different versions of the Internet.

The China Great FirewallAs is well known, perhaps the clearest example of how a country can create its own website.

Calls to leave Russia without the Internet are on a slippery slope of what is known as
Calls to leave Russia without the Internet are on a slippery slope in what is known as the “splinter”, a situation in which each country has different versions of the Internet.

In Iran, content on the Internet is also controlled and external information is restricted through the state-owned Iranian Telecommunications Company.

Russia has been experimenting with the sovereign Internet for years, known as RunetBut unlike the Chinese version, which was built from scratch, the Russian version is a web version that has been updated to work with the existing Internet.

In 2019, the Russian government announced that it had successfully tested the system. Then few understood It is necessary to have such a system, but now, “It makes a lot of sense” in the context of the invasion of Ukraine Said the teacher Alan WoodwardComputer scientist from the University of Surrey, England.

In this test, Russian ISPs were asked to configure the Internet within their borders as if it were a giant intranet (a private network of sites that do not interact with the outside world). The initiative included limiting the points on which the Russian version of the website was linked to its global counterpart.

Now it seems that Russia is still testing such systems: in a memorandum from the Russian government, They asked Internet providers Increase security and try to connect to DNS servers in Russia.

Some thought that the memorandum and the date of completion of the March 11 test meant that Russia intended to withdraw immediately.

Professor Woodward believes this is another test to see if they are ready: “It was more of a call from Russia to their ISPs to get ready to make local copies of DNS. (Internet Phonebook) and create local versions of third-party software that come from outside of Russia on servers such as Javascript.

Russia has since denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning Russia’s intelligence have been made more than once. But James GriffithsAuthor of the book “China’s big firewall”“, Thinks that the disconnection can happen at any time: “Shutting down the Internet, I’m sure the Russians will only consume content approved by the Kremlin, is a strategic idea, so you will understand. About the road we are on“- he said BBC.

"Russia needs more internet and not less"
“Russia needs more internet and not less”

“I would not be surprised if it is implemented in the next few weeks or months.”

What would be the consequences of this?

In Abyssinian PrakaAuthor of the book The world is vertical: how technology is changing globalization”, He believes that the conflict is shaping the Internet “from a global system where the whole world is connected” to something more fragmented.

“Thanks to geopolitics, a different design of the Internet is emerging, in which nations are either emphasizing or developing their own alternatives. Global bridges like social media platforms that have been connecting people for decades are being destroyed. ” According to James Griffiths, the new axis of pure power will be divided between the West and China / Russia.

“Fang Binxing, known as the founding father of the Great Firewall China visited Russia in 2016 to help them with what they were doing, and the Russian parchment looked more like Chinese.“, He added.

And now Russia is turning to Beijing again as Internet firms start exporting goods and services: “Because the Russian economy is disconnected from the global economy, they are targeting China. They will have to rely more on China than in the past.So far, tech firms like Huawei have said nothing about it.

BBC World

Source: La Nacion

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