On Friday, November 1, most of the provisions of the law on ensuring the safe and stable functioning of the Russian segment of the Internet, which is called the sovereign Internet law, came into force in Russia.
Critics of the law warn that it could lead to full censorship on the Internet, Radio Liberty writes.
The law obliges providers to install Roskomnadzor equipment that will allow the Russian state regulator to centrally manage the network in the event of “threats to Runet’s safe operation.” This will disconnect the Russian segment of the Internet from the global network. The rest of the time, Roskomnadzor’s equipment will be used to block sites prohibited in the Russian Federation.
It is noted that the list of threats has not yet been approved.
A number of points of the law, including the regulation on the national domain zone and cryptographic protection, will come into effect in January 2021.
The project to isolate the Russian Internet segment from the global network has already allocated funds to the Russian budget for 2019-2021. In 2019, a monitoring and management system for the “public communications network” will be created. In 2020 and 2021, “follow-up project implementation” will be completed.
On December 14, 2018, members of the Council of the Russian Federation Andrei Klishas, Lyudmila Bokova, and Andrei Lugovoi submitted to the Russian State Duma a bill “on protecting the Russian Internet from threats from other states,” provides for disconnecting the Runet from the global network. According to them, the adoption of the bill is necessary because of the threat of aggressive actions in cyberspace, which supposedly comes from the United States. On February 12, 2019, the State Duma of Russia adopted the bill in the first reading.
On March 10, rallies and pickets were held in several Russian cities for freedom of the Internet and against the adoption by the State Duma of a law to isolate its Russian segment. The largest rally took place in the center of Moscow – it gathered more than 15 thousand people. Despite the fact that the rally was agreed with the authorities, the police detained 28 people at it, in most cases without explanation. Detainees face fines of 10 to 300 thousand rubles, and several of them are arrested for up to 30 days.