Russia has been building a “sovereign internet” for years.
The “sovereign internet” created by Russia since 2017 failed at a critical juncture this week when websites went down on the Russian-language internet.
Vladimir Putin Russia's own Internet-related law, signed in 2019, gave authorities unprecedented powers to monitor and block Internet use.
With the change in legislation, Roskomnadzor, which is responsible for the Russian Regulatory Commission and audit apparatus, gained more power.
Russia continues to test the system and says it has the ability to cut the country off from the international internet so that the national internet still works.
When the Internet problems began on Tuesday, Roskomnadzor ordered telecom operators to use the national DNS name service system, meaning a closed Internet.
Independent Russian media Moscow Times Accordingly, despite the order, the deployment of Russia's sovereign Internet failed.
According to financial media Kommersant, the system was said to be working normally as Russian operators are forced to use it under threat of fines. Still, some operators did not switch to the national DNS service even when the order came.
Sergey Tsaiko / Alamy Stock Photo
Roskomsvoboda, a Russian NGO campaigning for internet freedom, does not believe the official explanation. According to the organization, the reason was not the operators, but the technology simply failed.
Tuesday's internet outage was caused by a DNSSEC bug that took the .ru and .rf domains offline.
DNSSEC is a service that strengthens the data security of name servers. It is often described as a form of insurance that guarantees that a web user will get exactly the web page he wants to go to.
Founder of Roskomsvoboda Stanislav Shakirov According to the Moscow Times, he said that the National Technical Centers serving different regions of Russia are always responsible for similar disruptions.
Experts believe that an experiment that tested the functionality of an isolated sovereign internet is the cause of the problem. The end result is total failure.
The Russian digital ministry held an emergency meeting after the scandal and asked the security service FSB to investigate the matter. It is expected to issue its initial report from Friday, February 2.