Putin Signs Law to 'Stabilize' Russian Internet

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In the event that Russia should ever be disconnected from the global infrastructure of the World Wide Web, Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a law to stabilize the operation of the Russian internet, dubbed Runet, according to Tass, a Russian news agency.

Infosecurity Magazine reported last month on the then-proposed law, which was has been seen as part of Russia’s plan to cut access to the global internet. The final draft of the bill reportedly prepares for the unlikely event that – should anything threaten the stable, safe and integral operation of the Russian internet on Russian territory – “the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media will be able to carry out 'the centralized operation of the general communications network,'" Tass reported.

The law essentially lays the groundwork for Russia to develop an alternate domain name system (DNS), which would reportedly force all internet service providers to “disconnect from any foreign servers, relying on Russia's DNS instead,” according to Forbes.

We’re disappointed to see this request from Roskomnadzor. OpenVPN cannot in good conscience support censorship; I’ve personally experienced it and know the damage it can cause. We stand by our belief that open, secure access to the internet is a human right,” said Francis Dinha, CEO and co-founder of OpenVPN.

OpenVPN is a protocol and technology, and Dinha said it does not believe the law will impact its B2B services, unless Russia decides to block the OpenVPN protocol. Though the company has a consumer VPN service, it does not have any servers in Russia.

“OpenVPN is committed to our users and customers by protecting them against cyber-threats and providing secure and private access to their information from anywhere in the world. State governments and institutions may have the right to create policies and restrict its citizens from accessing certain content. However, OpenVPN will continue to provide access to our software and services to people no matter where they live or travel to. OpenVPN can’t compromise and must protect the security and privacy of those we serve.”

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