Thousands protest Russia’s plans to cut off Russians’ internet access to the outside world

The Great Firewall of Russia, “PutinNet,” Russian digital sovereignty, or the new Iron Curtain – whatever you want to call it, Russian internet censorship is about to reach a new dystopian level under Putin’s latest marching orders for the Roskomndzor. The draft legislation and plans for a walled off Internet are known as the Digital Economy National Program. Under this plan, the Russian government is providing cash to internet service providers (ISPs) in Russia so that they can build out the infrastructure necessary to be able to continue operating the Russian internet (RUnet) even in the face of an outside cyberattack.

Essentially, they’re continuing down the path to create a Russian internet killswitch would be used to cut Russia off from the outside world’s internet, but still allow Russians to stay connected to each other. The government is hoping to become immune to foreign cyberattacks using this method; in reality, they will just be closing in the walls with the creation of the Russian domestic net. Russia has sought this sort of internet independence for the “Runet” for years – there’s been conitinued efforts to create and operate a Russian national DNS from at least 2005.

Russians protest plan for internet killswitch

As a response, thousands of Russian citizens marched on Moscow and two other cities to voice their displeasure. These protests were similar to those seen in summer 2017 after Russia revealed plans to add VPN websites to their website blacklist All in all, BBC reports that over 15,000 Russians marched on Moscow. One of the assembled protesters told a Reuters reporter :

“If we do nothing it will get worse. The authorities will keep following their own way and the point of no return will be passed.”

Russian police reported much less attendees, and also haven’t officially announced the arrest of any protesters. However, reporters and protesters both saw members of the protest getting dragged off. Despite all this, personal VPN use in Russia is still allowed – though Putin is clearly posturing to have a Great Firewall of Russia ready to go to try and end that.

About Caleb Chen

Caleb Chen is a digital currency and privacy advocate who believes we must #KeepOurNetFree, preferably through decentralization. Caleb holds a Master's in Digital Currency from the University of Nicosia as well as a Bachelor's from the University of Virginia. He feels that the world is moving towards a better tomorrow, bit by bit by Bitcoin.

  • Category: Governments, ,
  • Tags: digital economy national program, putin, roskamnadzor,
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