Authoritarian Move: Russian Gov't to Briefly Shutdown Internet, Move Traffic to Russian Servers

Nick Kangadis | February 12, 2019
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The late comedian George Carlin once said that people are “always willing to trade away a little of their freedom in exchange for the feeling, the illusion of security.” Granted, Carlin was talking about Americans twenty years ago. But that sentiment could easily apply to any country that seems to be falling more and more under authoritarian rule.

For instance, take this latest revelation coming out of Russia.

The Vladimir Putin-led Russian government is planning to briefly shutdown the internet in order to reboot it so they can reroute all internet traffic through Russian servers.

According to The Blaze:

Russian internet providers are working with the government to execute this temporary internet blackout.

The goal of the exercise is to prepare for a law that is expected to pass called the Digital Economy National Program, which would reroute all internet traffic inside Russia's borders to travel through Russian servers. The government would create a Russian version of DNS, the address system for the internet. This, the Russian government argues, would prevent the country from being crippled in the event of a cyberattack.

Isn’t the fear of cyberattacks the reason most commonly used when a government wants to supposedly beef up internet security? Or is the Russian government attempting to trade away whatever freedoms their people have so that they the “illusion of security?”

The plan is being classified as a “test” by the BBC and other outlets, and is “expected to happen before [the first of April].”

But, as the Independent and the Blaze noted, the Digital Economy National Program will enable the Russian government to monitor and direct the Russian people’s internet traffic in a similar fashion to China. These methods are used to prevent people from viewing and posting content that could “undermine” their respective governments.

Any time you let government in the door of any endeavor, not only is whatever the process is slower and less efficient, but you indeed trade away freedoms for the “illusion of security.”

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