They get the systems in place, they run drills to get the population used to the idea, then they close specific sectors, then they close everything and have special "open sectors" and then you're fucked.
Don't fall for it.
Second, many governments (not just Russian one) have been very effective at censorship without disconnecting from the Internet. China is the only county that does both censorship and 'the Great Firewall'. Saudi Arabia is perfectly capable of very strict censorship without doing what China did to the very same extent. AFAIK Facebook, YouTube, Twitter are all accessible in KSA and are used by millions of Saudis on a daily basis.
They don't want to turn off western media, they want to turn off people like Navalny and thousands of government critics who use facebook, telegram and youtube, plus Russian anti-gove media located abroad for the safety reasons, like Meduza.
They've already tried to block telegram and failed, now they are going a more radical way.
Like it or not, but Facebook and Google sitting in the US, collecting massive amounts of private data from people all over the world, while the NSA just taps straight into exchanges, like the DE-CIX, means that the Internet is an inherently very hostile place to any non-Five eyes  actors.
It's also for those above reasons that Russia and China have massive local social media alternatives, they don't want their citizen's data to end up on US servers.
For countries like Russia and China, it's actually important to make sure their digital infrastructure doesn't fall apart the moment a US company, or those aligned with Five-Eye interests, decide to shut them out.
It also seems to be a global trend that spans cultures, nations, religions, etc.
I am not sure exactly why this is happening, but my guess would be a lot of extreme change very fast driven by technology. Most people are intimidated by rapid change. The tendency is to run to the big alpha and close ranks with your own tribe. Your brain stem still thinks you are a hunter gatherer in the African savannah.
There are a number of studies that suggest that transparency past a certain point decreases the effectiveness of a democracy.
The implication being that most people have a worse calibration than professionals on when to deal and when to oppose, to achieve their goals as often as possible. And consequently people drive their leaders to act counter to the people's own interests out of negotiation ignorance.
Authoritarianism is a mirage of effectiveness against a morass of the public's own making.
Just from acknowledging its effectiveness doesn't mean people are defending it, just recognizing that it is a really effective practice.
I think its outrageous that someone's lack of vilification is seen as tacit consent of the behavior.
Opinion can't be outrageous. Opinion is an idea, ideas doesn't kill people. Other people do.
No, it is always people who kills people.
> Ideas and beliefs are real and exists as such in our human experience.
Yeah, but they do not kill. It is always people. Do not blame ideas for the faults of people.
Can statements be considered ridiculous? Or is that just people too?
You can't substitute wars with censorship, quite the opposite, they often go together. Not because one of them is cause, because both are consequences of authoritarianism.
> Eventually the Russian government wants all domestic traffic to pass through these routing points. This is believed to be part of an effort to set up a mass censorship system akin to that seen in China, which tries to scrub out prohibited traffic.
The internet is fragmenting.
You can unfortunately retain a lot of the utility of the internet while simultaneously sucking out the ability for it to be effectively used for political activity if you're willing to build the infrastructure required.
I think it's rather the opposite. Why do you think tencent, alibaba, etc., exist in China, instead of the US alternatives? It's simply because there was a wall in place. Honestly, I'm not sure why more large countries aren't doing this - it's an easy way to build your own digital industry up.
It would be wise for someone in the Russian government to say "You will end up shining the shoes of the Chinese!" a la Italo Balbo at this point.
In addition, I'm sure there's enough tech skill and manpower in Russia to create most any web service given enough incentive.
More than 17 millions of IP addresses were blocked in 2018  including large segments of Google/Amazon/Azure/DO/Linode etc. Although recently roskomnadzor unblocked most of them (perhaps due to the spread of DPI among internet providers, so they able to deal with https now and act more accurately), but ~800,000 IPs remains blocked. The government doesn't give a shit about creating a bad reputation for online business in Russia. Instead, actively engaged in "import substitution", e.g. making Сhina-like isolated payment card system  or spending millions for "national search engine"  (currently bankrupt, AFAIK). They are seems to be totally OK with isolation.
And will be monitored. I've read speculation that some of the popular VPNs that still function reliably in China are likely to be government-controlled.
From an authoritarian's controlling standpoint, it makes sense to deliberately provide some "outlets" to trap the unsophisticated people who want to escape your control. Out of the pan an into the fire, so to speak.
The Treaty of Bern is my go-to example. See, after mail ("snail" mail, not email) had been invented countries thought like you did, we must exert our control over this for our own good. So to get a letter from Scotland to Switzerland you'd need to relay it in steps, to enter each country it would need to conform to the laws of that country.
So you'd write a Swiss letter, conforming to Swiss rules with Swiss stamps, you'd place that inside a French letter, with French stamps conveying an instruction to relay it to the Swiss border, and then place that inside a British letter with local postage affixed which asked that it be relayed to France.
This would take considerable time, and failed if the route unexpectedly took your letter to the wrong country. It was a monumental pain in the arse, and for what?
So, the Treaty says No, don't do any of that. Everybody who signs the treaty gets to send and receive letters, it traverses borders, and the costs will all come out in the wash anyway the sending country chooses the pricing and you use their stamps wherever the letter is going. Everybody signed.
The Internet is a very different creature to the postal system
In the eyes of a despot, the regime gains control and the masses loose coordination. The last thing they want is communication.
what doesn't work one way can simply be done another when you convince enough people to be afraid
edit: I was talking about starlink.
Assumed that Elon Musk named it skynet
Not when your default nameserver is 22.214.171.124. Or your NTP source is set to the public NTP pools.
There is definitely a benefit in doing a "we are isolated" scenario test once in a while to prepare for such incidents...
China (and others) can also simply intercept all udp traffic to port 53.
Which is why DNSSEC (to prevent MITM tampering) and DNS encryption technologies such as DNScrypt or DNS-over-TLS/HTTPS become ever more important to be widely deployed.
Not that I agree with the ultimate reasons for doing this exercise — mass filtering and surveillance — just speaking to the technical merits of why a test would be done.
For a more blatant example take a look at the dependency of US emergency services on private communication companies like Calif. wildfire fighters having their communications disrupted because Verizon throttled their bandwidth.
At first sight a mildly interesting anecdote, but in reality, it's a massive flaw in the US's approach to infrastructure. If anybody really wanted to "cyber" the US they would only need to attack the private communication providers, like Verizon, and will not only take down the public spread of information/communication, but also completely disrupt the civilian emergency response forces attempting to react to whatever else the adversary might be attacking with, for an attacker it's a win-win.
Sure, the US military has its own hardened communication, but all the rest of the US American society? They will be left out in complete information and communication blackout.
Two airplanes had crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, and word starting coming in of another plane crashing into the Pentagon building. Talk of terrorism spread, and American airspace was shut down, and another airplane crash was reported. All the news websites were down, except for Chips & Dips, which had disabled images and was mostly text anyway.
Actually, the site had already changed its name by then. I sometimes see some usernames here that I remember from there.
Why? What absolutely vital information did the general populace just lose access to that's not the equivalent to "well my router died"?
A stock market is kind of an institutional miracle -- people who don't know each other come together in the form of corporations, and then borrow from other people that don't know them. In a place with less trust, such cooperation is less feasible.
The BBC title is a little misleading in that it sort of implied permanency rather than it being a “test of the emergency system”, to borrow a phrase.
This seems like a very logical test for all countries to carry out. Certainly not enough to suggest it's some sort of precursor to Chinese level censorship if this action is all that's based on.
> Certainly not enough to suggest it's some sort of precursor to Chinese level censorship if this action is all that's based on.
That technical capability is an essential precursor to building a clone of the great firewall. After that, the censorship is just a matter of adding firewall rules.
Everyone in western media assumes the primary motivation is outgoing connections / censorship.
 - https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https...
Operators, owners of technological communication networks, as well as other persons having a ASN number [...] must:
- follow the routing rules established by the federal executive authority [...]
- modify the routing rules at the request of the federal executive authority [...]
- to resolve domain names use software and hardware in accordance with the requirements, determined by the federal executive authority [...]
- use only internet exchange points listed in the national IXP registry [...]
[etc. etc. etc.]
In cases of threats to integrity, sustainability and safety [...] centralized management of the Internet by the federal executive authority may be carried out.
* Edit: typo
Who is 'countries'? The president? The deep state?
I am not sure I want anyone but a group of decentralized nerds in control of this. And that control be optional.
Randomly downing a few servers is often seen as good practice in ops to test for resiliency, and see how well things hold up as they are supposed to.
We will all learn a lot from it.
Of course it won't be good for Russians in the long run ...
China already did do this first. All their internet traffic already passes through government controlled choke points, and their citizens primarily use domestic Chinese-only systems, at least partially because foreign competitors are blocked. The things Russia is testing here are some basic capabilities of a great-firewall type system.
The one thing that I would be somewhat concerned with trying to operate like this would be simple radio games. Would digital uplink transmissions be easily traceable? Not knowing the size of antenna required, how portable would it be? How much effort would it be for the uplink to be detected, triangulated, and goon squad dispatched?
But if this is in war, Russia can just stand more radars up and watch the packet radio bandwidth plummet, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duga_radar :
"extremely powerful ... 10 MW ... broadcast in the shortwave radio bands ... appeared without warning, sounding like a sharp, repetitive tapping noise at 10 Hz ... the Russian Woodpecker. The random frequency hops disrupted legitimate broadcasts, amateur radio operations, oceanic commercial aviation communications, utility transmissions, and resulted in thousands of complaints by many countries worldwide. The signal became such a nuisance that some receivers such as amateur radios and televisions actually began including 'Woodpecker Blankers' in their circuit designs in an effort to filter out the interference"
I just realized that Elon is missing a lot of cologne opportunities.
Not with a steered beam. Unless another satellite is riding shotgun on the one you are aiming at you will need some manner to receive the signal directly in order to triangulate. That's easy when the transmitter is non-directional but very hard when the direction is 'up' and the beam is focused and aimed at a specific satellite. You'll still get quite a bit of spread but you will need multiple simultaneous receptions in order to be able to pinpoint the origin of the transmitter.
> The test is due to happen before 1 April but no exact date has been set.
Maybe you will have to transport yourself out to the tundra to get clear signal.
"Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet"
2) You don't need a virus to take down the internet. A fairly limited missile strike could take out enough of the backbone to take almost everything down.
3) This is a real danger all first world countries are aware of and prepare for or under-prepare for.
4) If World War 3 starts when China takes down Netflix.... our generation will have been a complete failure.
Which is quite ironic -- if true -- considering the Internet was originally designed to be able to withstand the nuclear war.