After a year of of trying to block the messenger, they just decided to pass this law. All ISPs that handle inter-counties exchange must install a government backdoor that could shut down all outgoing and incoming connections outside from Russia.
Also, some websites now are blocked by their DNS record, not by their IP. This lead to other problems.
Imagine there was a website X that was blocked in Russia. The X company decides to change the domain and abandon X. Now, someone else buys the banned domain and adds any IP addresses to the DNS (like, government authorities websites). Whoala! These websites are banned in Russia as well. This happened multiple times and lead to Google, YouTube and other websites being inaccessible here.
The legislation proposes a separate national DNS system that differs from the ICANN one. Similarly to how North Korea does this in their country. This way no-one could buy an abandoned blocked website and add a bunch of valuable and valid IPs there.
They claim that this will increase the stability of the Russian Internet. People in our government believe that the Internet was designed in the US to control the world. They also believe that they could shut down the Internet in any country at this point of time. They say that this has already happened in Syria once and we need to prepare for this.
They don't actually explain that the thing that happened to Syria was possible only because they had a single ISP. And their centralised system was hacked.
I believe that if we decide to install a backdoor to all of our ISPs, then someone else from the outside could pull the switch.
That's a tough stance for a government to take. I guess using proxies, VPNs (w IPSec), and overlay networks like Tor and i2p would be made illegal too?
DNS based blocking is easy to get around: It is known to not work effectively. Content based blocking can be done away with TLS. And... IP based blocking wouldn't scale , one would think, and def isn't reliable because of ElasticIPs offered by Cloud Providers like AWS, like you point out.
This might push them to take desperate measures like force ISPs to stop peering with the internet backbone altogether (or worse, nationalise ISPs), which might set a dangerous precedent for other powerful countries to follow.
This doesn't sound good, at all.
 With 5G/WiMax around the corner looking increasingly likely that it'd be exclusively on IPv6 ...
That seems pretty radical. I mean, because of technology progress (mainly crypto improvements, but also cheaper hardware development) I only see two outcomes in the future: (it's a global issue, not just related to Russia)
1. We have a complete freedom of information exchange. It's a powerful thing. It's not only free speech, but also easily available all illegal digital content and ability to transfer money anonymously. In such scenario, it's inevitable that governments role will diminish. Well, they are huge and powerful, they can still retain a huge influence (and already do * ) by manipulating people, the software they use etc.
2. The Internet as we know it today ceases to exist. Basically what you wrote above and much more. Pretty dark scenario. I always hoped that enough big players (who are able to influence gov) depend enough on the way the Internet currently works, that it would be very hard push this. Maybe not as hard as I thought. Because note that most people, majority of users, simply don't care. Leave top 100 websites working (power law traffic distribution) and most people won't notice the difference.
People panic without understanding the reasons behind this law.
What TLD are these sites hosted on?
Maybe it wasn't designed with this objective in mind, but it is definitely used this way. And the fact that Google and Facebook are de-facto monopolies doesn't help.
And I'm not from the government. I'm just another little guy that sees tons of that propaganda every day.
For example, I watch mostly videos from conferences on YouTube. Why YT displays rusophobic videos in the recommendations list instead of more videos related to the conference? Even after I clicked hide button on them multiple times?
And all those rusophobic comments under every video about Russia? Who writes them? Sometimes I see exactly the same comment from different nicknames. I even made a screenshots of such instances, only to find out that nobody cares.
Just recently he had shared a meme picture from some of the "opposition" groups (Alexei Navalny or his friends) stating that Russia has the highest suicides rate in the world (of course, because we're poor and doomed and Putin eats our children for breakfast).
I didn't believe it and went to several official sources (including international) to verify. Of course, we're very far from the first place in the list of suicide rates. I've commented this on the post and received zero reaction. Moreover, the post was liked and shared further by several members of the group.
This is all you need to know about our "opposition".
And there're many persons like this disseminating fake news in facebook groups and other communities. I have no evidence, but I strongly believe that they're on a payroll from some non-Russian agency or NGO.
> This is all you need to know about our "opposition".
At this point, I would be incredibly surprised if any country in the world wasn't engaged in some sort of online trolling/fake news dissemination on either the global (e.g. Russia vs US vs China) or local (internal politics) scale. It's the best way to spread propaganda while making it seem as real as possible.
Yeah, i live here too.
On the second question though... I don't see any future for me in Russia. Thankfully, it will be relatively easy for me to emigrate.
I don't know where you're from but if you're from postsoviet countries you should know how freaking difficult it is to oppose the system and, in case of Russia, also dangerous.
Somebody else can stay and "advance" things. Life's too short.
First, this is not true, as there are already several regulations in place regarding the operation of several aspects of the Internet, such as the DNS. Second, I don't think anyone who cares about, say, copyright law, would agree with your statement.
Frankly, in real world, if you are responsible for even a small network, you'll soon discover there is someone who wants to abuse it, and solving the problem by technical means is not always optimal.
A lot of the most talented Russian network engineers don't want to work for an autocratic regime. I've met at least a half dozen that now work for international ISPs you would see on a top-30 list for CAIDA ASRank, none of which are Russian ISPs. They're living outside Russia, enjoying actual free speech and human rights, and making a better salary.
Good for the economies of Western Europe but not so good for Russia.
My colleagues working in SV and particularly at Google would disagree.
>they move because of health care, education, crime, corruption and perceived lack of a better future
Okey, replace salary with quality of life. I doubt that intangible political motives alone would've been enough.
The first part just seems like a forced MITM situation whilst the second makes some sense - in a cyber warfare scenario; however, that runs under the assumption that the DNS servers and/or entries didn't get poisoned before they're "cut-off" from foreign infrastructure. Doesn't really seem all that worthwhile, unless you create recovery points to ensure that you have records to recover with; otherwise, what's the point...?
(Of course, I could be entirely misunderstanding the premise of the law because it's not referenced in the article and I can't speak/read Russian for feck-all...)
Well, Russia has been threatened to be cut off from SWIFT.
At about the same time several Russian banks has been cut off from VISA and MC and after that Russia has built nation payment processing and forced VISA and MC use it for intra-Russia payments.
Being cut off from the internet is more far fetched but given the increased role of the internet in Russian economy and state services it is something that cannot be completely ignored.
Another possibility is that Russia cuts off itself after the multitude of crippling Stuxnet-like attacks via internet on targets of significant economical and industrial value.
Do you have a link for this claim? All I get when googling "russia cut off from swift" is a bunch of rt/zerohedge/tass stuff (wtf is TruNews?), followed by some clear denials in ft/bloomberg. Is there more to this than just the Russian government saying stuff?
13. Recalls that the restrictive measures taken by the EU are directly linked to the Russian Federation’s violation of international law with the illegal annexation of Crimea and the destabilisation of Ukraine, while the trade measures taken by the Russian Federation, including those against Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership countries which have recently concluded Association Agreements with the EU, are unjustified; calls for the EU to consider excluding Russia from civil nuclear cooperation and the Swift system;
Still funny that media did not report it at the time although this was made public.
According to Bloomberg, the U.K. plans to propose blocking Russia from the SWIFT banking transaction system, a move analysts say would effectively cut off Russian businesses from the rest of the world's financial system. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron will put forward the proposal during a meeting with E.U. leaders in Brussels on Saturday.
This would make news in the internet infrastructure community if it occurred.
Saying the US, "cut Russia off" is a massive overstatement, but something did happen.
Theoretically, an "emergency" that might be something like a civil uprising against autocratic rule.
If you were to look at the top 50 largest ASes in Russia and their IP space, and IX presences, they already peer with each other over IXes and PNIs extensively entirely within Russia. Things that are truly hosted entirely within Russia like servers for vkontakte and others would probably continue to function.
Take a look at the Russian ISPs which are members of the DE-CIX for a decent overview of which ASes are big enough to have established major POPs in Western Europe.
The .ru government does know where all of the long distance terrestrial fiber cables are, going in and out of Russia, and licenses each international link for various telecoms and ISPs.
Russia and the US have been antagonistic of one another ever since the Bolsheviks deposed the US backed monarchy. That doesn't mean either are delusional enough to end the human race in total nuclear annihilation trying to go to war with one another. That's completely obscene fearmongering.
Okay, so... The "But iraq has WMD lies" that were used to justify the 2003 invasion resulted in a ground war, but not with poor desert nomads.
Saddam Hussein and the Baathist party were the urban elite of the country. In terms of positions of power, financial resources and such, they were the 1% of Iraq.
The insurgencies that formed from "poor desert nomads" came afterwards, after they had defeated the Iraqi army and the paychecks stopped coming for the majority of the Iraqi army and police forces.
Not only that, you don't need a separate DNS for this. Presumably the .ru TLD is already controlled by Russia. All they would need is to operate their own root server, which wouldn't even need to return invalid data for other TLDs, just not return invalid data for the .ru TLD.
- Root DNS and most of the cloud providers are in US jurisdiction. US declared Russia as top 3 enemy and applies random 'sanctions';
- Russian (and EU) laws require companies to store citizen's personal information locally;
- many lazy developers and service providers relied on AWS/GCP thus breaking the law.
Telegram blocking attempt has shown that even some government resources are hosted outside Russia. In case of severe confrontation escalation US/NATO will cut DNS or will engage in cyberwarfare operations against Russia. So Russian government wants to make sure that Russian infrastructure will continue to function properly.
This is not PRIZM or Great Firewall of China type of system or regulation. There are no plans to cut off internet.
There's a group of people that spread FUD and hype around this initiative.
"Russia plans to test a kill switch that disconnects the country from the internet"
On one level I sort of understand. My own country would stuffed for a short while if DNS in particular went down. It's not just the internet - the phone system, a lot of TV and god knows what else would be in real trouble.
But on the another level, fixing it would just require DNAT'ing a bunch of IP's. If it happened (and it seems like a big if) it would be mostly over after 24 hours of mad scrambling. If you were paranoid enough to want to have everything in place you could try doing the DNAT on small sections, see what broke and what it didn't effect because packets will still flying out, and fix it without inflicting a worse case cyber war outcome on the entire country.
From a western perspective, the cost / benefit of what they are proposing seems way out of kilter. Maybe it is politicly reasonable thing to do in Russia, but in the west a whole sections of society (business, sporting associations, professions) would be willing to put in a few dollars to ensure whosever idea it was would never hold the reigns of power again.
Years of moderating this highly international forum has taught us that when people convince themselves that someone is faking their view, it's usually projection.
Also, it's rather also disingenuous to write off an entire comment as a "paid actor". That poster just makes the claim (which I believe you contest), that Venezuela is a "legitimate government"? Just say you disagree with the claim and explain why. It's something that would promote meaningful discussion.
Cause really, although I'm a bit of a novice in Central/South American history -- the USA has indeed done some shady stuff in the recent past.
Unsurprisingly, there is no mention whatsoever of these protests.
And what is your own view of the Russian government?
As for your question, I think that's clearly a false dichotomy. I do think the issue of propaganda is important, especially in today's times. So let's consider an incident. Some weeks ago you probably read about Maduro's government, in Venezuela, setting one of the US aid trucks on fire. This was covered extensively. CNN stated that "a CNN team saw incendiary devices from police on the Venezuelan side of the border ignite the trucks"  while describing the images of the trucks as sickening and repeating numerous calls for stronger action as a result of such things. If that page should change in the near future, the internet archive  is your friend. This was repeated by most other media sources as well.
The problem is that it was a lie. The aid truck was undoubtedly set on fire by anti-government forces. This is now being covered by the NYTimes  citing "unpublished video" and dutifully pondering 'how we got here'. The Intercept has also done a phenomenal piece on this event, here - showing how it was played out as propaganda and the entities that pushed it hardest.  Of course I haven't mentioned RT once yet, so what gives? This  gives. That's an article from RT. What you might notice is that they have an embedded video, literally the "unpublished video" from the NYTimes demonstrating that it was an anti-government protester setting the truck on fire. And it was published weeks ago, as soon as the information came to light while most western media continued to simply beat the war drums.
This is also not an isolated incident. I point this out not to claim that RT is amazing. If the roles were reversed and it was a very serious event such as Russia trying to foment a coup in another nation, I certainly would not expect RT to run timely articles indicating that actions being used as propaganda were, in fact, not the fault of the targeted government. You're not going to find any single source that provides "good, objective coverage" when it comes to issues that align with, or run against, their interests. So I find it important to expose yourself to a wide array of media and particularly to sources that are more like to challenge your viewpoints than affirm them. Nietzche might not approve, but in the end we're surrounded by nothing but abysses.
 - https://www.rt.com/russia/453483-internet-freedom-rally-mosc...
 - https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/24/americas/venezuela-pompeo...
 - https://web.archive.org/web/20190301142504/https://edition.c...
 - https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/10/world/americas/venezuela-...
 - https://theintercept.com/2019/03/10/nyts-expose-on-the-lies-...
 - https://www.rt.com/news/452326-venezuela-us-aid-truck-protes...
 - https://russian.rt.com/russia/news/609659-rt-miting-moskva
If I was Putin, I would make sure that you can stream or torrent movies and have good access to game servers, cat videos and mindless entertainment like my life depends on it.
People are given lots of distractions though - so many controversial, absolutely absurd laws have been introduced in the past few years everybody talks about (about fighting homosexual propaganda, forbidding adoption for foreigners, blasphemy laws and so on). Internet restrictions are like a drop in the sea of craziness and not even the most relevant one for the majority, or controversial, or loud.
How do you account for that?
Beyond that, due to Russia's sad history, the population has pretty low standards and expectations for its leaders.
If you mean the popularity of Putin then propaganda and general low level of education of populace.
If you post strong political claims using pejorative language like "disease", "dictatorship", and "disregarding the people" (which in fact is almost all of what you said), you're going to take threads like this further into flamewar whether you mean to or not. That's bad for thoughtful discussion and therefore off topic here.
Most of us are living in contexts where our strongly held political/national views feel obvious and unobjectionable. But the minute you open up to a much broader context, such as a highly international forum like HN, it becomes painfully clear that this is not the case.
And trying to be neutral or "soft" about these kind of things ends up in whitewashing it. It sounds strong, because the problem is serious.
The range of legit opinion is much wider than most people think. That has become very obvious to us, looking at the data left by millions of readers, voters, and commenters.
There is a threshold of contentedness above which it doesn't matter one bit what the hierarchy does to maintain integrity. China will stay separate for longer because they disconnected much earlier, but their anxiety over the trade deal just shows how hard it is. Britain too is going to pay a price. Putin is waking up too late. The Network will assimilate all. The thresholds have been crossed long ago.
This is the first generation of totalitarian leaders that has to figure out how to handle the "connectedness". They will do the obvious thing and try to disconnect. There is nothing to suggest it will result in anything but a loss to the state and to them.
If that's true, then the threshold for suffering is dramatically high. I don't think we need to list all of the oppressive states that have existed or still do exist where millions have died.
Unfortunately, it's getting easier for fewer people to monitor and control more.
Another Russian here.
You are misinformed. The law threatens you with 15 days in jail if you injure somebody or damage property. Likewise, the fines are reserved for things like being drunk or inciting violence.
I reckon you have a very… optimistic and cursory knowledge of Russian laws in that area.
That was rude and unnecessary.
According to , you are right and this article is used as you described against targeted political activists.
At the same time, it is not how it is used in general case .
Moreover, if you look, for example, at the preceding article (20.1 - disorderly conduct in public places)  you must conclude that in Russia people are jailed for 15 days for saying 'fuck you' to somebody in a public place. Which, of course, is not happening because the degree of punishment, while at the judge's discretion, has to be proportional.
Basically you would have instantly made Russian life a living digital hellscape for 5 years, at which point things could be lifted provided there were signed binding treaties and assurances that the type of attack in 2016 would never happen again. If attacks resumed the next round would last 10 years and be twice as severe.
If we're going to destroy net neutrality and impart government fascism, or have bizzaro government rulings that get throw out in court, this is how we should have done it, and this is the cause we should have done it for.