Doug Bedell — November 25, 2019, 4:57 pm

Can Russia Be Forsaking the Internet?


Russia is apparently challenging the concept that the internet is a worldwide, freely accessible, computer communication network.

John E. Dunn on the Naked Security blog reports that “Earlier this month, the country (Russia) passed a controversial new ‘sovereign internet’ law that requires the country’s ISPs (internet service providers) to set up deep packet inspection of all internet traffic and ready themselves for the imposition of a separate Domain Name System (DNS) under Government control.

“Last week the country’s Parliament passed what might turn out to be an even more significant order – from July 2020 all computing devices sold in Russia will be required to come pre-loaded with what is loosely described as “Russian software….”

“This hasn’t gone down well with the non-Russian tech companies that make the devices and software sold in the country.

“The obvious example is Apple, which reportedly lobbied against a law that breaks a basic assumption of its platform that all core software come from Apple itself.

“It’s not clear whether it will be possible to de-install the Russian applications, but the implication of the laws, which have still to be signed off by the legislature’s Upper House and President Putin himself, is that they will be part of the factory image.

“On that basis, it’s possible that Apple will withdraw its products from the Russian market…”

This obviously will be worth watching, to see if Russia will turn away from a freely accessible internet. Just now, it’s a confusing. but ominous-sounding, outlook.

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