The Russian Defense Ministry has begun to the first stage of developing a multi-service telecommunication network, which will be the basis for the Russian autonomous internet or RuNet, Zn.ua reports.
According to the Ministry, the first phase will be finished by the end of the current year and the network will be fully operational by 2021. The Ministry plans to lay fiber-optic cable through the Arctic.
The Ministry’s own search engine, cyber action log and user identification system are expected to be developed for RuNet. The network will be completely isolated from the World Wide Web. Traffic exchange with the global internet will be blocked. All information will be stored on the Defense Ministry’s servers.
Funds for the “sovereign internet” of the Russian Federation have already been included in the State budget of 2019-2021. A monitoring system will be developed this year to control the public communication network.
On February 4th, 2019, the Russian government supported a bill on developing Autonomous Internet, but the bill was sent back for further revision. On February 12, the Russian State Duma adopted the bill in the first reading with all amendments. Testing of the network will continue until April 1.
Approximately fifteen thousand people participated in a rally for Internet freedom in Moscow on Sunday, March 10th.