Russian parliament passes 'sovereign internet' bill on first reading

Russia’s State Duma has reviewed and passed the bill “on the reliable Russian internet”, also known as the “sovereign internet” bill, on its first reading. 

The bill is intended to “ensure the reliable operation of the Russian segment of the internet in the event of disconnection from the global infrastructure of the World Wide Web”. 

The document was authored by Andrey Klishas, chairperson of the Federation Council’s committee on constitutional legislation, his first deputy Lyudmila Bokova, and the MP Andery Lugovoy. In its explanatory note, they explain that they drafted the law “taking into account the aggressive nature of the US’s National Cybersecurity Strategy adopted in September 2018”. They note that in the document, “Russia is accused directly and without evidence of having committed hacker attacks, and it speaks openly about punishment.” 

The US National Cyber Strategy states that “Russia, Iran and North Korea conducted reckless cyber attacks that harmed American and international businesses and our allies and partners without paying costs likely to deter future cyber aggression”. 

The document mentions Russia a second time: 

“Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea all use cyberspace as a means to challenge the United States, its allies, and partners… These adversaries use cyber tools to undermine our economy and democracy, steal our intellectual property, and sow discord in our democratic processes”. 

The newly passed Russian bill proposes the following: 

To establish a way to minimize the transmission abroad of data that is being exchanged between Russian users. 

When threats emerge, communications operators must allow for internet traffic to be controlled centrally. 

Communications networks must install technical devices that can determine the source of traffic and restrict access to resources with prohibited information. 

To create infrastructure that will ensure that Russian online resources work even if Russian operators are unable to connect to foreign root name servers. 

To have the government, communications operators and owners of technological networks conduct regular exercises to identify threats and develop ways to restore the functioning of the Russian segment of the internet.

  Russia, State Duma, US National Cyber Strategy, Korea