Russia Says Disconnecting From The Rest Of The Net 'Out Of The Question', But Wants Alternative DNS Servers For BRICS Nations

from the think-global,-act-local dept

At the start of the year, we wrote about a call for Russia to make its Internet infrastructure resistant to external attempts to shut it down, and able to work in isolation if need be. It looks like the authorities are moving ahead with the idea:

The Russian Security Council has asked the country's government to develop an independent internet infrastructure for BRICS nations, which would continue to work in the event of global internet malfunctions.

The RT news story has some details on how the BRICS subnet will work:

They decided that the problem should be addressed by creating a separate backup system of Domain Name Servers (DNS), which would not be subject to control by international organizations. This system would be used by countries of the BRICS bloc -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The plan has evidently developed from a purely Russian intranet system to one that includes the other BRICS nations. Creating additional DNS servers will be easy, so there's no reason why it shouldn't happen -- not least because Putin has "personally set a deadline of August 1, 2018 for the completion of the task". Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the story is the following comment by Putin's Press Secretary, Dmitry Peskov:

"Russia’s disconnection from the global internet is of course out of the question," Peskov told the Interfax news agency. However, the official also emphasized that "recently, a fair share of unpredictability is present in the actions of our partners both in the US and the EU, and we [Russia] must be prepared for any turn of events."

That offers a pragmatic recognition that disconnection from the global Internet is no longer an option for a modern state, even if Iran begs to differ. It's true that local DNS servers provide resilience, but they also make it much easier for a government to limit access to foreign sites by ordering their IP addresses to be blocked -- surely another reason for the move.

This latest proposal is part of a long-running campaign by Russia to wrest control of key aspects of the Internet -- such as the DNS system -- from international bodies, for example during the ITU's World Conference on International Communications (WCIT) in 2012. Russia already had the support of other BRICS governments back then, which suggests they will back the new approach.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

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Filed Under: brics, dns, internet, russia


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2017 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re:

    "how long before an ISP blocks all but their own DNS servers?"

    How would they accomplish this? ... Make it so users are forced into using the official "browser" crafted by the ISP?

    Certainly there are ways of circumventing this also.

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