Two months after Russia ‘s “Great Firewall” was activated , the country’s Ministry of Communications announced that it had successfully conducted the first test of the national alternative on the web. That is, an Internet that operates only in Russia and is not affected by the rest of the world. The information provided by the ministry is unclear and details are non-existent as it waits for the results to be presented to President Putin. All he had to say was that the users didn’t notice a change.
For the creation of the ” Runet ” the government forced the providers to turn the Internet within Russian territory into a huge intranet, a larger version of the networks we find in large companies. This type of infrastructure makes it even more difficult to use VPNs to access blocked content.
Internet experts fear a ” Balkanization ” of the global Internet, where the web will be fragmented into closed national networks. With China and Russia already having the national internet in place, the future of the internet looks bleak.
Unfortunately, Russia’s journey is yet another step towards breaking down the Internet. More and more authoritarian regimes that want to control what their citizens see are looking at what China and Iran have already done. This means that people will not have access to the dialogue about what is happening in their country and will remain in their own bubble. – Professor Alan Woodward, Computer Science, University of Surrey