The Russian government is currently discussing plans to build its own “independent internet infrastructure” that will be used by BRICS member states — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.The plan was part of the topic list at the October meeting of the Russian Security Council, and President Vladimir Putin approved the initiative with a completion deadline of August 1, 2018, according to Russian news agency RT (formerly Russia Today).
Russia, China, and many other countries have criticized the US for hoarding control over the domain naming system (DNS), a position they claim has allowed the US to intercept and tap global Internet traffic. Last year, the US handed over control over the DNS system to ICANN, an independent organization. While Russia and China welcomed the move, they actually wanted the DNS system to be controlled by the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union. This is because the two countries have more power in UN matters than control over an NGO, like ICANN. The US was fearful to hand over control over the worldwide DNS system because it argued this would allow oppressive regimes to censor what Internet sites citizens can access. Lee Munson, Security Researcher at Comparitech.com commented below.
Lee Munson, Security Researcher at Comparitech.com:
“What is war good for? Absolutely nothing, bar fracturing the internet it seems.
If NATO going on the cyber-offensive wasn’t enough for today, the news that Russia wants to create a break-away internet in case the existing one were to ‘malfunction’ should send shivers down many a spine.
Under the guise of creating backup system of Domain Name Servers, the BRICS nations could just as likely be preparing a separate internet which would likely come with an altogether set of rules.
While that may sound great in theory, especially for citizens in those countries, experience would suggest that the likes of Russia and China would implement a level of censorship that simply does not natively exist on the world wide web as we currently know it.
Though some may argue that wrestling control of DNS away from American hands may have its advantages, an alternative run in part by a nation with a Great Internet Firewall is not a step in the right direction. They may also question why nations alleged to be heavily involved in offensive cyber operations has such an interest in the first place”.
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