New Russian controls on the internet

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A law introducing new controls on the internet has come into force in Russia amid concerns it may be used by the government to silence its critics.

The so-called “sovereign Internet” law, adopted by lawmakers and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin earlier this year, requires providers to install equipment that could route Russian web traffic through points that are controlled by the state.

It also includes provisions on the creation of a Russian domestic domain-name system.

Backers of the law say it will make what they call the Russian segment of the Internet — known as Runet — more independent. They argue the law is needed to guard Russia against potential cyberattacks.

The Kremlin has said the law will improve cyber security. A spokesman said users would not notice any change.

Critics fear the Kremlin will try to create an internet firewall similar to that in China.

Experts say it is unclear how the powers of the law might be used, or how effectively they can be implemented given the technology challenges and high costs.

Via RFE

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