back to article Having a bad day? Be thankful you don't work at a Russian ISP: Kremlin signs off Pootynet restrictions

Russia's internet iron curtain has been formally signed into law by President Putin. The nation's internet service providers have until 1 November to ensure they comply. The law will force traffic through government-controlled exchanges and eventually require the creation of a national domain name system. The bill has been …

  1. JLV Silver badge

    Go, Putain, go

    This a country where many families can’t afford shoes*. But which can still spend $50b on Sochi 2014 winter games. Prop up a gas-happy fellow autocrat. And invade the neighbors.

    Guess ya gotta keep the plebs from complaining if bread and circuses don’t work.

    The IPS-to-ISP link boxes is really quite the thing. If I understand correctly, that affords unlimited wiretapping.

    Wonder how long Russian paranoia and nostalgia for days when they mattered is gonna keep them blind to this clown’s habits.

    *

    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/04/04/official-poll-shows-russians-too-poor-to-afford-shoes-puzzling-kremlin-a65083

    1. genghis_uk

      Re: Go, Putain, go

      Not sure if that was a typo or a bit of French humour...

      1. JLV Silver badge

        Re: Go, Putain, go

        A votre avis?

      2. Artem S Tashkinov

        Re: Go, Putain, go

        More like French sarcasm.

    2. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: Go, Putain, go

      I too can't afford new shoes, and live in a country which announced Glorious New Peoples' Austerity simultaneously with spending $15 billion on Glorious Olympic Games for 2012, for which the caravan has now moved on leaving concrete detritus and the usual litter.

      Your point is ?

      At least the Soviets Federationists managed to make a $2 billion profit on their tomfoolery; something far beyond the wit of our gibbering cabinets.

      1. JLV Silver badge

        Re: Go, Putain, go

        Wait, ain't yours also the country where some poor folk got nerve-gassed by, rather inept, Russian thugs?

        Anyway, I was in no way expressing support for Theresa Maybe. But there's a whole lot of difference between usual run in the mill Western democratic corruption and stupidity. And P's level of nastiness.

        And that includes even the Orange Buffoon who, even trying his darnedest, doesn't hold a candle to P. With the possible exception of his long term impact to CO2 emissions.

        And if you really believe Sochi turned a $2B profit, I have a nice bridge to sell you ;-)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Go, Putain, go

          "Wait, ain't yours also the country where some poor folk got nerve-gassed by, rather inept, Russian thugs?"

          Close, but no cigar. Wanna try again and see what's behind the next door?

      2. Bongwater

        Re: Go, Putain, go

        All of your friends that moved to Northeast Philadelphia told me never believe anything coming out of Russia. I have Ukranian neighbors as well who get along with Russians here. I wanted to make sure I did not make any cultural gaffs when speaking with Russian and Ukrainian friends. They both said the same damn thing. Ukranian neighbors also drank with my Russian friend and I and no animosity was detected by my amazing detective skills. I really really want to see how Putin earned that 2 billion, the accounting must have been very creative.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Go, Putain, go

          I really really want to see how Putin earned that 2 billion

          It's quite simple - that's the value of the bribes paid to his 'family members and close friends' so that contractors can get the job.

          Also, I would imagine that his accountants favourite phrase is "what would you like the figures to be sir?" and then their major task is to make his accounts appear exactly how he wants them.

          No so much a second set of books - more an entire libraries-worth of them.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @JLV - Re: Go, Putain, go

      Like US don't have taps at all major interconnection points and transatlantic cables.

      Let's not be silly, shall we ?

      1. Unoriginal Handle

        Re: @JLV - Go, Putain, go

        And the Chinese are brazen enough to do it in the US...

        https://www.securityweek.com/china-telecom-constantly-misdirects-internet-traffic

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Go, Putain, go

      re. shoes, there was some soul-searching in Russian radio on this, and naturally, some callers pointed out that they don't make them boots like they used to (Chinese junk, cheap but nasty, etc.), and that the boots won't last you one winter in Moscow or Petersburg, due to the salt and chemicals used to keep the roads and pavements less slippery (I wonder what they used before though, perhaps nonthing). My point? Well, as above, they wear their shoes/boots much faster. On a similar note (times a-changing), they discovered (shock! horror!) that the youngsters never keen to join the Russian/Soviet/Russian army now expect not only to be treated like humans, instead of being treated like, well, Russian conscripts, but demand access to such luxuries as mobile internet and computer games, etc. No wonder Putin wants to stop Western corruption via internet (CIA plot, no doubt) seeping into the healthy Russian minds...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Go, Putain, go

      here's a slightly more informative piece (on the project, not on the shoes)

      www.newamerica.org/cybersecurity-initiative/c2b/c2b-log/russias-plans-for-a-national-internet/

      (although the analysis, given the title of the website doesn't inspire confidence in their impartiality, new america. Whose side are they on? ;)

  2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    The bill states such action will be taken in case of a "security threat" but does not define what that means.

    I can help you to explain what exactly "security threat" means: everything that threatens Putin and his corrupt organisation.

    1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

      Possibly, but with the US putting on econic sanctions on everyone who looks at them funnily, alo g with the russophobia that's being fostered by the US and its mainstream media, it's not surprising that they want at least their internal digital services to continue to work if someone decides they need to be cut off from the internet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Kabukiwookie - I don't why I got down voted

        Everything you say is real. Maybe some of the down voters could come here and prove you wrong.

        1. JLV Silver badge

          Re: @Kabukiwookie - I don't why I got down voted

          >Maybe some of the down voters could come here and prove you wrong.

          Says Comrade Anonymous ;-)

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: @Kabukiwookie - I don't why I got down voted

          "Everything you say is real."

          Even the "econic sanctions"?

          1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

            Re: @Kabukiwookie - I don't why I got down voted

            So did you have a problem understanding what I was writing or are you just a spelling nazi?

            I understand obsessive compulsive disorder though, so that's all good.

      2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        I fully understand the virtues of running a more independent infrastructure - just consider, e.g. the recent allegations and discoveries regarding Cisco and Huawei products respectively. That is one thing. It is a completely different matter though to oblige all ISPs to connect via pootynet routers.

        I'm just not able to appreciate such and can't resist my inner evil that says: sod off, you feckin' sinister control freaks!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pictures of Putin giving Donald a cheeky finger while a smiling bear in a clown outfit watches.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Evil Auditor - May I remind you

      that a lot of high profile political leaders were named in those Panama papers but not the Russian president. Clue for you, just watch China doing the same. It's just national security matter with the added bonus of increasing visibility and control on their population.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: @Evil Auditor - May I remind you

        It depends where those "political leaders" live. Some are in places where it's "safer" to move money/documents through a less transparent, no questions asked jurisdiction. Others live in places where it's not very healthy to ask questions and so may not need to hide certain transactions in a 3rd party country.

        Read what you will into the Panama Papers but don't assume that people not mentioned in them are "clean".

  3. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Coat

    All Hail Tsar Putin

    That is all... I'll get my coat.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Souinds more like a one-way valve.

    But probably is a two way valve. Not only keeps the citizens in, but keeps outsiders out and thus unable to hack and steal. I'm sure the groups over there who do the actual hacking/stealing fraud will keep their access.

  5. DougS Silver badge

    What about satellite?

    If the satellite internet schemes from OneWeb, SpaceX and so forth actually happen, how does Russia stop people from seeing what they want? What happens when they leave the country and don't see Putin's sanitized news?

    Trying to control information to that degree basically requires keeping your population as prisoners like in North Korea. Is Putin really prepared to go that far?

    1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: What about satellite?

      Remember Putin was in the KGB for 16 years - reestablishing the Iron Curtain would probably not bother him at all.

      To block satellite Internet just requires that devices capable of accessing the satellites are banned in Russia. (Possibly with the addition of a few jamming transmitters aimed at the satellites to make them incapable of receiving transmissions from low powered ground equipment.)

    2. Artem S Tashkinov

      Re: What about satellite?

      Satellite Internet is prohibitively expensive for most mere mortals, so Putin is not concerned about it at all. What he must be concerned about is WiFi/Cellular coverage at the borders of the country but these radio signals can be relatively easily suppressed and people trying to relay the Internet can be physically suppressed even easier.

      Putin just cannot sleep well until Russia becomes the next North Korea.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Artem Tashkinov - Re: What about satellite?

        You don't get it. Blocking news from outside Russia is an added benefit but not the main goal. Besides, I'm not convinced Russians are that eager to listen to the misinformation and anti-Russian hate speech.

        I can't tell if Russia will become the next NK but it is obvious to me Putin helped Russia avoid becoming Venezuela. At least for the time being.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: @Artem Tashkinov - What about satellite?

          No, he's well on his way to making it become the next Venezeula. People with a political axe to grind like to claim Venezuela's problems are because "socialism", but the real issue is dictatorship and cronyism. After the Soviet government fell apart, Russia was taking some tentative steps towards becoming a democracy, but once the oligarchs were able to become entrenched the rise of Putin or someone like him was all but guaranteed. Dictators can't exist in the long run without cronyism/oligarchs and vice versa.

          They're going to need another revolution to unseat him, which is what he's trying to prevent by first destroying the free press within his own country, and now making moves to prevent Russians from reading the free press in other countries.

          Satellite internet may be expensive but the cost doesn't have to be borne by a single individual - just like people used to pool together to buy a shortwave radio in oppressive regimes, they could pool together to get satellite internet. Might need to put the dish under some sort of plastic or fiberglass container to hide it, so the neighbors don't inform on them...

    3. Nick Kew

      Re: What about satellite?

      Satellite isn't anyone's default connection. Those using satellite have made an active choice to do so. They're outside the scope of the Russian Internet that they're seeking protect from the risk of hostile action from Trump or a successor.

      As for the evil surveillance state side of the action (both that and the legitimate defensive explanation are entirely plausible and likely), those using satellite are surely too few to worry about - for now, at least. And probably too techie to suppress. Like those who can use commandline PGP - rather than an app that can be backdoored or banned - to get around Oz's spying law. Or those who can route around Blighty's great firewall (aka IWF).

    4. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: What about satellite?

      Trying to control information to that degree basically requires keeping your population as prisoners like in North Korea. Is Putin really prepared to go that far?

      Collapse of USSR is fairly recent, so it is not that long ago when travel out of USSR was tightly controlled. Hence I wouldn't rule it out (if you can rule anything out with Putin).

  6. James_H

    LinkedIn is banned?

    So it's not all bad then.

  7. Cxwf

    Yeah, that’s what makes actions like this so complex to pass judgment on. Their stated goal is actually pretty reasonable, and the risk they are trying to avoid is probably real. But in the process they are handing themselves massive new powers of oppression, should they decide to exercise them.

    What do you do? Just get less villainous leadership?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Cxwf - You don't deserve the down voting

      What government in this world would pass on such opportunity to spy on its citizens ?

      Would someone remind us why Snowden is the most wanted person on Earth ?

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    One step from

    the Great Firewall of Russia. They can then link arms in solidarity with China's GFW like a hands across the universe kind of love in...

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: One step from

      They can then link arms in solidarity with China's GFW like a hands across the universe

      Up until recently, China and Russia (and before that the Soviet Union) were very definately best buddies.

      Wrong sort of communism on the line :-)

      (That and being geographically next to each other as rivals with a long land border fired paranoia on both sides of the line..)

      I suspect now all that binds them together is having the same set of enemies. At some point they'll revert to realising that the enemy of my enemy is not always my friend..

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Russia's internet iron curtain has been formally signed into law

    while Western democracies are watching with keen interest. And sure, I'm a Kremlin troll, aka "and you're lynching Negros", but I'm pretty sure they ARE watching, as well as taking CAREFUL notes of how it works out.

  10. arctic_haze Silver badge

    What if they do get cut off the rest of the Internet?

    I can think about only two categories of Internet users who would miss the Russian Internet connection:

    Russian state-sponsored trolls and porn users outside Russia.

  11. Tonyp1700

    "...require the creation of a national domain name system"

    well there's your SSL decryption code brown.

  12. clyde666

    the all controlling civil service

    And next in line comes the UK, no doubt. Watching how it turns out in Russia. And as they have done so spectacularly with EU rules, the UK will take the Russian 'experience' and apply it with bells on. Of course, there will be optional opt-outs for the City of London money laundering industry, just so long as the plebs are kept in their place.

  13. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    This may be the start of a trend where other countries decide to have their own WAN sans the Internet as well, just to "protect" their citizens from cyberattacks, pr0ns etc.....

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