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127 Comments:
cptaj said 2 months ago:

This has nothing to do with cyber warfare. Its just pushing the envelope towards full censorship of the internet.

They get the systems in place, they run drills to get the population used to the idea, then they close specific sectors, then they close everything and have special "open sectors" and then you're fucked.

Don't fall for it.

reaperducer said 2 months ago:

FTA: "Eventually the Russian government wants all domestic traffic to pass through these routing points. This is believed to be part of an effort to set up a mass censorship system akin to that seen in China, which tries to scrub out prohibited traffic."

freeflight said 2 months ago:

This has everything to do with keeping Russian digital sovereignty intact in case "digital blockades" will become an actual thing.

Like it or not, but Facebook and Google sitting in the US, collecting massive amounts of private data from people all over the world, while the NSA just taps straight into exchanges, like the DE-CIX, means that the Internet is an inherently very hostile place to any non-Five eyes [0] actors.

It's also for those above reasons that Russia and China have massive local social media alternatives, they don't want their citizen's data to end up on US servers.

For countries like Russia and China, it's actually important to make sure their digital infrastructure doesn't fall apart the moment a US company, or those aligned with Five-Eye interests, decide to shut them out.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes

JackPoach said 2 months ago:

First, you overestimate western media influence on Russian population, which is essentially so minor you can completely disregard it. Even domestically fewer and fewer Americans(Brits) take American or British media seriously.

Second, many governments (not just Russian one) have been very effective at censorship without disconnecting from the Internet. China is the only county that does both censorship and 'the Great Firewall'. Saudi Arabia is perfectly capable of very strict censorship without doing what China did to the very same extent. AFAIK Facebook, YouTube, Twitter are all accessible in KSA and are used by millions of Saudis on a daily basis.

ernst_klim said 2 months ago:

>you overestimate western media influence on Russian population

They don't want to turn off western media, they want to turn off people like Navalny and thousands of government critics who use facebook, telegram and youtube, plus Russian anti-gove media located abroad for the safety reasons, like Meduza.

They've already tried to block telegram and failed, now they are going a more radical way.

gandhium said 2 months ago:

> First, you overestimate western media influence on Russian population, which is essentially so minor you can completely disregard it

If it's so minor, why Kremlin (in current and previous reincarnation) so worried about it?

abledon said 2 months ago:

people go to war to gain control over something. If you can do so by censoring ideas, great! That is a lot cheaper than actual war.

staplers said 2 months ago:

.. I'm starting to see a lot of outrageous opinions like this on 'normal' forums like Reddit and HN with people defending this type of authoritarianism. I see the internet trending so extreme to the point it's useless for me. Not sure if others feel the same. Makes me sad to remember the hope I used to feel about its possibilities.

ecshafer said 2 months ago:

I don't believe the gp is defending authoritarianism, at least I hope not. I think they were in an academic sense providing an explanation for why these authoritarian governments behave in that manner.

imrelaxed said 2 months ago:

The above opinion get’s circulated quite a bit through Russian media. I speak Russian and check in on what’s going over there from time to time and let me tell you since 2014 shit has really hit the proverbial fan over there, television sensorship is utter and complete, preposterous lies are aired by the hour every hour, news segments are either heavily spun or straight up manufactured with actors and props, tv shows with audience participation train their audience to react only in a government sanctioned way, shows with participants from outside the studio are never live, 90% of Russian news and talk show discussion is about foreign policy, very rarely about the internal state of Russia, the major line being pushed is that NATO is evil and closing in around Russia and it’s only thanks to the efforts of Putin that Russia hasn’t been invaded or destroyed by immigrants, muslims, homosexuals, deviants and atheists like the “dying europe”, oh and the west is actually to blame for everything that goes wrong in Russia and in the entire world really. I can go on and on about the insanity that is present Russia but will only add a few more notes, there is massive militarization of every part of society to go with antiwest hysteria, Young army for the kids and a ton of millitant nationalistic organizations for adults. People are going to jail for likes and reposts of forbidden content on social media and ladt month a new law made it illegal to disrespect government officials with possible fine or jail time as punishment. That’s all I have time to report, but if you thought things were getting cooky in the west lately this quick overview of Russia might make you feel better by comparison.

simula67 said 2 months ago:

Things have gotten a lot worse between Russia and West. West has backed out of INF, introduced sanctions, announced plans to militarized space etc

imrelaxed said 2 months ago:

All of the things the west has done are completely justified in my view, in fact as someone intimately familiar with the state and motivations of Russia, I belive that the west is not doing enough to safeguard itself from the Russian threat that is developing very quickly. Russia had been cheating the INF for years and China was never a part so it was only logical for US to reset. Sanctions are a direct result of agressive, revanchist and murderous actions Russia is taking towards it’s neighbors and the attempts to manipulate politics and destabilize the west. Millitarized space is now a necessity due to Russias development of hypersonic ballistic nukes which avoid our existing missile defence shield, as well as Russia’s own experiments with militarized satellites.

scarejunba said 2 months ago:

Could it be that you're just misinterpreting these through the lens of your worldview? To me the guy you're responding to seems like someone who is likely to stand on the side of anti-authoritarianism

api said 2 months ago:

For the past 10-15 years there has been a broad based trend toward authoritarianism. I see it on both the left and the right. Most libertarians seem to have become either fascists or authoritarian socialists. What you see in forums reflects this larger trend.

It also seems to be a global trend that spans cultures, nations, religions, etc.

I am not sure exactly why this is happening, but my guess would be a lot of extreme change very fast driven by technology. Most people are intimidated by rapid change. The tendency is to run to the big alpha and close ranks with your own tribe. Your brain stem still thinks you are a hunter gatherer in the African savannah.

ethbro said 2 months ago:

I think it's due to a fundamental misunderstanding of how leadership works.

There are a number of studies that suggest that transparency past a certain point decreases the effectiveness of a democracy.

The implication being that most people have a worse calibration than professionals on when to deal and when to oppose, to achieve their goals as often as possible. And consequently people drive their leaders to act counter to the people's own interests out of negotiation ignorance.

Authoritarianism is a mirage of effectiveness against a morass of the public's own making.

pjc50 said 2 months ago:

My guess would be that people have paid for it to happen through some very effective propaganda.

said 2 months ago:
[deleted]
interfixus said 2 months ago:

Out of curiosity, in what way do you see the right moving towards authoritarianism?

gammateam said 2 months ago:

Because people see it works in their own private communities.

Just from acknowledging its effectiveness doesn't mean people are defending it, just recognizing that it is a really effective practice.

I think its outrageous that someone's lack of vilification is seen as tacit consent of the behavior.

abledon said 2 months ago:

ya wtf ofc its terrible, but its obvious that its not just 'censorship', it is a form of war waged by thought control

ordu said 2 months ago:

> outrageous opinions

Opinion can't be outrageous. Opinion is an idea, ideas doesn't kill people. Other people do.

wycy said 2 months ago:

Outrageous != Kills people

afiori said 2 months ago:

Ideas can kill millions. Infanticide as a sport is an outrageous idea, genocide is an outrageous idea. Ideas and beliefs are real and exists as such in our human experience.

ordu said 2 months ago:

> Ideas can kill millions.

No, it is always people who kills people.

> Ideas and beliefs are real and exists as such in our human experience.

Yeah, but they do not kill. It is always people. Do not blame ideas for the faults of people.

jddj said 2 months ago:

The idea that adjectives can only apply to humans is pretty novel. Wait, can I say that?

Can statements be considered ridiculous? Or is that just people too?

ordu said 2 months ago:

I didn't said that any adjective cannot be applied to an idea. It is moral judgements that mustn't. You'll risk to damage your ability to think clearly, if you allowed your moral to judge ideas. Judge actions if you must, but not ideas.

hyperman1 said 2 months ago:

Guns dont kill people, other people do.

Huh, why are there so many gun related deaths in the only country preaching this? Must be one of those strange coincidences.

See also the pen being more mighty than the sword etc...

Const-me said 2 months ago:

Russia is fighting 2 actual wars. Offensive war against Ukraine since 2014. Civil war in Syria since 2015.

You can't substitute wars with censorship, quite the opposite, they often go together. Not because one of them is cause, because both are consequences of authoritarianism.

tivert said 2 months ago:

> The test is also expected to involve ISPs demonstrating that they can direct data to government-controlled routing points. These will filter traffic so that data sent between Russians reaches its destination, but any destined for foreign computers is discarded.

> Eventually the Russian government wants all domestic traffic to pass through these routing points. This is believed to be part of an effort to set up a mass censorship system akin to that seen in China, which tries to scrub out prohibited traffic.

The internet is fragmenting.

_wmd said 2 months ago:

If you look at the Internet as a kind of cultural propagation weapon (I find it hard not to adopt this perspective given dominance of US content online, and as someone who with seemingly increasing regularity fails to spell in British as opposed to American English), then this outcome is easily seen as only a matter of time, and depending on how severe you interpret the 'threat', kind of long overdue.

throwaway415415 said 2 months ago:

There is no way they can afford to fragment the internet. They need open source libraries, they need access to information, they need access to education, etc. If they do that they will gp backward economically.

biesnecker said 2 months ago:

I wish I believed this as strongly as you do. The Chinese internet is isolated in a lot of very meaningful ways and the Chinese economy is not going backwards. There's probably a drag but it's not significant enough to stall progress.

You can unfortunately retain a lot of the utility of the internet while simultaneously sucking out the ability for it to be effectively used for political activity if you're willing to build the infrastructure required.

Upvoter33 said 2 months ago:

"There's probably a drag but it's not significant enough to stall progress."

I think it's rather the opposite. Why do you think tencent, alibaba, etc., exist in China, instead of the US alternatives? It's simply because there was a wall in place. Honestly, I'm not sure why more large countries aren't doing this - it's an easy way to build your own digital industry up.

lainga said 2 months ago:

That's the thing - I'm not sure Russia can produce their own competent tencent, alibaba, and so forth. I wonder if they're going to wall off their section of the Internet, then realise it's painful and open themselves up to Chinese companies.

It would be wise for someone in the Russian government to say "You will end up shining the shoes of the Chinese!" a la Italo Balbo at this point.

Andrex said 2 months ago:

Services don't have to be competent to be profitable.

In addition, I'm sure there's enough tech skill and manpower in Russia to create most any web service given enough incentive.

sangnoir said 2 months ago:

VK and Yandex seem to be very well done, competency-wise.

agent008t said 2 months ago:

I would argue it might have happened anyway. It would not have been profitable for US companies to export their services to China due to low (at the time) USD purchasing power of Chinese consumers.

said 2 months ago:
[deleted]
throwaway415415 said 2 months ago:

I have a very different vision. It is becoming more and more difficult for China to keep their internet closed.

batat said 2 months ago:

But they're already doing it.

More than 17 millions of IP addresses were blocked in 2018 [1][2] including large segments of Google/Amazon/Azure/DO/Linode etc. Although recently roskomnadzor unblocked most of them (perhaps due to the spread of DPI among internet providers, so they able to deal with https now and act more accurately), but ~800,000 IPs remains blocked. The government doesn't give a shit about creating a bad reputation for online business in Russia. Instead, actively engaged in "import substitution", e.g. making Сhina-like isolated payment card system [3] or spending millions for "national search engine" [4] (currently bankrupt, AFAIK). They are seems to be totally OK with isolation.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/17/russia-blocks-...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_websites_blocked_in_Ru...

[3] https://nspk.com/cards-mir/

[4] https://sputnik.ru/

tw04 said 2 months ago:

The government does, sure. And just like China, the appropriate government employees will be given access. But the public? The technical ones will find ways around it and the general populace will just go on without.

tivert said 2 months ago:

> The technical ones will find ways around it

And will be monitored. I've read speculation that some of the popular VPNs that still function reliably in China are likely to be government-controlled.

From an authoritarian's controlling standpoint, it makes sense to deliberately provide some "outlets" to trap the unsophisticated people who want to escape your control. Out of the pan an into the fire, so to speak.

_wmd said 2 months ago:

This is the common line, but where is proof of that? The Internet basically didn't exist 20 years ago, who can possibly say what a long-term plan to unwind from it could look like, and how technical partitioning of the network might effect the business and cultural information flows built on top of it, which will inevitably adapt to cope with that partitioning

anigbrowl said 2 months ago:

LOL they will still have all that

mikeash said 2 months ago:

In retrospect, the old idea that the internet would be above national borders was hilariously naive. It may be a global network, but there’s nothing that says each country can’t exert a lot of control over their little piece of it.

tialaramex said 2 months ago:

The Network, in all its incarnations, is about communicating. When you suppose that you'll gain some small advantage by refusing to communicate, everybody else keeps their advantage and you lose yours. You're cutting your nose off to spite your face. Sometimes it takes a war to learn this lesson temporarily.

The Treaty of Bern is my go-to example. See, after mail ("snail" mail, not email) had been invented countries thought like you did, we must exert our control over this for our own good. So to get a letter from Scotland to Switzerland you'd need to relay it in steps, to enter each country it would need to conform to the laws of that country.

So you'd write a Swiss letter, conforming to Swiss rules with Swiss stamps, you'd place that inside a French letter, with French stamps conveying an instruction to relay it to the Swiss border, and then place that inside a British letter with local postage affixed which asked that it be relayed to France.

This would take considerable time, and failed if the route unexpectedly took your letter to the wrong country. It was a monumental pain in the arse, and for what?

So, the Treaty says No, don't do any of that. Everybody who signs the treaty gets to send and receive letters, it traverses borders, and the costs will all come out in the wash anyway the sending country chooses the pricing and you use their stamps wherever the letter is going. Everybody signed.

_wmd said 2 months ago:

It's frankly a poor analogy, as the treaty of Bern did not enable the masses of the recipient country's children to sit captive for 6 hours every night attached to a glowing box that promoted ideas incompatible with their surrounding culture. The postal system was never used (to my knowledge) to bombard an entire country's citizens with false information about their government during election time, etc. etc.

The Internet is a very different creature to the postal system

asdff said 2 months ago:

>everybody else keeps their advantage and you lose yours.

In the eyes of a despot, the regime gains control and the masses loose coordination. The last thing they want is communication.

Shivetya said 2 months ago:

don't worry, the US political system is doing similar but under the guise of "fake news" and "campaign finance reform".

what doesn't work one way can simply be done another when you convince enough people to be afraid

Scipio_Afri said 2 months ago:

The US political system absolutely is not doing that.

mg794613 said 2 months ago:

Why is this person down voted so harshly? It's on topic. It's relevant and to my opinion even correct in mentioning this. Russia does it without shame in the open whereas the western (our) countries achieve this by scaring the people enough "they want it themselves". What's so wrong about that?

vorpalhex said 2 months ago:

Way to hijack a point to crow out a political charge.

api said 2 months ago:

Not even close. There is no network layer firewalling. Private platforms have kicked off offensive and BS content mostly to protect their market value to the majority of users.

opwieurposiu said 2 months ago:

Private platforms censor to appease the advertisers, not the users.

aaomidi said 2 months ago:

Which is appeasing the users indirectly.

rohan1024 said 2 months ago:

Until we have skynet online.

edit: I was talking about starlink. Assumed that Elon Musk named it skynet

freeflight said 2 months ago:

Skynet has actually been online, and killing people, for quite a while already [0].

[0] https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/02/the-n...

JackPoach said 2 months ago:

It's a smart thing to do (to have such a plan) even if no cyberwar ever takes place. There are so many possible scenarios of what could go wrong and having autonomous but functioning internet is absolutely necessary.

floatboth said 2 months ago:

It's kind of a stupid thing to do. Well, the excuse at least. Only people who don't know what BGP even is would buy the excuse. Any connected fragment of the internet can continue functioning autonomously anyway. The majority of traffic inside any country is already not going outside, and the internal segment would not break if the outside routes suddenly disappeared.

mschuster91 said 2 months ago:

> and the internal segment would not break if the outside routes suddenly disappeared.

Not when your default nameserver is 8.8.8.8. Or your NTP source is set to the public NTP pools.

There is definitely a benefit in doing a "we are isolated" scenario test once in a while to prepare for such incidents...

floatboth said 2 months ago:

8.8.8.8 is anycast, it is announced locally in many places around the world.

yardstick said 2 months ago:

Is there a local instance of it in Russia? What happens when that server can’t reach any upstreams?

isostatic said 2 months ago:

Yes there is, but if there wasn't it's easy enough for a government controlled provider to advertise it (and 1.1.1.1 etc).

China (and others) can also simply intercept all udp traffic to port 53.

mschuster91 said 2 months ago:

> China (and others) can also simply intercept all udp traffic to port 53.

Which is why DNSSEC (to prevent MITM tampering) and DNS encryption technologies such as DNScrypt or DNS-over-TLS/HTTPS become ever more important to be widely deployed.

tptacek said 2 months ago:

DNSSEC does little to prevent state-level intercept of DNS queries, since it's a server-to-server protocol that collapses down to a single, trivially-flipped header bit in the client/server transaction.

isostatic said 2 months ago:

Doesn't really help though - even when you bypass China's DNS hijacking you still can't connect to the target IP.

floatboth said 2 months ago:

There is. Only Google can answer the second question with certainty, but I'm 99% sure its upstreams are http://root-servers.org

yardstick said 2 months ago:

So wouldn’t it be reasonable to test what happens when it can’t reach its upstream servers? I assume Russia will need to provide some way of DNS record changes still working. It could be they intercept/replace 8.8.8.8, or they intercept the upstreams, but whatever it is I can see why they would want to test it first.

Not that I agree with the ultimate reasons for doing this exercise — mass filtering and surveillance — just speaking to the technical merits of why a test would be done.

wbl said 2 months ago:

Or you could contribute to the global Internet not going down. It has remarkable uptime.

SketchySeaBeast said 2 months ago:

What's the value in protecting the domestic internet from a cyber attack? Critical national information services absolutely, but if Reddit goes down, it's not a matter of national emergency. The conceit COULD be for disseminating information, but a text message system would make more sense in that regards, plus good old fashioned TV and Radio.

freeflight said 2 months ago:

The "domestic internet" is part of a collection of infrastructure systems that need to properly work to keep order in place.

For a more blatant example take a look at the dependency of US emergency services on private communication companies like Calif. wildfire fighters having their communications disrupted because Verizon throttled their bandwidth.

At first sight a mildly interesting anecdote, but in reality, it's a massive flaw in the US's approach to infrastructure. If anybody really wanted to "cyber" the US they would only need to attack the private communication providers, like Verizon, and will not only take down the public spread of information/communication, but also completely disrupt the civilian emergency response forces attempting to react to whatever else the adversary might be attacking with, for an attacker it's a win-win.

Sure, the US military has its own hardened communication, but all the rest of the US American society? They will be left out in complete information and communication blackout.

[0] https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/08/verizon-throttle...

airstrike said 2 months ago:

If Reddit goes down, it's not a matter of national emergency, but if say, all major news websites do, then you're probably fucked

dotancohen said 2 months ago:

I'm old enough to remember this happening 17 and a half years ago.

Two airplanes had crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, and word starting coming in of another plane crashing into the Pentagon building. Talk of terrorism spread, and American airspace was shut down, and another airplane crash was reported. All the news websites were down, except for Chips & Dips, which had disabled images and was mostly text anyway.

Actually, the site had already changed its name by then. I sometimes see some usernames here that I remember from there.

SketchySeaBeast said 2 months ago:

I wasn't old enough to be on those sites, but I do remember being glued to the TV pretty much the whole morning.

dredmorbius said 2 months ago:

And a few that you don't but were/.

SketchySeaBeast said 2 months ago:

> but if say, all major news websites do, then you're probably fucked

Why? What absolutely vital information did the general populace just lose access to that's not the equivalent to "well my router died"?

TheOtherHobbes said 2 months ago:

"War was declared at..."

SketchySeaBeast said 2 months ago:

And what about that news requires internet level transmission? We have SMS, Radio, & TV still. I'll bet the next morning newspaper would do it too.

airstrike said 2 months ago:

The stock market alone would plummet from not getting any news

SketchySeaBeast said 2 months ago:

And in the case of Russia shutting off the external connections, thus preventing any external news agencies from reporting, the Russian stock market would happily continue on?

Jeff_Brown said 2 months ago:

Unlike the US and Europe, capital in Russia is largely stashed abroad, and the economy not especially dependent on the small amount of trade and information mediated by the domestic stock market.

A stock market is kind of an institutional miracle -- people who don't know each other come together in the form of corporations, and then borrow from other people that don't know them. In a place with less trust, such cooperation is less feasible.

mc32 said 2 months ago:

Exactly. This is something all major powers should do, at least virtually, in the event it actually becomes necessary.

The BBC title is a little misleading in that it sort of implied permanency rather than it being a “test of the emergency system”, to borrow a phrase.

rjf72 said 2 months ago:

Any sources on the quote in the article, "Eventually the Russian government wants all domestic traffic to pass through these routing points. This is believed to be part of an effort to set up a mass censorship system akin to that seen in China, which tries to scrub out prohibited traffic." ? I searched and all I came up with was several sites saying the exact same thing, literally word for word, or otherwise saying so without any sort of source or rationale behind it.

This seems like a very logical test for all countries to carry out. Certainly not enough to suggest it's some sort of precursor to Chinese level censorship if this action is all that's based on.

tivert said 2 months ago:

>> Eventually the Russian government wants all domestic traffic to pass through these [government-controlled] routing points.

> Certainly not enough to suggest it's some sort of precursor to Chinese level censorship if this action is all that's based on.

That technical capability is an essential precursor to building a clone of the great firewall. After that, the censorship is just a matter of adding firewall rules.

equalunique said 2 months ago:

True, for blocking outgoing AND incoming connections.

Everyone in western media assumes the primary motivation is outgoing connections / censorship.

laumars said 2 months ago:

Maybe because hacking an average Russian citizen's PC nets you no benefits (I mean aside the usual low-level cybor crime that already happens) however controlling the media that person accesses then gives you a great deal of domestic power.

ccnafr said 2 months ago:
rjf72 said 2 months ago:

Thanks. Translate [1] seems to have done quite a remarkable job on the article. And I see absolutely no discussion about any sort of plans for national level censorship service along the lines of China. Perhaps a native speaker can chime in if anything was lost in translation, so to speak.

[1] - https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https...

batat said 2 months ago:

Official bill draft page[1] and some highlights from the provided set of documents (translation):

  Operators, owners of technological communication networks, as well as other persons having a ASN number [...] must:
  - follow the routing rules established by the federal executive authority [...] 
  - modify the routing rules at the request of the federal executive authority [...] 
  - to resolve domain names use software and hardware in accordance with the requirements, determined by the federal executive authority [...]
  - use only internet exchange points listed in the national IXP registry [...]
  [etc. etc. etc.]
  In cases of threats to integrity, sustainability and safety [...] centralized management of the Internet by the federal executive authority may be carried out.
[1] http://sozd.duma.gov.ru/bill/608767-7

* Edit: typo

2019ideas said 2 months ago:

>This seems like a very logical test for all countries to carry out.

Who is 'countries'? The president? The deep state?

I am not sure I want anyone but a group of decentralized nerds in control of this. And that control be optional.

Angostura said 2 months ago:

I would be very tempting to muck about with them such that when they finish their test and attempt to plug in again nothing actually happens and there’s still no traffic flowing

lightgreen said 2 months ago:

BBC says in bold:

> Russia is considering whether to disconnect from the global internet briefly, as part of a test of its cyber-defences.

Sounds scary. But than clarifies:

> The test will mean data passing between Russian citizens and organisations stays inside the nation rather than being routed internationally.

Which contradicts the previous sentence: Russia is not planning to disconnect from the global internet briefly.

I so disappointed at BBC for spreading misinformation.

sonnyblarney said 2 months ago:

Even though they are doing it for all the wrong reasons, I suggest this is probably going to be a good exercise for the internet, because these things could happen, and we have no idea what the fallout will be.

Randomly downing a few servers is often seen as good practice in ops to test for resiliency, and see how well things hold up as they are supposed to.

We will all learn a lot from it.

Of course it won't be good for Russians in the long run ...

dmazin said 2 months ago:

I don't have a source handy but they tried this a few years ago -- the same exact thing. They failed because Russia has so many connections to the net. Let's hope they fail again.

freewizard said 2 months ago:

Surprising it's Russia, not China, doing this first, as senior ex-Googlers like Eric Schmidt and Kaifu Lee brought up this "two internet" thing [1] [2]

[1] https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/20/eric-schmidt-ex-google-ceo-p... [2] https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/04/the-splinternet-an-internet-...

tivert said 2 months ago:

> Surprising it's Russia, not China, doing this first

China already did do this first. All their internet traffic already passes through government controlled choke points, and their citizens primarily use domestic Chinese-only systems, at least partially because foreign competitors are blocked. The things Russia is testing here are some basic capabilities of a great-firewall type system.

throwaway5752 said 2 months ago:

Recalls the Maginot line, in the case of cyber warfare. How man taps are there? Perhaps more sensible for managing the information presented to their own population in emergencies.

SketchySeaBeast said 2 months ago:

Now I'm wondering what the cyber warfare equivalent of Sichelschnitt will be - where will be the big blindspots that they are ignoring?

trhway said 2 months ago:

space based internet by SpaceX/Musk.

dylan604 said 2 months ago:

I was wondering the same thing about satellite based internet, but was thinking the old school versions rather than a SpaceX solution. I have not read up on any of the SpaceX plans or what their coverage would look like (US focused, global, etc).

The one thing that I would be somewhat concerned with trying to operate like this would be simple radio games. Would digital uplink transmissions be easily traceable? Not knowing the size of antenna required, how portable would it be? How much effort would it be for the uplink to be detected, triangulated, and goon squad dispatched?

jazzyjackson said 2 months ago:

I would obfuscate through a physical relay. Let them find the upload antenna, but without any idea where the signal originated. Or perhaps raise the cost of triangulation through spam radio, upload antennae broadcasting garbage.

But if this is in war, Russia can just stand more radars up and watch the packet radio bandwidth plummet, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duga_radar :

"extremely powerful ... 10 MW ... broadcast in the shortwave radio bands ... appeared without warning, sounding like a sharp, repetitive tapping noise at 10 Hz ... the Russian Woodpecker. The random frequency hops disrupted legitimate broadcasts, amateur radio operations, oceanic commercial aviation communications, utility transmissions, and resulted in thousands of complaints by many countries worldwide. The signal became such a nuisance that some receivers such as amateur radios and televisions actually began including 'Woodpecker Blankers' in their circuit designs in an effort to filter out the interference"

SketchySeaBeast said 2 months ago:

> SpaceX/Musk

I just realized that Elon is missing a lot of cologne opportunities.

reaperducer said 2 months ago:

I wonder if this was why the Russians demanded that Apple put iCloud servers there.

https://appleinsider.com/articles/15/09/11/apple-begins-stor...

konart said 2 months ago:

We have law from a few years ago that demands that all services that operate users' personal data to store it in Russia. It's more about having the power to access the data if needed without asking a service to provide the data first. Just come and grab it.

ccnafr said 2 months ago:
umvi said 2 months ago:

Satellite internet might be a nice way to escape censorship, though it's fairly easy for the government to detect if you are transmitting stuff at the sky...

jacquesm said 2 months ago:

> though it's fairly easy for the government to detect if you are transmitting stuff at the sky...

Not with a steered beam. Unless another satellite is riding shotgun on the one you are aiming at you will need some manner to receive the signal directly in order to triangulate. That's easy when the transmitter is non-directional but very hard when the direction is 'up' and the beam is focused and aimed at a specific satellite. You'll still get quite a bit of spread but you will need multiple simultaneous receptions in order to be able to pinpoint the origin of the transmitter.

davidhyde said 2 months ago:

Interesting that they chose April fools day to test this.

laumars said 2 months ago:

> Interesting that they chose April fools day to test this.

They didn't:

> The test is due to happen before 1 April but no exact date has been set.

davidhyde said 2 months ago:

Ah, I see

anigbrowl said 2 months ago:

More likely timed to coincide with Brexit.

chewz said 2 months ago:

Maybe this drill is a preparation for democratic election free from foreign influence?

tonyedgecombe said 2 months ago:

At least the political subs on Reddit will be quieter for a day or two.

gandhium said 2 months ago:

Nope. Those Kremlin trolls are already on VPNs pretending to be 'real westerners'.

agumonkey said 2 months ago:

we'll always have ham radio

jazzyjackson said 2 months ago:

A good xkcd question might be, how much power does it take to jam all frequencies with radio noise, per acre ?

Maybe you will have to transport yourself out to the tundra to get clear signal.

agumonkey said 2 months ago:

should I read about faraday cage forest design ?

gandhium said 2 months ago:

Soviets try to jam couple of short-wave stations: BBC, Voice of America and Deutsche Welle (at least). It _almost_ worked, you were able to hear them (although with some distortion) but i think that jamming will definitely break any data connections. I think even 300bps will not work with that level of noise.

quantuminsert said 2 months ago:

has everyone forgotten what we learned from the Snowden leaks? NSA has QUANTUMINSERT plus a dozen other QUANTUM* codeword programs to attack anyone connected to the Internet by using MITM attacks to impersonate any Internet endpoint and deliver tailored exploits to any client. the way QUANTUM works is by delivering the impersonated connected to the client faster than the real server can send the response. i have been surprised by the lack of interest from us tech nerds into figuring out just how is that possible on a technical level of Internet infrastructure? how can NSA insert itself so its server can deliver spoofed packets faster than the real server?

all Russia is doing here is protecting itself from QUANTUM style attacks on a total scale, by funneling all foreign traffic through infrastructure choke points which is controls. at the very least, this would give Russia the capability to detect QUANTUM attacks. and there is no question whether Russia needs this, because we have already seen evidence of QUANTUM attacks. recall the recent indictment of the dozen GRU officers for their alleged hacking the DNC? in the indictment it lists as evidence that DOJ knows certain Google searches for English translations performed by GRU officers, which later ended up used in the texts and names of accountsed used by GRU. nobody asked "wowie, how did NSA penetrate GRU so deeply to be able to hack their HQ network to then watch what they typed into web pages and emails?" QUANTUM is how. then there was the indictment of the North Korean who allegedly launched on of the bigger WannaCry variants and his indictment shows DOJ was reading his Yandex emails. how did NSA gain access to Yandex in the first place? can you imagine if Russia had breached Gmail and was bulk scanning everybody's emails?

so Russia cannot just do nothing. it has to protect its own cyber sovereignty from NSA. NSA already does the same thing here to protect itself and to give itself enhanced capabilities.

truly free speech is more censored here in America than in Russia, so worry about your own dwindling 1A rights before you tut-tut about Russian's right to say mean words about Putin and criticize their govt for not increasing the acceleration of importing SJW degeneracy into Russia from America.

xkgihu7r said 2 months ago:

What a clickbaity title. Why not include more info?

Russia considers 'unplugging' from internet briefly as part of a test

nakedrobot2 said 2 months ago:

They are testing this because they want the power to release an unspeakable virus / botnet which can destroy the whole internet / take down major infrastructure. Doing so would of course require disconnecting from the internet first.

jazzyjackson said 2 months ago:

For the critics, Bruce Schneier wrote about the massive east coast DDoS attacks occurring in 2016, says that it looks like probing, pentesting, checking for response measures.

"Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet"

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2016/09/someone_is_le...

ghostbrainalpha said 2 months ago:

1) Don't post conspiracy theories with nothing to back it up like its real information.

2) You don't need a virus to take down the internet. A fairly limited missile strike could take out enough of the backbone to take almost everything down.

3) This is a real danger all first world countries are aware of and prepare for or under-prepare for.

4) If World War 3 starts when China takes down Netflix.... our generation will have been a complete failure.

BerislavLopac said 2 months ago:

> A fairly limited missile strike could take out enough of the backbone to take almost everything down.

Which is quite ironic -- if true -- considering the Internet was originally designed to be able to withstand the nuclear war.

spdionis said 2 months ago:

I mean, just destroy a couple of AWS datacenters and half of the internet dies immediately.

1024core said 2 months ago:

Why wouldn't they? They've shown that it can be weaponized, and now are afraid of being on the receiving end.

freeflight said 2 months ago:

They've been on the "receiving end" of it for years already, contrary to popular perceptions the Russians didn't really invent any of this [0].

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-op...