The Russian segment of the internet, called Runet, is about to be cordoned off from the rest of the world, with a new law recently adopted by the State Duma to protect online Russia from external threats and transform it into a “sovereign” space.

A report says that taxpayers and end users will foot the bill for Russia’s “Great Firewall”, and that this will likely affect online businesses including crypto platforms.

The lower house of the Russian parliament has this week adopted a final reading of a draft known as the ‘Digital Economy National Program’. Although the next legislative step is approval that is still required from the upper house – the Federation Council – before proceeding to the President for his signature, Duma’s decisive support points to a strong political will for this to pass and become law.

Once it does get implemented, the system will mean that local internet traffic will have to pass through state-controlled routers to ensure they only can visit sites that are permitted. The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) will also be granted absolute power, able to close down internet providers. Just recently, it had already forced VPN providers in the country to get on board with a censorship program, prompting TorGuard to close its operations in Russia.


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