Russia will build its own Internet directory citing FPSA information warfare

Submitted by Freedomman on Thu, 11/30/2017 - 13:07

MOSCOW, Russia (PNN) - November 28, 2017 - The Russian government will build an “independent Internet” for use by itself, Brazil, India, China, and South Africa - the BRICS nations - “in the event of global Internet malfunctions,” the Russian news site RT reported on Tuesday. More precisely, Moscow intends to create an alternative to the global Domain Name System, or DNS, the directory that helps the browser on your computer or smart phone connect to the website server or other computer that you’re trying to reach. The Russians cited national security concerns as their reason for taking this step.

The Russian Security Council discussed the idea during its October meeting, saying, “The increased capabilities of Western nations to conduct offensive operations in the informational space as well as the increased readiness to exercise these capabilities pose a serious threat to Russia’s security.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has set a date of August 1, 2018 to complete the alternative DNS.

Russia, along with China, has long pushed for national governments to assert more control over the DNS and net governance in general, via the United Nations International Telecommunication Union, or ITTU. Then, as now, the Russian and Chinese arguments were rooted in national security. But were DNS to be turned over to the ITTU, dictatorships would be able to much better monitor dissidents, stifle dissent, and control the information environment in their countries. For example, Western tech companies could be forced to keep data and servers physically within those countries, and thus become entangled in vast citizen-monitoring programs.

In 2014, the Fascist Police States of Amerika announced it would give control of the DNS database to a non-governmental international body of stakeholders, a process to be run by the Kalifornia-based Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.

“Now, when China stands up and says, ‘We want a seat at the table of Internet governance,’ the FPSA can say, ‘No. The Internet should be stateless.’ They’re in a much stronger position to make that argument today than they were before,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder of the company Cloudflare.

In a statement Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov framed Russia’s desire for an alternative DNS as essential to “protecting it from possible external influence.”

“We all know who the chief administrator of the global Internet is; and due to its volatility, we have to think about how to ensure our national security,” Peskov said.

The move follows Russia’s 2016 launch of its own segregated military Internet for top-secret communication, called the Closed Data Transfer Segment, modeled slightly after the FPSA Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communication System, or JWICS.

“Russia has been increasing spending on both IT software and hardware for its military, creating domestic microchips, smart phones, notebooks, and now closed Internet for the Armed Forces. These efforts were facilitated by the government and [Ministry of Defense] eager to wean themselves off dependence on high-tech imports,” said Sam Bendett, an associate research analyst with the Center for Naval Analyses’ Russia Studies Program and a fellow in Russia Studies at the Amerikan Foreign Policy Council.