Russia approves the law for a "national" internet

2019-05-15 Blog

On 1 May, the Russian president signed off the law (in Russian) for a "national" internet, according to which a national domain system and special rules for internet trafficking are to be established to ensure the stability, integrity and security of the internet on the territory of the Russian Federation, in case of deliberate disruption of the public internet.

The adopted law includes a paragraph about "creating a national domain name system[...] for storing and receiving information about websites and domain names[...]". The coordination of this Russian national domain zone is to be done by a non-profit organisation that is a registered owner of the domain name database within the international fora, with special oversight by a federal authority. Several human rights organisations, such as Human Rights Watch and Article 19, have voiced out their concern over the approved law in a Joint Statement. According to the Joint Statement, as a result of the imposed national DNS, "authorities will be able to answer any user's request for a website address with either a fake address or no address at all." This will allow authorities "to let the national DNS redirect users to government-controlled servers in response to any DNS requests instead of to a website's authentic servers." The law will enter into force in November 2019. The use of national DNS will be mandatory for ISPs starting from 1 January 2021.

Read more about ccTLD-related legislative initiatives in our monthly EU Policy Update. You will find the April 2019 edition here.

By Polina Malaja, CENTR's Policy Avisor