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Russia Is Trying to Leave the Internet and Build Its Own

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Last week the Russian government tried to disconnect its Internet infrastructure from the larger global Web. This test of Russia’s “sovereign Internet” seemingly failed, causing outages that suggest the system is not ready for practical use.

“Sovereign Internet is not really a whole different Internet; it is more like a project that uses various tools,” says Natalia Krapiva, tech-legal counsel at the international digital-rights nonprofit Access Now. “It involves technology like deep packet inspection, which allows major filtering of the Internet and gives governments the ability to throttle certain connections and websites.” By cutting off access to sites such as Western social media platforms, the Russian government could restrict residents from viewing any source of information other than the country’s accepted channels of influence.

This method of curtailing digital freedom goes beyond Russia: other countries are also attempting to develop their own nationwide Internet. And if successful, these endeavors could fragment the World Wide Web. Scientific American

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