From June 15 to July 15, exercises were held to ensure the stable, safe and integral functioning of the Internet, indicated in the materials of the Information Security working group under the Digital Economy ANO (responsible for the implementation of the national program of the same name). RBC has a copy of the materials, its authenticity was confirmed by several members of the working group.
The documents do not indicate what the teachings were about and how they ended. It is only noted that it is planned to prepare and agree on the reporting materials before August 31. A RBC source in the telecommunications market said that “all operators of the Big Four, as well as Rostelecom, Transtelecom and ER-Telecom Holding, took part in the exercise. “The purpose of the exercise is to determine the possibility of Runet operation in the event of external distortions, blockages and other threats. The official results have not yet been summed up, the exercises were preliminarily recognized as successful, ”said the interlocutor of RBC. According to another RBC source, “the possibility of physically disconnecting the Russian part of the Internet was tested.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Digital Industry forwarded RBC’s request to Roskomnadzor. The representative of Roskomnadzor did not confirm, but did not deny the information of RBC. And he said that “in accordance with the legislation, the exercises are held annually, [they] are aimed at increasing the integrity, stability and security of the infrastructure of the Russian segment of the Internet.”
Representatives of Rostelecom, MTS, MegaFon, VimpelCom (Beeline brand), ER-Telecom Holding and Transtelecom declined to comment.
In the fall of 2019, the so-called law on the sovereign Runet was adopted, which is designed to protect the Russian segment of the Internet from outside threats. According to the law, special equipment must be installed on the networks of all operators in the country, through which Roskomnadzor will be able to manage traffic routing if necessary. With the help of the same equipment, Roskomnadzor blocks access to content prohibited in Russia, and has recently slowed down the speed of the websites of individual companies. For example, in March of this year, the department began to slow down the transfer of photo and video content to Twitter, due to the fact that the social network did not remove illegal content. In mid-May, the restrictions were partially lifted.
Among other things, the law “on sovereign Runet” requires the owners of communication networks, Internet companies and other market players to take part in exercises on the integrity and stability of the Internet to negative external influences on the territory of Russia at least once a year. The plan of the exercise is approved by the Ministry of Digital Security in cooperation with the Federal Security Service, the Ministry of Defense, the Federal Security Service, the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Federal Service for Technical and Export Control.