Russia's own internal internet: Is Runet to protect Kremlin from US?

Russia announced that they have started testing their own internet system but it is still not clear how Runet will be used

During the Cold War period, Russia, or the erstwhile Soviet Union, was perceived as one of the biggest threats to the US. After the demise of cold war polemics, both the countries have shared a matured relationship but seeing the current scenario and the tension between Vladimir Putin's Russia and the West, experts referred to it as a second Cold War period.

Now that the question is why does Russia want its own internet network? Is Kremlin again at it to show the enemies that they are one of the strongest countries or is it just for the sake of cybersecurity? Russia has started to test its national internet system.

As per the local news, it is an alternative to the broader web. It is made up of a global web of infrastructure which must interface physically, virtually and politically with the countries to which it connects. Even China regulates the interface while controlling which website, apps and services can be accessed by its citizens.

Russia's own internet

Taiwan arrests three foreign suspects over $2 Million ATM cyber theft
Internal Internet Service Reuters

Earlier this year, President Putin signed a law for its own internet network, named Runet, which would build the required infrastructure to maintain a separate internal internet. However, it should be mentioned that Putin told a local media that Runet is nothing but a defensive play.

Putin has stated that the national internet network is "aimed only at preventing adverse consequences of global disconnection from the global network, which is largely controlled from abroad. This is the point, this is what sovereignty is — to have our resources that can be turned on so that we would not be cut from the Internet."

While a possible cyber warfare between US, China, North Korea and Russia cannot be ruled out, reports claimed that it is also one of the main reasons behind Runet. But how this "sovereign internet" will grow to be and how it will be used -- are still matters of speculation until further reports on its purpose and capabilities are known.

Cyber threat from US the major reason?

Donald Trump
Donald Trump Instagram grab/ Donald Trump

Here it needs to be mentioned that a few months ago US President Donald Trump revealed during an interview on Fox News that US conducted a cyberattack against a Russian entity. When the Fox News' Steve Hilton asked Trump about a report that he personally authorized a cyberattack on Russia the President said, "I would rather not say that." In addition, Trump stated that "but you can believe that the whole thing happened, and it happened during my administration," during the 2018 midterm elections.

Internet Research Agency

Washington Post published a report in February which mentioned that many US officials said the military blocked internet access to a Russian troll firm called the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg during the midterm election. Reports also claimed that Trump knew about the attack and gave his approval to this operation aimed at Russia from interfering in 2020 election.

As per another report from CNN, which is a "Fake News" organization according to Trump, a US official admitted that the Cyber Command of US military had started to target Russian operatives, who are believed to be attempting to influence 2018 elections. Besides making any such meddling more difficult, the official also mentioned that this move is part of a broad effort in coordination with several government agencies, complicating the issue further.

Related topics : Cybersecurity