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Runet shutdown not looming now, assures telecom watchdog

There isn’t any likelihood that Russia could be cut off from the global Internet network now, the telecom watchdog's head believes

MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. The Russian Internet, known as Runet, is not facing any threat of being cut off from the global network now, head of Russia’s telecom and media watchdog, Alexander Zharov said in an interview with TASS on Monday.

"There isn’t any likelihood that the Russian Federation could be cut off from the global Internet network now," Zharov, who heads Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, said, commenting on a bill regarding Runet's autonomy and external threats against Russian networks.

Meanwhile, in case of an emergency, be it natural, manmade or technologically-related, the government should be able to deal with the situation, provide communications services and restore access to the Internet as soon as possible, Zharov noted.

"I think accurate and timely efforts are being made in this direction," he added.

The bill was authored by Chairman of the Federation Council (upper house) Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State-Building Andrei Klishas, his First Deputy Lyudmila Bokova and State Duma MP Andrei Lugovoi. The document was drawn up "in view of the aggressive nature of the US National Cyber Strategy adopted in September 2018." In particular, the strategy trumpets the slogan of "preserving peace through strength" while Russia and other countries are baselessly accused without any evidence of conducting hacker attacks.