25 Mar 2019 12:45

Russia not planning to cut itself off Internet or limit access - Patrushev

MOSCOW. March 25 (Interfax) - Russia is not planning to restrict access to the Internet or cut itself off, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said.

"We are not talking about limiting the capabilities of the global network's operations, and Russia is not going to cut itself off [from the Internet]. At the same time, there is a danger that Russia could be cut off from the Internet from outside," Patrushev said in an interview published in Izvestia.

Russia "needs to set up an infrastructure which guarantees the operation of Russian Internet resources," he said.

Such infrastructure is necessary so that "our citizens and enterprises can use the network even if domestic communications operators experience problems linking to foreign servers, or in the case of a purposeful massive impact from outside," Patrushev said.

"This isn't isolation, but an inevitable measure given the 'preserve peace through strength' principle declared in the U.S. National Cyber Strategy. Unfortunately, not only Washington, but also its closest allies embrace this aggressive approach. This can be vividly illustrated by UK Prime Minister Theresa May's threats to launch cyberattacks on our country," he said.

"Russia must be prepared to defend its national interests and the interests of its citizens in cyberspace. Therefore, attempts at portraying the lawmakers' initiative as some prohibitive measure aimed at isolating our state fail to reflect its essence," Patrushev said.

"We assume that the universal and open nature of the Internet in the modern digital world should not run counter to each state's sovereign right to manage its national informational environment and protect the interests of its citizens," he said.