Sunday, November 17, 2019

Putin’s Sovereign Internet Plan ‘Expensive, Dangerous and Impossible,’ Klimaryev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 13 – Many Russians were alarmed by the passages of the federal law on “the Sovereign Runet” and even more so when officials announced that they were testing it in the Urals. But their concerns were misplaced, Mikhail Klimaryev says, because no more senseless law was ever passed and no real tests of anything took place.

            The director of the Society for the Defense of the Internet says that the law intended to ensure “the uninterrupted functioning of the Internet in Russia in case of ‘an attack from outside’” contained terms so absurd and opaque that no expert can make sense of them and Internet specialists in the Urals expressed doubts about any “test” (

            Klimaryev provides 1200 words of technical discussions about this; but his basic conclusions are these: “The realization of the project of ‘the testing of the sovereign Runet’ in the absence of normative legal documents, in a brief time, without competent cadres, and unclear financing and complex logistics is impossible from the outset.”

            Declarations to the contrary are nothing more than “the imitation of stormy activity too realize an obviously unfulfillable law adopted by incompetent deputies.”

            For that reason, he says, whenever anyone asks “’what will happen when the sovereign internet works?’” he responds that “nothing will happen because ‘the sovereign internet’ never will work. Like the already half-forgotten ‘Yarovoy package’ of legislation, this too is technically unfulfillable. One can’t force a larger matryoshka doll into a smaller one. Don’t even try.”

            Those who try will “make a lot of noise, spend (steal) money from the budget and quietly forget all about it.”

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