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Russia successfully tests country-wide alternative to global internet

Russia has run a successful test of a country-wide alternative to the global internet, according to BBC News.

While details of the test are vague, Russia’s defense ministry of communications reportedly said that regular users did not notice any obvious changes to their internet access. The results of the test are expected to be sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin for review.

BBC News noted that other countries including Iran and China have made similar moves in creating their own alternative system to the global internet.

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Iran’s National Information Network is run by a state-owned media company that allows users to access the internet but polices all content on the network and limits external information.

China’s “Great Firewall” censorship program similarly limits content. The Washington Post reported last week that websites for The Washington Post and the Guardian are now reportedly blocked in the country as Beijing ramps up its efforts censor foreign websites.

Russia has increasingly moved toward these approaches. Earlier this year, Putin signed a law that would build the necessary infrastructure that would allow the country to operate its own state-controlled internet and essentially cut itself off from the rest of the world if it so chooses. 

State-owned Russian media outlets have maintained that the move is purely a defensive cybersecurity measure.

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