On December 18, 2018, the BBC’s Russian Service, citing several anonymous sources, reported that Roskomnadzor plans to spend up to 20 billion rubles on new technology to block Telegram by implementing Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology.
According to that information, DPI was planned to launch as early as next year. This information was shared by an expert close to one of the companies-developers of such system, as well as another source familiar with the details of the project development. As it can be guessed, the system of deep traffic inspection for Roskomnadzor is being developed in Russia, so the budget funds will remain in the country.
However, today the head of Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov denied information about spending 20 billion rubles to develop the system :
"It’s hard for me to comment. Roskomnadzor did not apply to the Ministry of Finance for 20 billion rubles or any other amount for certain programs, " Zharov said in interview for TASS. – We didn’t do any of the things the BBC piece said. Before the material was published, we received a request from the BBC press service and were told that we had no information on the issues of interest to the publication.
At the same time, the head of the agency confirmed that Roskomnadzor continues to improve the system of blocking. "We are certainly working on approaches to effective, point-by-point blocking of content, not only sites, but also applications Because it may be necessary, including in an emergency situation. But it’s too early to say that such-and-such a solution is ready, that this particular development will be applied and it costs so much and so much rubles.
In the interview, Zharov gave information on some specific topics :
- possible blocking of Facebook (Zharov prefers not to block the social network, but to write a fine if the company does not move its servers with personal data to Russia);
- increase in fines for Google unless it joins the Unified Registry of Forbidden Information and starts filtering sites according to the list from there, Zharov hopes for a bill on turnover-based fines linked to turnover;
- the possibility of isolating the Russian segment of the Net : there is no such prospect right now, Zharov said, but "any country, including the Russian Federation, should be fundamentally prepared for various scenarios, " including the isolated operation of the local segment;
- creating an information system with a list of sites that are under Russian jurisdiction;
- identification of messenger users (the procedure takes 20 minutes).
"Modern concepts of hybrid confrontation consider the struggle in the field of information technology as one of the main springboards of geopolitical struggle. We see echoes of this struggle periodically – with the emergence of fake news, hacking actions, information attacks on specific individuals, commercial and state organizations. What Maria Zakharova said [serious restrictions on the Internet – editor’s note] is not the future – it is the present. Tensions are probably not at their peak right now and are at a fairly moderate level. But as they say, ci vis pacem, para bellum – if you want peace, prepare for war. This is why, of course, not only the Russian Federation, but all the countries in the world are facing the issue of protecting their information sovereignty. I think that the actions that are being taken in the Russian Federation are timely and adequate.
– Alexander Zharov, head of Roskomnadzor
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