Soon China will not be the only country with a “Great Firewall”. The Russian Parliament already approved the creation of an “iron curtain” that will function like the Great Firewall of China. This essentially means that the Russian government can and will censor all incoming and outgoing traffic if they choose to.
According to a freedomhouse report, there is a huge problem with Russia’s stance on Internet regulation. Many experts believe that this new Great Firewall will censor and limit a huge amount of access from Russian citizens.
This also means that traffic will be forced through suboptimal paths and gateways which limit performance. Internet users in Russia will receive a lower quality of user experience for websites outside the country. As we’ve seen in China, websites who are hosted within the country’s borders and are under full government supervision will receive an advantage.
If we look at the proposed regulations, Russian traders will have to be restricted to only local exchanges. Additionally, only “qualified” investors will be allowed to trade cryptocurrencies. Qualified of course only means people with an economic degree or a certificate approved by the Russian government.
The Great Firewall has its limits
Even though, China implemented very strict measures against bitcoin, there is a limit to censorship and the country does have an underground bitcoin trading network.
Of course, many Russian people didn’t bury their heads in the sand when the Great Firewall was announced. Over 15 000 people went out to publicly protest against the enforced measures. Most people believe this is in no way beneficial for the country and is simply a move for more power by the government.
If the bill’s acceptance is finalized, all of the country’s Internet providers will be forced to install hardware from Roskomnadzor.
In the Parliament, the bill was passed with 320 to 15. There are also a few procedural steps to be taken before the bill becomes law. After its implemented, the Russian government can quickly call for the veil to be brought down of lifted.
Not good for crypto users
Crypto users will have to deal with the fact that their transaction traffic is known by the government at all times. Most experts believe that the Great Firewall would not be enough for the Russian government and additional regulations will be put in place.
Telegram, which was founded in Russia, was ironically banned for denying the government the ability to read users’ encrypted chatlogs. The company recently launched the testnet of its own cryptocurrency called the Telegram Open Network (TON).
Unfortunately, the company’s owners are among the few voices wanting to fight against “sovereign” internet.
The worst part of the new law however, is the Internet kill swtich. In the event of a crisis, the Russian government will have the ability to completely block all Internet access to and out of the country. Only the United States and a few other countries have this option.
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