Russian authorities and internet providers will conduct a test to make sure data passing between its citizens and organizations can stay inside the country rather than being routed internationally, ZDNet reports.
The bill would require telecoms to be able to redirect all traffic through routing points controlled by the Russian state.
Roskomnazor will inspect the traffic to block prohibited content and make sure traffic between Russian users stays inside the country, and is not re-routed uselessly through servers overseas, where it could be intercepted.
A test related to a draft law aimed at making Russian Federation more digitally independent could be carried out before April 1, the BBC reports, but no exact date has been set.
Ostensibly the goal of the legislation is to protect the Russian internet from the U.S., which has an offensive cybersecurity strategy and lists Russia as one of the major sources of hacking attacks. But it also is meant to test if all Russian internet traffic can be gathered and routed through a few points controlled by government sources. The Russian state is said to have been behind several large scale attacks on Western governments in recent years, using anonymous hacker groups such as APT 28, which is also known as Fancy Bear, as cover.
Finanz.ru also reported that local internet services Mail.ru and Yandex.ru were also supportive of the test disconnection.
Russian Federation service providers as a whole have been working towards this disconnect for several years but are still unsure of exactly how to perform the disconnect to minimize downtime. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and its allies have threatened to sanction Moscow over frequent allegations of online interference and cyber attacks.
The proposed law, fully endorsed by President Putin, is expected to pass.
The Russian government, however, has promised to foot the bill to help concerned ISPs pay the costs related to new infrastructure and servers that will be required under the new law.