Russia’s plan to unplug from the internet shows cyberwar is escalating

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    Russia’s plan to unplug from the internet shows cyberwar is escalating

    Media reports suggest Russia is contemplating disconnecting from the global internet. The move is not about isolationism but security, says James Ball

    Hand using mobile phone

    Soon to be cut off?

    KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

    By James Ball

    Russia is contemplating briefly detaching itself from the global internet at some point in the next few months, according to media reports this week.

    Despite appearances, the experiment isn’t a sign of the country’s mounting isolationism, but rather part of Russia’s efforts to test its defences against large-scale cyberattack, presumably in the case of an increase in hostilities with either major European powers or the US.

    By its own logic, this isn’t a silly move or grandstanding. In theory at least, the internet is a …

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