To protect themselves against cybersecurity threats and sanctions, Russia and Iran are working on private national networks. These countries have always been heavily threatened with US sanctions and spying and this could give them some sovereignty back according to data analysts.
However, this raises many concerns.
A solution that could give ideas to other countries
Americans and Europeans denounce an attempt to control information by these two countries with such an isolated Internet. Allegations that do not seem to be very credible, however. China, for example, has set up a very sophisticated system of censorship without disconnecting its Internet from the rest of the world.
If Russia and Iran are developing new technology instead of using the Chinese solution, it is indeed to respond to American threats, even if it will be straightforward for them to censor content with a national Internet. This solution may well provide ideas to other countries that are also targeted by US sanctions and repeated threats.
While many countries are now developing payment systems without using the dollar to avoid US sanctions and threats, it is now time to use the Internet. At this rate, Donald Trump will lose all the levers of action against countries considered enemies by overusing sanctions and threats to the detriment of others.
Towards a fragmented Internet in Russia and Iran?
The United States is currently using sanctions and threats of sanctions at every turn. The country led by Donald Trump is also a master of computer attacks. Iran has already suffered from such an attack via the Internet in one of its power plants. Venezuela too and had been plunged into darkness following a computer attack on one of its installations. Faced with American threats and the risk of cyber wars that could paralyse entire parts of a country’s infrastructure, Russia and Iran are considering creating a national Internet isolated from the rest of the world.
Russia and Iran have been talking for years about creating a national Internet. Computer attacks on Iranian installations and repeated threats by Donald Trump have prompted Iran to accelerate the creation of its “National Information Network.” In other words, a national Internet disconnected from the rest of the world. Last month, the Islamic Republic of the Persian Gulf announced that its network was 80% ready.
Earlier this year, Russia launched a major initiative to establish a Russian Internet. Here again, the Russians were talking about cybersecurity reasons and American threats. Russia is still subject to US sanctions that have also been imposed on many other countries. Russia has also blocked various sites deemed extremist or offering pirated content.