That thing about Russia hacking American computers during the presidential elections and having a massive impact on the elections outcome has become so serious that one of the Putin advisors has said that if the US takes a retaliatory action, Russia may disconnect itself from the Internet completely.
This Washington Post article suggests that America is contemplating a retaliatory action on Russia for the hacking incident.
The comment about Russia disconnecting itself completely from the Internet in case the US retaliates was made by Putin’s Internet advisor, German Klimenko. He made these remarks during an interview with the Russian-language RT television channel.
He said, “In the law we are talking about the protection of critical infrastructure which should be located in the territory of Russia. For example, hackers can penetrate the structure of commercial banks and steal money. This is bad, but if they entered into the system of the Central Bank, we would be in big trouble.”
Since most of the Internet companies are based out of America, and this can pose a serious problem for a country that antagonizes the US as it happened in the case of Crimea. Google and Microsoft services were discontinued in Crimea when the territory was annexed from Ukraine by Russia– the companies were complying with the US sanctions that were imposed on the region after the annexation.
Klimenko further said, “There is a probability of ‘tectonic shifts’ in our relations with the West. Therefore, our task is to adjust the Russian segment of the Internet to protect themselves from such scenarios. Critical infrastructure should be within the Russian territory so that no one can turn it off.”
Irrespective of the current spat going on between Russia and America, unhindered Internet access is critical for every major country these days and every country must have its own internal infrastructure to carry on Internet activities in the face of global sanctions. China to an extent has built its own infrastructure. It has its own search engine and even its own Twitter alternative. India has much to achieve in this field.