The Ukrainian government wants Russia to be kicked off the internet entirely as part of its punishment for invading the country.
Andrii Nabok, Ukrainian representative on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation, have sent a letter to ICANN, asking for Russia's top-level domains (TLD), such as .ru, .рф, and .su, as well as their associated Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, to be revoked and web hosting services taken down.
They are also asking the ICANN to shut down DNS root servers situated in the Russian Federation, namely Saint Petersburg, RU (IPv4 22.214.171.124), and Moscow, RU (IPv4 126.96.36.199, 3 instances).
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Eliminating propaganda and disinformation
“Russia is using it's weapon to target civilian infrastructure such as residential apartments, kindergartens, hospitals,” the letter reads.
“These atrocious crimes have been made possible mainly due to the Russian propaganda machinery using websites continuously spreading disinformation, hate speech, promoting violence and hiding the truth regarding the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian IT infrastructure has undergone numerous attacks from the Russian side impeding citizens’ and government’s ability to communicate.”
The two politicians will also send a separate request to RIPE NCC, the letter further reads, asking to withdraw the right to use all IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, by all Russian members of RIPE NCC, and to block the DNS root servers it operates.
“All of these measures will help users seek for reliable information in alternative domain zones, preventing propaganda and disinformation,” the letter concludes.
What happens now, and whether RIPE NCC and ICANN actually do disconnect Russian from the global net, remains to be seen. However, experts are saying that such a move would only hurt civilian internet users, and not the military, or the state media, which is why such a move is not likely to happen.
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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.