Russia will temporarily shut off many of its citizens’ access to the global Internet two days before Christmas in a test of its controversial RuNet program, according to an internal government document. RuNet aims to boost the government’s ability to better control internal digital traffic, launch cyber and information attacks against other nations, and track and censor dissidents.
The test will evaluate “the possibility of intercepting subscriber traffic and revealing information about the subscriber, blocking communication services,” according to a Dec. 5 document produced by Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media.
The document said the test was originally slated to take place on Dec. 19 but had been rescheduled for Dec. 23. (The documents were verified by the site Open Media.)