Ukraine wishes Russia to be severed from the world-wide web. Specialists say it’s a risky strategy

But now Ukraine is pushing for something even far more dramatic and consequential.

On Monday, Ukraine’s federal government known as for Russia to be disconnected from the world world wide web. It sent a letter to ICANN, the US-based international non-gain that oversees the global method of world-wide-web domain names and IP addresses, with a plea.

“I am sending you this letter on behalf of the men and women of Ukraine, inquiring you to address an urgent need to have to introduce rigid sanctions from the Russian Federation in the industry of DNS [Domain Name System] regulation, in response to its functions of aggression to Ukraine and its citizens,” wrote Andrii Nabok, who signifies Ukraine on ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee.

Internet governance experts say Ukraine’s request, if carried out, would efficiently sever Russia from the web, leaving Russian websites without a home. E mail addresses would quit doing work and online customers would not be ready to log on. Russia would suddenly discover itself on a electronic island.

But these exact governance authorities are skeptical that Ukraine’s request will finally be fulfilled. For just one factor, they say, it would established a unsafe precedent that could give authoritarian countries license to make comparable calls for. For a different, it is not apparent that ICANN could make such a decision even if several required it to. Moreover, they extra, reducing Russia off from the rest of the electronic entire world may be offering the Kremlin particularly what it wishes: a citizenry unable to obtain outdoors data.

Governments this sort of as China’s have sought to wall off their personal men and women from the outdoors digital earth. But Ukraine’s ask for is unparalleled, according to Vint Cerf, commonly viewed as one of the fathers of the web.

“It is the to start with time in my memory that a governing administration has requested ICANN to interfere with the standard procedure” of the area name system at such a scale, Cerf told CNN Organization.

“The internet operates in huge measure for the reason that of significant levels of believe in among the lots of components of its ecosystem,” Cerf additional. “Performing on this ask for would have destructive consequence in quite a few proportions.”

The letter was initial described by Rolling Stone. Angelina Lopez, an ICANN spokesperson, confirmed to CNN the letter experienced been obtained and that officers were examining it, but declined to remark.

How it may possibly work

As section of his ask for, Nabok claimed the Russian web nation code .RU and its Cyrillic equivalents must be revoked. In addition, Nabok reported he was sending a different request to Europe and Central Asia’s regional internet registry, inquiring it to consider again all of the IP addresses it had assigned to Russia.

Nabok argued that the measures would be yet another way for the earth to sanction Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, and that it would aid world-wide-web customers access “responsible facts in different domain zones, avoiding propaganda
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