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Russias Kill Switch. Fueling Blockchain Mass Adoption?

The Russian #Duma approved a #bill that would enable the country to have a “Great #Firewall” or “Iron Curtain” similar to what #China has. The #result of the #law is that, whenever the #government wants to, it can #censor all incoming and outgoing #traffic traveling through #state-owned channels.

‘SOVEREIGN’ INTERNET JUST AN EXCUSE FOR HEAVY-HANDED #CENSORSHIP

Privacy #advocates have long warned about Russia’s alarming #stance on #internet #regulation. The #onerous intended purpose of this “#sovereign internet” bill is to keep #Russia online in the event of a #crisis, but #critics allege that it’s meant to give the #government greater #powers to #censor and #restrict internet #access for Russian #citizens.

Ameet #Naik, who works for a #network marketing service called #ThousandEyes, told the Register:

“However, this would also force #internet #traffic through #suboptimal paths, and through #performance-limiting filtering #gateways. This would most likely #degrade the user #experience for #Russian users browsing sites and #apps outside the country and provide an #advantage to services hosted within the country, as we’ve seen happen in #China.”

WILL ‘DIGITAL IRON CURTAIN’ STIFLE #BITCOIN #ADOPTION?

Russian# regulations on #cryptocurrency are still forthcoming, and the# country has had a complicated #relationship with Bitcoin.

According to proposed #regulations, the #government wants to restrict #Russian traders to local crypto #exchanges and also only allow “qualified” #investors – e.g., those with a degree in #economics and a certificate from the #government – to trade Bitcoin and other #cryptocurrencies.

If the #government is empowered with the ability to #limit traffic beyond its #borders, it would seem the ability to enforce such #regulations would be #significantly increased.

However, as demonstrated by China’s underground #Bitcoin trading #network, there’s only so much that #government #censors can do to stunt crypto #adoption.

THOUSANDS OF RUSSIANS #PROTEST ‘#SOVEREIGN INTERNET’ – #PARLIAMENT PASSES BILL ANYWAY

Russian #citizens aren’t taking the proposed “#Digital Iron Curtain” lying down. As many as 15,000 people recently took to the streets to protest the plan. While #proponents of the #bill argue that the country will #benefit from having a “protected” #country, many see the move as a #power grab. The bill would force #internet service #providers to install #hardware from #Roskomnadzor, who are behind the #nationwide #bans on things like #Wikipedia and Telegram.

The bill passed the Duma 320 to 15. There are still some procedural steps left before it becomes law. The Russian government would be left to decide when and if the “protection switch” would be flipped.

For #crypto users, this would undoubtedly mean that all of their transactional #traffic could become known to the #government at any #time. With strict #regulations planned, the #environment for not just internet #usage but also Bitcoin #adoption could go from unreliable to #dangerous.

Notably, Russia-founded #Telegram – which earned a #ban in its #native country for refusing to let law #enforcement snoop on its users’ encrypted #chats – reportedly launched the testnet of its #cryptocurrency, dubbed #Telegram Open Network (#TON), this week. The company’s #founders are among the many prominent #Russian voices denouncing the plan to have a “sovereign” #internet, and it’s fitting that their #crypto project could be one tool that #Russians use to #fight back.

The new #law amounts to a “kill switch” for #Russia, something that was once floated as an #idea in the United States. Only a few #countries in the #world have this kind of #control over the internet.

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