Russia: An independent and sovereign internet?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The catchy term “internet sovereignty” refers to various practices of state authorities in internet governance, independent of whether that state is authoritarian or democratic. These practices can include expansive filtering and blocking of internet resources, localisation of data, and even physical infrastructural isolation from the global internet. The case of Russia can reveal much about the possibilities and limitations of such sovereignisation. The Russian government has gone beyond an interest in regulating data and content and expressed ambitions to make its national segment of the internet independent while also preserving connectivity to the world network. The author discusses various Russian measures according to the three facets of cyberspace alignment theory: the national securitisation of cyberspace; the territorialisation of information flows; and efforts to structure control of critical Internet resources in line with national borders. The chapter argues that there are many complications on the level of infrastructure and policy and compliance hinder the creation of an independent and sovereign Runet. In addition, there are contradictory goals of trying to centralise the management of Runet while making it more stable and resilient. Lastly, in practice the government focuses more on controlling content rather than controlling the traffic routing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPower and Authority in Internet Governance
Subtitle of host publicationReturn of the State?
EditorsBlayne Haggart, Natasha Tusikov, Jan Aart Scholte
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781000361568
ISBN (Print)9780367442033
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Global Cooperation Series

Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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