MOTHER RUSSIA has confirmed it is to press ahead with plans to keep a tighter grip on internet traffic that passes through the country.
In case you haven't twigged, that's a posh way of saying "Russia wants to censor the internet".
The Duma voted overwhelmingly to support a bill that will insist all data passes through Russian servers, allowing the government to potentially go all man-in-the-middle and censor them. Part of the deal will include government money for internet providers to install the necessary hardware to reroute data as it comes in.
It's thought that the move is aimed at negating the risk of a cyber attack, by the US or another hostile-perceived country, aimed at shutting down internet access in the country.
Nevertheless, the technology being talked about will also give the government unprecedented power to control what the people of Russia can see and hear. It's not being billed as another 'Great Firewall', but that's exactly what it is - welcome to China, Moscow.
The decision to go all hardware follows a failed knuckle-rap for the big players who were all told to start using Russian servers for Google and Twitter, but in many cases have completely ignored the instruction completely.
The country has also been throwing fines about for failure to comply, but the recent mega-fine against Google shows a distinct lack of teeth, given that it equates to about three minutes of the mega-corp's annual turnover. That's not per cent - it's the number of minutes it took Google to earn back the cost of the fine.
Russia has had an aggressive stance on the internet for some time, and adding this new infrastructure is the final piece in a puzzle that has included attempts to ban encrypted messengers like Telegram and WhatsApp.
Earlier this year, and in preparation for the move, Russia turned the internet off and on again to see what would happen. μ
The bad guys got hacked
But chips are unlikely to show up any time soon