The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications (Roscomnadzor) plans to implement new mechanisms for blocking Telegram and other websites and services prohibited in Russia. As reported by BBC Russia, the country’s government is going to spend up to ₽20 billion (roughly $0.33 billion) on the development of related technology in 2019. Roscomnadzor is yet to succeed in its continued efforts to block the messenger.
BBC Russia quoted a source familiar with the matter who stated that the new blocking system called DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) will be implemented in 2019.
Internet providers will be obliged to install new hardware-software complex (HSC) designed for analyzing incoming and outgoing Internet traffic. These HSCs will supposedly detect data sets specific to certain web pages and applications and filter out unwelcome traffic.
As of to date, DPI is being tested. Roscomnadzor will start implementing the technology throughout the country early in 2019, upon testing it in one of the Russian regions.
In order to proceed with the project, Roscomnadzor will probably need additional funds, given that its total budget for the next year is about ₽ 8.6 billion (about $0.13 billion).
According to a source close to the government, the head of Roscomnadzor Alexander Zharov has long been asking for additional funding to implement the said technology.
It is noted, nevertheless, that the implementation of DPI will not guarantee a decisive victory over the banned services in Russia, as there are certain technologies that allow for traffic disguise, which Telegram could use to counter the blocking.
As reported earlier, the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications (Roscomnadzor) and the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media (Mincomsvyazi) are all taking part in DPI system testing, which is currently under way in Rostelecom’s lab in Reutov, Moscow Region. The dedicated inter-agency group has been testing various domestic web data analysis and traffic filtration systems since August 6.
Back in June 2018, human rights activists from 52 organizations approached the United Nations (UN) with a report on the threats to the Internet freedoms posed by Russia, referring to tightening information dissemination restrictions, mounting pressure on users and Internet campaigns aimed at the restriction of freedoms carried out by Russian authorities under the pretext of combating terrorism.