Internet backbone provider cuts service in Russia

Cogent Communications, an internet backbone provider that routes data over intercontinental connections, severed ties with Russian customers during its invasion of Ukraine, as first reported. The Washington Post. The US-based company is one of the largest Internet backbone providers in the world and serves customers in 50 countries, including a number of leading Russian companies.

In a letter to Russian customers obtained by The post office, Cogent cited “economic sanctions” and “the increasingly uncertain security situation” as reasons for its total closure of the country. Cogent said the same way The edge that it has “terminated its contracts” with Russian clients in accordance with the European Union’s decision to ban Russian state-supported media.

As Doug Madory, internet analyst at network-tracking firm Kentik, points out, some of the company’s biggest Russian clients include state-backed telecommunications giant Rostelecom, Russian search engine Yandex and two of the biggest major Russian mobile operators: MegaFon and VEON.

Unplugging Russia from Cogent’s global network will likely result in slower connectivity, but won’t completely disconnect Russians from the internet, Mody notes. Traffic from former Cogent customers will instead fall back to other backbone providers in the country, which could lead to network congestion. There is no indication whether other Internet backbone providers will also suspend their services in Russia.

Digital rights activists criticized Cogent’s decision to disconnect from Russia, arguing that it could prevent Russian civilians from accessing credible information about the invasion. “Cutting Russians off from internet access cuts them off from independent sources of information and the ability to organize anti-war protests,” said Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at digital rights group Electronic Frontier. Foundation. said on Twitter.

However, Cogent CEO Dave Schaeffer said The post office that Cogent’s decision is not intended to “hurt anyone,” and that the company does not want to block Russian civilians from accessing the Internet. Cogent’s goal is to prevent the Russian government from using the company’s networks for cyberattacks and propaganda, The post office reports.

The Russian government has already made it harder for Russians to access news sources and social platforms. On Friday, it passed a new law banning “fake news” and completely blocked access to Facebook. The country has also restricted access to Twitter and threatened to block Wikipedia over “false posts” about the war in Ukraine.


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