Ukraine Wants to Basically Kick Russia Off the Internet. Terrible Idea.

Dr. Courtney C. Radsch
1 min readMar 3, 2022

On Monday, Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation sent a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, the body that oversees the domain system that forms the backbone of the open web. The letter asks ICANN to shut down Russian-administered domain names (think .RU, .SU, and .рф) and root servers in the country; to revoke Russia’s control of its top-level domain name system root servers; and to revoke the digital signatures that authenticate domain names. This is all a bit technical, but it basically means that the part of the internet run by Russia would not work. Most Russians won’t be able to access their email or apps, search the web, or access local websites because they resolve using the country-level domain. It would also create substantial security risks for anyone trying to navigate to one of those sites.

Shutting down .RU could mean silencing Novaya Gazeta and scores of other independent publications. This would further worsen access to reliable news in the country, given that Russia’s media regulator blocked access to the websites of independent broadcasters Echo of Moscow and Dozhd TV and forced them off air on Monday.

Read the full article published by Slate here.

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Dr. Courtney C. Radsch

Postdoctoral fellow at UCLA institute for Technology, Law & Policy and Director of the Center for Journalism and Literacy at Open Markets Institute