Data Sovereignty Seminar Series: Seminar #5: Sanctions, War and Infrastructures of Control: the Project of Sovereign RuNet after February 24, 2022

13 December 2022
Research Seminar

While the Russian authorities have been tightening their control over RuNet for the last decade, there have been multiple possibilities for circumvention and evasion both for the RuNet users and for Internet Service Providers. We have previously examined the dynamic relations between the ISP community and the regulators, and described various tools and practices used by ISPs to avoid total control over the networks. However, with the adoption of the law on "Sovereign Runet" in 2019, Roskomnadzor hardened its grip over the networks. The new generation of DPI middleboxes called "TSPU", officially "made in Russia", changed the way RuNet was filtered and left little to no chance for ISPs to boycott censorship and surveillance over their users.

However, after the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the technological sovereignty project was challenged — on the very level of infrastructures. Sanctions of technological companies against Russia led to a crisis of both components and software solutions, revealing a profound dependency of the RuNet on foreign technologies. The presentation will explore the effects of sanctions on the project of the Sovereign Runet, based on a mixed-methods approach: interviews with ISPs and vendors of information control equipment, analysis of vendors' websites and technical documentation of the equipment, analysis of websites and materials of specialized exhibitions focused on cybersecurity equipment and finally, network measurements.

Please click here to register for this seminar.


15:00-15:05: Welcome and introduction by Orsolya Gulyás & Clément Perarnaud

15:05-15:25: Presentation by Ksenia Ermoshina

15:25-15:35: Comments from discussant (tbc)

15:35-16:00: Q&A with the audience


  • Ksenia Ermoshina is a researcher at the Centre Internet et Société (CIS, Paris) of the French Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), and associate fellow at the Citizen Lab (University of Toronto). Ksenia’s research interests are at the intersection of infrastructure studies, surveillance studies, STS, political sociology and usability studies.

This event is part of the Data Sovereignty Seminar Series, jointly organised by CD2I and the UNU-CRIS/VUB Chair on Digital Sovereignty.

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