The Russian government is continuing its crackdown on VPN companies within its borders.
With the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, it’s not surprising that VPN usage has been skyrocketing due to the censorship placed on Russian citizens by government authorities.
Not to mention, Russian Internet providers are continuing to ban popular websites and social media apps.
According to TechRadar, VPN installs in Russia surged by over 11,000 percent after the Instagram ban, reaching an all-time high.
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Russian Government Continues Crackdown on VPNs
According to a report from TorrentFreak, Russian authorities have confirmed that a new crackdown is underway to prevent its citizens from accessing VPN providers.
The Russian government is working extensively with major telecom companies to limit access to VPNs.
The Russian Telecoms regulator Roscomnadzor claims that measures are being taken to limit access to VPN services that violate Russian law.
“Violating Russian law” can mean providing access to any content previously deemed illegal by the government.
At a local media conference, a representative from Roscomnadzor stated the following:
“According to the Law On Communications, means of bypassing blocking of illegal content are recognized as a threat. The Center for Monitoring and Control of the Public Communications Network is taking measures to limit the operation of VPN services in Russia that violate Russian law.”
While the telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor appointed itself supervisor, the government did keep its word to block only illegal content, by making more and more content illegal.
Over the past several years, Russia has expanded its blocking power laws to include torrent sites, streaming sites, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any news websites that differ from the Kremlin’s definition of “factual information.”
As a response, Russian citizens have been evading this government censorship by using VPNs to get an unrestricted view of the world.
Russia responded by creating the “VPN Law”,” which outlaws internet tools like VPNs that enable access to outside information.
NordVPN and Other VPN Companies Respond
Throughout the past several days, Russian VPN users reported issues when trying to access VPN providers like NordVPN, which removed all of its servers in Russia.
A few months ago we saw Surfshark VPN follow suit and pull the plug on its Russian servers as a response to the Ukraine invasion.
Problems are also being experienced by Russian VPN users when trying to access ProtonVPN, Windscribe, Lantern, and other proxy-related services.
ProtonVPN responded to these issues caused by Russian VPN blocks by stating the following on its website.
“We are currently investigating the issue, but it is not caused by any changes on our side. It is likely that the local ISPs and the authorities are interfering with VPN connections, in which case it may not be possible for us to solve such issues. Some servers may continue to work. We are continuing efforts to bypass the block.”
What do you think of the Russian government continuing its crackdown on VPN companies? Will other countries start cracking down on VPNs?
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