Roskomnadzor is the Russian government agency responsible for monitoring communications in Russia. It has begun to take steps. Block six additional VPN providers. The move comes after the agency cut access earlier this year to a number of VPN services helping Russians to reach “banned” information.
Roskomnadzor Blocks More VPNs in Russia
Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, Roskomnadzor, is currently preparing to ban six additional VPN providers from the country. Betternet and Lantern are targeted, as well as X-VPN Cloudflare Warp Tachyon VPN and Privatetunnel.
VPN services such as those listed provide Russian residents with an option to bypass government restrictions and gain access to information that is prohibited by the law in Russia, Forklog noted in a report quoting Roskomnadzor’s announcement.
Russian authorities treat crypto-related content in increasing numbers as illegal. A Perm court decided in June to ban several sites that explained how bitcoin trading works. Another court threatened to close 17 online exchangers in October.
Even after the adoption of the law “On Digital Financial Assets,” which went into force in January, many activities related to cryptocurrencies remain unregulated in the Russian Federation, including exchange and trade. Bank of Russia, the country’s monetary authority, is a strong opponent of the legalization of digital currencies such as bitcoin and considers them illegal “money surrogates.”
Roskomnadzor is now seeking feedback from organizations and companies that use these VPN platforms legitimately. This could involve the facilitation and use of technology in Russian businesses, according to the regulator.
For some time, the Russian government has been targeting VPN providers. The federal service also blocked six more platforms in September: Hola! VPN, Express VPN and Keepsolid VPN Unlimited. Nord VPN, Speedify VPN. IPvanish VPN.
Roskomnadzor had earlier in the year banned Vyprvpn (and Operavpn) VPN service providers. Both instances were cited by Roskomnadzor for similar reasons. They claimed that the services create conditions for illegal activities such as the spreading of extremism and drug distribution.
Do you think Russia’s communications watchdog will continue to crack down on VPN service providers? Comment below.
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