Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor tightens the control over the Internet and blocked access to six more VPN services. The latest banned services are Betternet, Lantern, X-VPN, Cloudflare WARP, Tachyon VPN, PrivateTunnel.
The total number of banned VPN products reached 15, below is the full list of blocked services:
Russia’s internet watchdog sent a request to inform the Center for Monitoring and Control of the Public Communications Network about the ban of the services from the systems of all registered Russian companies and public organizations.
The companies were banned because they did not meet the demand of the Roskomnadzor to connect their systems to the Federal State Information System (FGIS).
In September Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked access to Hola!VPN, ExpressVPN, KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, Nord VPN, Speedify VPN, and IPVanish VPN.
Russian communications watchdog argued that VPNs could be abused for illegal activities online, including terrorism and child pornography. However, the watchdog made some exceptions for companies that leverage VPNs for their operations, for this reason, the regulator created a white list of software and apps that will be able to continue using VPN providers.
Russians ordinary use VPN services and other anonymizing services to access blocked content and bypass censorship, in the following graph we can see the continuous growth for the number of Tor users in Russia.
In 2017, Russia’s parliament voted to ban web tools that could be used by people to surf outlawed websites, and the Duma approved the proposed bill to oblige anyone using an online message service to identify themselves with a telephone number.
The bill prohibited the use of any service from the Russian territory if they could be used to access blacklisted websites.
VPN operators and proxy services operating in the country must register themselves with the Government regularity authority.
Since May 3rd, 2018, Russia’s media and communication regularity authority Roskomnadzor blocked over 50 virtual private networks (VPNs), Web Proxies and Anonymizing networks.
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, VPN services)