Le VPN App Removed from Russian App Store Following Roskomnadzor Demand

Le VPN App Removed from Russian App Store Following Roskomnadzor Demand

On July 4th, Le VPN was removed from the Apple App Store in Russia. This action was taken after Apple received a demand from Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal executive body responsible for media and telecommunications. The reason cited for the removal was non-compliance with local legal requirements, specifically referencing content considered illegal in Russia.

The takedown notice aligns with No. 7 of Article 15.1 of the Federal Law dated July 27, 2006, No. 149-FZ “On Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection.” This event marks a significant step in Roskomnadzor’s ongoing efforts to control internet access and content within Russian territory.

Immediate Reactions and Appeals

Following the notification, Le VPN confirmed the app’s removal from the Russian App Store. The company has since reached out to Roskomnadzor for further clarification and filed an appeal against the decision. The removal was immediately noticeable; Russian users reported the app’s unavailability, verifying the enforcement of the removal.

Le VPN has also begun collaborating with human rights activists and other VPN providers to assess the situation more broadly. Although only one other VPN service has been confirmed as blocked at this time, concerns remain that more could follow.

Broader Context and Implications

Le VPN was founded in 2010 and became a target of Roskomnadzor scrutiny in 2018 after publicly supporting the Telegram messaging service during its legal struggles in Russia. Despite previous attempts to block the service, Le VPN had continued to operate effectively within Russia until now.

This recent development underscores a significant escalation in Roskomnadzor’s capabilities, demonstrating its increasing influence over major technology companies like Apple. This incident not only highlights the challenges faced by service providers in navigating complex geopolitical landscapes but also signals potential future actions against other applications and services deemed undesirable by the Russian government.

As the situation develops, Le VPN and other affected parties await further responses from both Roskomnadzor and Apple. The outcome of this incident could have far-reaching effects on how global tech companies operate in jurisdictions with stringent regulatory environments, influencing both business operations and user access to digital resources.

UPDATE 3 | 09 July 2024:

Our investigation suggests that Roskomnadzor’s automated bot, designed to hunt for censorship-bypassing content, inadvertently triggered a chain of events leading to Le VPN’s removal from the Russian App Store.

The bot likely flagged our app’s description URL on Apple’s website, generating an automated takedown notice.

Apple, caught in a bureaucratic tangle, opted for the quick solution of removing our app entirely.

Ironically, the bot’s programming may have already delisted our URL from Roskomnadzor’s blacklist, leaving Apple inadvertently continuing the app’s removal on their own accord.

This theory highlights the unintended consequences of automated censorship systems and the challenges faced by tech companies in navigating complex international regulations.

More details in our article:

https://www.le-vpn.com/the-curious-case-of-le-vpns-disappearance-from-the-russian-app-store/

UPDATE 3 | 08 July 2024:

Le VPN and other VPN providers have launched a petition challenging Apple’s removal of VPN apps from the Russian App Store. We believe this action aids censorship and limits access to free information in Russia.

We urge all supporters of internet freedom to sign this petition and help pressure Apple to restore VPN services.

Learn more and sign here:

https://www.change.org/p/apple-helps-putin-s-censorship-we-demand-that-apple-unblock-vpn-apps

Your support is crucial in our fight for online freedom and privacy.

UPDATE 2 | 06 July 2024:

Le VPN received an official notice from Roskomnadzor (RKN) via Apple, but only a day after their app had already been removed. This raises questions about the process and highlights challenges in complying with regulatory demands.

For full details, read our latest article: “Update: Le VPN Receives RKN Notice One Day After Sudden Removal from Russian App Store”

We’ll continue to monitor and update on this developing situation.

UPDATE | 04 July 2024:

Roskomnadzor has confirmed that a total of 25 VPN providers have been blocked in the Russian App Store, signaling a widespread crackdown on VPN services in Russia.

In response, Le VPN has swiftly launched Le VPN Give, our innovative solution to bypass these restrictions. Le VPN Give allows users to connect to our servers using specialized software and obfuscated VPN connections, ensuring continued access to free and secure internet.

For more details on Le VPN Give and how to start using it, please visit our dedicated page:

LE VPN LAUNCHES ALTERNATIVE SERVICE IN RESPONSE TO REMOVAL FROM RUSSIAN APP STORE

We remain committed to protecting your online privacy and freedom.

olympic-sale

OLYMPIC SALE

GET 3 YEARS FOR $79.99

NO LOGS

100+ LOCATIONS

P2P ALLOWED

Easy To Use

30-Day Money Back

Friendly Support

Bitcoin Accepted

Ultra High Speeds

Leave Comment