Since 2012, Russia has employed watchdog Roskomnadzor to monitor all internet activity within the country and control what sites are accessible or blocked. Luckily for the citizens, VPNs have been useful to circumvent these restrictions, allowing unrestricted internet. But this might all change with Russia planning to block VPNs.
A Russian MP is proposing a ban to any tools that bypass restrictions imposed in the country. The kind of websites which have come under censorship have not just been acceptable sites that are related to terrorism and child abuse, but the censorship extends to sites related to drugs and suicide. This kind of blanket censorship does far more harm than good and blocks people who are reaching out for help with these issues. Sites that may contain copyright material are usually blocked immediately so any torrent or file-sharing sites are targeted regardless of content.
Russian MP Leonid Levin announced at a conference his plans to restrict any and all access to tools that allow the user to bypass, become anonymous or transfer illegally obtained media. This include VPNs and users of the anonymous Tor network. Levin claims that by blocking access to these tools will reduce citizen’s access and distribution of illegal content. Surveys conducted shows 150,000 citizens use the Tor network and up to 25% of internet users use a VPN.
This isn’t the first time Russia has attempted to block the use of VPNs but as with their last attempt in 2013 that came to nothing, there is growing concern that the law might come into effect at some point in the future. Until then, make sure you make the most of using Le VPN to ensure you browse the internet securely and anonymously, as well as bypassing any censorship or restrictions in your country.