The Russian communications guardian Roskomnadzor has restricted another six VPN providers. According to the agency, the platforms have made it easier to access information that is banned in the Russian Federation. Roskomnadzor also whitelists certain VPN services that work in accordance with the law and are used by Russian companies.
Roskomnadzor bans further VPN platforms in Russia
The Russian Federal Service for the Surveillance of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, Roskomnadzor, has restricted access to another group of VPN service providers. In accordance with a government decree issued in February 2020, “a decision has been made to block 6 more VPN services that violate Russian law,” the watchdog said in a statement released on Friday.
The affected platforms are Hola! VPN, Express VPN, Keepsolid VPN Unlimited, Nord VPN, Speedify VPN and IPvanish VPN. The regulator insisted that its services allow users “access to prohibited information and resources”, thereby creating conditions for illegal activities such as drug distribution and the spread of extremism.
Earlier this year, Roskomnadzor banned two other VPN providers, Vyprvpn and Operavpn, for identical reasons. The federal regulator called the technical means it uses against services that help Russians circumvent their restrictions “effective and justified”.
Such measures are often used on websites with crypto-related content. Last August, Roskomnadzor shut down the popular stock market aggregator Bestchange.ru, and in March 2020 the agency added six crypto sites to its register of banned internet sources. Last June, a court in the Perm region announced its decision to block several websites offering information on cryptocurrency trading.
Watchdog whitelists some VPNs used by Russian companies
However, in its recent announcement, Roskomnadzor also announced that it is now whitelisting certain VPN services. The move is intended to prevent the operation of software programs and applications that do not violate current Russian legislation is disrupted and to “use VPN services for technological purposes”.
The decision to do so comes after the agency received inquiries from 64 industry organizations, 27 of which use VPN connections to support 33 technological processes. Roskomnadzor has been presented with more than 100 IP addresses that need to be exempted from its restricted access policy.
The regulator further emphasized that the VPN services that are in violation of the law in the Russian Federation have been completely blocked, but the VPNs used by Russian companies that have been whitelisted continue to function smoothly.
Do you think the Russian authorities will continue to block VPN providers and crypto websites? Do share your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.
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