Russia’s ‘VPN Ban’ is Live as Authorities Warn of Bad VPNs & U.S. Spying


Russia’s ‘VPN Ban’ is Live as Authorities Warn of Bad VPNs & U.S. Spying

The latest stage of Russia’s crackdown on VPNs and similar technologies went live a few hours ago. Contrary to some reports, today’s changes don’t amount to a total ban on VPNs. Use of state approved VPNs, which do everything except the useful stuff, remain legal. The new law criminalizes the promotion of VPNs for site-blocking circumvention. But Russia also wants citizen’s to stay safe, warning that VPNs in the U.S. are prone to government spying.

rus-vpn-sIn countries where internet access faces restrictions, from general government censorship through to more limited site-blocking programs to protect copyright, citizens have grown comfortable with the use of VPNs.

In Russia, where the government censors certain material and has an anti-piracy site-blocking regime on top, around 20% of the internet population regularly use VPNs.

While accessing blocked websites and communicating in relative privacy is now fairly common, the government would like sites carrying “illegal information” to remain inaccessible. But after endless legal tweaks, advice, orders, and confused messaging that mostly contradicts reality on the ground, Russians may be a little confused by now.

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