Espreso. Global

Russia plans to block VPN services to strengthen control over information space — ISW

13 November, 2023 Monday
11:45

The Russian government is trying to strengthen control over the Russian information space by blocking VPN services

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This is reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), citing a statement by the Russian Ministry of Digital Development on November 12.

The statement of the Ministry of Digital Development refers to the blocking of only certain virtual networks that the "expert commission" has identified as threats, probably in order to prevent Russians from circumventing censorship. 

Recently, the Russian government announced a ban on services that provide virtual and temporary mobile numbers starting September 1, 2024. 

The ISW noted that Russians still have the ability to use these mobile numbers in combination with VPN services to create anonymous online personas to avoid Russian censorship.

ISW analysts argue that the Russian government is unlikely to allow any VPN services to operate in Russia that would allow Russians to bypass censorship and remain anonymous from the Russian government.

  • In August, British intelligence reported that the Russian state had launched an information campaign to try to intimidate citizens into avoiding VPNs, claiming that it compromises their personal data.

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