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Russia's ultimatum to VPN providers: play by the rules or get the boot

By mongeese · 15 replies
Mar 30, 2019
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  1. For years, the Russian government has slowly been restricting the internet access of its users, blocking everything from LGBT forums to LinkedIn. They do this by maintaining a database of restricted content, and by forcing search engines and ISPs to deny access to these websites and services through tough legislation. Historically, users have been able to bypass these laws with VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) and other anonymizer services like Tor.

    In July 2017, President Vladimir Putin signed a bill granting Roskomnadzor the ability to add VPN providers that didn’t comply with the blacklist database, to the blacklist database. It’s a more serious threat than it sounds – because all Russian ISPs comply with the database, attempts to access VPN servers would be blocked. The threat prompted many VPN providers to leave the country and others to comply, but this is the first time Roskomnadzor is taking action.

    Of the ten VPN providers targeted; NordVPN, ExpressVPN, TorGuard, IPVanish, VPN Unlimited, VyprVPN, HideMyA**, Hola VPN, OpenVPN and Kaspersky Secure Connection (the only Russian-owned VPN on the list); two have already decided on their course of action.

    TorGuard has already (voluntarily) wiped all their servers in the country, and left Russia. VyprVPN has taken the opposite stance and will not comply with Roskomnadzor but will continue providing service, or at least it will try to.

    “Our core mission is to keep the internet open and free, and therefore, we will continue to provide uncensored access to the internet in Russia and around the world. We will not cooperate with the Russian government in their efforts to censor VPN services.” VyprVPN operator Golden Frog stated in a blog post. They’re safe from physical or legal action, as they don’t have any servers or offices in Russia, but it’s unclear if they can circumvent ISPs blocking their IP addresses.

    Hopefully VPN providers can get around the ban somehow; we’ll have to wait and see. But with the government even considering temporarily disconnecting Russia from the global internet entirely, the future looks bleak.

    Permalink to story.

  2. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 517   +448

    In Soviet Russia - Governement hides net traffic from VPN.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,385   +3,775

    Ideally we would be able to join with NATO and isolate all Russian web traffic and access to the outside world if for nothing more than to show them they don't have the kind of control they want to have .....
    ForgottenLegion and ghostf1re like this.
  4. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,559   +550

    That is probably exactly what their governments wants so they can blame us and fuel their western propaganda machine. It's the citizens getting screwed over by the lack of VPNs not the people in control.
    Gmachine, ghostf1re and Lionvibez like this.
  5. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,832   +677

    Who cares?
  6. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,938   +1,487

    This idea gave me cancer.
    havok585 likes this.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,942   +3,990

    P.I.A. scrubbed their servers and got out of Russia a year or more ago. I think they had 4. I'm not sure about the exact date, and I don't have an email associated with their pull out. Ergo, if somebody wants to fact check that, please do.

    Basically, they said they were getting the type of pressure the Russian government is applying now, way back then.
  8. bluetooth fairy

    bluetooth fairy TS Booster Posts: 90   +62

    This is not about VPN only, it can't fear the masses.

    They want to test whether they can block the Telegram messenger, and even to slowdown certain services which won't agree to follow the rules, e.g. YouTube. Read it slowly: s-l-o-w-d-o-w-n YouTube. They want to use Deep Packet Inspection to achieve the aim, but still for testing. They can't do it widely due to the current law. But it can change easily through the Parliament.

    About LinkedIn, no one knows why the heck it was chosen among many other well-known services. Maybe just for muscle play, I.e. to show they are serious.

    They started with one big russian torrent tracker. Even this wasn't a great move for the country as a whole, because it is pretty poor. Besides the capital and St.Petersburg, and some isolated regions with bad climate, Russia is not going well it terms of wealth.
    TempleOrion and ForgottenLegion like this.
  9. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Guru Posts: 411   +414

    I admire the way Russians get things done whereas the likes of Britain are spending years and wasting billions on Brexit.

    Saying that this is a massive step backwards.
    The world needs to cooperate not segregate if we want to evolve and survive whatever the future holds.

    Part of me wants some imminent global catastrophe to be on the horizon so mankind is forced to unify.
    Think world ending asteroid or Alien arrival/hostility.

    Saying that, as I'm getting older I'm caring less and less. Humanity can go to hell for all I care. Good Riddence.
  10. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,559   +550

    Ever see Watchmen?
  11. loki1944

    loki1944 TS Addict Posts: 151   +89

    So, what you want is dictatorship and castrated individual rights. That path is pretty much as bad as it gets.
  12. Axle Grease

    Axle Grease TS Addict Posts: 139   +56

    From the perspective of a citizen living within the Russian Federation, NATO would be fortifying Putin's Great Firewall. I have no desire to see NATO used for censoring Putin if it entails an additional barrier citizens must circumvent to access outside websites.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  13. Axle Grease

    Axle Grease TS Addict Posts: 139   +56

    Unifying under what set of principles? There's no way to measure the benefit of the world unifying without a set of principle under which people ought to unify. Talmudic principles, Islamic principles, Christian principles, Communist principles, Fascist principles, Existentialist principles, Libertarian principles, Objectivist principles, Buddhist principles? Ideas have consequences and much of humanity has gone to hell when bad principles were enforced. The idea of people unifying in and of itself is just meaningless fluff... and most likely comes from the cult of the dirty hippy.
  14. Kreegir

    Kreegir TS Member

    Lots of people do because they have the ability to think more than 5 minutes in front of their faces. They understand what a media lock down is the first step to within a nation and that we haven't, for a long time now, lived in a world where those consequences stay within the borders of that nation.
    A smart person once said, All it takes for evil to win in the world is for good people to do nothing. I would, in this case, extend that to add for decent and good people to sit back and say, "who cares."
    TempleOrion likes this.
  15. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,832   +677

    Look The Ruskie's want their lies to be heard not Sweden's or Germany's or the US
  16. patrickjburt

    patrickjburt TS Rookie

    Is purevpn also in there hit list?

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