Into deeper s—, endlessly: Russia to ban foreign VPNs?

This reads like a good summary of what I’ve read in Vedomosti:

Russia has drafted a bill that blocks anonymous proxies and VPN services that refuse to prohibit access to forbidden websites…

According to the bill, anonymizers and VPN services will be required to block access to resources from Roskomnadzor black list.

What isn’t clear to me is whether individuals using VPNs and anonymizers not authorized to provide services in Russia will be penalized (fined, most likely), or whether VPNs and anonymizers allowing their Russian users to access blacklisted sites will be blocked in Russia.

Either way, the proposals sound characteristically moronic; the former route would be the more painful to common users and would probably put Russia somewhere between China and Iran. Actually, China does not even prohibit VPNs in general while suppressing some VPN traffic. The country that comes to mind is the United Arab Emirates, which does not allow Skype and WhatsApp, and VoIP more generally, and has criminalized using VPNs for “illegal purposes,” whatever it means. A sublime company.

I’ve written about similar plans in 2012, 2013, 2015. This slithery constrictor is crawling in narrowing circles.


  1. I suppose they will rely on Russians’ lack of IT expertise and general disinclination to break the law for this ban to be effective, will they?

    • The Russian version of Nietzsche’s famous maxim seems to be this crude saying: “They’re f-cking us – we’re getting stronger.”

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