VPN services reject Russian government requirements
Earlier this year Russia’s internet censor demanded that VPN providers comply with local laws or face a ban and now the deadline has expired and 12 popular services have refused to cooperate.
While most of the VPN companies are removing their servers from the country, Kaspersky Secure Connection is the only company that has complied with the Russian government’s requirements.
Russia has introduced stricter internet laws which require search engines to delete some results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services and social networks to store their user’s personal data on servers within the country.
- Russia could ban non-compliant VPNs
- Russia blocks ProtonMail
- Russia cracks down on VPNs with new law to maintain censorship
However, VPN services are helping the country’s citizens get around these restrictions by allowing them to establish secure internet connections to reach sites which have been banned or blocked.
Russia’s telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor has asked the owners of 10 popular VPN services to join a state IT system that contains a registry of banned websites.
By linking to the system though, VPN companies would prevent their users from being able to reach websites which have been blocked or use services, such as the encrypted messaging service Telegram, which have been banned.
According to Roskomnadzor, it sent notifications to NordVPN, Hide My Ass!, Hola VPN, Openvpn, VyprVPN, ExpressVPN, TorGuard, IPVanish, Kaspersky Secure Connection and VPN Unlimited, giving them a month to comply.
If the VPN companies in question decide not to comply with the obligations stipulated by Russian law, Roskomnadzor said it may decide to restrict access to VPNs throughout the country.
- Trying to access the internet without restrictions? We’ve also highlighted the best VPN