Russia has been ramping up its internet censorship efforts this year and now the country is setting its sites on VPNs (virtual private networks) by demanding that 10 of the most popular non-Russian VPN providers start blocking certain sites within 30 days.
Russia’s telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor sent formal notices to the 10 VPN providers which ordered them to link to the country’s list of banned websites and start blocking these sites through their VPNs. In the notices, the VPN providers were told that they had 30 days to comply and that non-compliance could result in access to their services being limited by Russia.
Russia’s list of banned sites includes the messaging app Telegram, the video sharing website Daily Motion, and the professional networking site LinkedIn.
The notices were sent to the following 10 VPN providers:
- Hide My Ass!
- Hola VPN
- Kapersky Secure Connection
- VPN Unlimited
This crackdown on VPNs is the latest in a series of moves to censor the internet in Russia. The country recently criminalized what it deems to be fake news and information that disrespects the state. It also recently tested a web traffic filtering system which would allow make it easy for the country to censor internet traffic.