In an effort to prevent users from accessing prohibited websites, Vladimir Putin has set forth a new law that will ban VPNs from viewing those sites.
The Russian president officially signed a law that will prohibit any form of technology that provides access to websites that are banned in Russia. Putin’s request has already been approved by Russia’s lower parliament, the Duma, and will restrict virtual private networks, VPNs, and other anonymizers from allowing individuals to surf the web anonymously. The new law will officially go into effect starting from November 1st of this year, and the Russian government assured its citizens that it is not attempting to impose restrictions but is instead attempting to protect its citizens by blocking access to “unlawful content,” the RIA news agency reported. Russia is not the only country to promote the restriction of VPNs, with China declaring they would place restrictions on unauthorized VPNs earlier this month. China has also reportedly taken all VPN apps off of the Chinese version of Apple’s App Store.
Russia implemented its federal website blacklist in 2012 in an attempt to block access to sites that had content on “illegal drugs, child pornography, and suicide” and was updated to also include any cases of “suspected extremism.” The amendment isn’t explicitly written, which allows Russia to interpret what they view as “extreme” very loosely to make sure they have control over any content or material they feel is attempting to criticize or weaken the Russian government. In 2015, Russia also briefly banned Reddit and Wikipedia over “single pages that contained content on drug use.”
Vladimir Putin and the Russian government are known to be overpowering with their beliefs and have shown that they will take the necessary precautions to ensure the well-being and power of their nation.