VPN Services To Be Blocked In Russia

I am guessing that Russia really doesn’t want its citizens to see news from outside of Russia. I’m basing that on this Reuters story where VPNs are to be banned early next year:

Russia’s communications watchdog plans to block Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) from March 1 next year, a Russian senator for the ruling United Russia party said on Tuesday.

Demand for VPN services soared after Russia restricted access to some Western social media after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

Senator Artem Sheikin said an order from the Roskomnadzor watchdog would come into force on March 1 that would block VPNs.

“From March 1, 2024, an order will come into force to block VPN services providing access to sites banned in Russia,” Sheikin was quoted as saying by state news agency RIA.

Phone calls to the number listed by Roskomnadzor as its press service were answered by a voice message with the Bobby McFerrin song “Don’t Worry Be Happy”. An emailed request for comment got no immediate reply.

Sheikin said that it was particularly important to block access to Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Clearly this is a pretty naked attempt by Russia to control the information that their citizens see. It will be interesting to see if Russian citizens actually obey this order. I suspect that some may not and it will be interesting to see how that is handled.

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