Internet proxy services, also known as VPNs, will be forbidden in Russia from 1 November — bad news for those with a dependence on US Netflix.

On 29 July, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed amendments to an existing law prohibiting the use of VPNs, which allow internet users both to surf the web incognito and to access content that has been blocked by the government.

Under the new law, online messaging services must block any user found to be spreading “illegal information” and ensure that all users are linked to a phone number.

While the law's proponents argue that it serves as a crucial tool in the fight against the dissemination of illegal content online, its critics decry it as forming part of a broad government crackdown on internet freedom in Russia.

In May this year, Mr Putin approved a new strategy for the development of Russia as a “digital society”, with the establishment of greater government regulation of the internet a key tenet of the policy.

 

Source: The Moscow Times


 

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