As if online censorship and online surveillance are not enough, now Russia plans to up its game on the very services that are used to bypass these restrictions. These services include VPNs, proxies, mirror sites, etc. A new bill is has been drafted which, if turns into a law, will force VPN providers in Russia to either restrict the already censored websites or they themselves be placed on the Russian blacklist of websites.
In addition to that, the government is pressuring search engines as well in order to prevent them from displaying results of banned websites.
In the case of defying that law, search engines will be fined with an amount of $12,400. In the case of VPN providers, they will be placed on Russia’s blacklist of websites if they refuse to place a restriction themselves on the banned sites.
In the light of this draft, several VPN providers closed down their operations in Russia and others started cooperating with the government in blocking the banned websites from their end as well to avoid legal questioning. Many internet users in Russia have started seeking VPNs with servers and operations outside of Russia to avoid the risk of these providers being closed down.
The movement has started and already 100 VPN providers have been blocked in Russia for one reason or the other.
Sergey Grebennikov, director of the Regional Public Center of Internet Technologies said “Naturally, we are against the spread of illegal content, but the law does not violate the rights and freedoms of citizens to access information [...] Yes, there is a ‘gray zone’ used to carry out illegal activities and the distribution of illegal content using a CGI proxies, but it does not mean that legitimate users have to suffer. It is also important to note that the laws do not violate the rights of users who choose the safe use of the Internet, for example, by using a VPN connection.”
This bill was initially formulated by a group of lawyers working for the Media Communications Union (MCU). This is a trade group that was established by the largest media companies in the country. Their main intention was to use Russia’s war against internet privacy in fighting against piracy.
For those concerned internet users in Russia, there are still many VPN service providers that can work perfectly as they do not have any ongoing operations (servers) in Russia and hence cannot be placed under any laws made by the Russian government what so ever. However, acquiring a reliable VPN to use within Russia means that it has to have extremely high security measures to avoid being detected by the government and its website blocked, which is the most that can be done from the Russian government’s end.
One of the most reliable services in this situation would be bVPN as it meets all the criteria when it comes to high security features plus no operations or servers what so ever in Russia. It was considered one of the top providers used to bypass the Great Firewall of China with its state of the art Smoke Tunnel technology. In addition to that, it comes with the highest forms of security measures available in the market today. Moreover, bVPN is continuously developing its security features as well as its other features, for example, adding an Anti-Throttling function.
Russian internet users can surely rely on b.VPN, not only to bypass restrictions placed by the government, but to do so in such a secure manner that they will be completely ghosted out while surfing the web. You never know where Russia will strike next.