Roskomnadzor Reveals Blocking Around 150 Popular VPN Services

Chief of the Monitoring and Supervision Department in the field of electronic communications of Roskomnadzor, Yevgeny Zaytsev, stated that currently Roskomnadzor is blocking approximately 150 popular VPN services. Additionally, “around 700 materials promoting the use of VPN to circumvent access restrictions have also been blocked.”

According to the media, Zaytsev shared this statistic at the Safe Internet Forum.

“Also, everyone is familiar with the VPN-related story. At the moment, we are blocking around 150 of the most popular VPN services,” Zaytsev said.

He also reminded that since March 1 of this year, the department has started implementing extrajudicial restrictions on access to information on the Internet that advertises or popularizes means to bypass access restrictions to illegal content.

Starting from March 1, 2024, a ban on popularizing methods and tools for bypassing access restrictions, including VPN services, came into force in Russia. Earlier, Roskomnadzor listed criteria that would be used for registering resources in this regard.

Failure to remove such information entails administrative responsibility in the form of fines ranging from 800,000 to 4,000,000 rubles. “In case of a repeat offense, fines ranging from 1/20 to 1/10 of the company’s total annual revenue are envisaged,” the department reported.

Zaytsev noted that around 700 materials promoting the use of VPN to bypass restrictions have been blocked already.

VPN services are considered means to bypass access restrictions if they are not connected to the Federal State Information System (FSIS), which contains a list of resources blocked in Russia, are not connected to technical means counteracting threats, and if their usage allows access to blocked sites in general. Roskomnadzor regularly updates the list of VPN services operating in Russia and restricts the operation of services that violate the legislation.

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