- Russian government passes a new bill to extend the internet censorship to VPN’s, Anonymizer tools, and similar services.
- Any entity found to violate these rules will face fines and subsequently persecuted.
- The bill also has a clear structure for fines and releases the fine scale for different entities.
As per the new bill №195449-7 by the Russian government, all search engines are ordered to delete VPN’s and other anonymizers which are banned in the country. The bill was released on June 5th, 2018.
2012 was the beginning of hardcore internet censorship in Russia. Today, Russia maintains a centralized blacklist which is maintained and amended under the supervision of Federal services. In the same year, Russian government released a ban-list which is called ‘Rascomnadzor ban-list.’
This Rascomnadzor ban-list consists of domain names, IP addresses, URLs, VPN’s, Anonymizers, and other similar services. As per the recent amendment–added on June 5th, 2018–in the censorship bill, Russian Government will legally persecute any individual or company that shares the VPN related sites or software on the internet and will be charged a heavy penalty.
This ‘ban’ game has been around for more than 6 years now in Russia and until recently people have successfully adapted to these restrictions. The Russian citizens usually respond to these absurd censorships on the internet by circumventing these regulations. Most people turn to proxies and pirate sites while other prefer anonymizers.
The most recent mode to escape censorship, VPN’s, and anonymizers, have been growing in popularity. The Russian government noticed this loophole in their censorship and quickly reacted by extending their ban list to VPN’s and similar services.
In past, it has been a quick defeat for the Russian government as VPN’s are generally easy to access. But, now the government has a perfect rebuttal. The Russian government has ordered the VPN’s and similar services to register themselves, and revealed that the state will fine heavily on the search engines that provide links to VPN’s, Banned sites, and Anonymization tools.
As per the bill, the fines are different based on the size and the structure of who violates the ban. The Code of Administrative offenses clearly states that Russian Federation will fine 48-80 USD for citizens, 800 USD for officials and 8000-11300 USD for legal entities. To clear things further, the Russian Federal State Information System (FGIS) will release an updated ban-list of blocked domains. The subsequent instructions state that all search engines are required to abide by the system within next 30 days. Any deviation from this dictation will result in legal persecution and fines.
But why does the Russian government fight against VPN’s and Anonymizing tools?
What’s the point behind structuring a bill to censor something which Russia doesn’t even control?
Does Russia want to turn their internet similar to their pretentious television?
We must understand that the government wars against VPN’s are not a new thing. This censorship game has been around for more than a decade now, and for the most part, has been useless. While the Russian government’s message was loud and clear, and might even put some local doors sealed, it is clearly not effective. After all, the Russian war against anonymizers hasn’t started yesterday.
The entire episode has been a funny trail to subvert VPN’s and similar services.
It already has been a decade, and it still hasn’t yielded any popular results in terms of high-profile curbing. At Technadu, we wonder if such harsh punishments actually play out?
What do you think? Kindly let us know in the comment section.