September 05, 2023

Roskomnadzor: No More Evading Internet Restrictions


Roskomnadzor: No More Evading Internet Restrictions
Roskomnadzor logo surrounded by locks. Rebecca Rambar, Twitter.

Roskomnadzor, the Russian government agency that monitors — and censors — telecommunications in the country, will seek to block websites that explain how to bypass government restrictions on the internet.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, Roskomnadzor has blocked over 206,000 websites, from American social media sites like Facebook and Instagram to independent news outlets' websites such as Dozhd TV, Ekho Moskvy, and The Bell. Even though use of banned sites has decreased, many Russians have sought ways to skirt these restrictions.

The Ministry of Digital Development released a draft resolution that will allow Roskomnadzor to expand its criteria of which websites it can block, including those that contain "information about the ways, methods of providing access to information resources and [or] information and telecommunication networks, access to which is restricted on Russian territory."

While the State Duma announced they don't plan to introduce punishments for using VPNs, many VPN services have been blocked.

In a related matter, on September 1, Roskomnadzor announced it would open a form to report websites with LGBTQ+ content.

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