According to certain online sources, the Russian government is working on a bill which requires VPNs and other anonymizing services to stop providing access to blocked domains. If they don’t, they will also end up being blocked. Search engines are also on the black list if they link to the banned websites.
This measure has been taken as a consequence of the fact that many Russians are trying to access censored websites with the help of VPNs, proxies, mirror sites and anonymity networks such as Tor.
The technical aspects of the bill were reportedly formulated by lawyers working for the Media Communications Union (MCU), a trade group established by the largest media companies in the country. The MCU has a particular interest in ensuring that web users do not bypass pirate site blockades by using anonymous web-based CGI proxies.
The new bill apparently lays out a new framework which will force search engines to remove frowned-upon links. Failing to do so could result in fines of up to $12,400 per breach, clearly a significant issue for companies such as Google and local search giant Yandex.
Apparently, there is a way for VPNs and proxy providers to bypass the new law and remain legal. If they can prevent access to all domains present in Russia’s banned resources list, they can avoid the ban. However, censorship should stand against the core values of any VPN provider.
We, at CyberGhost, would surely refrain from accepting such a compromise. The censorship in Russia is also the main reason why we don’t have any servers there.
If the rumors are true, we advise our friends from Russia to take advantage of the online privacy services provided by CyberGhost VPN until the bill goes into effect. Russia is neither the first, nor the last country to take into consideration severe censorship measures. Discover the world’s most censored digital content and read more about other countries that hold VPN bans here.