The Russian government recently ordered ten major VPN providers to block websites that are banned in Russia.

If the providers refuse to do so, their own websites will also be blacklisted. Read all about it now:

Russia restricts internet accessibility

Russia has long restricted the online access citizens have to information. The government combs the Internet looking for websites it deems inappropriate. Once it finds them, the websites are put on the national blacklist, the FGIS. The government mainly targets piracy websites and material it considers extremist. However, you may be surprised at some of the websites on the list like Express VPN Russia.

  • Well-known websites blacklisted include video upload website Dailymotion, live streaming platform Twitch and discussion website Reddit.
  • The government has also blacklisted a number of Wikipedia page’s, as well as several Bitcoin-related websites and an image of Putin as a gay clown. People used this image to protest Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law. The government added the image to Russia’s Federal List of Extremist Material.

Russia restricts VPN’s

The government has already ordered Russian Internet providers to block the banned websites. However, there were still plenty of ways to get around the blockages. That’s why the government is now focusing on VPN’s. The ten VPN’s that received the notice are ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish, HideMyAss!, TorGuard, VPN Unlimited, Kaspersky Secure Connection, OpenVPN, Hola VPN and VyprVPN.

  • The notice states: “In accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 15.8 of Federal Law No. 149-FZ of 27.07.2006 “On Information, Information Technology and on Protection of Information” we hereby inform you of the need to get in touch with the Federal State Information System of Blocked Information Sources and Networks [FGIS] within thirty working days from the receipt [of this notice]. ”
  • The government also demanded that the VPN’s hand over information about their business, such as names, address information, and tax numbers. The VPN’s have less than a month to comply with these demands for Netflix VPN Turkiye @ Globalwatchonline.TR

Reactions from the VPN’s

Some VPN’s have decided to stop operating in Russia after receiving the notice because they do not want to operate under the government’s terms. Others have not yet made public statements.

TorGuard is one of the providers that no longer operates in Russia. TorGuard lets us know that “at the time of writing this post, TorGuard has taken steps to remove all physical server presence in Russia