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Russia Will Block Ways to Bypass Site Blockades

A new bill was developed by the Russian government that will hit services enabling to circumvent infringing site blockades. The bill requires VPNs and other anonymizing services to stop providing access to banned domains or get blocked themselves. It also includes sanctions for search engines that link to blocked sites.

 

Russia is rapidly developing its policy on website blocking: tens of thousands of resources have already been blocked on the ISP level on copyright infringement and other grounds. However, the Internet users regularly find ways to circumvent these blockades: basically, they are well known worldwide: VPNs, proxies, mirror sites and dedicated services like Tor. This is why the Russian government decided to tackle all services that allow to circumvent blockades and prepared a tough new bill.

 

In short words, they are going to issue a nationwide ban on systems and software that enable Internet users to bypass website blockades imposed by the local telecoms watchdog. This means that if a VPN or proxy unblocks the illegal torrent site, it will be breaking the law and get banned itself.

 

If VPN and proxy providers are configured to prevent access to all domains present in Russia’s blacklist, they can avoid legal issues. The problem is that VPN services usually position themselves as not monitoring user traffic and censoring certain sites, and the compliance will provoke a backlash and undermine their credibility.
Besides, the bill also targets search engines, trying to prevent links to banned websites appearing in search results. It lays out a new framework that will force search engines to remove such links or face fines of up to $12,400 per breach.

Thanks to TF for providing the source of the article.

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