Russia Internet Law Will Ban VPNs, Force Chat Apps To ID Users Soon
Russian Censorship
(Last Updated On: July 30, 2017)

Internet censorship is about to get a level up in Russia starting November 1st, 2017 when a new law goes into effect that makes it illegal to utilize VPNs or TORs to access websites Russian establishment label as illegal.

Reuters is reporting that the Russian Government is banning virtual private networks, TOR utilities, and tools to give internet users anonymity while browsing the web.

Reuters claims that Leonid Levin, the head of the Duma’s information policy committee, claims the new law isn’t intended to affect law-abiding Russian citizens, only people attempting to access “unlawful content”.

The Federal Law on Information Technologies was updated recently on July 29th, 2017 with the new amendments outlining how chat apps and messaging services must use a legitimate phone number for the account. This measure also applies for social media services such as Twitter, Facebook and Discord. It will be mandatory to have a legitimate phone number attached to your account, in case you do something that goes against the establishment and requires investigation, they will require easy access to your account and legitimate contact information.

The phone number identification requirement for social media won’t go into effect until January 1st, 2018.

This move follows China’s lead in also banning VPN services, as well as cracking down on live-streaming services, which happened this past summer, as reported by Tech Crunch.

Unsurprisingly enough, both China and Russia ranked as two of the top nations that are not very “free” when it comes to internet access. In fact, China was ranked first and Russia was ranked second.

Some reports are indicating that this particular move from Putin’s administration was to curb the possible flow of information that could work against the Russian election coming up in 2018.

Despite access to information being at an all time high within the world, there also seems to be a recent and aggressive push to quarantine how people are able to access that information under certain establishments.

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Galbador

    Oh sure, let’s become a glassy person on the net, where everyone can see where you live, what you earn, where you are and who was that hooker last night. But I’m not surprised about that Russia came up with this, because Putin is almost a dictator already… if not ALREADY. No, go ahead and collect all my datas and make a plan of me.

    I used VPN for almost 5+/- years because I don’t want others to know me too well. But hey, we all want EQUALITY, so everyone has to know all about everyone, because only like this, you can sue your neighbour and take his wife, who is cheating with you anyway.

    But jokes aside, if this is following everywhere else, we can also build a wall around each country and isolate ourselves. Who need to speak with someone in Japan at 3 AM, if you could do the same where you live?

    I’m so waiting for the vote for the new chancellor for Germany to get rid of Angie and her DDR ideas to turn Germy into Communism… but I digress.

    This all feels so weird and wrong, I don’t know what to think about it. It really confuses and scares me. Why can’t we have a new earth somewhere close by?

  • ThyPancakeConsumed

    More tyranny. What a nice start of week, thanks uncle Vlad.

  • Russia continues to be a hellhole.

  • It’s quickly becoming a totalitarian world.

    Internet going mainstream was a mistake.

  • FlamingoJet

    This violates so many fucking human rights.

    • ThyPancakeConsumed

      Yeah, uncle Vlad has platinum medal in human rights violation olympics.

  • PizzaWolf

    It’s time to double down on network anonymity. I fear similar laws may be proposed here in the US because apparently hurting people’s feelings is a crime. I plan on fighting back by being as petty as possible and costing twitter 50 million merkel fun bucks a day. Maybe I’ll get to choke them out in putin fun bucks soon too!

    • It’s time to double down on network anonymity.

      Impossible, because of all the “I’m-okay-with-these-laws-cause-I-ain’t got nothing-to-hide” morons.

      • Feli Aslan

        We should raise awareness that all of the normies shemale and lesbian porn will become public.

      • PizzaWolf

        I meant personally. It’s amazing how much freedom people are willing to give up under that very line of thought. amazing and sad because they don’t see that it shrinks everyone’s circle of liberty.

  • James

    Hmm. How would they possibly enforce this? I mean, sure, ISPs could be required to report any user with traffic leading to known VPN servers theoretically. But the trail stops there. The wording specifically says VPNs are legal – just not for shady business (of course, they get to decide what’s shady). Without being able to see the VPN’s records (and good VPNs have none, ever), there’s no way they can prove a user was accessing “unlawful content” unless there is a trail on the local drive and that got seized by police to be searched.

    Maybe you’d require a license to use a VPN, showing it was for work or something?

  • Disqusted

    Yeah, I heard China was doing this too. Well, at least maybe there’ll be less hackers and viruses from those countries.

    Personally, I don’t like being limited because other people in the same country/area/whatever keep causing trouble. Sucks being constantly dragged down to the lowest common denominator.

  • Hawk Hopper

    The Federal Law on Information Technologies was updated recently on July 29th, 2017 with the new amendments outlining how chat apps and messaging services must use a legitimate phone number for the account.

    I bet a lot of people doing their best lefty Alex Jones impersonation yelling about Russian interference with the US election probably also want real names and phone numbers attached to every social media account.