2 Jun 2022 14:56

Russia restricting Proton VPN, similar services - Roskomnadzor

MOSCOW. June 2 (Interfax) - Russia's Federal Communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, has confirmed its ongoing effort to block VPN services, including Proton VPN, which allow access to Internet content prohibited in Russia.

"The Law on Communications defines means used to bypass the blocking of illegal content as a threat. The Center for Monitoring and Management of the Public Telecommunications Network is taking measures to restrict the use in Russia of VPN services that breach Russian laws," Roskomnadzor said answering Interfax's question whether Proton VPN was being blocked in Russia.

The company website reported problems with connection to the VPN service in Russia in a statement on its website on Thursday.

State Duma Information Policy Committee Chairman Alexander Khinshtein said on March 15 that about 20 popular VPN services were blocked in Russia and Roskomnadzor was committed to blocking more of them.

Last year, Russia imposed restrictions on over a dozen popular services, such as ExpressVPN, Nord VPN, Hola!VPN, IPVanish VPN, KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, and Speedify VPN. Roskomnadzor allows their use only for companies from the so-called white list, which informed the regulator about the need for such VPN services in their operations. It was reported in December 2021 that Roskomnadzor planned to restrict the operation of another six VPN services in Russia, namely, Betternet, Lantern, X-VPN, Cloudflare WARP, Tachyon VPN, and PrivateTunnel.