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Published On: Mon, Jul 31st, 2017

Russia continues restricting Internet freedom and privacy, now bans VPNs

nsnbc : Russian President Vladimir Putin signed amendments to existing legislation, further strengthening State-control over the Internet. The amendments further restrict access to blocked sites and further infringe on privacy by banning VPNs.

Russia_Internet_HRW_2017The amendments signed by President Vladimir Putin will come into effect on November 1. The amendments outlaw Internet proxy services, VPNs, which allow users to gain access to websites that have been blocked, and which allow users to surfe the Internet without compromising the users’ privacy.

The law will also require online messaging services to link users with their telephone numbers and to block users allegedly engaged in “disseminating illegal information”.

On July 20 Leonid Levin, head of the State Duma (parliament) Committee of Information Policy said “there will be no fines or punishment for users”. he said sanctions and fines would only be imposed on messenger operators.

Weaseling his way out of a confrontation with the fact that the measures in an on themselves are “sanctions imposed on users” Levin claimed the law is merely aimed to block illegal content and that there is no wish to impose sanctions on law-abiding citizens.

Putin signed the amendments to the law on Information, Information Technology, and Protection of Information, which was adopted by the State Duma on July 21 and approved by the Federation Council (upper house of parliament) on July 25.

Earlier this month Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report stressing that Russian authorities have clamped down on internet freedom and introduced invasive surveillance online under the pretext of fighting terrorism. The HRW report also criticized Russian authorities for unjustly imprisoning dozens of people based on their activity online and for introducing new laws that “restrict access to information, carry out unchecked surveillance and censor information the government designates as ‘extremist.’”

CH/L – nsnbc 31.07.2017

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  1. Honestly, i would wish that more governments would restrict the uncontrolled use of US bases social networks since they do nothing for free speech only for profits of which they have more than enough. I look to the african continent and myn toher parts of the globe shows that US corporations control all parts of communication and money transfers as well. This alone is a crime since not a single part of this has anything to do with majority decisions nor anything to do with anything democratic i.e. peoples choice. It is all baes on the power of markets and financial power… liberal markets i.e. globalisation are regulated in such a way as to maximise profits but not the rights of people.

  2. Debbie says:

    Benjamin Morgentau. It is because people like you continue to justify oppression somewhere – for some reason – that we are having problems fighting against oppression anywhere. You are a perfect example for how people, knowingly or not, prolong the lifespan of the good old divide and conquer strategy.

  3. aaron says:

    No, Debbie, I think you are a better example of the same.

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