Ten major VPN providers have been ordered by Russian authorities to begin blocking sites present in the country’s national blacklist. NordVPN, ExpressVPN, IPVanish and HideMyAss are among those affected. TorGuard also received a notification and has pulled its services out of Russia with immediate effect.
For the past several years, Russia has continued with its mission to restrict access to content the state finds objectionable.
Many kinds of sites, from alleged pirate platforms to sites hosting extremist content, have all been affected.
Local ISPs are required by law to block their domains, rendering them inaccessible. However, plenty of circumvention options are available, something the government is trying to address.
During July 2017, President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law aiming to close this loophole. The plan was to prevent citizens from accessing banned sites using VPNs, proxies, Tor, and other anonymizing services.