Russia's state censor blocks hundreds of thousands of IP addresses owned by Amazon and Google

17:16, 16 april 2018

Russia’s federal censor has reportedly ordered the country’s ISPs to start blocking hundreds of thousands of Amazon IP addresses. On Monday evening, according to Anti-Corruption Foundation activist Vladislav Zdolnikov, Roskomnadzor added four “subnet masks” to its “out-load list,” which specifies the domains and websites Russian Internet providers are required to block.

The first three subnets “encrypt” 131,000 different IP addresses each, and the fourth subnet contains another 262,00 IP addresses, meaning that the Russian government has effectively banned more than 655,000 IP addresses owned by the company Amazon.

According to an unofficial copy of Roskomnadzor’s Internet blacklist, the hundreds of thousands of Amazon IP addresses (plus some owned by Google and Telegram) are prohibited because of a decision by the Attorney General’s Office that is technically unrelated to the April 13 court ruling in Moscow that allowed the government to start blocking Telegram.

Update: Roskomnadzor added another subnet containing 131,070 IP addresses.
Update 2: Roskomnadzor has confirmed that it is blocking hundreds of thousands of IP addresses hosted by Amazon that are being used to circumvent the blocking of Telegram. By Monday evening, the total number of these IP addresses exceeded 800,000.
Update 3: Roskomnadzor has also added the subnet 35.192.0.0/12, which contains more than one million Google IP addresses.
This isn’t the first time Roskomnadzor has added lots of Amazon IP addresses to its Internet blacklist. Earlier this month, Amazon even asked Zello to stop using its servers to circumvent Russia’s ban on the service. Zello responded by moving to servers operated by Google.
According to the human rights group Rokomsvoboda, the Russian authorities banned a total of 106,000 IP addresses before the crackdown on Telegram. More than 11,000 of those addresses belonged to Amazon.