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Russia's federal censor blocks 50 Internet anonymizers and VPNs, but it still has no plans to target Viber

Source: Meduza

Russia’s federal censor has blocked 50 Internet anonymizers and VPN services that provided access to the instant messenger Telegram, according to Vadim Subbotin, the agency’s deputy director. Roskomnadzor isn’t saying, however, which services it’s actually banned.

Speaking to the news agency RIA Novosti, Subbotin also said Russia's censor currently has no plans to add Viber to the government's registry of “information dissemination organizers,” which is how Telegram came under requirements to share encryption keys with the Federal Security Service.

Since April 16, the Russian authorities have blocked roughly 20 million IP addresses, including servers operated by Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Digital Ocean. Roskomnadzor’s crackdown has disrupted a wide range of unrelated online services that rely on cloud computing hosted on blocked servers. Telegram, meanwhile, has remained accessible to most Russian Internet users by utilizing a variety of circumvention tricks.

Telegram said in February 2018 that it had 15 million users in Russia (10 million of whom opened the app at least once a day) — behind only WhatsApp and Viber with 25 million and 21 million users in Russia, respectively.

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