In 2016, the so-called Yaroyava law entered into force in Russia. This law allows all internet traffic to be monitored and stored. Since then, censorship on the use of the Internet in Russia has increased. Last month the law was expanded with more monitoring for fake news. Russian telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor has ordered ten VPN services to comply with the law.
Complying with the law would mean that the VPN services should connect to the Roskomnadzor database, which would block certain sites. This concerns websites such as Wikipedia and LinkedIn, but also local sites, to which the Russian government wants to restrict access. The request was made by the following VPN providers: NordVPN, Hide My Ass !, Hola VPN, OpenVPN, VyprVPN, ExpressVPN, TorGuard, IPVanish, Kaspersky Secure Connection and VPN Unlimited. According to Roskomnadzor, other VPN services have already connected to FGIS, the database in question.
The VPN services have a month to comply with the request of the Russian telecom watchdog. Most likely, most VPN services will decide not to connect to the database. After all, a VPN is also meant to be able to use the internet freely from any country. A number of services, such as NordVPN, have since indicated that they will not cooperate. It is not clear what Roskomnadzor will do if a VPN service decides not to comply with the request.