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Russia blocks 50 proxy and VPN services to further restrict Telegram access

RUSSIA’S COMMUNICATIONS REGULATOR Roskomnadzor has blocked 50 anonymizers and VPN services in order to further restrict access to messaging service Telegram.

Meduza has the scoop and reports that while the move was confirmed by the agency’s deputy director Vadim Subbotin, Roskomnadzor has refused to confirm which services have been blocked.

Russia’s decision to block VPNs is hardly surprising, as NordVPN last week revealed that it’s seen a 300 per cent increase in the number of Russian users signing up to its service since the Telegram ban went into effect on 16 April.

Marty P Kamden, CMO of NordVPN, told INQ: “People simply need to connect to a VPN server to reach any IP address where they can download Telegram. Many Russians are becoming more technically savvy because of the Telegram block and will now be able to use VPN to unblock other sites blocked in Russia.

“The Russian government is failing in their task to block the app. Telegram has only become more popular in Russia with many more downloads compared to the week before, and the government has shown its complete lack of understanding of how the technology works.”  

Before it moved to stamp out VPN and anonymizer services, the Russian government blocked around 20 million Google and Amazon-owned IP addresses that Telegram was using to continue operating in the country.

As a result, some Russian users are having problems accessing Google services like Search, Gmail, and push notifications for Android apps, according to reports, with others reporting that they’ve since been unable to access online banking services. 

Google confirmed the move last month, saying in a statement: “We are aware of reports that some users in Russia are unable to access some Google products, and are investigating those reports.” µ

Source : Inquirer

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