Russia to Block All VPNs by November 1, 2017
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
It’s soon going to become harder for those traveling in Russia to access certain websites, as the Kremlin has shared that it will be cracking down on the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) which allow internet users to access websites that are blocked by firewalls, usually imposed by governments.
The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin and passed by the Russian Parliament last week, will go into effect on November 1, 2017. Additionally, the Russian government will be outlawing messaging apps that allow users to chat anonymously with the each other as of January 1, 2018.
Russian officials say the new law is only meant to block “unlawful content” and won’t affect law-abiding citizens. However, the Russian government has a history of internet censorship — in 2015 the government blocked all access to Wikipedia and Reddit after articles on drugs were posted on the sites. LinkedIn was blocked in 2016 after it didn’t comply with a Russian law requiring foreign internet companies to store data on Russian users within the country.
VPNs act as internet proxies and make it seem like you’re in a different country while browsing the internet. This allows you to get around government-imposed firewalls and access the internet as you would normally at home. They also make it harder to be tracked, helping hide your online footprint.
Earlier this month China announced that it would be blocking all VPNs by February 1, 2018 — meaning those who use VPNs to access popular websites like Google, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will be out of luck since they’re on the list of banned websites/internet services in China.
According to Quartz, Russia hasn’t censored content on the internet as harshly as China and users can still access sites like Facebook, Google, foreign media pages and Apple services. Since Russia’s internet landscape is relatively more open, the blocking of VPNs won’t cut off access to those sites (at least initially), but it will be more difficult for those who want to remain as anonymous as possible online.
Featured image courtesy of Matt Dunham via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.