Russia´s federal executive agency responsible for monitoring, controlling, and censoring mass media Roskomnadzor has banned the two popular VPN providers VyprVPN and Opera VPN effective immediately.
In a statement released by Roskomnadzor, the VPN services are named as threats that might be used to access illegal content.
Roskomnadzor stresses however that the “restrictions will not affect Russian companies using VPN services in continuous technological processes”.
The Russian media watchdog maintains a so-called “white list” of approved providers and has informed both companies about the possibility of being included in the “white lists” previously on May 14th of 2021.
Roskomnadzor is pressuring VPN providers for years now to register with the regulator. Critics say compliance with the government watchdog might include allowing access via backdoors for secret services to facilitate surveillance.
While some popular VPN providers such as ExpressVPN, TorGuard, and NordVPN, Avast, and Hide My Ass! have publicly opposed Roskomnadzor’s censorship request with the result of ending their offering in Russia or being banned. Others such as Kaspersky Lab cooperate with the state agency.
If you are relying on VPN services for your privacy we strongly recommend choosing a provider which does not cooperate with state agencies such as Roskomnadzor. Privacysharks can help you find the best VPNs for Windows 10 for your specific purpose.