Nine major VPN service providers will be blocked in Russia in a few weeks as the country moves towards a level of internet censorship similar to what is present in China. The nine VPNs refused to comply with a new law put in place by Russia’s telecommunications regulation agency, the Roskomnadzor, and will, therefore, have software banned in the country.
Nine Leading VPNs Refused to Comply With the Roskomnadzor Law
Roskomnadzor, the telecommunications regulatory agency in Russia rolled out a new rule back in March, requiring the ten leading VPN companies to link their servers to government-operated IT systems. With such a move, the government would have the access needed to block sites it doesn’t like.
However, nine out of the ten VPN service providers refused to comply with the new law as it would affect their services as privacy providers. For this reason, the VPNs will be blocked in Russia over the next few weeks. NordVPN, ExpressVPN, TorGuard, IPVanish, Hola VPN, HideMyAss, VyprVPN, KeepSolid, and OpenVPN will stop working in Russia in a few weeks.
NordVPN and ExpressVPN are perhaps the most prominent names on this list. You can read how the two compare in our comprehensive ExpressVPN vs NordVPN guide.
However, Kaspersky accepted the demands of the Roskomnadzor and will connect its servers to the IT systems operated by the government. It is worthy to note that Kaspersky is a Russian-based company, and failure to comply with the new regulation could see it suffer consequences that might affect its overall business.
The head of the Roskomnadzor, Alexander Zharov, told Interfax that the new regulation requires VPN companies to comply with the law or be banned (statement obtained using Google Translate, thus, the original statement might be more expansive). Zharov added that the ten VPN companies on the list are not the only ones available to the citizens. Although he would be unhappy if they are banned, it would not be a tragedy as people would have other options.
NordVPN Cannot Violate Its Service Agreement
NordVPN, one of the service providers on the list, gave reasons why it refused to abide by the new regulations. NordVPN explains that it provides online security, online privacy, and allows people to surf the internet freely. For these reasons, it would be impossible for it to continue operating its product while complying with the regulatory agency’s request at the same time. Thus, it would be unable to comply with Roskomnadzor’s new requirement.
This latest development will affect NordVPN’s business in Russia. According to the service provider, it shut down its servers in Russia on April 1 as it feels it is no longer safe to connect to NordVPN servers in the country. Secondly, some users will have to adjust their configuration to continue using the VPN as options to connect to Russia through the app have been removed.