Russia prohibits use of VPNs, New law to come into effect from November 1


President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that prohibits technology that gives access to sites restricted in Russia, the government’s site showed on Sunday.

The law, already approved by the Duma, the lower house of parliament, will ban the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) and different technologies, known as anonymisers, that allow individuals to surf the Web anonymously. It comes into force on November 1.

Leonid Levin, the head of Duma’s data policy committee, has said the law is not intended to impose restrictions on law-abiding citizens however is meant just to block access to “unlawful content,” RIA news office said.

Throughout the weekend, Apple said it was removing VPN services from its app store in China, drawing criticism from VPN service providers, who blame the US tech giant for bowing to pressure from Beijing cyber regulators.

VPNs enable clients to bypass China’s so-called “Great Firewall” aimed at restricting access to overseas sites.

In January, Beijing passed laws seeking to boycott all VPNs that are not approved by state controllers. Affirmed VPNs must use state network infrastructure.

In an announcement on Sunday, an Apple representative affirmed it will remove applications that don’t comply with the law from its China App Store, including services based outside the nation.

Beijing has closed down many China-based suppliers and it has been focusing on overseas services as it bids to tighten its control over the web, particularly ahead of the Communist Party congress in August.