If you travel to Russia and use VPNs you might want to take note of this. The country may soon block some major VPN services after they refused to link up with a national blacklist which would prevent their users from accessing the blacklisted websites even when using the VPN service. The ban on these VPNs could be enforced within as little as a month.
The oversight head for telecoms in Russia Alexander Zharov confirmed that nine major VPN services, which include NordVPN and ExpressVPN, will be blocked after they refused to adhere to a national blacklist. Russia had asked ten VPN providers to use the blacklist and only one, Kaspersky, agreed to it. Kaspersky is based in Russia so that is not a surprise.
The other providers didn’t just refuse the demand but also said that they would resist this move. The services that refused the blacklist include VyprVPN, TorGuard, IPVanish, OpenVPN, Hola VPN, and a some others. The VPNs were given 30 days to respond and most of them chose not to in fact respond.
Roscomnadzor, Russia’s telecoms watchdog, says that these services can be blocked within a month. Local ISPs will then have to prevent their users from accessing them. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.