Putin Bans VPNs to Stop Russians Accessing Prohibited Websites

MOSCOW (Reuters) -
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (R) and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Vladimir Korolev visit the Admiralty historical building on the Navy Day in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sunday. (Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS)

President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that prohibits technology that provides access to websites banned in Russia, the government’s website 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 other technologies, known as anonymizers, that allow people to surf the web anonymously. It comes into force on Nov. 1.

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