In Russia, the Republic Duma the lower house of the Federal Assemblage of Russian legislature unanimously approved the first version of the new law that would forbid the use of VPNs as well as online anonymizers like the Tor browser if people don’t block access to a government-run list of websites.
That directory of websites will add any sites that produce software that can bypass the restriction. And, full insidiously, the government will want search engines to exclude references to blocked websites so civilians don’t recognize what it is they are not entitled to see.
The bill was passed in record time following the leader of the FSB secret agency, Alexander Bortnikov, presented an hour-long lecture to Duma delegates in a private meeting, in which he told how serious it was that the law was enacted and passed quickly. Attendees stayed and were told not to tell that the meeting even took place, apparently.
In a letter describing the law, Duma delegates argue that the bill is necessary because the current censorship appliance in place is “not effective enough.”
An another law that also claimed its first section this period will require mobile phone operators to:
- Recognize specific users
- Block communications if requested to do so by the state
- Allow the jurisdictions to send their own messages to all users
Any businesses that fail to comply with the laws can be fined up to one million rubles ($16,500).
Meanwhile, China has begun implementing its rules, approved in January, that does kind of much the same thing.
The Chinese administration wants all VPN services to apply for a permit, and as part of the permit requirements, they are required to block access to websites and services the Chinese government doesn’t approve of.
Now the administration has “requested” that the nation three mobile operators prevent the use of VPN apps on their systems, and have set a hard deadline of February 1 next year. Chinese users in their millions use VPNs as a way of avoiding widespread online restriction that blocks websites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as several Western news websites.
Source: Latest Hacking News