Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, also known as Roskomnadzor, has slowly been leeching away free access to information from the Russian public. Roskomnadzor’s latest move is DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) filtration technology, an eerie “big brother” tactic designed to heavily restrict the internet for the entire population of the country.
What is DPI Filtration Technology?
DPI stands for Deep Packet Inspection. Deep Packet Inspection technology allows internet service providers to closely monitor, locate and filter certain types of internet traffic, including but not limited to blocking websites outright. IP address blocks were used before, but many of them were unsuccessful. DPI filtration technology is a step up, and it’s much harder for the average unprotected internet user to circumvent. This is the same technology utilized by China to block people from information.
What Russia is Doing
A company simply abbreviated as “DTsOA” is providing the necessary DPI filtration hardware to all internet service providers, starting with those in the Ural Federal District. It’s unlikely that the hardware handouts would stop there. Since people can simply travel outside the district to access sites restricted through this technology, it’s likely that this experiment is more of a trial run for a larger grand scheme.
What’s Russia’s Grand Plan?
Russia’s grand plan is “RuNet isolation”, a process by which they’re attempting to determine how to keep Russia online without the rest of the world getting in. This is exactly how China started and exactly what China wound up doing. This creates a heavily censored and monitored system that functions much more like an intranet than an internet.
Given that Roskomnadzor has been openly having discussions about banning all social media platforms, it’s safe to assume that Russia is going to take restrictions as far as humanly possible. They’re going out of their way to isolate their people from the rest of the world and control the narrative. The fact that Roskomnadzor exists at all is terrifying – the steps they’re taking to further insulate and isolate the population is a whole new level of horror.
TorGuard Prepared for This Day
In late March of 2019, Roskomnadzor contacted TorGuard and requested that we blacklist websites and withhold information from people. We promptly responded by completely removing our server presence from Russia. That wasn’t an option for us. No logs were stored on our equipment and the equipment was never seized. We simply packed up and left and are forever adamantly opposed to any cooperation with Roskomnadzor.
We care about people and their free access to information. TorGuard would never compromise our users – privacy is a right, and we’re proud to protect our Russian customers better than their government ever would. The public deserves to know what’s going on in the world and to have the opportunity to form their own opinions. That will never be a government’s right to decide.
Conclusion: There’s a Workaround
Although TorGuard doesn’t have servers in Russia, our VPN can still be used in Russia. Our stealth VPN protocols and streaming IPs can help bypass everything from basic region restrictions to the strict blocking of news organizations. We strongly support freedom of information, and we will always oppose spying on private citizens. We are committed to keeping TorGuard functional and fully private for the people of Russia, China, and every other country where the government has overstepped its boundaries. We will always be your privacy advocates.