“It’s evident that Russia has long been preparing a cut off from the global internet, and its Ukraine invasion is a turning point.”
Russia is forcing Google to delist URLs associated with virtual private networks, or VPNs, but almost half a million Russians are downloading the technology that allows them to obscure their internet usage and access government-blocked websites.
Clearly, Russians are looking for uncensored information about their government’s war against Ukraine.
“Surfshark conducted an analysis showing that the Russian telecoms regulator (Roskomnadzor) has forced Google to delist more than 36,000 URLs that link to VPN services over the past month,” a Surfshark representative told me via email. (The company offers a VPN product.) “The most significant spike of requests was recorded amid the second week of the war, when the Kremlin banned various media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, while others left due to a ‘fake news’ law.”
That spike, however, coincided specifically with a 3500% increase in Russians getting VPNs, according to the company.
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