Just over a week ago, it was reported that the lower house of the Russian parliament had passed a bill to ban the use of proxies and virtual private networks (VPNs) for accessing content unavailable in the country. Now the country's president has formally signed off the bill and the ban will come into effect towards the end of the year.
The ban on proxies, VPNs and similar tools which allow users to access content anonymously was proposed by Russian lawmakers to curb illegal activities and access to extremist content. To further stop spread of such content, another law requiring users to link their phone numbers with messaging apps was also given the go-ahead by Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
Unlike the ban on proxies and VPNs, which will be applied from November 1, app makers have until January 1, 2018 to provide the facility. It does seem like there cannot be any anonymous and untraceable posts in the country once both the laws are implemented. It will be interesting to see how tech companies such as Apple, which recently pulled all VPN apps from the App Store in China, respond to the upcoming changes in Russia.