VPN use in Russia is surging as government tightens internet control
Russia is tightening its web control. Meta-owned Facebook was blocked and Twitter restricted by the authorities.
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Following the invasion in Ukraine, Russians now use virtual private network to get around the nation’s strict internet control.
VPNs are used to mask the identity and geographical location of internet users in order to allow them to gain access block websites or services.
Between February 24 and 24, 2016, the top 10 VPN apps on Apple’s App Store, as well as Google Play Store Russia in Russia saw close to 6 million downloads. the day the invasion beganAccording to SensorTower data, March 8 through March 8 according to CNBC.
This is an increase of 1,500% compared to the top 10 VPN apps over the past 13-days.
Russia’s internet is subject to censorship since years. However, major U.S. platforms such as Facebook are not. Twitter GoogleThey are freely accessible, as opposed to China’s where they are totally blocked. These companies, however, have operated under the threat of being blockedParticularly if their content is seen to be hostile towards the Kremlin.
Recent efforts by President Vladimir Putin to increase his internet control have been unsuccessful. 2019 Russia enacted the “sovereign internet” lawAuthorities were given broad authority to disconnect its internet with the rest the world. Russia claimed that the law was intended to improve its cyberattack protection.
According to statistics, the demand for VPNs rose more than 10fold over the average in March 2005. Top10VPNWebsite for data and reviews.
SensorTower’s spokesperson for CNBC stated via email that “as many companies have started restricting Russian access to their products, VPN apps have seen a surge of adoption in the market because Russian users try to bypass these restrictions.”
The number of VPN applications installed will increase as more restrictions are placed on the internet. At the moment, marketplaces such as Apple’s App Store and Google Play are still available — however, that may very well change in the future.”
Surfshark, a VPN provider in Russia, reported that its weekly sales increased by 3.500% from February 24, and the highest spikes were recorded between March 5 and March 6, when Facebook was banned.
CNBC was told by a spokesperson for Surfshark that such a sudden surge indicates people in Russia who are looking to escape government surveillance and censorship.
Twitter launched an updated version of their website in the interim. TorThe service encrypts Internet traffic in order to hide the identities of users and protect them from surveillance.
Russia’s actions to block service have been met by a growing list of tech companies that are now suspending their operations.