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23 Jan

Leonid Levin, the head of Duma’s information policy committee, has said the law is not intended to impose restrictions on law-abiding citizens but is meant only to block access to “unlawful content,” RIA news agency said. On July 29 Russian president Vladimir Putin formally signed a law (link in Russian, .pdf) that prohibits the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) and other internet proxy services.Although at least Annasoltan does say that already young Turkmens are turning to other social-networking sites.The law, already approved by the Duma, the lower house of parliament, will ban the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) and other technologies, known as anonymizers, that allow people to surf the web anonymously.

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They have legitimate fears about the spread of child pornography and internet addiction.

Most recently, a blogger was nearly sent to prison after publishing a You Tube video of himself playing Pokémon Go in a church.

In April, Putin made a public nod of approval towards China’s internet policy, adding that “callous quasi-freedom on the internet does not exist anywhere anymore.” Banning access to VPNs won’t have the same effect in Russia as it will in China because Russia’s internet is comparatively more open.

Since fewer global-facing sites there are blocked outright, the ban, if enforced, will primarily affect consumers who use VPNs and proxy services to disguise their online footprint.

But given Putin’s escalating control over the internet, that’s something more and more Russians will want to do.