Russian telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor will start blocking major VPNs including NordVPN, ExpressVPN, IPVanish and HideMyAss, following through with its threat back in March. At the time, ten major VPN providers were ordered to begin blocking sites present in the country’s national blacklist — but almost all of them didn’t comply. TorrentFreak reports: When questioned on the timeline for blocking, Roscomnadzor chief Alexander Zharov said that the matter could be closed within a month. If that happens, the non-compliant providers will themselves be placed on the country’s blacklist (known locally as FGIS), meaning that local ISPs will have to prevent their users from accessing them. It is not yet clear whether that means their web presences, their VPN servers, or both. In the case of the latter, it’s currently unclear whether there will be a battle or not. TorGuard has already pulled its servers out of Russia and ExpressVPN currently lists no servers in the country. The same is true for OpenVPN although VyprVPN still lists servers in Moscow, as does HideMyAss. Even if Roscomnadzor is successful in blocking any or all of the non-compliant services, there are still dozens more to choose from, a fact acknowledged by Zharov.
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