Russia Moves to Ban VPNs and Tor
Of late it seems like not a day goes by without some depressing news of some government taking measures against online privacy and anonymity online. You would think that with their hugely applauded move to give Edward Snowden asylum, Russia would be the last country to fight what Snowden stands for. But these are uncertain times that we live. Dynamics change and the ruling class once again wants to stamp its authorities over us, the lesser mortals.
Russia’s president, Vladamir Putin, last month announced that internet anonymizers like VPN and Tor were no longer welcome in Russia. The President, who by the way tops Forbes list for most powerful men 2013, effectively declared war on internet privacy and anonymity in Russia. The world’s most powerful man said the Russians have nothing to hide from the government.
According to Russian authorities, anonymity breeds cyber crime, political dissent and supports illegal trade. Well, some of that is true. See, we will not hide behind our desks and pretend that some criminals don’t take advantage of VPNs and Tor to commit heinous acts. We agree that they do. But we also know that they constitute a small percentage of VPN and Tor users.
VPN and Tor are tools that-when used correctly- improve the internet experience of individuals and businesses. There is also the fact that VPN providers like HidemyAss will not condone the use of their network for criminal activities. Last week we reported how HideMyAss exposed a criminal in their network. The concern-or rather excuse- by the Russian government that VPN harbors criminals and lets them run riot is not accurate.
For you and us, VPN allows to stay private online. It allows us to gain access to sites which are otherwise unreachable from our geographical location. It allows us to access more entertainment while protecting our families against exploitation by hackers, especially when using public Wi-Fi. Simply put, we value our VPN service.
And that is why recommend that residents of and travelers to Russia get a VPN connection from a top provider like (full HideMyAss review) or ExpressVPN (full ExpressVPN review) to guard their privacy and anonymity. Privacy is not a privilege, regardless what your government says; it is a right which you should and, with VPN, will protect.