In the afternoon of September 15, Roskomnadzor began to block the Red Shield VPN service in Russia, reported the founder of this VPN service Vladislav Zdolnikov on the Telegram channel. According to him, the blocking started at 15:00 Moscow time.
“Obviously, the blocking is connected with the publication of the Smart Voting lists,” added Vladislav Zdolnikov.
On the morning of September 15, the team of opposition leader Alexei Navalny published recommendations of “Smart Voting” for candidates in the elections to the State Duma. Voting will take place on September 17-19.
Vladislav Zdolnikov noted that the specialists “have mechanisms to bypass the locks, but this is a difficult and rather long work.” “For now, please restart the applications and try to select different protocols in the settings,” he added.
According to him, the use of technical means of countering threats (TSPU), which are required to be installed by Russian network operators in accordance with the law on “sovereign Internet”, also complicate the fight against blocking in the legal field. “The trick with TSPU, in addition to a strong technical complication, is that the blocked addresses are not in the official registers of Roskomnadzor. This is done so that there are no grounds for filing a complaint with the court. We are now fixing it from a legal point of view in order to sue Roskomnadzor again, and then to the ECHR, ”stressed Vladislav Zdolnikov.
In recent weeks, Roskomnadzor has been blocking the site of the Smart Voting project in Russia, as well as the Navalny application, which has a Smart Voting function.
In June, Roskomnadzor began blocking various VPN services in Russia. The last massive blocking occurred on September 3, after which there were disruptions to games such as World of Tanks, streaming services including Twitch and FlashScore, Avito’s classifieds site, and the BitTorrent torrent client.
In July, Roskomnadzor blocked the websites of Navalny, projects of the Anti-Corruption Fund, and regional headquarters of the politician. Also, access to the websites of Lyubov Sobol, Leonid Volkov, projects “RosYama”, “Alliance of Doctors” and “RosZhKH” and “Freedom to Navalny” is limited.
According to Alexei Navalny’s associates and IT specialists, Roskomnadzor on September 9 tested mass blocking of sites. A colleague of Alexei Navalny, Ivan Zhdanov, wrote about this on Twitter. In his opinion, this is due to attempts to block the operation of the Navalny application with the Smart Voting function. After blocking these services, Zhdanov writes, many Russians may be left without Internet access. “This literally means that they are ready to put half of the Internet down at once,” he wrote.