There are reports from Moscow and other Russian regions about the blocking of the Tor browser, which allows users to remain anonymous and gain access even to prohibited resources. According to the OONI project, which monitors Internet censorship around the world, the Tor proxy system partially stopped working in Russia on December 2. Portal appropriated Tor status is “probably blocked” in Russia. All connection attempts made by the resource were unsuccessful.
Blocking confirmed and the GlobalCheck service.
“The largest providers and mobile operators have started blocking Tor in Russia. All or almost all IP addresses of known nodes are unavailable [элементов в цепочке сети], including some bridges [узлы Tor не из открытого списка]… The domain of the CDN network is also unavailable [облачной платформы] Microsoft Azure», — wrote Blocking researcher ValdikSS on Twitter.
According to him, the blocking mainly affects Moscow. Among the operators whose users noticed the anomaly are almost all major Russian providers – MTS, Rostelecom, MGTS, Beeline, Megafon, Tele2 and others.
In addition to Moscow, complaints about the work of Tor came from St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Ufa and other cities, writes Roskomsvoboda.
“They break it the same way as always,” says Vadim Misbakh-Soloviev, a technical specialist at Roskomsvoboda. “Any traffic can be tracked by indirect signs (meta-information in packets), plus Tor has quite public lists of input servers.”
Mikhail Klimarev, executive director of the Society for the Protection of the Internet, told The Insider about the problems with using the Tor service. According to him, traffic is not blocked everywhere, but on some autonomous systems. “What is happening there, we still do not understand well, perhaps this is some kind of mistake. In this case, the output nodes that are located on Microsoft Azure servers are blocked. In theory, Tor cannot be blocked, ”he explained.
Klimarev emphasized that administrative pressure on Tor will not work either, since this technology works as a decentralized system.
The Tor browser works on what is known as onion routing. It is a network of nodes that allows users to protect themselves from monitoring their activity and use the network anonymously. The connection in this system is through a chain of other IP addresses. Tor is often used to access the darknet.
In September, Internet experts reported that Roskomnadzor tested the possibility of mass blocking of public DNS services Google and Cloudflare at large providers. The exercises could take place with the help of so-called technical means of countering threats, which the Russian authorities use to create a “sovereign Runet”.
At the same time, Roskomnadzor warned banks that it was testing a blocking system that could affect the operation of payment services. Despite the warning, a number of sites suffered. The creators of the game World of Tanks said that their players began to lose their connection. Representatives of the service explained that Roskomnadzor was to blame for this, since in the process of blocking VPN it affected UDP ports – an element of network protocols on the Internet.
Users of FlashScore (a streaming service for online broadcasts of football tournaments), Avito, Twitch (the largest game streaming service) and BitTorrent have experienced similar problems.
Mobile operators have confirmed that Roskomnadzor and its traffic control equipment are involved in the outages. For example, VimpelCom explained that the operator’s equipment is operating normally and that no failures have been recorded recently. “But according to the law, third-party technical means are installed on the network, the activities of which we do not control. They can potentially have an impact on traffic transmission “, – spoke Kommersant is a representative of the company.
Later, Roskomnadzor demanded that Apple, as well as the DNS and CDN services of Google, Cisco and Cloudflare, stop giving users the means to bypass restrictions on access to the Smart Voting application and website. The refusal to comply with this requirement in the department was equated with interference in the elections.
On December 2, Roskomnadzor informed about “the planned introduction of centralized management in relation to the means of circumventing the restriction of information prohibited by law.” A request was sent to the departments with a request to inform the Center for Monitoring and Control of the Public Communication Network (CMU SSOP) about the use of VPN services (Betternet, Lantern, X-VPN, Cloudflare WARP, Tachyon VPN, PrivateTunnel) “to ensure the work of technological processes of enterprises and organizations “.