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Russian Govn Blocked Tutanota Service In Russia To Stop Encrypted Communication _HOT_

Russian Govn Blocked Tutanota Service In Russia To Stop Encrypted Communication ===>

While Roskomnadzor, Russia's telecommunications watchdog, usually published an official statement on occasions when similar services were blocked in the country, this time the block came without warning, with the team behind the service being forced to collect proof that this was happening.

Russia's move to block Tutanota for all Russian users is seen as an attempt to block its citizens' access to confidential and encrypted communication, the core of the company's product, an open-source and secure email service with a free tier for private users.

Dutch encrypted email service StartMail is also blocked in Russia since January 23, 2020, "to protect the Russian segment of the Internet from disseminating inaccurate socially significant information, distributed under the guise of reliable messages."

Anonymous communication is restricted in Russia, as are encryption tools. During the coverage period, the Russian government went to unprecedented lengths to block VPNs. The authorities used the Technical Means of Countering Threats (TSPU) equipment (see B1), which relies on DPI technology, to restrict access to VPN services.1 As of March 2022, approximately 20 popular VPN services had been blocked in Russia.2

Previously, the national security authorities initiated a campaign against encrypted email services in early 2020. Such services as SCRYPTmа,, ProtonMail, Tutanota, and StartMail were blocked (see B1).

Internet freedom in Russia contracted during the coverage period, as the government continued to fine-tune its online censorship apparatus. After the Sovereign Runet Law entered into force in November 2019, the government conducted simulations designed to ensure that the Russian portion of the internet, the so-called Runet, can function independently of the global internet in the event of unspecific threats, testing equipment that will enable authorities to more effectively restrict access to online content. A leadership shakeup at the regulatory body responsible for the Sovereign Runet agenda may accelerate the implementation of this law. The persecution of users for their online activities continued, with the state initiating new administrative and criminal proceedings against political activists and, in particular, participants in mass protests that took place before the September 2019 regional elections. The authorities also moved to restrict anonymous communications, blocking several encrypted email services. Finally, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government began a campaign to censor information that conflicted with official statistics, accusing its distributors of publishing fake news.

Telegram, the popular messaging app, remained officially blocked in Russia through the end of the coverage period. In April 2018, a district court had ordered Telegram blocked for refusing to comply with the Yarovaya Law, which obliges the app to provide its encryption keys to the government (see C4). Officials have repeatedly asserted that Telegram is used for terrorism-related purposes. Telegram employed various methods to overcome the initial blocking, including the use of alternate cloud-hosting services. Roskomnadzor then targeted many of these services, including Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, resulting in extensive collateral blocking. At one point, over 18 million IP addresses were blocked, affecting online stores, banks, airline ticketing systems, news sites, and other social media and communication platforms such as Viber and Odnoklassniki (OK).2 In January 2019, Roskomnadzor signaled that it was easing its blocking regime, announcing that it had unblocked 2.7 million Amazon Web Services IP addresses.3 However, at the end of May 2020, more than 675,000 IP addresses remained blocked in connection with the Telegram order, according to a monitoring project.4

The national security authorities initiated a campaign against encrypted email services in early 2020.


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