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Russia added yet another website to its blocking cart: the leading crypto news site, Cointelegraph. The news of the block goes to show that the Russian censorship program is not backing down and they will do all it takes to keep Russia’s citizens away from any site that – by their definition – could be potentially harmful.
While Cointelegraph claims that the crypto news website has been in the Russian blocking cart for about 2 years now (2017 to be precise), it was not until yesterday, October 16th, that the website was actually blocked.
Cointelegraph confirmed the news through a developer of a popular anticensorship browser extension, who asked that his identity will be kept anonymous. The developer explained what actually happened, suggesting that Cointelegraph’s URL was added to the blacklist cart of the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (commonly known as Roskomnadzor).
The developer revealed that the blacklist file was mailed to ISPs yesterday. “It’s an XML file that’s privately distributed among ISPs so that they can enable blocking.” Currently, it appears that there is no explanation to the sudden block. “Why this website was only added recently — I don’t know,” the developer added.
The crypto news site asserts that it is yet to know the exact reason for the blacklist but it seems it is already taking effect all over the country. The site has reportedly checked with many of its readers based in Russia and a greater part of the pool confirmed their inability to access the site. A handful of others say they have retained access while some others are only seeing periodic outages on the crypto news site.
Not much to go by, besides the very conclusion that the infamous Roskomnadzor believes the site is a threat and has blocked it off just as it did with Bitcoin.org and LinkedIn.
Russia Becomes More Aggressive with Censorship
The head of the Eastern Europe & Central Asia Desk at Reporters Without Borders, Johann Bihr, weighed in on the matter and told Cointelegraph that “the blocking of your website is one more sign that Russia’s online censorship system is becoming more powerful.”
Russia has been more aggressive about its internet censorship policy for a while now. As a matter of fact, the country blocked off LinkedIn for allegedly the fear of letting out the data of Russian citizens.
Telegram also received the hit last year when Roskomnadzor attempted to block off about 20 million IP addressed in the Russian Federation just to ensure Russian citizens do not use the encrypted messaging app.
Johann Bihr elaborated more:
“Since their largely failed Telegram blocking last year, the Russian authorities have been actively working to enhance their online censorship system. A major turning point was the ‘Sovereign Internet’ law signed by President Putin on 1 May, which is taking Russia much closer to the Chinese model. This law will be implemented gradually from 1 November onwards, and Roskomnadzor has been installing and testing these new tools in the past few months.”
We here at AllStocks Crypto News are adamantly and strongly opposing this type of censorship and call for Russia to make the domain of our colleagues accessible again.