Crypto News Site Banned in Russia – Crackdown Regulations Incoming?

News came out early today saying that the crypto news site CoinTelegraph, has just been banned in Russia as authorities added the domain to a registry of blacklisted sites. 

The news site has been publicly on a list of blocked sites since 2017 however it was only yesterday that the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, implemented the block on a more solid level.

The developer of the popular Russian anti-censorship browser said that the “The URL was added to Roskmonadzor’s blacklist file mailed to ISPs yesterday.” the developer, who wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons actually spoke to the news outlet and said “It’s an XML file that’s privately distributed among ISPs so that they can enable blocking.”

“Why this website was only added recently — I don’t know,” the developer added.

The head of the Eastern Europe & Central Asia Desk at Reporters Without Border, Johann Bihr, also got in touch with CoinTelegraph explaining the block of its site saying, “The blocking of your website is one more sign that Russia’s online censorship system is becoming more powerful.”

In doubling checking everything the Telegraph got in contact with many Russian readers to only find that most of them can’t get access to the site. Whereas some readers retained access, while still others are seeing outages on the website from time to time. 

The Russian Federal service, otherwise known as Roskomnadzor takes issue with several things from time to time including the popular messaging service Telegram being just one of them and blocked more than 20 million IP addresses in the Russian Federation in an effort to stamp out the use of the application. Such efforts were mainly seen as unsuccessful though. 

Talking the CoinTelegraph in regards to this, Bihr said:

“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.”

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