Russian web customers are studying to beat Putin’s web crackdown

Russian internet users are learning to beat Putin's internet crackdown

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But despite Putin’s efforts to clamp down on social media and information within his borders, a growing number of Russian internet users appear determined to access outside sources and circumvent the Kremlin’s restrictions.

To defeat Russia’s internet censorship, many are turning to specialized circumvention technology that’s been widely used in other countries with restricted online freedoms, including China and Iran. Digital rights experts say Putin may have inadvertently sparked a massive, permanent shift in digital literacy in Russia that will work against the regime for years.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, Russians have been flocking to virtual private networks (VPNs) and encrypted messaging apps, tools that can be used to access blocked websites such as Facebook or safely share news about the war in Ukraine without running afoul of new, draconian laws banning what Russian authorities consider to be “fake” claims about the conflict.

During the week of February 28, Russian…

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