The free Internet is under threat in Russia, and this growing trend is no longer shocking. The Russian government has long carried out its insidious plans against freedom of speech. Recently, the bans have affected privacy tools that ensure the non-disclosure of personal opinions and exchange of data. Among other things, this also affected the Tor browser.
Why is the Tor browser banned in Russia?
What is the current situation in Russia? Since the end of 2021, Russia's Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (the government group that controls the internet) has declared war on privacy tools, in particular the Tor browser, accusing it of hiding and spreading illegal data.
Therefore, this state body with a sophisticated and long name forbade Russian citizens to use the services and tools like the Tor browser.
For understanding of readers, Tor is a service that works on the principle of encrypting data and tunneling it through a wide range of remote servers, bouncing your data around those servers, which ensures the privacy of the users on its network.
Internet service providers in Russia have already begun to implement this ban. According to statistics, more than 300,000 users from Russia used the Tor browser daily, which will have a drastic effect on freedom within the country.
What was the reason for Russia's banning of Tor?
The official version says that the government is trying to limit citizens' access to illegal data and protect them from this illegal data online. However, is this really true and what is the real reason?
Despite the fact that after the collapse of the USSR, Russia proclaimed a democratic path for the development of the country, an authoritarian regime developed in its place, masquerading as a democracy. Recently, it has become dangerous to use such a basic right like free speech within Russia.
The mass media are under constant control and oppression, free journalists are intimidated by prison and threatened with reprisals. Any political opposition has practically ceased to exist, as the leaders of those opposing views were arrested. People who preach free speech are persecuted, and the news broadcasts a single point of view: the governments.
Knowing about the situation in Russia, it becomes clear why Tor poses a threat to the modern state system of Russia. It was one of the few services providing access to oppositional and foreign media, and that kind of access is not welcomed by official authorities.
Prospects for privacy in Russia
Tor is not the only thorn that ruins the plans of the authoritarian elite. Its purpose is to deprive the online privacy of every individual. A number of such services, such as the common VPN, have already been outlawed by the government body, and Tor is no exception.
A virtual private network, or VPN for short, is an important data encryption tool that allows users to hide traffic and their location, ensuring a secure network connection. A paid VPN can ruin the plans of the authoritarian government and internet scammers, and prevents spying on your online activity. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Russian government does not welcome such instruments.
The hallmark of an authoritarian regime is the restriction of freedom of speech in any of its manifestations. Services like Tor that open access to free communication and media pose a threat to the authoritarian regime.
As expected, 2022 did not bring anything good to the life of Russians, but, on the contrary, tightened the grip of state oversight even more strongly. The genocide of privacy for the sake of geopolitical ambitions has only intensified, and doesn't appear to be getting any better.