Russia Forces Google to Delist VPN Websites

Virtual private network (VPN) provider Surfshark reported a government crackdown in Russia on thousands of URLs that link to VPNs. 

According to journalist John Koetsier of Forbes, in an exchange of emails with VPN provider Surfshark, Russian telecoms regulator (Roskomnadzor) has forced Google to delist more than 36,000 URLs that link to VPN services over the past month. 

Surfshark indicated in the same email to Koetsier that there has been a 3500% increase in Russians getting VPNs.

Ivan Samoylenko, managing partner of the communications agency B&C Agency told the Russian News Agency TASS earlier this month that there has been a recorded 13.7 times spike in demand for VPN services in Russia from February 24 to March 1. 

As Russians seek alternate means to communicate in international social networks, Samoylenko predicted that the number of downloads might increase by 3-5 times compared to the same period in February.

Following the launch of a special operation in Ukraine, social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram were blocked and Russian users were subjected to restrictions.

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