Apple removed 25 VPN apps from the App Store in Russia following Moscow’s requests
2024-7-8 18:18:4 Author:查看原文) 阅读量:4 收藏

Apple removed 25 VPN apps from the App Store in Russia following Moscow’s requests

Apple removed several virtual private network (VPN) apps from its App Store in Russia following a request from the Russian Government.

Russia is tightening its citizens’ control over Internet access and forced Apple to remove several virtual private network (VPN) apps from its App Store in Russia following a request from Russia’s state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor.

“Over the past few years, Roskomnadzor  has blocked  more than a dozen  VPN services, including  Cloudflare  WARP, Nord VPN, RedShield VPN, Opera VPN,  and others. In the spring of 2022, the regulator  began  banning entire protocols for using  VPNs.” reported “Experts interviewed by   Mediazona believe that bypassing the blockages will become increasingly difficult.

Apple removed the VPN apps from the App Store on July 4, 2024. The list of removed apps includes the popular Proton VPN , Red Shield VPN , NordVPN , and Le VPN.

“On July 4th, Le VPN was removed from the Apple App Store in Russia. This action was taken after Apple received a demand from Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal executive body responsible for media and telecommunications. The reason cited for the removal was non-compliance with local legal requirements, specifically referencing content considered illegal in Russia.” reads a statement published by Le VPN. “The takedown notice aligns with No. 7 of Article 15.1 of the Federal Law dated July 27, 2006, No. 149-FZ “On Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection.” This event marks a significant step in Roskomnadzor’s ongoing efforts to control internet access and content within Russian territory.”

“On July 4, 2024, we received a notification from Apple that the Red Shield VPN application had been removed from the Russian App Store.” reads the statement published by Red Shield VPN. “In the notification, Apple refers to Roskomnadzor’s request to remove the app and claims that our app “solicits, promotes, or encourages criminal or clearly reckless behavior.”

❗ Apple по требованию Роскомнадзора удалил приложение Red Shield VPN из российского App Store.
Нам известно как минимум об ещё одном приложении VPN, которое было удалёно одновременно с нашим.

Мы призываем журналистов и правозащитные организации публиковать информацию и…

— Red Shield VPN (@RedShieldVPN_ru) July 4, 2024

NordVPN already shut down its servers in Russia on March 27th, 2019, following a request from the Roskomnadzor.

In response to the Roskomnadzor‘s actions, Le VPN has introduced “Le VPN Give,” a solution that allows VPN connections to bypass restrictions and ensure continued access to free and secure internet.

In December 2021, Russia’s communications watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked access to six more VPN services. The banned services were Betternet, Lantern, X-VPN, Cloudflare WARP, Tachyon VPN, PrivateTunnel.

The total number of banned VPN products reached 15, below is the full list of blocked services:

  • Hola! VPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
  • Nord VPN
  • Speedify VPN
  • IPVanish VPN
  • VyprVPN
  • Opera VPN
  • ProtonVPN
  • Betternet
  • Lantern
  • X-VPN
  • Cloudflare WARP
  • Tachyon VPN
  • PrivateTunnel

Russia’s internet watchdog sent a request to inform the Center for Monitoring and Control of the Public Communications Network about the ban of the services from the systems of all registered Russian companies and public organizations.

The companies were banned because they did not meet the demand of the Roskomnadzor to connect their systems to the Federal State Information System (FGIS).

In September 2021, Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked access to Hola!VPN, ExpressVPN, KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, Nord VPN, Speedify VPN, and IPVanish VPN.

Russian communications watchdog argued that VPNs could be abused for illegal activities online, including terrorism and child pornography. However, the watchdog made some exceptions for companies that leverage VPNs for their operations, for this reason, the regulator created a white list of software and apps that will be able to continue using VPN providers.

In March 2022, Russia’s Roskomnadzor blocked Facebook and Instagram in the country.

Pierluigi Paganini

Follow me on Twitter: @securityaffairs and Facebook and Mastodon

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, VPN)