Russian Media Censor Roskomnadzor Unblocks Tor Project Website

Russian telecommunications and media watchdog Roskomnadzor has restored access to the Tor Project website, implementing a court order with delay. The site was blacklisted last year but the measure was successfully challenged by lawyers.

Roskomnadzor removes the Tor Project site from the blacklist of prohibited Internet pages

Russia’s Federal Service for Communications, Information Technology and Media Monitoring, also known as Roskomnadzor or RKN, has removed the Tor Project’s main site from its register of restricted Internet sources for the dissemination of information. prohibited. The radiation follows a court decision and is accompanied by a two-month period.

The government agency took steps to restrict access to the website to Russian internet users in December last year. The measure was imposed to implement a Saratov District Court ruling from late 2017.

Legal experts from Roskomsvoboda, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to protecting digital rights in Russia, challenged the regional court’s decision, citing procedural violations, including failure to summon the owner. In May, an appeals court overturned the decision.

“Roskomnadzor, of course, indecently delayed unblocking the site, because the decision to block it was reversed on May 19, and since then there is no reason to find the Tor project in the registry,” commented Ekaterina Abashina, Roskomsvoboda’s lawyer. representing the relevant platform.

Quoted in an announcement on the NGO’s website, Abashina noted that Roskomsvoboda had to explicitly inform the regulator of the undue delay, even though Roskomnadzor was involved in the whole process herself. The response came a month later, with the agency simply stating “we will be unblocking this site soon”, without specifying when.

The Roskomsvoboda expert also reminded that the appeal court returned the case to the trial court for a new trial, the first hearing of which was to take place this week. Reporting on these developments, crypto news outlet Forklog noted that in mid-July, the Tor Project team introduced an updated version of the Tor Browser, designed to circumvent these restrictions.

In recent years, websites publishing information or offering services related to cryptocurrencies as well as VPN providers have also been targeted by the Russian telecommunications watchdog, the prosecutor’s office and the courts. However, operators of these platforms have often successfully challenged actions taken against them due to procedural violations or a lack of clear regulation.

Keywords in this story

blocking, censor, lawyer, Measures, NGO, regulator, restrictions, Roskomnadzor, Roskomsvoboda, Russia, Russian, Site, Tor, Tor Project, unblocking, watchdog, website

What do you think of the case of the blocking of the website of the Tor project in Russia? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a tech-savvy Eastern European journalist who loves Hitchens’ quote: “Being a writer is who I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Daniel Constante

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