The citizens of Russia are currently facing internet restrictions owing to the ongoing crisis between their country and Ukraine.
It is now difficult to recognize news outlets and social media platforms from the region as they have vanished from the web. Two of the significant-global tech companies that have pulled out their services are Netflix and Apple.
Earlier this month, the Kremlin banned Twitter and Facebook from the Russian internet, and on Monday it blocked access to Instagram.
Digital isolation is currently prevalent in Russia, cutting off millions of citizens from access to accurate information and online spaces to express opinions.
In addition to the Kremlin blocking access to numerous online platforms and news sites, several companies and outlets have been forced to suspend their operations after the country passed a law that makes it a serious crime to publish information the government deems as fake.
Other international news organisations, including the BBC, CNN, and Bloomberg, also suspended service in Russia, citing the “fake news” law. Tiktok has also blocked 95% of content from Russian users.
“It is the first time a global social media platform has restricted access to content at this scale,” Tracking Exposed said in a tweet.
“While obviously there’s legitimate concerns and the need to impose sanctions on Russia, some of the actions are now basically isolating and disconnecting people who are in fact opposing the war,” Krapiva told Insider.
As the digital isolation continues and global tech companies pulling out, the Russian have taken efforts to stay connected through the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPN).
A virtual private network extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network, according to Wikipedia.
VPN companies have been reportedly gaining more users from Russia, hence the confirmation that Russian’s citizens are now accessing the internet through a secondary and remote server that bypass specific country’s restrictions.