Russia May Not Contribute to the Tor Project in 2022

December 28, 2021

This is probably not a surprise to those involved with the Tor Project. We noted some evidence of Russia’s view of anonymized Internet browsing in “Russia Blocks Privacy Service Tor In Latest Move To Control Internet.” The article reports:

Russia’s media regulator has blocked the online anonymity service Tor in what is seen as the latest move by Moscow to bring the Internet in Russia under its control. Roskomnadzor announced it had blocked access to the popular service on December 8, cutting off users’ ability to thwart government surveillance by cloaking IP addresses.

The Tor Project responded with some tech tips for ways to get around the Putin partition. (Think Tor bridge. Some details are at this link.)

Does this mean that Russia has no interest in Tor? Nope. We think that some of Mr. Putin’s fellow travelers are hosting Tor relay servers, but that’s just something we heard from a person yapping about freedom.

What’s next? How about blocking any service originating in nation states not getting with Mr. Putin’s Ukrainian program? It is unlikely that Sergey Brin’s flight on a Russian rocket ship will become a reality in 2022. We also heard that the Google Cloud hosts some services that Mr. Putin thinks may erode the freedoms enjoyed by Russian citizens.

Stephen E Arnold, December 28, 2021


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