Apple Shuts Down 25 VPN Apps in Russia Amid Putin’s Internet Crackdown

Apple has removed 25 VPN apps from its App Store in Russia following a formal request from Russia’s state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, according to Interfax,  Reuters reports.According to Reuters, demand for VPN services rose dramatically after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine in 2022 and, at the same time, restricted access to some Western social media. The attack on VPNs in the country; however, has been going on for a lot longer. In 2017, the country passed a law requiring VPN providers to register with Roskomnadzor and block access to websites the government has banned.Russian authorities have throttled access to WhatsApp and other communications apps in specific areas during protests. They have also banned many global news sites and social media sites like Instagram in the country, pushing people to use VPNs to access them.A law that went into effect on March 1 banned advertisements of VPN services in Russia. Despite the lack of advertisement and the mass takedown, a number of VPN services are still available in the country.

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