Apple Removed VPN Services from the Russian AppStore

Apple has removed several prominent VPN service apps from the Russian division of the App Store.

The affected apps include Proton VPN, Red Shield VPN, NordVPN, and Le VPN.

This action comes in response to complaints from Roskomnadzor, Russia’s federal executive body responsible for overseeing the media and telecommunications.

VPN Services Targeted

According to the Zona Media reports, the removal of these VPN services is part of a broader effort by Roskomnadzor to tighten control over internet usage within the country.

Over the past few years, the agency has blocked more than a dozen VPN services, including Cloudflare WARP, Opera VPN, and others.

In the spring of 2022, Roskomnadzor escalated its efforts by banning entire protocols used for VPNs.

This crackdown aims to prevent Russian citizens from bypassing government-imposed internet restrictions and accessing blocked content.

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Developers Respond

Representatives from Red Shield and Le VPN have publicly shared the notifications they received from the App Store.

The notifications cited complaints from Roskomnadzor and suggested that the developers contact the Russian agency directly.

In response, Red Shield has advised its users to change their Apple ID country to continue installing and updating the app.

This workaround highlights the lengths to which both developers and users must go to maintain access to these essential privacy tools.

Experts who spoke to Mediazona believe that circumventing these blockages will become increasingly difficult.

The removal of VPN services from the App Store is a significant blow to internet freedom in Russia, as VPNs are crucial for users seeking to protect their privacy and access uncensored information.

As Roskomnadzor continues to tighten its grip, the digital landscape in Russia is becoming more restrictive, posing challenges for both developers and users striving to maintain open access to the global internet.

This development marks another chapter in the ongoing struggle between digital freedom and governmental control, with implications for the future of internet usage in Russia.

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Author: Divya