Only two dollars: Easy internet censorship bypass services offered to Ukrainians
On Friday, the RIA Novosti Ukraine news agency reported that local computer firms are providing paid services which let Internet users bypass President Petro Poroshenko's ban on Russian social networks. In central Ukraine's Dnepropetrovsk region, for example, employees from computer service companies are restoring their customers’ access to Russian social networks for just 50 hryvnia (approximately two dollars).
RIA Novosti Ukraine published a screenshot of a response from one of the customers who confirmed that she was able to access the blocked sites. The customer thanks the computer specialist for the service, saying that "it took her just five minutes to restore her access to the VKontakte website."
In another development on Friday, Valentin Petrov, spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council said that no punitive measures will be used against those Ukrainian users who try to bypass the ban on Russian websites.
"We are not dealing with the content, and even if some users bypass the access ban, they will by no means be punished for this," Petrov told the Ukrainian TV channel 1+1.He also noted that the need to ensure the security of Ukrainian users remains one if the key arguments for blocking Russian websites in Ukraine.
Earlier, the company Mail.Ru Group, which owns popular social networking websites VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, sent out instructions on how to use its services to bypass the ban.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's website is being showered with demands not to block access to VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, and IT companies, including the giant search engine Yandex. On Tuesday, Poroshenko approved a decision by the National Security and Defense Council to expand the list of Russian individuals and companies banned from entering the country and doing business there.
The blacklist now features 1,228 persons and 468 legal entities, including the Kaspersky internet security company.
DONi News Agency