Putin Signs New Law Cracking Down Anonymity Online

The legislation prohibits the use of VPNs and other anonymizers used to access sites banned in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin reacts during a news conference at the Hotel Punkaharju in Savonlinna, Finland, July 27, 2017.
LEHTIKUVA/REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that prohibits technology that provides access to websites banned in Russia, the government's website showed on Sunday.

The law, already approved by the Duma, the lower house of parliament, will ban the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) and other technologies, known as anonymizers, that allow people to surf the web anonymously. It comes into force on November 1.

Leonid Levin, the head of Duma's information policy committee, has said the law is not intended to impose restrictions on law-abiding citizens but is meant only to block access to "unlawful content," RIA news agency said.