In what seems to be another episode in a long-running campaign, the Russian telecom regulator has restricted access to at least six websites posting content related to cryptocurrencies. Тhe forum section of Bits.media, a leading crypto news outlet, is among the internet pages that have been blacklisted this month.
Roskomnadzor Restricts Access to Crypto Forum
The latest offensive was launched on March 5, when the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) added five crypto websites to its register of banned internet sources. Access to btcphone.ru, alfatop.me, nicechange.org, bitokk.com, and prostocoin.com was restricted following a ruling by the Nyandomsky District Court in Arkhangelsk Oblast issued a day earlier. The sites offer different services, from crypto exchange to mobile top-ups with bitcoin, and one of them is an information portal.
Roskomnadzor blacklists websites publishing crypto content and offering related services.
Around the time these websites were blocked, readers complained that the Bits.media forum became inaccessible too. Eventually the outlet was able to establish that this section of its website was blacklisted on a 2017 request from the Federal Tax Service (FTS) citing a ban on the dissemination of prohibited information in Russia. At the time, the tax agency was unhappy with a forum thread about an online casino. The thread was re-opened but eventually deleted altogether. Bits.media founder Ivan Tikhonov commented on Facebook:
RKN blocks the site again. Stock up on proxies and VPNs.
Tikhonov’s team is currently negotiating with Roskomnadzor. The problem is that some internet providers have actually blocked the whole domain,