Russians have used virtual private networks or VPNs to access blocked sites like Meta’s Facebook and Instagram. “Almost a third of respondents (30%) have reduced their visits there [Instagram and Facebook] Services due to the need to use a VPN,” claims a study, according to Moscow state news agency TASS. At the same time, 26% have not stopped using Facebook, Instagram and other blocked services because their use is not prohibited by law.”

After invading Ukraine, the Russian government took drastic measures to block western social media services, including Facebook and Instagram, in retaliation for the ban on Russian news outlets. Russian citizens are now bypassing the location-based restrictions by accessing the blocked sites via VPN, which allows for more private browsing by encrypting internet traffic. Demand for VPNs in Moscow increased by 1,092% shortly after the announcement of the ban on access to Facebook, and…

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