VPN service Hidemy.name (legal entity hidemy.network Ltd. from Belize) filed a lawsuit against Roskomnadzor (RKN) demanding unblocking. About it reports Kommersant with reference to a copy of the statement of claim sent to the Tagansky Court of Moscow.
Hidemy.name asks the court to declare the blocking of the site illegal. It is noted that access to the site has been limited since July 2023 using TSPU (technical means of countering threats). The plaintiff noted that TSPU are, by law, designed to prevent threats to communication networks, while at the same time, the VPN service, as the company claims, is “just a client application and cannot pose a threat.”
Hidemy.name confirmed the filing of the claim. At the time of writing the news, his registration was not displayed in the court file. The company’s lawyer Ekaterina Abashina clarified that the claim was filed on October 3 in electronic form. The RKN did not respond to the newspaper’s request.
The general director of the service, Markus Saar, noted that RKN blocks not only the HideMy.name website, but also the addresses of its VPN servers. At the same time, the resource is not included in the register of prohibited sites, and the agency did not warn the company about the violation, he added. According to Saar, a positive outcome for the service “will be at least inclusion in the register in accordance with all the rules and laws.”
If the court decision is in favor of the plaintiff, this will become a precedent for the owners of other sites that have been subject to off-registry blocking, Abashina believes. She also noted that the RKN is compiling a “list of threats” for the use of TSPU based on the results of exercises, monitoring and research. At the same time, the procedure for conducting them is unclear, documents with justifications are also not published in the public domain, the lawyer added.
October 3, member of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building Artem Sheikin statedthat from March 1, 2024, an order will come into force according to which VPN services that provide access to sites banned in Russia will be blocked by the RKN in all markets.
In the State Duma remindedthat the department already has the right by law to block such services, which it does. Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Information Technologies Alexander Khinshtein admitted that we are talking about preparing an order to limit the search results of VPNs that violate the law.