Russians Say Goodbye to Youtube

  • Google hosts them in the networks of major Internet service providers around the world.
  • Telegram reports similar requests.
  • There are already instructions provided in case of the youtube ban in Russia.

The Russian Telecom providers reported this weekend that they received official federal government letters. The letters request all Russian service providers to provide information on the use of the Google Cache servers. The Google Cache servers speed up downloading videos from YouTube.

The Cache servers.

Google hosts them in the networks of major Internet service providers around the world. This approach reduces the load on the backbone communication networks and increases the speed of user access to the company’s services.

This equipment is used to increase the speed of uploading videos to YouTube. When a user from Russia requests to view a video on YouTube, it is uploaded and saved to the Google Global Cache servers.

Due to this, the same video for other users from the same country will load much faster than if it was broadcast from Google servers located internationally.

Additionally, telegram channels  also reported receiving the same requests.  The letter says that this information is collected within the framework of the so-called law on the “sovereign Internet”, and the relevant information should be transferred to Roskomnadzor in the “shortest possible time”.

Roskomnadzor is the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media. It is also the Russian federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications.

Furthermore, the Kremlin has a goal to have only intranet similar to the Great Firewall of China. Therefore, the request is not a surprise. Nevertheless, Youtube and Russia recently had tensions.

In July, Youtube blocked Russian Orthodox channel Tsargrad TV. Tsargrad TV is a Russian television channel owned by Konstantin Malofeev. He hired former Fox News producer Jack Hanick to help him launch the channel.

The channel started broadcasting in 2015. It is known for being conservative, espousing Orthodox Christianity, and supporting Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The representative from the Roskomnadzor confirmed to RBK that such requests were made. “The information about the load on the network is necessary to assess the stability of the unified telecommunications network.

Despite the fact that some regional Telecom operators confirmed receiving letters from Roskomnadzor, representatives of the largest Internet service providers Rostelecom and er-Telecom holding said that they did not receive such requests from the regulator. Representatives of the “VimpelCom”, “MegaFon” and “TransTeleCom” refused to comment on the issue.

Many Russian youtube channels as of this weekend started providing instructions how to circumvent the possible upcoming ban of the youtube in Russia. The suggestions include changing the IP address to another country. Hence, the service tricks provider to allow youtube video stream.

The Roskomnadzor federal control service.

The suggested bypasses:

  1. AnonymoX for Chrome and Firefox.
  2. Browsec VPN for Chrome, Firefox and Yandex Browser. Yandex was created specifically for the Russian market and is better able to handle specific Russian search challenges and the most used search engined n Russia.
  3. FriGate for Chrome.
  4. Tor or Opera Browsers with Built-in bypass functions.
  5. The mobile options include Orbit and Orfox for the Android users. The iOS system users is the Onion Browser.

Russian bloggers are taking this information seriously and preparing for the platform to be blocked in Russia. Therefore, the need for the suggestions to bypass the ban and still have access to Google and Youtube. This was expected given all the new amendments to the Russian constitution and tightening the internet and social media platforms use.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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