UPDATE 2: Watchdog explains short muting of social nets by tech reasons
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MOSCOW, Apr 27 (PRIME) – The Russian communications service explained on Friday a short blocking of IP addresses of a number of big foreign and local social networks, amid the situation about Telegram’s closure, by technical reasons, and said the resources are muted no more.
Kommersant business daily reported earlier that the communications service had added several IP addresses of Internet giant Yandex and of social networks VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Facebook and Twitter to the register of banned websites. The list also contained IP addresses of Internet company Yahoo and Russian portal LiveInternet.
The authority said in a Facebook post, “In view of media reports on blocking of IP addresses of Russian and foreign social networks we inform: IP addresses of social networks are free from any blocking. A short-term presence on the register (of banned resources) of certain IP addresses was caused by technological features of the system’s work.”
The watchdog said it had not sent these addresses to connection operators to limit access to the resources.
The authority is closing the IP addresses used by Telegram, which was blocked nationwide earlier in April, which has provoked issues in work of some third-party resources.
More clarification wanted
Yandex is waiting for further explanations from the service on having added some of its IP addresses to the register, while the effort to block Telegram has hit the whole Runet, the Russian-speaking segment of the Internet.
“Last night five IP addresses of Yandex suddenly appeared on the register of the communications service. Our addresses were on the register for about two hours, now the IP addresses are absent from the list. The shift in charge of our technical specialists was actively monitoring the situation all night long and supported full availability of our services. We’re waiting for explanations from the communications service,” a Yandex spokesperson said.
“We do not think the situation is normal. The Russian market can develop only in the environment of open competition. Restricted access to global and Russian online services will damage the Runet in first place. We view a lack of liberty and a lack of choice for users as the most dangerous consequence of blocking.”
“The absence of openness and competition on the internal market does not only worsen the quality of products, which makes users suffer, but also deprives the country of an opportunity of technological competition on global markets in the future.”
Social networks on guard
Social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, both owned by Internet company Mail.Ru Group, said they constantly monitor the availability of their resources and try to ensure trouble-free functioning of their services.
“Thanks to quick actions of the technical team, the website and applications continued working without issues for all millions of users of Odnoklassniki,” a social network spokesperson said.
VKontakte Managing Director Andrei Rogozov said, “We see how a lack of understanding of principles of work of today’s Internet limits access to multiple resources. The services used by millions of people are fully or partially unavailable. It restricts or aggravates work of businesses, primarily technological ones.”
Because of the blocking of VKontakte’s IP address, a part of the social network’s users were also cut from the resource for some time, Rogozov said in a VKontakte post.
“Due to unstable work because of the communications service’s blocking, we had to switch off the integration of the ReCaptcha service, which VKontakte uses to fight against spam, and support of the AMP technology, instantly opening external pages in our mobile applications,” he said.
VKontakte will launch voice and video calls with the end-to-end encryption in the nearest time. This method is one of the main technologies securing data, because information is encoded on a final device of the user.
“This is how most of leading services of message exchange work in the world. The end-to-end encoding ensures confidentiality of talks and protection from leak of access to any third party,” Rogozov said.
The technology makes it impossible to hand over any keys or access to information beyond a user device.
“We see the future of the Internet as a safe area, where everyone can be certain of safety of their data. One of the core technologies, which guarantee security of data, is the end-to-end encryption, which takes place on an end device of the user,” Rogozov said.