Roskomnadzor has added the Tor Project page to its register of banned information

​The Tor anonymous browser is blocked in Russia

08.12.2021 - 10:35


2 min


What’s new? Russia has blocked access to the Tor service's website, which allows users to bypass the blockages. Roskomnadzor (the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) has added the browser website to the register of banned information based on a court decision. This is reported by Forbes, citing the decision of the agency.

Material on the Forbes website

Why is the service blocked? The reason for the ban was “the placement of information on the website that ensures the operation of tools that provide access to illegal content.” It is not yet known what kind of prohibited data is being referred to.

What events preceded it? On Tuesday, December 7, the Tor Project, the American non-profit organization that runs the Tor network, received a letter from Roskomnadzor threatening to block it. It said the Tor Project is obliged to remove prohibited data from the project's main page, The Tor browser can be downloaded from it.

The published letter on GitLab

Moreover, on December 2, the Russian Internet service providers started to block access to the Tor network. Then Roskomnadzor announced “the plans to introduce centralized control over means of bypassing restrictions on information banned by law.”

How does the Tor network operate? The browser was developed by the Tor Project organization. It operates as follows, a user's request to access a browser page is sent encrypted to a node with its own IP address. For each request, a route through one of the nodes is selected and each subsequent node encodes the previous one. As a result, all users’ requests on the Web are hidden.

According to the browser's developers, Russia is the world's second-largest country in terms of Tor users. More than 300 000 Russians use the network every day, that's 15% of all its users.


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