Authorities accused of trying to thwart political dissent online by imposing tough restrictions on anonymous browsing

Critics have accused Russia of attempting to neuter the internet as a political threat after the authorities launched a crackdown on virtual private networks (VPNs).

VPN services and apps allow internet users to appear as if they are in a different country to the one in which they are physically located, which helps with anonymity and also enables users to access sites blacklisted in particular countries.

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