It is no secret that #Russia has practically turned into a dictatorship. #Internet Privacy is becoming extinct in most of the Western world, including the USA. We are voluntarily giving it up, without thinking twice about the consequences. Still, our privacy has not been as severely invaded as is the case in Russia. Putin's recent proxy and VPN ban is proof of this.

Complete control

Viewing the full web is impossible in Russia. Certain websites have been banned and it's impossible to access them without using proxies and VPNs (virtual private networks -- software tools that allow users to "spoof" their IP address, therefore allowing them to browse any website).

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As of November 1, internet providers in Russia will be forced to ban and block websites hosting VPNs and proxies, which means it will be impossible to access the internet using this technology.

According to End Gadget, #Vladimir Putin explained this move predictably - he said that he means to "curb extremist content," which is obviously not the truth. This is about preventing Russians from communicating in secret and accessing content that might be critical of the leader. The timing is no coincidence either -- the presidential election in Russia will be held in March and Vladimir Putin seems to be taking full and absolute control over every aspect of the average Russian's everyday life.

No anonymity

It's difficult to browse the web anonymously, even in the United States or any other country, for that matter.

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Our privacy has been invaded, long ago, and things are only going to get worse. But, at least we can bypass this by using Tor, accessing the deep web or using proxies and VPNs to protect our privacy. In Russia, that will be impossible.

Putin does not intend on stopping here. After January 1, all chat apps and messaging clients in Russia will force users to attach mobile phone numbers to their accounts. The law that will get passed on January 1 will also allow internet providers to "limit users' access if they're spreading illegal material," which is, clearly, just another cop out and another way for Putin to control and censor the Russian people.

Our society is starting to resemble Orwell and Huxley novels and while things still haven't gotten that bad in most of the Western world, they inevitably will, if things keep moving in the direction they have been moving for the past couple of decades. Will we find a way to protect ourselves or will the internet as we know it get taken away from us?