Get Dazed direct to your inbox
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia and perennial mistruster of the WWW, wants to take greater control of the internet in the motherland. Two months ago, Putin passed a bill that that requires any website with daily page views over 3,000 to register with the government's media oversight body, the Roskomnadzor. Essentially, a state-approved media.
Tor, the US Navy designed, American funded browser that's famous for its ability to hide IP addresses and provide all-encompassing anonymity for internet users, has seen a surge in popularity in Russia as Putin has sought to tighten his grip on the net – Tor now boasts over 200,000 concurrent users in the country. Unsurprisingly, Putin's after that too now.
The Russian government is offering rewards of around £68,000 to any researchers who can provide information about Tor and crack ways to de-anonymize the browser, with the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs accepting submissions until August.
With Russia annexing countries, showing no tolerance of LGBT rights and banning swear words, it's hardly a surprise that citizens want to keep their online lives anonymous - there's probably A LOT to discuss that they wouldn't want the government to hear. Russian Tor users must be vigilant - Putin and a gang of online bounty hunters are coming.
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot
Have some news? Let us know on email@example.com