Turkmenistan tightens control over VPN applications

Over the past month some of the most popular VPN applications have been blocked in Turkmenistan.

The applications, which were used by local residents to bypass Internet censorship, had been blocked off before. However, it took quite a while from the moment a working VPN was identified and disseminated among residents until it was blocked.

“VPN applications are now being blocked faster. These include not only free applications downloaded from AppStore and PlayMarket, but also fee-based services, which are designed by local computer programmers taking into account Turkmen specific features”, — a correspondent of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” said.

VPN applications are installed by telephone servicemen and vendors selling smartphones, who charge a fee for this service. Moreover, a monthly subscription of 50 to 60 manats needs to be purchased.

According to the journalist, a lot of customers are now refusing to obtain these services, since the applications work for a few days to be subsequently blocked. The vendors refuse to provide any refunds.

It should be emphasized that an official agency which is in charge of Internet censorship, such as Roskomnadzor in Russia, is non-existent in Turkmenistan. Websites, services and applications are blocked without any notifications, explanations or court rulings.

About a month ago the Cyber security service was set up in Turkmenistan. Since that time Internet users have been experiencing problems with VPN applications

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