The Russian state has added the ‘Shadowsocks’ to its list of blocked internet services, essentially banning the protocol that many users in the country relied on for bypassing blocks and censorship.
Shadowsocks is an open-source protocol developed by Chinese programmers, implementing a secure socks5 proxy to protect internet traffic. The protocol was created with the goal of helping people in China go around the ‘Great Firewall,’ but it quickly gained popularity in other countries where internet access is heavily monitored or restricted, like Russia or the UAE (United Arab Emirates).
Shadowsocks doesn’t use as strong encryption as VPN solutions since bypassing censorship is its primary goal, but this usually makes it faster than most VPNs. Another benefit of Shadowsocks against VPNs is that it is harder to detect thanks to its traffic appearing on the ISP (internet service provider) as regular HTTPs traffic. This is crucially important for Russian internet users fearing scrutiny by intelligence services and law enforcement authorities for using anonymization tools.
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