RSF makes Deutsche Welle’s website in Russia accessible again

Before it gets blocked, Deutsche WelleThe Russian-language site was one of the most popular news sites in Russia, with an average of 4.4 million visitors per month. Of the total number of visitors, about 2 million visitors per month come from Russia.

RSF used the same method to allow access to the German Welle website like ten days ago Unlock Medouzathe most popular independent Russian news site, also censored by Moscow.

RSF is able to quickly restore access to a blocked website by creating an exact or “mirror” copy of the site and placing it on content delivery networks (CDNs) which also host many other services and therefore cannot not be easily blocked.

If authoritarian governments directly target CDNs hosting mirror sites, they suffer the collateral damage of blocking their own access to all other services provided by CDNs, creating a host of other problems that have no bearing on the ease with which RSF can to put the sites back online.

“Foreign online media are indispensable complements to independent Russian media,” said RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire. “As they have the means to escape the pressures to which Russian journalists are subjected, they play a strategic role in access to news and information in Russia, especially online.”

Russia had already targeted Deutsche Welle before invading Ukraine on February 24. He ordered the closure of Deutsche Wellethe Russian office of and its addition to the “foreign agents” list on February 3 in retaliation for a refusal to grant Russian public television RT (the former Russia today) the right to broadcast in Germany. Deutsche Welle did not, however, abandon its service in the Russian language. It’s simply move it to the Latvian capital, Riga, and will continue to work from there.

Deutsche Welle is skilled in circumventing internet censorship to bring free and independent information to people living under authoritarian regimes. That is why Deutsche Welle worked with censorship circumvention software siphon and also provides a so-called onion service, allowing users to visit DW’s website anonymously through the Tor Browser. An overview of how DW recommends users circumvent censorship is available here.

Russia targets foreign media as well as independent Russian media. Vladimir Putin’s goal is always the same: to bury the Russian population under Kremlin propaganda so that he can wage his war in silence.

Collateral Freedom – mirror sites for all media

RSF too brought the Caucasian knot online return website March 18. This specialized independent media has been covering news from the Caucasus since 2001, paying particular attention to human rights and freedom of the press and carefully documenting violations of these fundamental rights in the region.

the Caucasian knot has been condemned to silence on the Russian Internet during a new wave of censorship by the Russian Prosecutor General on March 16. Other media sites that documented the war in Ukraine were also blocked, including Bellingcata independent collective of scholars and citizen journalists based in Amsterdam.

RSF is ready to create mirror sites for all censored media wishing to pursue their mission of information and information.

Russia is ranked 150th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2021 ranking world press freedom index.

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