Mozilla Blocks Russian Users’ Access to Extensions for Bypassing Restrictions

Several browser extensions that enable users in Russia to bypass regional blocks have reportedly become inaccessible in Mozilla’s official catalogue, according to online sources. Extension developers assure that they have received no warnings about this matter either from Mozilla or from the Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor.

Disappearance of Extensions

The report indicates that several public VPN and proxy services have vanished from Mozilla’s catalogue, including PlanetVPN, FastProxy, as well as internet censorship bypass tools such as Censor Tracker and ‘Bypass Runet Blocks’. Attempts to open the page of any of these products result in a statement claiming that “the page is not available in your region”.

Unavailability of Extension Files

The source reveals that not only the pages of the mentioned extensions, but also the files to be installed in the browser are unaccessible for connections from Russia. Trying to download these files via a direct link from the Mozilla catalogue results in an HTTP 451 error (“unavailable for legal reasons”). The developers of the ‘Bypass Runet Blocks’ extension have confirmed that they received no notifications about a block from Mozilla or Roskomnadzor.

Mozilla’s Comment

Mozilla stated that the extension blockage is a consequence of “insistent requests” from Roskomnadzor. However, the company highlighted that access has only been temporarily limited as they ponder their next action. “Following recent regulatory changes in Russia, we’ve received persistent requests from Roskomnadzor to remove five extensions from Mozilla’s extension store. After careful consideration, we’ve temporarily restricted their availability in Russia. Acknowledging the impact of these actions, we’re carefully considering our next steps, taking into account our local community,” a Mozilla representative pointed out.

Unique Extension Format in Firefox

Different from browsers based on Chromium, such as Google Chrome and Yandex Browser, Firefox uses a unique format for extensions. Currently, Mozilla does not have commercial divisions in Russia, and following the escalation in Ukraine, the company has removed pre-installed search options in Firefox for Yandex and

Related Posts