From Torrent Freak:

Site blocking has been one of the big anti-piracy themes of 2015, with hundreds of sites blocked by ISPs all around the world.

Given its generally poor record for cracking down on piracy, it’s perhaps somewhat of a surprise that Russia is now one of the front-runners when it comes to piracy blocking.

In September it was revealed that in some form or another, Russia had restricted access to around 280 ‘pirate’ sites since the introduction of a new law in 2013.

However, in an effort to move away from the cat and mouse game often played by unauthorized sites, Russian telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor has now thrown its weight behind a scheme to permanently block sites that persistently make available copyrighted content without permission.

RUTracker found itself sucked into that mechanism a couple of months ago, despite offering to take drastic action to avoid it. Now it appears that other leading sites are likely to fall foul of the legislation in the months to come.

According to predictions just made by Roscomnadzor, during 2016 rights holders will succeed in having the top 15 torrent sites permanently blocked. Of course, this kind of talk usually triggers talk of VPNs, proxies and other workarounds, but the watchdog says that the overwhelming majority of users won’t try to access the blocked sites.

“[The blocked sites’] traffic will be significantly reduced, because according to statistics 95% of people do not use tools to bypass locks,” the watchdog said in a statement on Twitter.

While…

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