Russia blocks Etsy, the Internet’s home for handmade, vintage, and craft items

Russia’s federal censor, Roskomnadzor, has added the e-commerce website Etsy to its listed of banned domains. The agency is enforcing a court order from Tambov in June 2019 that found an Etsy vendor of Gucci knockoffs guilty of violating intellectual property rights.

Though that ruling applied to just the single vendor (“gucci_replica,” whose page Etsy has already deleted), Roskomnadzor has ordered Russian Internet Service providers to block Etsy’s entire web domain, disabling access to a virtual marketplace that is vital to many independent businesses in Russia.

Some vendors told the website Fontanka that accessing Etsy through VPNs risks being flagged as “suspicious activity,” which can lead Etsy to suspend accounts.

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