Mailfence email servers blocked in Russia

Mailfence SMTP servers are gradually being blocked by Russian based email services. As a result, sending emails to Russian based services is restricted and successful delivery is not guaranteed anymore.

Some weeks ago, we received an official request to Submit a Notice of Commencement of Collaboration with Roskomnadzor’s (the Federal Supervision Agency for Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Communication) of the Russian government. Acknowledging their request would oblige us to provide information about our users, violating our Terms of Rule and the federal Belgian laws. We, therefore, did not respond to their request.

Consequently, Mailfence SMTP servers will gradually be blocked by Russian based services. Email delivery is now uncertain and might even be silently dropped (without non-delivery report returned). At the time of publishing this post, following are some of the services in Russia that are not reachable :

belbriz.ru
emx.mail.ru
mail-s30.1gb.ru
mail.khlopin.ru
mail.mospolytech.ru
mail.navigatorgrp.ru
mail.pscstroy.ru
mail.uvz.ru
mail.yazaputina.ru
mail2.mil.ru
mailrelay.gazprom.ru
mailsrv-2.appl.sci-nnov.ru
md1.1obraz.ru
moskowpartners.ru
mx01.nicmail.ru
mx1.aoosk.ru
mx1.gazprombank.ru
mx2.gazprombank.ru
mx3.sibur.ru
mx5.sibur.ru
mxs.mail.ru
rosebook.ru
shopper2019.ru

We are closely monitoring the situation and will inform you of any significant developments.

What does this mean?

Sending emails from your Mailfence account to services based in Russia will not work in most cases. However, all of our services remain accessible in Russia.

What can you do?

If you cannot send an email from your Mailfence account to a recipient who is using an email service based in Russia, we would suggest you to:

  • Send a report to the email service provider of your recipient email address. This, in most cases, will be the domain part of your recipient email address e.g., foo@example.com. You can simply submit your report by sending an email to their support team.
  • Complain to MTS, Megafon, Rostelecom, and the other major Russian Internet service providers.

Above will allow you to pass your feedback to the right place. If enough people complain, the service providers and ISPs in Russia participating in the blockage may reconsider their approach.

In case you face any other kind of censorship, then help us in taking a closer look, by documenting this using @OpenObservatory.

  1. Install OONI Probe: https://ooni.org/install
  2. Open this Link
  3. Click on Run Results (check: https://explorer.ooni.org/search?domain=mailfence.com)

Not the first time blocked by Russian email services

This blockage by the Russian Government is not the first one. Last year, our SMTP servers were also blocked by the Russian government. This was done following bomb threats that were made by someone using a Mailfence account. We immediately responded, and took appropriate action against the perpetrator account, by permanently disabling it. The 2019 blockage was eventually lifted.

As indicated in our Terms of Use, we do not allow any illegal use of our solutions. Mailfence is a Belgian company bound by Belgian laws. Making bomb threats is a crime under Belgian law, and we have a zero-tolerance policy for criminal acts committed using Mailfence. We always cooperate with law enforcement authorities on all criminal matters, including those that take place outside of Belgium on condition they are submitted to us via Belgian legal authorities. Check out our transparency report for more information about cases where we collaborate with law enforcement agencies.

We do not believe that blocking Mailfence’s SMTP servers is an appropriate, proportionate and effective step. The real impact of such an action is that law-abiding residents of Russia are impacted since the usage of their Mailfence account is impacted. Cyber criminals can use other email services and technologies to circumvent such a blockage.

Looking forward

With this blogpost, we ask Russian service providers and ISPs that are participating in the blockage as well as the Russian government to reconsider their approach and unblock Mailfence SMTP servers.

Mailfence is a secure and private email service, that stands and fight for user privacy, freedom of expression and technology development. We operate in full compliance with Belgian Law and do everything in our capacity to bring perpetrators to justice.

Should there be any questions/concerns/queries, feel free to let us know.

– Mailfence team

Avatar for Mailfence Team

Mailfence Team

End-to-end encrypted e-mail service that values and respects your privacy without compromising the ease-of-use. @mailfence @mailfence_fr

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