Against the backdrop of China, Russia, and Iran working to sequester their own private, national internets, other countries like Kazakhstan have experimented with similar balkanization and internet-control initiatives. Kazakhstan first piloted a monitoring system in 2015 that would offer access to all web traffic within the country, even encrypted data. After fierce debate and some legal hurdles over the years, the government implemented a test of this draconian screening system in July. Now, Google, Mozilla, and Apple are incorporating technical protections into their Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers to fight back.
Today the three companies are announcing new defenses that block the Kazakhstan government’s traffic-interception mechanism. When the browsers detect that this surveillance has been enabled, they will block the connection and display a warning. Users won’t be able to bypass this warning even if they want to.