Following the lead of China, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning the use of virtual private networks in an attempt to thwart access to websites prohibited by the government.

The law, which already has been approved by the country's lower house of parliament, the Duma, also puts the kibosh on the use of anonymizers, according to a report by Reuters.

Reuters cited an RIA news agency report quoting Duma information policy committee chief Leonid Levin, as saying the law was not intended to impede citizens, but rather to prevent access to "unlawful content."

It goes into effect on November 1.