Four Western IT giants, the creators of the most popular browsers, have joined forces to block the use of the root certificate, which allowed the Kazakh authorities to track users. This is a continuation of the long-standing confrontation between companies that represent the "free Internet", with the pro-government structures of this country, which would like to control the network traffic of their citizens. For example, in August 2019, there was a similar blocking of the root certificate, which gave access to correspondence in social networks and data on site visits.
The official position of the authorities of the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, on the territory of which the certificate was valid, is extremely simple - it is necessary "to strengthen cybersecurity." It was installed as part of training to repel hacker attacks at the beginning of the month in order to quickly intercept HTTPS traffic and identify criminal elements. But Western IT experts are skeptical - such certificates have nothing to do with mass cyberattacks, their benefit lies only in protecting traffic from outside observers. In this case, the certificate deliberately left a loophole for the work of special services.
Blocking a certificate means that when you try to install it, browsers will refuse to accept it. Residents of Nur-Sultan will lose access to a number of popular foreign services and sites, such as Instagram, Twitter and Netflix. Traffic will not be generated, there will be nothing to track - in the West this is called concern for the personal data of users of Kazakhstan.