Tom’s Hardware recently reported that Intel has quietly resumed its business dealings and operations in Russia. This is surprising news and if true, a complete about-turn of its actions in February and March last year, when it put a pause on its business after the US sanctions went into immediate effect.
According to multiple reports within Russia, Intel has begun allowing its driver and software downloads to resume in the country. Intel has said that there have been no recent changes to its operations and that this includes its compliance with the sanctions and export controls against Russia and its ally, Belarus. However, the quiet allowance for its driver updates includes resources like Intel Download Centre and Down Support Assistant (IDSA), all part of the chipmaker’s obligation to honour its warranty.
The thing is, Intel has made it clear that even if the software is freely available for use, the blue company still doesn’t allow direct downloads, without first registering or creating a profile on its Russia website.
Those same Russian media also explain that Intel’s initial suspension and blocks on downloads were “circumvented” on that the fact that they appear to be based on the user’s geographic location. In other words, companies in Russia that were unable to download the official drivers via the chipmaker’s official site found a workaround by spoofing their IP address, primarily through the use of a VPN. Other methods also include using torrents – one of many acts of piracy that even countries such as Belarus are having to resort to, also due to US sanctions – or procuring said drivers through slightly less modern formats.
Besides Intel, there have also been reports that Microsoft is also doing the same thing as the blue chipmaker, quietly allowing Windows 11 updates to carry out, although downloading of the full OS still isn’t allowed. To that end, the software company gave affirmation that it is still complying with sanctions from the EU, UK, and the US.
(Source: Tom’s Hardware)