Russia has been coming down quite hard on social media platforms in the recent days. Just days after it forced Twitter to take down a huge chunk of “prohibited” posts, under threat of slowing its traffic down, the country has now directed all social platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, to store the data of their Russian users on databases in Russia itself.
Save All Data in Russia by July 1, or Face Fines
The order has come from the office of Rozkomnadzor, the communications regulator of the country, and requires all social media sites to open offices to store Russian users’ data on Russian ground, latest by July 1. Failing to do so could invite heavy fines, of up to as much as 18 million roubles. The move is to allow the Russian government to easily access user data.
The new legislation would place Russia in the same league as China, which has been in the news recently over experts’ concerns of its direct access to users’ data.
It is worth noting that the law is not necessarily new, but has been in place for quite a while. The only difference is that this time, companies have been given a deadline for complying to it. In fact, LinkedIn has been banned in Russia since 2015, for violating the law.
This comes even after Facebook, along with Google, faced significant fines for failing to take down prohibited content.
Facebook and Twitter Fined
The announcement was made by Milos Wagner, the deputy head at Rozkomnadzor, who has called out Facebook and Twitter for having violated Russian data security law in the past year. The two platforms had each received a fine worth 4 million roubles back in February for the same.
So far, Apple, PayPal, and Samsung have shifted to setting up databases in Russia, as per reports from the communications watchdog.