Russia Fines Google

A Moscow court has fined Google for not storing the data of Russian users on servers in the country . The judge decided that the US company would have to pay three million rubles, just under 35,000 euros. It is the first time that the Russian judiciary has penalized Google for this. In connection with the same allegation, the career network LinkedIn has been completely blocked in Russia since 2016.

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Russia had recently imposed fines of around ten million rubles (115,000 euros) on Google because the company allegedly refused to delete unwanted content. Other foreign IT companies such as Facebook or TikTok were also fined. Twitter was also slowed down for weeks in Russia.

YouTube is also affected

The short message service Twitter was accused, among other things, of not having consistently deleted calls for demonstrations for the detained critic of the Russian President, Alexej Navalny, at the beginning of the year. After blocking around 50 websites with links to Navalny, the Russian authorities are now taking action against the corresponding accounts in online networks. The accounts of Navalny's organizations - which are classified by the Russian government as extremist - and their regional branches should be blocked, said the media regulator Roskomnadzor on Wednesday. They contained "calls for extremist activities and mass unrest".

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Navalny's close colleague Lyubov Sobol recently wrote on Twitter that the authorities wanted to block her entire Twitter presence. "This is nothing more than political censorship," she wrote. According to the Navalny confidante Leonid Volkov, the media supervisory authority also wants to block all YouTube channels that are connected to the opposition.

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YouTube belongs to the internet company Google and has become one of the most important platforms for Navalny and his research on corruption. A video about a luxury property on the Black Sea that is said to belong to Russian President Vladimir Putin received almost 118 million views on YouTube.

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