MOSCOW: A Russian court on Tuesday said it has fined US social media companies Facebook and Twitter for failing to remove content that Moscow considers illegal, part of a broader crackdown by Russia on the Internet and Big Tech. Is.
The Tagansky District Court said five fines totaling 21 million rubles ($287,850) have been imposed on Facebook. Twitter received two fines totaling 5 million rubles ($68,550), it said.
The court said the popular messaging app Telegram has been fined 9 million rubles ($123,390).
Facebook, Twitter and Telegram had no immediate comment.
Moscow’s actions to strengthen its control over the Internet include requiring foreign Internet companies to fully open offices in Russia and storing Russians’ personal data on its territory.
On Tuesday, the government published plans to impose new taxes on foreign-owned digital services, aimed at supporting its domestic tech sector.
In March, state communications regulator Roskomnadzor began slamming Twitter for not removing banned content as quickly as possible.
Internet services are under increasing pressure ahead of the parliamentary elections to be held in Russia on September 17-19. Roskomnadzor is trying to block virtual private networks (VPNs) and online resources linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
The watchdog has attempted to restrict access to the app that Navalny’s team plans to use to conduct a tactical or “smart” voting campaign in the election. Navalny’s activist network was banned during a political crackdown this summer.
Russia’s federal bailiff service said Tuesday it wants to force Alphabet’s Google to comply with a court order banning references to the phrase “smart voting” in its keyword search system, Interfax news agency reported.
The state bailiff came to an office block late on Monday to confront local Google employees, the Kommersant newspaper quoted a source as saying. Google did not respond to requests for comment.
by Alexander Marrow
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times