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Роскомнадзор (Roskomnadzor) cautions Facebook – Chronicles of Russian online hindrances

2 October, 2017

On September 26, Aleksandr Zharov, head of Russian "Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media" or Roskomnadzor, declared in an interview with the Russian news agency "Interfax", that if social network Facebook will not comply with Russian legislation on localization of personal data for 2018, it will have to put an end to its activities on Russian soil.

The director of "Roscomnadzor" cited as an example the barring of social network Linkedin, saying that despite a significant amount of Facebook users on the Russian territory, there will be no exceptions to the rule. Continuing with him, he affirms that another company,namely Twitter plans to localize personal data inside the Russian Federation by mid-2018.

The law concerning "Personal Data", was ratified on September 1, 2015, declaring that any Russian or foreign organization offering certain services to Russian citizens is obliged to record, systematize, cache, store, and sort all of their russian customers’ data on servers located inside the Russian territory. The definition of the concept of personal information of an individual was expanded, and in addition to the material - such as name, surname, address and date of birth - any information connected with the physical person is solicited. The enforcement of the norms proclaimed by the law is put in the hands of "Roskomnadzor", which is authorized to create a registry of law-abusers and impede the smooth running of the websites of those companies who will be put into the wrongdoers registry. This law provides the government of the Russian Federation with access to personal information of all users on Russian oil.

  • In April 2017, "Roskomnadzor" blocked the online messenger Zello. Previously, in order to register the company in Russia and Roskomnadzor requested Zello to hand over data and correspondence through their mesenger  application of around 400,000 users, based on the request by the FSB (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation), Zello refused.
  • In 2017, the "Roskomnadzor"  blocked 4 messengers: Line, IMO, Vchat and Blackberry messenger. In addition, 64 IP addresses destined for the use by Blackberry messenger was  added  to the black list.
  • In November 2016, the Social Network  LinkedIn was cut off on the basis of non-conformity to the above law.
  • In 2015, "Roskomnadzor" blocked Ozpp.ru, the website of the Consumer Rights Protection Society (ОЗПП) on the request of the General Prosecutor General of Russia. The justification was the warning to tourists, published on the website, that the travellers better interact with the Ukrainian government before traveling to Crimea, as the territory under the norms of international law was under occupation. It was explained in the published material that those people who are in Crimea without the permission of Ukrainian  authorities  violate the law of Ukraine on occupied territories.

In 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared at a media conference in St. Petersburg that the Internet is a  project  created by the US Central Intelligence Agency.