Russia to Block Access to LinkedIn

Russia to Block Access to LinkedIn

Access to LinkedIn will be blocked in Russia after the U.S. social network failed to move personal data storage to the country, according to Bloomberg. Conversely, services including Google, EBay, Booking.com and Uber have taken steps to move personal data storage to Russia, the country’s communications watchdog Roskomnadzor has said.

"The access will be shut within days," after a Moscow court rejected LinkedIn’s appeal, Vadim Ampelonskiy, spokesman for Roskomnadzor said. "LinkedIn failed to provide documents on moving personal databases to Russia." Last year, local authorities made it mandatory for foreign internet companies to store Russian clients’ personal data to servers located within the country. As the watchdog was monitoring implementation of the new law this year, LinkedIn became the first to fall foul of the ruling, with Roskomnadzor asking a Russian court to shut access to the site over non-compliance.

“The Russian court’s decision has the potential to deny access to LinkedIn for the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses,” LinkedIn said in a statement. “We remain interested in a meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss their data localization request." The communications watchdog has followed through with its promises to block access to websites in Russia in the past if they do not comply with regulators. Last year, Roskomnadzor briefly added Wikipedia to a list of locally blocked sites, but restored it after an article about cannabis was edited.

Russia is seeking to become self-sufficient from U.S. technology companies amid geopolitical tensions. President Vladimir Putin has called government agencies and state-run companies to switch to using locally-developed software. The state is also developing a secure messaging platform to replace tools such as Facebook’s WhatsApp for government officials.

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