Russian authorities starts blocking LinkedIn over violating data storage laws

November 17, 2016 8:10 pm

File photo shows the login page of LinkedIn application on the screen of a mobile phone.

Russian authorities have ordered internet providers to block public access to social networking website LinkedIn, after a court ruling found the US-based company guilty of violating ’s data storage law.
Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor said on Thursday that LinkedIn would be blocked within 24 hours.
Roskomnadzor’s spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky said at least one internet provider had already blocked access and two others said they would follow suit in the coming hours.
The California-based corporation had appealed the court ruling. However, another court upheld the verdict last week, saying LinkedIn had failed to comply with the orders to store the data of its users on Russian servers. 
Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the data storage law two years ago, but it came into force in September.
LinkedIn’s case is the first practical application of the law, making the company the first major social network website to be blocked by Russia.
Many fear that Moscow would impose a similar ban on other social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter.
The Kremlin has rejected speculations that the move could intensify online censorship in Russia. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that the Russian leader did not plan to interfere in the case.
A LinkedIn spokeswoman regretted the decision, saying it would prevent more than six millions of its users in Russia from interacting on business and employment issues.
“Roskomnadzor’s action to block LinkedIn denies access to the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses,” the spokeswoman said.
The company has requested a meeting with Russian authorities to discuss the ban. Authorities in Roskomnadzor say they are ready for such a meeting but the body should first obtain the required permissions from security services and the Foreign Ministry.
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