Google may be blocked in Russia & country is ready to change laws to do it – watchdog

Wednesday, December 12, 2018
By Paul Martin

RT.com
12 Dec, 2018

Russian legislation may be amended to allow harsher sanctions against foreign IT-companies, including blocking Google, that keep violating the country’s laws, Russia’s telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor warned.

Earlier this week, Google was fined 500,000 rubles ($7,500) for refusing to connect its search engine to the federal database of banned websites. The penalty almost feels like a mockery, considering that Alphabet holding company, which Google is part of, earned almost $110 billion last year.

“If fines won’t have any effect on the behavior of the foreign company, there’s a possibility that the legislation will be changed, which will allow blocking Goggle in Russia,” Vadim Subbotin, the deputy head of Roskomnadzor, said.

“Blocking will become the toughest possible measure,” but it would be justified, considering the content of the banned websites Google allows its users to browse freely, he said.

“We’re talking about child pornography, suicides, drugs, gambling, alcohol sales. We’re talking about extremism and terrorism.

A new law was introduced in Russia this October that obliges all operators of search engines to exclude terrorist, extremist and other illegal websites from their search results.

To do so, they should link up with a database of around 120,000 banned URLs, compiled by the Russian authorities.

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