Russia Fines Google For Failing To Remove Banned Content

A Russian court has fined Google €162,000 euros for failing to remove banned content under Russian law.

The Moscow court in Tagansky found Google guilty on five separate occasions of not deleting posts that were deemed illegal by Russian authorities.

The fine is the second such penalty to be imposed on the U.S. tech giant in less than a week.

Amid a wider standoff with Big Tech, Russia has hit Google and other companies with a series of small fines in the past year, some concerning banned content and others for failing to localize user data on Russian territory.

In a move to compel foreign technology firms to open offices in Russia, President Vladimir Putin on July 1, signed a law that obliges foreign social media giants to open offices in the country.

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The move was the latest attempt by Moscow to exert greater control over Big Tech.

The Russian authorities are keen to strengthen their control of the internet and to reduce their dependence on foreign companies and countries.

In particular, they have objected in the past to political opponents of the Kremlin using foreign social media platforms to organize what they say are illegal protests and to publicize politically-tinged investigations into alleged corruption.

The Tech giant, Google confirmed the fines but offered no further comment.

Google is also the subject of a Moscow court order obliging it to unblock a YouTube account owned by a sanctioned Russian businessman.

An appeal hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20.

In recent months, Russia has stepped up its action against big tech firms, including Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.

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Moscow has been highly critical of the platforms’ moderation of political content and has sought to strengthen its control over the internet.

Social networks have been accused of failing to delete posts that “incited” young people to demonstrate against the imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in January.

Moscow has also cited platforms for censoring pro-Russian voices and not removing content that advocates pornography, drugs, or suicide.

Infoexpert24 understands that Google was also fined €34,500 under a 2014 law that requires internet companies to store their Russian users’ data in the country last month.


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