Russian telecom watchdog opens administrative case against Facebook, Twitter

In this Jan.17, 2017 file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed in a start-up companies gathering at Paris' Station F, in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MOSCOW, Feb 1, 2020, TASS. Russian telecommunications and mass media watchdog Roskomnadzor has opened an administrative case against the US companies Facebook and Twitter because they did not provide information about locating their servers with the data of Russian users on the territory of Russia, a spokesperson with the watchdog told reporters on Friday, TASS reported.

“These companies did not report within the required term about their compliance with the requirement to locate servers with the data of Russian users of the corresponding social networks in the Russian Federation,” the official said.

The press service recalled that companies could face fines ranging from 1 million to 6 million rubles ($15,693-$94,158). The relevant protocol will be sent to the court within three working days.

The official noted that a Twitter representative was present at the signing of the protocol but a Facebook representative did not attend the procedure.

The Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media or Roskomnadzor sent the demand to localize Russian user databases to Twitter and Facebook in late December 2018. However, the agency did not receive a clear answer from them. In late January, Roskomnadzor launched an administrative case against the social networks and they were fined 3,000 rubles ($50). Later, Roskomnadzor Head Alexander Zharov announced that the companies are required to localize the databases within nine months.

In December 2019, President Vladimir Putin signed a law that introduces multimillion-dollar fines for companies refusing to localize Russian user databases in Russia.

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