Russia fines the Google $40,000 for not storing data of Russian users on local servers said the court spokesman on Thursday. For the first time, the US tech giant has been fined for the crime.
The Russian government is seeking to tighten control over segments of the Russian network and develop what is known as a “sovereign Internet”, saying foreign technology companies must store Russian user data in the country.
Moscow’s Tagansky District Court on Thursday found Google mistake of violating data localization laws and fined the company 3 million rubles ($41,000), said a court spokesman for state news agency RIA Novosti.
The maximum fine is six million rubles.
It is the first time the US company has been fined for violating a controversial law since 2014 that requires the storage of personal data of Russian users in Russia.
Twitter and Facebook were fined for non-compliance last year, while the LinkedIn site was suspended by Russia after it refused to transfer data to Russian users.
In recent months, Russia has sued foreign technology companies, especially social networks, for not removing content at the request of state media regulators.
Critics in the Kremlin say the government is using the pretext of protecting minors and fighting extremism to remove opposition content, which is mostly online.
During protests in support of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in January, authorities accused Internet platforms of interfering in Russia’s internal affairs by not removing posts inviting minors to participate in demonstrations.
Facebook and Google received fines for failing to remove illegal content, while Twitter set up services from Russia’s state media regulator earlier this year.
The media guard also threatened to ban Twitter altogether if the banned content was not removed.
Facebook and Google received fines for failing to remove illegal content, while Twitter facilitated its services through Russia’s state media regulator earlier this year. The media guard also threatened to ban Twitter altogether if the banned content was not removed.