Facebook May Disappear in Russia by the End of the Year

Photo from Ukrinform–UATV


The Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) may block Facebook before the end of 2018, if the company does not comply with the law on localization of databases on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Roskomnadzor said that the social network must store personal data of Russian users on servers within the country, if it wants to stay online.

This was stated by the head of Roskomnadzor, Aleksandr Zharov, Deutsche Welle reported.

“We will conduct an inspection of the company by the end of 2018, and there are several points to be met: the localization of databases of Russian citizens in Russia, the removal of all forbidden information, and they are already significantly late in terms of compliance with other laws,” Zharov said.

Also, according to him, if any of the above are not fulfilled, they will be blocked. The head of the Russian office also said that he meets with representatives of Facebook “sometime every six months.”

Earlier, the judge of the Moscow Tagansky District Court, Yulia Smolina, sued Roskomnadzor, deciding to block Telegram Messenger in Russia. The blocking of Telegram occurred due to the refusal to hand over encryption keys from user correspondence to the Russian Federal Security Service. Telegram claimed that it was technically impossible to do so. The founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, said that messenger will continue to work with built-in methods to bypass the blocking and through VPN.

Russia has increased its crackdown on western social media companies in recent years. The country forced Apple and Google to pull its Linkedin apps from their app stores in 2017. It has followed in the footsteps of China by cracking down on virtual private networks, making it more difficult for Russians to circumvent the country’s censorship laws.