Facebook Inc (FB), Twitter Inc (TWTR) and Google Inc (GOOGL) Will Be Sanctioned in Russia?


Russian authorities seem to be unhappy with the growing social media penetration in the country, which is giving a free play environment for the individuals and politicians to express themselves on famous social media websites like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Google+. In an article on Quartz, Daniel A. Medina reported that Russian Kremlin’s telecommunications regulator, Roskomnadzor has notified Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) that they would need to register themselves as “organizers of information distribution” rather than social media companies in Russia. This would mean that these companies will no longer be able to host their data centers for Russian users outside Russia. All the traffic, data and requests will go through Russian data centers after the implementation of this categorization. The article said that “Organizers of Information Distribution” category comes under “Bloggers Law” of the Russian constitution.

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Local data hosting related to users of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) would mean that Russian agencies and authorities will be able to monitor and track users of these websites easily. For now, they need some remote requests and permissions from foreign data centers and hosts to access the records.

According to Medina, recently, Russia’s Federal Security Service made it necessary for any website or blog, which has daily readers above 3,000, to register themselves as a “mass media” entity. This makes any blog or website under a constant track of the secret services. The Russian authorities have also made it mandatory for the local data centers to encrypt the information according to the algorithms provided by Russia’s Federal Security Service. This means that all the data and information can be decrypted by the Russian government anytime.

The source quoted a Russian newspaper and said that Maxim Ksenzov, Roskomnadzor’s deputy chief, has issued direct warning for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) that if these companies fail to obey the orders, they will be sanctioned.  The chief has given a time until the end of this year to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to register themselves under new law.

Philippe Laffont‘s Coatue Management owns over 5.8 million shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).

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