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Google and eBay Bow to Russian Data Law

The law has raised an outcry among some Russian advocates of a free Internet, who fear the legislation is yet another in a series of restrictive Internet laws.

Global Internet giants Google, AliExpress and eBay will bow to a controversial new Internet law by storing Russian users' personal data inside Russia, news agency Interfax reported Monday.

The law requires companies that use Russians' personal data to keep that information on servers located within Russia from Sept. 1.

"The new requirements attracted a lot of attention, but [after a series of consultations] companies such as eBay and AliExpress have now agreed to fulfill the requirements of Russian legislation," Interfax reported state media watchdog Alexander Zharov as saying.

"As far as I know, Google also intends to comply with these requirements," he added.  

Google declined to comment on Monday, while eBay could not be immediately reached for comment. According to a press release from Alibaba, AliExpress' parent company, AliExpress at a recent meeting with Russian officials expressed its "desire to comply with applicable legal requirements."

The Internet companies, each used by millions of Russians daily, will now need to buy or rent server space in Russia in order to comply with the law, a potentially expensive process.

The law has raised an outcry among some Russian advocates of a free Internet, who fear the legislation is yet another in a series of restrictive Internet laws.

Last year Russia's parliament passed a law allowing the government to block websites without explanation. It later passed legislation forcing bloggers with over 3,000 readers daily to register with the government.

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