Russian Official Threatens to Block Google Over Violations

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Russia’s state communications regulator Roskomnadzor has threatened to block Google if it does not filter its search results based on Russian law, a day after announcing that it had fined the search engine for non-compliance. 

Over the past five years, Russia has introduced tougher internet laws that require search engines to delete certain search results based on rulings from Roskomnadzor. On Tuesday, the head of the regulator, Alexander Zharov, said that Google had been fined 500,000 rubles ($7,530) for failing to filter search hits based on a government registry of banned websites.

The deputy head of Roskomnadzor, Vadim Subbotin, said Wednesday that Russia could amend its legislation to allow the regulator to block Google if the internet company does not comply with domestic internet law.

"The current law does not stipulate blocking [Google], it stipulates handing out an administrative fine” Zharov was cited as saying by Interfax.

“But if the state sees that a foreign company systematically breaks Russian legislation, the government can change the laws and non-compliance will be punished more severely, like with a block,” the official added.

Subbotin said that the watchdog had asked Google to ban websites containing prohibited information on topics including “child pornography, suicide, drugs, gambling and the sales of alcohol.”

The official said that he hoped Google would start cooperating with the authorities.

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