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Russia Fines Tech Giant Yandex 2M Rubles

Yandex headquarters in Moscow. Mikhail Metzel / TASS

A Moscow court fined Russia’s largest tech company Yandex 2 million rubles ($24,000) for failing to turn over user data to domestic intelligence services, state media reported Monday.

Yandex was found guilty of repeatedly refusing to provide the Federal Security Service (FSB) data on its users, which law enforcement officials said they needed in order to "search for people or ensure national security." 

The company was fined 400,000 rubles ($4,800) on similar charges in September 2022.

Yandex argued that Western sanctions have prevented it from purchasing and installing the foreign-made equipment needed to share user data with the FSB, the state-run TASS news agency reported.

Last year, the tech giant was added to the Russian government’s Registry of Information Disseminators, which requires it to store user data on Russia-based servers and share this data with the authorities. 

Russian law requires companies to turn over information if they receive an official request from law enforcement. 

Yandex, whose parent company is based in the Netherlands, is in the process of divesting its main revenue-generating businesses inside Russia and developing four newer units internationally.

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