Russia Plots Facebook, Google Blockade For Witholding Blogger Data
Russia has sent warnings to the world's largest social platforms for disobeying a law put into place last year. As per this new law, Russia requires companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, to automatically disclose certain information on bloggers who have more than 3,000 readers per day, and thus far, the Kremlin is displeased with the results.
The reason behind this recent law is to shut down websites or specific blogs that are critical of Russia's government, Vladimir Putin in particular, and anything that could incite a riot or protest. Clearly, the goal here is to control what information gets out --censoring what puts the government in a poor light -- which undoubtedly adds even more fuel to critics' fires.
The Russian-American relationship is currently strained; Flickr: DonkeyHotey
Where the complications arise for US-based companies is that if these Russian laws are not complied with, the country threatens to simply cut off all access to their services.
One thing that's interesting about all of this is that it seems these US-based companies are much more accommodating to its own country than it is international ones. In 2014, Facebook produced data for 80% of the 14,000 requests the US government had made, while it disregarded the 2 that came from the Kremlin. Likewise, Twitter also fulfilled a similar percentage of requests from the US government, but rejected the 108 Russian requests it had received.
Now it's a matter of waiting to see how these companies react to these new warnings. It could be that some of them don't consider the Russian market to be important enough, and then pull out, or remain and face the ire of some due to their compliance. Whatever the outcome, it doesn't bode well for Russian critics.