Sina Technology News On the morning of September 21st, Beijing time, it was reported that Roskomnadzor, Russia's communications regulator, was preparing to sharply increase fines for U.S. technology companies such as Facebook and Alphabet as the government stepped up efforts to restrict access to online information.
Roskomnadzor said in an email Monday that companies that refuse to remove "content that is outlawed in Russia" could soon face fines of 5 to 20 percent of their annual revenues. Roskomnadzor said: "For companies that systematically refuse to comply with legal requirements, we are considering imposing heavy fines on them. In addition, we will consider other means of law enforcement. ”
In recent months, Russia has taken a series of steps to tighten regulation of U.S. technology companies and restrict access to information online. As a result, Apple, Google, Twitter and Facebook have all been punished to varying degrees. Last week, Apple and Google came under pressure to launch an app called Smart Voting, which helps protesters vote to oust ruling party politicians in what Russia sees as meddling in parliamentary elections.
While the election of the Russian State Duma was the catalyst for recent crackdowns, it is also a continuation of years of Russian efforts to restrict access to information online. Between 2018 and 2019, Russia has introduced a series of laws and regulations to expand the automatic filtering of Internet content.
This year, Russian courts have repeatedly fined foreign technology companies for not deleting illegal content. So far this year, Facebook has been fined 66 million rubles ($900,000) by Russia, while Twitter and Google have been fined 38.4 million rubles and 26 million rubles, respectively, according to Roskomnadzor.
Google and Apple have also been fined for other violations. On April 19th russia's Antitrust Service (FAS) filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing it of abusing its market dominance of YouTube, its video service. On April 27th FAS fined Apple more than $12m for violating Russia's antitrust laws.