By the end of February, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomandzor) will officially require Facebook and Twitter to localize the databases of Russian users in Russia. If Facebook and Twitter refuse to do so, they “will be punished”, Alexander Zharov, the head of Roskomandzor, told reporters.
As reported by Interfax, Zharov said that they would make a decision on Twitter or Facebook on February 21 and sign relevant protocols. The companies will be given a certain time period to localize databases. If they refuse to do so, they will be punished.
Zharov said that representatives of Twitter had previously expressed a willingness to meet with Roskomandzor “at a mutually convenient time”. “They [Twitter representatives] are expected to turn up by the end of winter,” the head of Roskomandzor said.
Roskomandzor started administrative procedures against Facebook and Twitter at the end of January. According to Russian officials, the companies did not provide Roskomandzor with a clear plan and timeframe for the localization of the databases of Russian users in the Russian Federation. Facebook and Twitter only formally responded to the request for localization. According to Kremlin, their responses did not provide any specific information, which made Roskomandzor start administrative procedures. Roskomandzor stated that Facebook and Twitter have another month to solve the problem before “specific actions” against them are taken.