Kremlin threatens to block Google in Russia

The Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, also known as Roskomnadzor, will start to block Google in Russia if the company continues to ignore its demands to filter search results, deputy department head Vadim Subbotin announced on Wednesday.

An administrative court case has already been lodged against the search engine for failing to connect to the Federal State Information System with a list of prohibited online resources.

So far, the law’s only consequence has been an administrative fine of 500,000 rubles. However, if Google cannot be persuaded to comply, Roskomnadzor will start making amendments to legislation.

“If we reach an impasse, we have every opportunity on the legislative level to resolve this problem,” Subbotin noted.

“If the government sees that a certain foreign company is not complying with Russian legislation consistently and systematically, the government will make amendments to the law, and for failing to comply with Russian laws there can be more severe punishment – such as blocking,” Interfax cites the official as saying.

According to Subbotin, amendments may be made to the 149th Federal Law “On information”, which deals with the internet sector.

“We are talking about child pornography, suicides, drugs, the sale of alcohol. We are talking about extremism and terrorism. This is the information that we have banned, and this is what we want Google to filter out,” the official said.

However, Subbotin hopes that radical measures will not be necessary, and that Google will start collaborating constructively instead.

Until then, Roskomnadzor intends to carry out a second audit of Google which could result in the fine being enlarged. “We have now gone over the lower limit of the fine. From now on, if there is a repeat violation, we will go to the upper limit – 700,000 rubles,” Subbotin warned.

  Kremlin, Roskomnadzor, Google, Russia