Russia warns US tech giants

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Non-compliant businesses may be banned from advertising

Major foreign tech firms that fall foul of Russian law could be hit with new sanctions by the end of the month, including being banned from advertising in the country, according to an announcement from the national media regulation agency.

The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, or Roskomnadzor, announced on Wednesday that it would soon be prepared to go after IT firms who haven’t made changes in line with a law passed in January requiring popular internet platforms to “land” in Russia by opening official branches or representative offices in the country.

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“Roskomnadzor will soon begin enforcing the compulsory measures outlined in the law,” Vadim Subbotin, a deputy head of the agency, said in a statement. “This means, first of all, economic measures. This is a prohibition on advertising for the companies who have not begun following the law about ‘landing.’”

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Asked about Roskomnadzor’s contact with major companies, Subbotin responded, “as far as contacts with those who haven’t begun fulfilling even one of the law’s points… I don’t want to speak concretely right now about every company. I will say that we are in contact with each of them. So, I can say there has been direct dialogue recently. We are waiting for them to put the law into effect.”

The law “on the activity of foreign internet entities on the territory of Russia” requires foreign online platforms with a Russian user base greater than 500,000 people to open official administrative branches in the country, to register a personal account with Roskomnadzor, and to restrict content that violates Russian law. According to Roskomnadzor, it will affect firms including Google, Twitter, TikTok, Zoom, Twitch, and Meta, the parent company of Facebook.

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