Russia Starts Blocking LinkedIn for Data Storage Law Break

Russia’s communications regulator has ordered the blocking of public access to LinkedIn, following a court ruling which found the corporate social media site guilty of breaking a data storage law.

LinkedIn, over 6 million users of which are in Russia, has not moved to store Russian citizens’ personal data on Russian servers, communications regulator Roskomnadzor said. This meant that the site had fallen foul of a law that was approved in 2014 and entered force in September 2015.

That approval came from President Vladimir Putin – who, the Kremlin said, did not intend to interfere in this case. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, in response to a question about whether the move might spark fears of online censorship, insisted that there were “no such concerns”, Reuters reports.

Roskomnadzor spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky declared, according to the Interfax news agency, that LinkedIn would be blocked within 24 hours. The Internet service providers MTS and Vimpelcom have cited the same timescale for when they will cut off public access to LinkedIn.

Another provider, Rostelcom, said that it had already blocked the site. A LinkedIn spokeswoman said that the company would like to meet Roskomnadzor “to discuss their data localization request”, though a meeting would need to be approved by Russia’s foreign ministry and security services.

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