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Russia Could Ban Facebook Inc, Skype, And Gmail

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Skype, and Gmail could be banned in Russia soon. Recent legislation was passed by Russian parliament that could ban Western technology companies from operating in the country. This legislation could affect Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Google-based Gmail, and Skype.

A possible change for internet users in Russia

This legislation would mean big tech companies would have to put Russian consumer data in the country so authorities could obtain and inspect user data. As of now, the Russian government has no power to obtain data from outside the nation. Although the country’s authorities can submit a request for mutual legal assistance, the request can still be denied by the other nation.

The amendment is part of Russia’s laws against terrorism. CNET added, “Should domestic Russian or foreign email, social networking, and instant messaging providers fail to provide access to six months’ worth of data, they face being barred from operating in the country altogether. The Russian Duma, the country’s lower house, moved to adopt the legislation as of Tuesday following a successful third reading of the bill.”

Russia’s relations with EU

The legislation has yet to be approved by Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. This move would force foreign companies to install servers and data centers inside Russia. This would give Russia’s Federal Security Service and media regulators more control over the internet as well as the ability to remove websites from the register.

Russian internet providers could also be forced to prohibit access to certain websites or services.

The highest court in the European Union overturned similar data retention laws just two weeks ago. This law forced internet service providers to store data for up to two years in case of intelligence or law enforcement. Russia is not a part of the European Union, although it recognizes some of the legislation as effort to maintain relations with 28-member state block. However, it still rejects other legislation.

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Anna Peel

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