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Russia introduces strict fines for law-breaking tech firms

Russia now plans to pitch in stiffer fines for the technology firms found dismissing the Russian laws. The sources with n knowledge of these plans commented that this move shall raise the stakes for Kremlin’s ongoing fight with globally acclaimed tech giants like Google and Facebook.

In the term of last 5 years, Russia introduced a set of tougher laws for internet that required the search engines being used in the country to delete some of its search results. This also requires the messaging service providers to share the encryption keys for the same with the security services. Additionally, the social networks are required to store the personal data of Russian users on the servers located within the bounds of the country.

These plans for the harsher fines have currently been contained within the consultation documentation compiled by President Vladimir Putin’s administration. The documentation has been sent to the industry players to extract some feedback.

Currently, Russia’s only way to enforce the data rules come from the fines that boil down to some thousands of dollars and the blocking of offending services over the internet. However, this is a method tainted with many technical difficulties. This proposal has been enforced to amend the way things work around the country with tech firms. This means that the companies failing to comply with these rules shall be subject to the fine that equals 1 percent of the total annual revenue earned by the firm in Russia.

Vadim Ampelonsky, the representative for Roscomnadzor, a regulatory firm for state telecoms, refrained from pitching in any comment just because his agency had no involvement in drafting the laws. This Russian regulator has accused Google and Facebook with failure to comply on a repeated basis with the Russian laws.

In the year 2016, the regulatory agency blocked user access to the networking site LinkedIn while trying to implement the same with Telegram, a service catering encrypted messaging. Google’s representative in the country declined to provide a comment over the accusations. Neither the social media giant Facebook nor the CEO of Telegram Pavel Durov came forward to respond to these accusations.

Just like the officials and lawmakers in the European Union and the US, Russia has been wrestling with a challenge of limiting power gained by the tech companies over the year in terms of data and wealth. This proposal can actually bring in substantial fines from the companies.