Big Techs: Last Thursday, Russian deputies approved legislation requiring major US technology companies to open offices in Russia by January 2022. a legal personality in the country.
According to Reuters, websites that do not comply with the approved legislation will be considered “incompatible” in search engines and excluded from searches. In addition, companies will be banned from showing advertisements “in Russia and for Russians,” the parliament explained.
The initiative is part of an effort by Russian authorities to reinforce what they call the “sovereignty” of the internet, but it can be understood as state control over social networks. For the project’s authors, failure to comply with the new law allows foreign sites to remain formally excluded from Russian jurisdiction.
The bill has already passed the final reading in the lower house of parliament, the Duma, and has now been submitted to the Federation Soviet, the equivalent of our Senate, for approval. If approved also in the upper house, the proposal will be sent to the liquid and sure sanction of President Vladimir Putin.
The “sovereignty” of the internet, a euphemism created to justify state control over online content in the country, has been making some victims since 2017. At the time, Russia banned all VPNs and any type of software that allows private access to the global network .
In 2019, Apple itself was forced to store all of its users’ data on Russian servers. The company was also required to post a “suggestion” of apps created by Russian developers on all iPhones in the country, for use during device setup.
The latest example of these practices, Twitter slowed down last month. The restriction came after the social network refused to delete content deemed “illegal” by the Moscow government.