Russia starts blocking LinkedIn website after court ruling
LinkedIn (LNKD.N), which has its headquarters in the United States, is the first major social network to be blocked by Russian authorities, setting a precedent for the way foreign Internet firms operate. It has over 6 million registered users in Russia.
The Kremlin said that the decision was legal and that President Vladimir Putin did not plan to interfere in the case.
Critics see it as part of an attack on social networks in a country which has increasingly tightened control over the Internet.
Russian law requires websites that store the personal data of Russian citizens to do so on Russian servers, something communications regulator Roskomnadzor said LinkedIn had not done.
That law was approved by Putin in 2014 and came into force in September last year.
LinkedIn’s site will be blocked within 24 hours, Interfax news agency cited Roskomnadzor spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky as saying. One Internet service provider, Rostelcom, said it had already blocked access.
Two others, MTS and Vimpelcom, said they would do so within 24 hours.
LinkedIn was starting to hear from members in Russia saying they were no longer able to access the site, a company spokeswoman said.
“Roskomnadzor’s action to block LinkedIn denies access to the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses,” the spokeswoman said.
Roskomnadzor’s Ampelonsky told Reuters the watchdog had received a letter from LinkedIn’s U.S. management on Friday requesting a meeting. –Reuters