Russia Warns Foreign Tech Firms Over Content Law Breaches

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Russian internet regulator Roskomnadzor targets TikTok, Telegram, Zoom, Discord, Pinterest over failure to delete banned content

Russia’s communications regulator has said it plans to institute punitive measures against foreign tech companies including TikTok, Telegram, Zoom, Discord, and Pinterest over what it described as infractions of the country’s content laws.

Regulator Roskomnadzor said the companies had failed to delete content it had categorised as illegal, which could require search engines to include a disclaimer in listings involving the companies.

“The above IT companies do not comply with the procedure for deleting prohibited information and the main obligations established by federal law,” Roskomnadzor said in a statement.

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The measures, which were not precisely specified, would remain in place until the companies were brought into compliance, the regulator said.

“Roskomnadzor has decided to apply enforcement measures… in the form of internet users being informed by search engines about the companies’ violations of Russian legislation,” Roskomnadzor said.

Russia’s dominant search engine Yandex carries a warning label for some websites that reads, “Roskomnadzor: website violates Russian law”.

Last December a Russian court fined Google nearly $100 million (£84m) and Facebook parent Meta Platforms $27m over failures to remove banned content.


The fines were the first to be based on an internet company’s annual turnover in Russia, and were the largest to be imposed on a foreign tech company to date.

The regulator has more recently warned sites against violating a law passed in early March that prohibits “discrediting” the armed forces and carries a sentence of up to 15 years’ imprisonment.

The country has also recently fined foreign tech firms for breaches of competition law or for failing to store their data within Russia.