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Russia: LinkedIn facing ban in after court ruling

 |  November 10, 2016

LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals that will soon be bought by Microsoft, is to be blocked in Russia after a local court ruled on Thursday that it had breached the country’s data protection rules, a sign of growing tensions for American tech companies operating in the country.

The case in the Moscow city courts arose at a time of debate in Washington over how the United States might retaliate for what American security officials said was the Russian government’s hacking of emails from the Democratic National Committee and other digital interference in the presidential election.

Russia has a history of increasing regulatory pressure on businesses in political disputes. The case began in August, before Donald J. Trump’s victory in Tuesday’s presidential election, and there is currently no connection between the LinkedIn case and the hacking scandal.

The country’s push to gain greater control over its internet users is one of a number of attempts by governments worldwide to dictate how people use digital services.

From China’s blocking of whole swaths of the internet to Europe’s efforts to regulate what can and cannot be viewed online, different regions and countries are in a battle with companies and other governments to decide how the internet will expand.

Russia imposed its ban — a rare occasion of LinkedIn being blocked in a country — after lawmakers passed new rules last year that required any personal digital data on Russian citizens collected by companies to be stored within the country.

Officials said the rules were aimed at protecting people’s online privacy from hackers, but critics have claimed the legislation could allow Russian authorities to force companies — both local and international — to hand over sensitive information about their users.

Full Content: New York Times

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