Russia threatens to block Google, Facebook and Twitter

Tech giants must provide data on bloggers with over 3,000 readers per day
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A Russian media watchdog has threatened to block Google, Twitter and Facebook from the country if they do not comply with certain internet and blogging rules.

Roskomnadzor has sent letters to the three tech giants asking them to adhere to certain laws. They must each hand over data on Russian bloggers with more than 3,000 readers per day - and take down websites that the watchdog sees as promoting 'unsanctioned protests and unrest'.

“In our letters we regularly remind of the consequences of violating the legislation,” said Roskomnadzor spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky, as reported by The Guardian.

A law passed in 2014 gives Russian prosecutors the right to block websites with information about unsactioned protests - without the need for a court decision.

Bloggers with large followings must go through an official registration procedure and have their identities confirmed by a government agency.

Facebook apparently rejected two requests for information on its users from Russia last year, however it did say that it will respond to requests about its users that comply with local laws.

Twitter, too, rejected 108 Russian government requests in the second half of 2014.

Google said it provided some information on users in response to five per cent of 134 Russian government requests made in the second half of 2014.

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