The Russian government has made a fair few unusual decisions in recent years. Several websites and platforms have been blocked by ISPs, with some decisions eventually overturned by local courts. LinkedIn is the latest victim of the Country’s communications regulator’s whims, as the social network is now blacklisted. Apparently, the Company does not meet personal data storage regulations.
No More LinkedIn Access In Russia
LinkedIn is known as a social network where professionals, employers, and entrepreneurs come together. Users can promote their own portfolio of activities, while potentially scoring new job opportunities and forging new professional relationships. This is, all in all, a very successful platform that delivers on its promise, and has seen a significant user growth since its inception.
The social network is accessible in virtually every part of the world, as social networks should be. One country not on that list is Russia, as LinkedIn was blacklisted by the communications regulator earlier today. This is a surprising turn of events that raises a lot of questions regarding the right of countries to censor internet access.
According to the letter of the law, Russia requires the storage of personal data (by any company) to be hosted on servers within the Country itself. This means that all Russian LinkedIn users need to have their profiles, credentials, and whatnot stored on company servers in any location within the Nation’s borders. Right now, that is not the case, for obvious reasons.
Not complying with this ruling gives the Russian communications regulator a valid reason to blacklist platforms and websites. In the case of LinkedIn, it is expected that they will remain blacklisted until this matter is resolved, assuming the company had any intent on adhering to these rules. They could, alternatively, pull their services out of Russia altogether.
It is not the first time that Linkedin has gotten into legal trouble in Russia, though. Two individual court cases were filed by the company against this data storage legislation, but both cases were decided against the social network. The legislation itself came into effect in September of 2015, and all companies active in Russia have to follow these guidelines properly.
LinkedIn is in the process of being acquired by Microsoft for US$26bn. The team is aware of these issues, and will meet with the communications regulator to have matters resolved. Though the news will not affect the acquisition by any means, a swift resolution would be the best outcome.
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