Russia launches civil case against Google for violating site-blocking regulation

Earlier this month, it was reported that Google could be fined in Russia for failing to remove banned sites from its search results. The failure was considered to be in violation of a new legislation that requires internet companies in the country to connect to Russia's registry of prohibited sites in order to block copyright-infringing materials.

Today, Roskomnadzor, the nation's media and telecommunications regulator, has formally opened an administrative case against Google in regard to that case. In a statement on its website, the regulator accused the Mountain View-based search giant of failing to connect to its database containing those blocked URLs, an act that it says constitutes an administrative offense under Russian laws.

Google could be facing a penalty ranging from 500,000 (~$7,443) to 700,000 rubles (~$10,450) as a result of that violation. The final verdict on the case is expected to be issued in December.

While the fine under consideration seems to be a tiny fraction of Google's total fortune, Reuters reports that Russia could be seeking to levy heavier fines on offending technology companies. That means the penalty could amount to 1 percent of their annual revenue in the country, according to the report.

Russia's latest move shows its growing effort to censor the web, having previously blocked messaging service Telegram in the country after the company failed to provide encryption keys to the Federal Security Service. Late last year, a legislation that bans the use of virtual private networks for accessing blocked content in Russia also took effect.

Source: Roskomnadzor via Reuters

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