Russia will block access to LinkedIn as soon as next week, because the company isn’t storing user information locally. This comes after LinkedIn lost an appeal in a Russian court against an earlier action by the government.
Back in 2014, Russia passed a law under which companies that are storing information on Russian citizens must store said information on local servers. In theory, the law is designed to enhance the citizen’s privacy, but critics say it’s just another way for the Kremlin to keep tabs on its people.
So far, the law hasn’t been enforced, but LinkedIn seems to be the first social network to fall prey to it. Back in August, Russian authorities acted against LinkedIn, based on its non-compliance with this regulation. Since then, the company has appealed this decision, but according to a report from Reuters, its legal action has just failed.
The company’s representatives have said they’re open to talking with Russian authorities to see how the problem can be resolved, so that the six million local users can go on and retain access.
This is just the latest move by Russia, in a long line of actions designed to offer the state more control over the internet and its citizens. Recently the government said it was looking to get rid of all Microsoft software from its ranks and reduce reliance on foreign technology.