Roskomnadzor, the Russian communications regulator, today ordered internet providers in the country to block access to LinkedIn, after the professional social network was found guilty of violating data storage laws.
The decision was taken to carry out a Moscow court ruling that banned LinkedIn for its failure to store data about Russian citizens on local servers, as all internet companies in Russia are required by law.
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The U.S. professional network, which is being acquired by Microsoft for $26 billion, has around 6 million users in Russia and is the first major social network to be blocked in the country. The decision could be a first step within a broader crackdown on similar foreign providers, since other major networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Google were also required by Roskomnadzor to comply with the Russian court decision. However, it’s not yet clear if more Western tech companies will be blocked for not respecting the country’s personal data storage regulations.
The firm criticised the decision in an official statement, stating that Russia’s action to block LinkedIn denies access to the millions of members they have in Russia, as well as the companies that use its website to grow their businesses.
“We remain interested in a meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss their data localisation request. LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for the entire global workforce. We are starting to hear from members in Russia that they can no longer access LinkedIn,” a spokesman said.