As of Thursday, 6 million Russian LinkedIn users will no longer be allowed to access their accounts, after a court found the social media giant in breach of Russian data storage law.
All ISPs in Russia were asked to block LinkedIn within 24 hours of the ruling. Twitter and Facebook might be facing similar consequences because they don’t store the personal data of Russian citizens on servers in Russia, as the law requires.
The clause was introduced two years ago and hasn’t been enforced until now. As it is considered a legal decision, the Kremlin announced Russian President Vladimir Putin will not hinder it, and there are no grounds for concerns over online censorship.
LinkedIn representatives would like to meet with Roskomnadzor spokespeople to further discuss the problem, but the latter are waiting for approval from security services and the foreign ministry to proceed with the request.
“Roskomnadzor’s action to block LinkedIn denies access to the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses,” a LinkedIn spokesperson said.
Roskomnadzor, Russian’s executive body for media regulation, temporarily blocked GitHub in 2014 and two websites containing pornographic videos in 2016. Analysts believe the Russian government is trying to get more control over what is happening online in their area, while this law will nevertheless affect the numerous companies that use LinkedIn for business purposes.