Russia has officially decided to ban LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) after a court ruling that the social network was violating Russian laws. Earlier, two other courts had also given the same verdict. The last court ruling on November 10 had also asked LinkedIn not to give data of users to third parties without first informing the Russian authorities.
LinkedIn is a popular service in the country. Millions of Russians visit the site. However, the site went off-air in the country from Thursday after Russia’s communications regulator blacklisted it.
LinkedIn Banned For Not Following Data Storage Laws in Russia
According to the allegations, LinkedIn was not complying with personal data storage regulations in the country. Russian rule requires that businesses should store data and information on Russian citizens in servers within the country. LinkedIn was not doing that. These laws on personal data storage have been in place since September 2015.
The Roskomnadzor watchdog statement said, “The social networking site LinkedIn has been added to a register of violators and submitted for blocking by internet operators”.
A spokesman for Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, said after the court ruling that Russian institutes all follow the same law and this company must also abide by it. Kremlin won’t get involved in this decision, he added. German Klimenko, who is the President’s advisor on internet said that this is just a temporary thing. “LinkedIn will meet the conditions and will be unblocked.”
Incidentally, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has recently acquired LinkedIn, in a deal that was worth $26 billion. Microsoft said that they were aware people in Russia were not able to access the social networking site. Microsoft now wants to take up the issue with Roskomnadzor, the communications regulator in Russia, and discuss several data storage possibilities.
US Objects To Russia Decision
In the meantime, the United States on Friday said they were deeply concerned about the Russian decision of blocking LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD). Washington has urged Moscow to restore access to LinkedIn immediately. The restrictions aren’t good for the Russian people and it harmed competition, the statement said.
US-based LinkedIn is the first major social site to be blocked in Russia. However, this could be just the beginning. Observers are saying that Twitter and Facebook might also be blocked in the coming months unless their data is moved to servers based in Russia. The LinkedIn incident creates a precedent for blocking other websites.