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Russia moves to block LinkedIn over violation of data storage laws

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LinkedIn has landed itself into some serious trouble in Russia. The company’s communications regulator has ordered public access to the professional networking portal to be blocked on Thursday, following a court ruling that deemed its data storage practices to be in violation of the law.

The move certainly comes as a blow to the company. LinkedIn has over 6 million users in the country and the court ruling means that all of those users will be losing access to the portal until such time that the platform can make its data storage policies conform to Russian law.

According to the Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor, the country’s laws require websites to store the personal data of citizens on Russian servers. The law was first introduced in 2014 amid an attempt by the government to tighten its control over the Internet. However, this is the first instance that the law has been seriously enforced.

LinkedIn has apparently failed to conform to the regulations, leading to a country-wide ban over its services. While several Internet service providers have already blocked access to LinkedIn, others have committed to do so within 24 hours.

Interestingly enough, LinkedIn appears to be on a collision course with the Russian government. At least it is not immediately bowing down and making the changes the authorities want it to make. The company had warned that the decision to block the portal risked denying access to the website for millions of Russian members. It had also said that the decision risked harming the growth of companies, who use the portal to grow their businesses.

Roskomnadzor has apparently received a letter from LinkedIn’s U.S. management, requesting it to set up a meeting where the two sides will attempt to come to an arrangement acceptable to all the involved parties. The meeting is expected to take place within the next two weeks. The delay is due to the fact that the Russian watchdog first has to get approval from the foreign ministry and the security services, before acquiescing to the meet.

Until then though, its goodbye LinkedIn for the millions of Russians who use the platform.

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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