LinkedIn was blocked in Russia in November 2016, almost 4 months ago. You would have thought that the two parties may have found time enough to set their differences aside and hammer out an arrangement suitable to everyone. Apparently not. Russia’s Internet regulator has confirmed that LinkedIn continues to be blocked within the country.

Apparently, the regulator recently received a letter from LinkedIn’s Vice President of global public policy which quite clearly stated that LinkedIn would be unable to move data to the Russian territory anytime soon. Of course, Russia’s response to such a letter could have been predicted from miles away.

Here it is:

In case you are unaware of what the fuss is about, it goes like this: Russia wants LinkedIn to store all data associated with its citizens inside its borders. Ostensibly, it is to prevent foreign elements from getting their hands on the data however, there are those who say that it would also make it incredibly easy for Russia to spy upon whoever it wanted to — as compared to if the same data was stored abroad.

Meanwhile, it is strange that Russia is so adamant about having this particular data hosted within its country. Both Facebook and Twitter are allowed in the country and host their data elsewhere. Also, LinkedIn is not just a social platform for professionals anymore. It now has the backing of parent Microsoft. So, that brings us to an interesting situation. Will Microsoft jump in? And if it does, will Russia try to oppose it as well?

Of course, LinkedIn could solve the standoff the same way it resolved the issue in China — by building a separate website for the country with all its data stored in data centers within the country. But for that, both parties need to be completely willing to resolve their differences — and willing is definitely not the word I would use to describe either LinkedIn or the Russian government.

LinkedIn has a solid presence in Russia — made more important by the fact that it is still growing. To put things in perspective, the company has around 465 million global users. It has somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 millions in Russia. However, and this is the important part, LinkedIn’s user base in Russia has grown by almost 1 million since November. Now that is pretty impressive.

In case you are wondering how, since LinkedIn is blocked in the country — it is all thanks to virtual private networks. Virtual private networks can allow users sitting in Russia to show their location elsewhere, say China. And since the networking platform hasn’t taken down its Russian website (a subtle encouragement to use VPN perhaps?) the user base has continued to grow.

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