Russia’s leading multinational company Yandex has been accused of illegally collecting the personal data of Ukrainian users’ and then forwarding it to Russian security agencies, and as a result of these allegations, Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) looked into its offices in Kiev and Odessa.
The Ukrainian government has put a sanction on Yandex and many other Russian websites, including the popular social networks VK and Odnoklassniki, this month for the sake of combating cyber threats.
Yandex has said that its lawyers are comfortable in helping the investigation teams in all sorts of processes along with a statement which goes like:
There are representatives of Ukraine’s Security Service in our offices in Kiev and Odessa.
We have no information about reasons of today’s SSU action. Our lawyers are on the way to the offices. Yandex is ready to provide all information regarding its operations in Ukraine, according and limited by Ukrainian legal procedures.
SBU website reads the following statement:
Law enforcement agents found that the management of the company illegally collected, accumulated, and passed on the personal data of Ukrainian citizens.
SBU spokeswoman Olena Gitlyanska said via Facebook that investigative actions are in progress against the suspected treason, however, no details have been provided about the commencement. Observers have however reported that casually dressed investigators are putting yellow labels on the computers, which appear to have been seized.
SBU later reported that all this information have also been sent to Russia in order to acquaint them with this act of sabotage which is against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Yandex has already claimed that it operates in accordance with the Ukrainian law, and is positive that the sanctions would have no adverse influence on its business.
Before the bans were imposed, Yandex employed 320 Ukrainians and had about 11 million Ukrainian users.