MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. In response to Twitter’s banning of advertisements from RT and Sputnik, Moscow may demand that Twitter localize the personal data of its Russian users by mid-2018 in accordance with the country’s law, Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov told reporters on Wednesday.
Following a meeting of the Federation Council (upper house of parliament) working group on monitoring external activities aimed at meddling in Russia’s domestic affairs, Zharov said that "we will see how the situation develops, but in fact, the law entered into force in 2015, so it is Russia’s goodwill that we are ready to wait until mid-2018." "If pressure on RT and Sputnik grows, then we will have to make a collective decision on a tit-for-tat response. On my behalf, I just wanted to emphasize that we have all the necessary tools but we are, let’s put it this way, more tolerant and peace-loving than our US counterparts," Zharov said when asked if Russia could demand that Twitter localize the personal data of its Russian users ahead of schedule.
The Roskomnadzor head stressed that for several years, Twitter had been ignoring the need to declare its readiness to abide by the Russian legislation stipulating that databases should be localized on Russia’s territory and had only given its answer a short time ago, saying that it would be done by mid-2018.
At the same time, in Zharov’s words, there is a positive trend concerning Twitter’s compliance with the Russian laws. In particular, Twitter has been seeking to rapidly delete information banned from circulation in the country.
In late October, Roskomnadzor submitted to the Federation Council (upper house of parliament) its proposals concerning possible changes in the Russian legislation, which would prove to be a proportionate response to the oppression that the Russian media have been facing abroad, as well as to attempts at using the media for influencing the political and economic situation in Russia. Roskomnadzor deputy head Vadim Subbotin announced this plan at a meeting of the working group on drafting proposals for legislation improvements under the Federation Council’s temporary commission for the protection of state sovereignty.
RT Chief Editor Margarita Simonyan earlier said that the US authorities demanded that RT brand itself a "foreign agent." Twitter later decided to ban all the advertisements from RT and Sputnik.