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Russian watchdog warns Facebook, Twitter, Google of ‘sanctions’ - paper

May 20, 2015, 5:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The "sanctions" that Russia can introduce under the law include "fines and blocking pages with illegal content," the newspaper said
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© ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. The head of Russian media watchdog, Roscomnadzor, Alexander Zharov, has warned Facebook, Twitter and Google of possible sanctions if the tech giants continue violating the Russian legislation, the Izvestia newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The "sanctions" that Russia can introduce under the law include "fines and blocking pages with illegal content," the newspaper said, adding that Zharov announced his claims in letters to the companies sent on May 18.

The letters were sent to Facebook's director for public policy, Nordics, Central & Eastern Europe and Russia, Thomas Kristensen, Twitter's director of public policy for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Sinead McSweeney, and Google CEO Larry Page.

Roscomnadzor official spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky has confirmed to the newspaper that the letters have been sent and expressed hope that the companies would comply with Russia’s repeated demands.

"Certain shifts in communication occur most commonly after the letters have been sent," he said.

In his letter to the companies on May 6, Roscomnadzor deputy chief Maxim Ksenzov said they failed to comply with the Russian law on bloggers. Facebook, Twitter and Google have provided no information on the daily views of some users’ pages and also data needed to identify the owners of the accounts with over 3,000 daily visitors, he said.

Under the Russian code of administrative offences, legal entities that refuse to provide this information face a fine of up to 300,000 rubles ($6,000) or 500,000 rubles ($10,000) for a repeated violation or an administrative suspension of activities for up to 30 days.

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