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Twitter, Facebook must localize Russian user data by December-January — Internet watchdog

According to the watchdog head, a bill is being discussed "on rather large fines"

SOCHI, September 24. /TASS/. The demands to Twitter and Facebook to localize Russian users’ databases need to be complied with by December 2019 - January 2020, head of the Russian Internet watchdog Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov told reporters on Tuesday.

As per April reports, Facebook and Twitter were sent the demands to localize the Russian user databases within nine months.

"[The demand deadline] expires in late December [2019] - early January [2020]," Zharov stressed. "Currently, there is a bill being discussed and considered on rather large fines, I am looking forward to it because I am certain that economic coercion is much more effective than threats of blocking."

At the same time, he underlined that the watchdog will act strictly in accordance with the Russian legislation. "But I hope and believe that I will get an additional tool of coercion with these companies [fines — TASS]," he said.

The Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media or Roskomnadzor forwarded the demand to localize Russian user databases to Twitter and Facebook in late December 2018. However, the agency did not receive a clear answer from them. In late January, Roskomnadzor launched an administrative case against the social networks and they were fined 3,000 rubles ($50). Later, Zharov announced that the companies are required to localize the databases within nine months.