Russia hits Google with a $375M advantageous for permitting ‘prohibited’ Ukraine information on its platforms – TechCrunch

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Russia fined Google 21.1 billion rubles ($374 million) on Monday for repeatedly failing to “take away prohibited info” — content material associated to the nation’s invasion and subsequent conflict in Ukraine. The nation’s telecommunication watchdog Roskomnadzor cited a court docket order and stated Google (significantly YouTube) didn’t take down content material that discredited “the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.”

The watchdog’s press release additionally accused Google of not deleting “supplies selling extremism and terrorism” throughout its platforms. It famous that the advantageous was calculated primarily based on the corporate’s annual turnover in Russia, however it didn’t specify any share.

Final month, the Russian telecommunication watchdog warned the corporate that it may face a fine of 5-10% of its turnover for repeated violation of native legal guidelines on restricted content material. In response to information from the Interfax information company’s Spark database of Russian corporations, Google’s revenue for 2021 was 134.3 billion rubles ($2.3 billion). So the brand new advantageous can be round 15% of the corporate’s annual turnover.

Final December, Russia issued Google its first revenue-based fine of 7.2 billion rubles ($98 million) within the nation, for failing to take away unlawful content material as per the nation’s legal guidelines.

After Russia started attacking Ukraine in February, Google restricted its companies with steps together with stopping billing on the Play Store and YouTube for Russian users, restricting Google News, pausing its ad sales in the country, and blocking YouTube channels of state-backed media. Different main tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Cisco, and Dell additionally moved to cut back or exit enterprise operations in Russia.

Notably, Google’s Russia subsidiary filed for bankruptcy last month after native regulators froze its bank accounts in May. The corporate stated it moved a lot of its workers out of Moscow after the combating started.

Whereas the nation didn’t ban YouTube or Google’s companies like Facebook and Instagram, it issued repeated warnings to the search large for a number of causes together with “anti-Russia” adverts and blocking state-sponsored media’s YouTube channel.

Russia has been waging a significant propaganda conflict to bolster its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s actions have been met with robust rebuke each exterior of the nation and inside it, so in an effort to suppress the information in regards to the assault that’s vital of its actions, Russia has been controlling the movement of data as a lot as it will possibly. It handed a law in March that threatened these within the media with as much as 15 years of jail time for reporting what it deemed “faux information” about its invasion of Ukraine. In response, a number of information retailers and social media corporations like TikTok shut down their operations or limited their services within the nation.

Google’s trials and tribulations in Russia come at a time when it’s dealing with different issues in Europe, albeit for very totally different causes. In Denmark, authorities have banned Chromebooks and Google Workspace in colleges over information safety violations. In France, Italy, and Austria, regulators are at present investigating Google Analytics’s information safety practices.

We’ve reached out to Google for a remark.

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