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Russia has ordered Google to remove ‘illegal’ content or tackle slowdowns

Google is issuing an ultimatum in Russia. In order Reuters, The country’s Roskomnadzor internet commission has given the company 24 hours to remove more than 26,000 instances of what it classifies as illegal content. If Google doesn’t comply with the order, it could face fines valued at up to 10 percent of its annual revenue, in addition to seeing its services slow down in the country. The agency also accused Google of censoring Russian media, including state-owned entities RT and Sputnik.

“This censorship by the Russian media and the targeted support for illegal protest activities actually speak of the political coloration of Google’s activities in Russia,” the agency said.

It is not the first time that Russia has threatened to do so against a Western technological society. March, the country Twitter strangled in order not to remove the banned content soon enough. Before the company responded to the order, Roskomnadzor threatened to block the platform altogether. At the time, the agency said it could implement similar sanctions on Facebook, Google and YouTube for several of the same reasons. It’s unclear if Google will comply with the order as Twitter has done. Court documents seen by Reuters show that the company cited to Roskomnadzor more than 12 YouTube videos that the agency ordered to be removed. These clips involve prominent powerful critics Alexei Navalny. Navalny and his supporters have often used YouTube to accuse President Putin of corruption and call him quits protests against the Kremlin. We touched on Google to comment.

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