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Russia highlights threat of Google fine for “illegal” internet content

On Tuesday, Russian authorities fined Google 6 million rubles, or just under $ 82,000, after the company failed to comply with Moscow’s demands to cancel the banned online content.

On Monday, Russia’s internet watchdog, Roskomnadzor, gave Google 24 hours to cancel more than 26,000 online media instances considered illegal in the country. If their demands were not met, the authorities threatened to slow down Google’s services in Russia and impose fines of up to 10 percent of the company’s annual revenues.

Today, Roskomnadzor fined Google in three batches at 2 million rubles per piece, accusing administrative crimes in any case, according to Reuters.

Much of the banned content involves calls to social action following the arrest of high-profile Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in January. Protests erupted in Russia earlier this year following Navalny’s arrest. Russian authorities later cited in case Google, Twitter, Facebook and other sites, saying they had hosted content encouraging children to participate in the protests, which Moscow considered illegal.

Shortly after those trials, Roskomnadzor Twitter strangled in Russia. The watchdog cited tweets about child pornography, drug use and suicide, leaving out any mention of the protests.

A fine of less than $ 100,000 is chump change for Google, and today’s move from Moscow is more of a warning shot than a final judgment.

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