- Russia has developed a centralized database which all ISPs and search engines must connect to.
- The database also offers a list of websites that are required to be blocked, but Google has not complied with the regulations.
- The tech giant has breached federal laws in Russia and is eligible to be fined for non-compliance.
Google has had a controversial stance on website blocking with many requests from authorities being ignored. While the tech giant does take down links related to copyright infringing content from its search platform, it does not block links to home pages of torrent websites or other URLs that are associated with piracy.
Russia’s telecom watchdog Roscomnadzor revealed that the tech giant has failed to co-operate with Russian regulations and will be fined for non-compliance. Russia has new regulations in place that require all ISPs and search engine providers to block all blacklisted websites in the country.
Google’s non-compliance ‘FGIS’ national blacklist may cost the company anything between 500,000 and 700,000 rubles (approximately US$7,611 to US$10,656). Roscomnadzor deputy head Vadim Subbotin has reached out to the tech giant and is awaiting a reply. Subbotin stated “The decision was made on the basis of [a recent] inspection. We are now sending the act of verification to Google. They have certain deadlines to object to our verification activities and send us their objections. We will see what their response is.”
Russia now has a centralized database with a list of permanently blocked resources that are required to be removed from search results. Due to non-compliance, the tech giant has breached federal law and a final decision on the fine about will be made after Google replies to the telecom watchdog. This is not the first time a tech company has been dragged into legal controversy for non-compliance with companies like Yandex, Mail.ru Group, and Rambler being required to sign a memorandum of understanding to remove all infringing content from their respective platforms. It is likely that the Russian telecom watchdog is willing to opt for an out-of-court settlement with Google as well.
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