The business social network LinkedIn will now be blocked throughout Russia, after a court case found the company guilty of violating local laws on data storage; this paves the way for other networks and cloud computing providers to be blocked.

Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor has said that LinkedIN would be completely unavailable to access within 24 hours, with some internet providers already blocking access to more than six million Russian members.

LinkedINKremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists in Moscow that Roskomnadzor was acting strictly in accordance with Russian law, however, many citizens are concerned that the ban is actually about censorship and control. Many are concerned that more popular social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter will also be blocked.

What happened?

In 2014, Russia introduced legislation that required international companies dealing with consumer data to relocate their servers to Russian soil in order to protect citizen privacy. Google has reportedly taken steps to comply with the law, however other social networks and some large cloud computing providers have resisted the order.

LinkedIn has not transferred any of its data and has therefore been blocked by Russian authorities. This is the first time that the law has been enforced against a US-based social network.

How has LinkedIn responded?

According to BBC reports, a LinkedIn spokesperson stated that:

“Roskomnadzor’s action to block LinkedIn denies access to the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses. We remain interested in a meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss their data localisation request.”

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