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A Russian court announces punitive measures against five foreign IT firms for violating online content laws


By TechThop Team

Posted on: 20 Aug, 2022

Russian state regulators said on Friday they are taking punitive measures against five foreign IT companies for violating online content laws, which could require search engines to display disclaimers.

A Russian regulator, Roskomnadzor, announced it was taking action against ByteDance's TikTok, Telegram message service, Zoom Video Communications, and chat tool Discord.

Roskomnadzor said that the measures were a result of companies failing to remove content that had been flagged as illegal, and that they would remain in place until they did.

According to Roskomnadzor, measures will be taken but didn't specify what they would be. There is already a disclaimer on some other websites on the Russian search engine Yandex that reads, 'Roskomnadzor: this website violates Russian law.

According to Roskomnadzor, Internet users will be informed by search engines about the companies' violations of Russian law.

Several foreign tech firms have been fined by Russia for not removing content it deems illegal.

Additionally, it warned sites to avoid violating a law that prohibits discrediting the armed forces, which carries a maximum 15-year sentence.

The Russian court on Tuesday fined Twitch and Telegram RUB 11 million for hosting content in which 'fake' information regarding events in Ukraine was found.

According to the Kommersant newspaper, a court found Twitch guilty of failing to remove a 31-second video clip showing a girl from Bucha. Neither the content nor the duration of the video was specified in the advertisement.

An important law approved by the Russian parliament in July imposes harsher penalties on foreign internet companies, including a disclaimer on search engine results pages.

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