THE US GOVERNMENT isn't best pleased about Russia's decision to block access to LinkedIn in the country.
The Russian government started blocking access to LinkedIn this week after a court ruled that the professional social network is in violation of a law requiring data on Russian citizens to be stored locally.
The law was introduced in 2014. Russia said at the time that forcing companies that collect data on its citizens to store it in the country would help to protect their privacy.
Russia had not acted on the law but began proceedings in August against LinkedIn claiming that the firm was not adhering to this requirement, despite having six million registered users in Russia.
Maria Olson, based in the US embassy in Moscow, issued a statement in response saying that Russia's stance is worrying.
"The United States is deeply concerned by Russia’s decision to block access to the website LinkedIn," she said, as reported by Reuters.
"This decision is the first of its kind and sets a troubling precedent that could be used to justify shutting down any website that contains Russian user data."
LinkedIn confirmed to the INQUIRER this week that users are reporting being unable to access the site.
"We are starting to hear from members in Russia that they can no longer access LinkedIn. [Russian communications regulator] 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," a spokesperson said.
"We remain interested in a meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss their data localisation request."
After losing the court case last week, LinkedIn issued a statement saying that it will work with Roskomnadzor to resolve the problem.
"LinkedIn's vision is to create economic opportunity for the entire global workforce. We remain interested in a meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss its data localisation request," the firm said.
The issue will no doubt be on the radar at Microsoft, which has agreed to buy LinkedIn for a huge $26.2bn in a move widely seen as a chance to grow the firm's data insights on business professionals the world over.
However, Microsoft is facing other battles concerning LinkedIn, having had to agree to concessions from the European Commission over the deal. µ
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