HOMOEROTIC PRESIDENTIAL portrait loving super-state, Russia, has launched a civil lawsuit against Google for failing to block banned sites in the country.
Roskomnadzor, the Russian equivalent of Ofcom, has said that it will assess the situation and has the power to issue fines to settle suits without a court procedure, and Google could be looking at a fine of up to 700,000 rubles. That's… erm…. $10,444, hardly likely to break the bank.
The Russian authorities have a list of 120,000 websites which are banned within the country. Google met with Roskomnadzor several times in November telling them (essentially) that it just isn't that simple.
They then solidified this in a letter, which explains the reasons it cannot comply. Details of the letter have not been made public.
All this hasn't washed, however, and now the country is showing its teeth, in a way that to Google is the regulation equivalent of a slight itch.
In fact, realistically it would proably be cheaper for Google to just keep on annoying the Russian authorities - the company makes that much in just over three seconds.
The sites that Russia is blocking go beyond the usual sex and drugs and Pussy Riot. In fact, Facebook very nearly made the Spisok der'ma (Google it) earlier this year, as an example of a company that isn't keeping all Russian data on local servers, something that the country sees as pivotal to compliance.
Other sites and apps on the banned list, which came into effect along with new regulation in 2015, include Telegram, which refuses to give the government a back door to snoop at. Others threatened with the cold shoulder in recent years include Skype, Linkedin, Facebook, and, yes, Gmail - many of which are already banned in Red China.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, Kaspersky, long accused of being in cahoots with Russian authorities, opened a new office in Switzerland to get their data away from the country.
Still, as they say in Russia, "V lyubom sluchaye, lider bol'she pokhozh na Myspace."
And we think you all know what that means. μ
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