GOOGLE HAS SHRUGGED OFF requests from Russia's Roskomnadzor to censor its search engine in accordance with local laws, which could see the search engine blocked in the country.
Roskomnadzor, the Russian equivalent of Ofcom, has reportedly issued repeated requests to Google, Sky News reports, pleading with the firm to route citizens' web searches through the government's online filtering system.
A law passed in the country last year requires search engines to be connected to the federal state information system (FGIS) that allows the Kremlin to filter search results; homegrown firms including Yandex, Sputnik and Mail.ru have all, unsurprisingly, complied with the FGIS.
Google has already been fined, er, 500,000 roubles ($7,532) for violating the Russian law, which represents about three seconds of Google's revenue, so there's very little for them to justify the wider fallout of censoring search results.
Roskomnadzor has warned that continued violation of this Russian law would lead to a maximum fine of 700,000 rubles (£8,100). Google must be shaking in its boots.
According to a report at Interfax, however, Russia could move to block Google in the country altogether if it continues to ignore requests from the Kremlin.
"Google has not agreed to the e-blacklist and remove, blindly, links from the list of our search corpus," a Google spokesperson said. "Instead, we review links sent to us by Rosco on a one-by-one basis and take action after reviewing."
This isn't the first time Google has fallen foul of Russian laws. Back in 2017, the firm was banned from shoving its search engine onto Android smartphones sold in the country, after a complaint from rival Yandex.
As part of a settlement between the two firms, Google pledged to offer Russians a choice of default search engine, rather than making its service the only option, to no longer demand exclusivity of its applications on Android-based devices in Russia, and to not restrict pre-installation of any competing search engines and applications
The firm was also whacked with a fine of 440 million rubles (£6.2m) against Google, courtesy of Russia's Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS). µ
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