THE FUN-LOVING, HAPPY GO LUCKY Russian government has moved to force Facebook and Twitter to relocate its servers inside the country.
Roskamnadzor, the Russian Ministry of no-nos (well, censorship) has warned the companies that by failing to comply with data protection (well, censorship) rules laid out by the ministry in 2015, they could be facing a hefty fine. Hefty in roubles, anyway.
In a statement first reported by the Wall Street Journal (paywalled), Roskamnadzor said: "The social-media networks hadn't submitted any formal and specific plans or submitted an acceptable explanation of when they would meet the country's requirements that all servers used to store Russians' personal data be located in Russia."
Facebook and Twitter were originally given 30 days in which to sort their shiz out, which expired on the 17 January, so the men from the ministry are going to be kicking all kinds of rouble-based butt.
The move follows previous action to block Telegram, which goes one stage further, making itself completely impenetrable to Russian authorities. Telegram used all-the-tech to get around the issue before finally being scuppered.
But if you're worried about your favourite security disaster's finances, don't. A previous fine issued by Roscomnadzor (is anyone else imagining a bloke in an Ironman suit with a large vodka and a furry hat? No? Just us then) to Google for failing to block some sites it didn't like totalled half a million roubles.
That's just over $7.500 (£5,805). We'll insert a LOL-break here. Back in a mo.
All out of your system? Then we shall continue. The point is that for all Russia's big talk, it's cheaper for the companies to pay the fines and carry on as before, and that could lead to an all-out attempt to block them further down the line.
But even that has pros and cons with the risk of alienating these international players not really a great end-game for them either. μ
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