Facebook May Get Blocked In Russia If the item Doesn’t Start Storing Its Data There

Russia may prevent Facebook through working within the country if the company does not comply with its laws on data storage, according to a Russian official.

On Tuesday, Alexander Zharov, the head of the country’s telecom watchdog, said Facebook executives would likely travel to the country at the end of the year or in early January to discuss compliance with Russian regulations. As of September 2015, Russian law requires which foreign internet companies store the personal data of Russian users on servers within the country.

“We will discuss with them all the issues, including localization of databases along with also prompt removal of prohibited content,” Zharov said, according to state news agency Tass.

Facebook’s business would likely take a significant hit if the item lost users through the planet’s ninth-most populous nation, a real threat given the precedent Russia set with LinkedIn: Using the law in question, Kremlin officials locked the professional network out of the country in November 2016 after negotiations over user data storage came to an impasse.

Despite LinkedIn’s travails, Russian officials have continued to allow Facebook along with also Twitter to operate within the country. A source familiar with the situation said Twitter has agreed to review the Russian law with respect to advertisers only along with also stressed which no decision had been made. Twitter currently does not have an office or maintain any servers in Russia.

“We regularly meet with government representatives from the countries in which we operate,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to BuzzFeed News on Tuesday.

Facebook, which has faced plenty of scrutiny for its role from the propagation of disinformation created by Russian entities, was reported to be in discussions to open a representative office from the country, though which was not confirmed by Zharov on Tuesday.

In August 2015, Russian state-sponsored news organization Sputnik News reported which Facebook’s then head of public policy from the region said the company did not think the item was necessary to store Russian user data on servers from the country. A Facebook spokesperson said which the company currently does not store any data on servers within Russia along with also has no office from the country.

Ryan Mac will be a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News along with also will be based in San Francisco. He reports on the intersection of money, technology along with also power.

Contact Ryan Mac at ryan.mac@buzzfeed.com.

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