A Google engineering office located in Russia is reportedly closing, in the wake of changes to the law concerning user data. According to the Wall Street Journal, the search giant is going to be pulling out just the engineering office, with a large contingent of employees working on sales, business partnerships, user support, marketing, and communications set to remain.
"We are deeply committed to our Russian users and customers and we have a dedicated team in Russia working to support them," a spokesperson told the report. Sources of The Information claim approximately 50 engineers will be affected by the move, the majority working in Moscow, with Google said to be providing options to work in other areas of the company.
The Russian government has tried to restrict what companies can do with user data from the country's citizens. It has passed laws requiring social networks, blogs, and other online services with more than 3,000 daily users to hold data within Russia, rather than exporting it to international servers, with those affected also coerced into registering their details with a communications watchdog. The country's Internet watchdog has already issued notices to Google, Facebook, and Twitter to comply with the law, or face "administrative sanctions," including the blocking access to the service for Russian Internet users.