Russia's Internet watchdog has sent formal notices to Google, Facebook, and Twitter this week, enforcing early compliance with the country's social media law, requiring services with more than 3,000 readers in a day to register with the overseeing governmental agency and store data within the country. Deputy chief Maxim Ksenzov of Roskomnadzor, the agency in charge of enforcement of the law, has said that the trio will be "forced one way or another to obey the law" despite being international companies.
The new law requires social media servers be physically located in Russia after 2016. Despite being nebulous as to what exactly qualifies as a social network, it does specify that companies based in other countries such as Google+, Facebook, and Twitter are not exempt from the law. In the process of signing the law, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the Internet "a CIA project," and slammed the country's largest search engine Yandex for being in bed with western businesses. The Russian parliament has also recently passed a law that grants the government the ability to shutter, without warning, sites deemed extremist or a threat to stability.
If the three companies "do not obey with the demands of the Russian law, they will be subjected to administrative sanctions. Those three resources must make a decision about placing their data centers in Russia, and about the law on bloggers," said Ksenzov.
"If websites do not register, Roskomnadzor has the right to send them a second notice demanding they rectify the violation within 15 days," said Ksenzof of the law and enforcement. "Otherwise, the agency has the right to blacklist the online platform -- that is, to block it from access by Russian Web users."