OREANDA-NEWS. Alexander Zharov, the head of the Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications watchdog, said that he hopes Twitter and Facebook, which are fined for refusing to localize Russians’ personal data, will not be blocked. The companies have 9 months to implement the law.

In April 2019, a magistrate’s court in Moscow fined Twitter and Facebook for 3 thousand roubles (about 47 dollars, the minimum allowed according to the law) each for non-compliance with the law, which requires keeping personal data of Russian users in the Russian Federation.

“According to the court’s decision, a certain period is supposed for which the company must fulfill the requirements of the law of the Russian Federation on the localization of databases of personal data of citizens of the Russian Federation”, Zharov said. “We will hope that in the companies a reason will prevail and the requirements of the legislation will be fulfilled.”

A 2014 law requires domestic and foreign companies to store the personal data of Russian citizens on servers within the country. The companies which refuse can be fined or prevented from operating in the RF. In 2016, Russia blocked LinkedIn, the professional networking website.

Social networks Twitter and Facebook have been actively used by the Kremlin opposition to organize demonstrations and publish high-level corruption investigations. Critics are afraid that storing the personal information of users in Russia would allow the security services of Moscow to access data on opposition activists.

Earlier in 2018, Russia has also tried to block the messaging service Telegram.