Latest NewsMoscow Court Fined Google 21 Billion Rubles ($360 Million)

Moscow Court Fined Google 21 Billion Rubles ($360 Million)

A Moscow court has fined Google 21 billion rubles ($360 million) for failing to remove content concerning Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, the nation’s telecommunications regulator said Monday.

Roskomnadzor said the Google-owned video platform YouTube had failed to block “false information” on the violent in Ukraine, “extremist and terrorist propaganda” and content “calling on minors to participate in unauthorised demonstrations”.

The regulator said that as this was a recurrence conviction for Google the fine was based on its annual revenue in Russia.

Russian authorities have been dialing up their pressure on Western social media firms in recent years with repeated fines and threats in a bid to eliminate criticism from the internet, one of the last bastions of free speech in Russia.

Like most of its Western rivals, Google lately quit the Russian market to condemn Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

Rendering to Vladimir Zykov, an expert cited by Russian news agency Ria-Novosti, the fine is the largest ever levied on a Western tech firm by a Russian court.

Russian authorities can impose on Google “as many fines as they wish, they won’t receive the money” as the firm has dragged out of the country, he added.

Google had no instant comment concerning the fine.

Roskomnadzor branded the activities of Google and YouTube with the “terrorist” label in March, opening up the opportunity they blocked in Russia, as have Twitter, Instagram and many independent medias following the start of the military operation.

Russian authorities have amplified the legal penalties for speaking out in contradiction of the conflict. Those found guilty of spreading “false information” about the Russian military face up to 15 years in jail.

Several people have previously been jailed on such charges.

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