Watchdog to collect turnover-based fines from Google for failing to remove illegal content

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Moreover, the watchdog will fully lift restrictions on the speed of Twitter operations countrywide once the social network removes all banned content

MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media plans to collect turnover-based fines from Google through legal action for repeated failure to remove banned content, deputy head of the nation’s internet watchdog Vadim Subbotin told reporters on Tuesday.

“Yes, we plan to draw up protocols on turnover-based fines against Google for repeated failure to remove banned content on October 27. I would call it a systemic failure to fulfill the requirements of Russian law on removing banned information,” Subbotin said, adding that the issue might be about the fine share totaling from one-twentieth to one-tenth of annual revenue, though the court will rule on the amount of fines.

Moreover, the watchdog will fully lift restrictions on the speed of Twitter operations countrywide once the social network removes all banned content, the official noted. “So far we are stuck with the same outcome. We expect Twitter to still fully meet the requirements of Russian law (to remove the remaining 9% of banned content — TASS). Then, we will take a respective decision. We are ready to lift restrictions if they fully meet Russia’s legislation,” he said.

Subbotin said in mid-September that the internet watchdog was ready to collect turnover-based fines from Google, Facebook and Twitter for their failure to delete banned content. The federal agency announced in March the start of a “primary slowdown” of the speed of Twitter’s operations in Russia due to the fact that the network failed to remove banned content. On May 17 the watchdog said it had decided to lift restrictions on access to Twitter in fixed-line networks after its administration removed more than 90% of illegal content. Meanwhile, the slowdown of the social network’s traffic on mobile devices continues.

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