Russia Fines and Threatens Google with Slowdown for Failure to Remove Alleged Illegal Content

The Russian government has fined Google 6 million rubles ($81,600) and threatened to slow down its services locally for allegedly failing to delete content that contained drugs, violence, and extremism.

“On average, from 20% to 30% of links to content prohibited in Russia are not removed from search results, including websites of terrorist and extremist organizations, websites with pornographic images of minors, as well as online stores selling drugs, ” said Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media watchdog.

Roskomnadzor said it had already sent Google more than 26,000 notices and made 26,000 calls to delete the illegal content but failed to do so.

The Russian government has given Google a 24-hour deadline to remove the alleged content to avoid the slowdown and additional fines of “between 800,000 roubles and 4 million roubles.”

Aside from the hosting of illegal content, Roskomnadzor also accused Google of restricting YouTube access to Russian media outlets, including RT and Sputnik, and supporting the organization of illegal protests.

Google has not yet commented on the slowdown threat but Moscow court documents that were seen by Reuters allegedly showed that Google has sued Roskomnadzor over its demands. 

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