Russia Threatens to Shut Facebook Over Local Data Storage Laws

  • Global internet firms must store local client data in Russia
  • Roskomnadzor blocked LinkedIn earlier, says law is mandatory

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Facebook Inc. will by shut down in Russia next year if it fails to comply with requirements to store user data locally, according to the head of Russia’s state communications watchdog.

"The law is mandatory for everyone," Alexander Zharov told reporters Tuesday. Roskomnadzor will be forcing foreign internet companies to comply or shut down in the country.

President Vladimir Putin signed a law in 2014 that requires global internet firms to store personal data of Russian clients on local servers. Companies ranging from Alphabet Inc.’s Google to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd complied, while others like Twitter Inc. demanded extra time to evaluate the economic feasibility of doing so.

In November, Roskomnadzor ordered Russian carriers to block access to LinkedIn Corp., citing non-compliance with the law on personal data storage.

Russia is seeking to cut dependence on foreign technology amid political tensions with the U.S. It has been developing a secure messenger to replace WhatsApp for government officials and tried to make its Internet less dependent on foreign communications nodes.

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