This year has been quite unusual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We haven’t heard much about legal battles against the internet giants this year for obvious reasons, but this is about to gain traction in 2020. Just recently, a report emerged about Google conspiring actions to counteract strict EU rules. Now, the Russian government is staring at some actions taken by some US giants such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. According to a recent report, the Russian government may even ban these platforms in the country to assure the safety of its users, or to simply retaliate against the US-based companies.
According to a report from Financial Express, the Russian Parliament has drafted legislation against the aforementioned US tech giants. It will allow regulators to block social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Of course, this will happen if these platforms are found guilty of censoring Russian people’s content. With this legislation, the parliament plans to restrict some companies. This seems to be really walking fast to become a reality. After all, the legislation already passed by the lower house of the parliament. A statement from the country’s parliament states that the relevant authorities will not spray any company. If they limited information based on language/nationality, then it will face the consequences of such actions.
The first step against Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube was given already
The Russian parliament is termed by the Federal Assembly. Currently, it has two houses – the Upper (Federation Council, and the Lower (State Duma). Before legislation becomes a law, it needs to pass through the two houses. If it succeeds, then it goes for the President’s sanction. Talking about the current legislation, it passed by the lower house and will pass through the Federation Council now. This is the last step before arriving at the President’s desk. Based on this, we can say that those platforms are very close to a new reality in Russia.
Related news, states that these are just for formalities and the Russian Government already upped the Ante on combating online extremism. Among the accused names, Twitter was fined $547,000 from Ireland’s DPC. So, as we can see this isn’t being an isolated action from the Russian government. This seems to be turning in a tendency. To put things in perspective, even in its homeland companies like Google and Facebook are facing anti-trust problems.
The Russian parliament will not take such actions lightly. Further, the lower house states that other websites taking the same practices will suffer similar consequences. For now, we need to wait and see how this situation will escalate.