The Russian Federation isn’t willing to make an exception for Microsoft’s professional social network. Last year, in November, a Russian court ordered a ban on LinkedIn because the company refused to abide by Russian laws.
The problem is quite a simple one: Russia requires Internet companies to store any and all data concerning its citizens within the Russian borders. LinkedIn, therefore, must move the Russian user data to a Russian data center.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn has failed to come to terms with the Russian regulations. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s ‘Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communication’ and LinkedIn acknowledge that while they both were trying to resolve the issue, their talks have been unsuccessful.
In a statement, LinkedIn claims to believe that they comply with all applicable laws.
“While we believe we comply with all applicable laws, and despite conversations with Roskomnadzor, including meeting with them in Moscow in December 2016, we have been unable to reach an understanding that would see them lift the block on LinkedIn in the Russian Federation.”
On the other hand, Roskomnadzor’s statement claims that LinkedIn has refused to move and store the data of Russian users in Russia, “confirming its lack of interest in working on the Russian market.”
Russia’s intention with this regulation can be debated long and hard – we have done so previously – but it may simply be a wasted effort.
LinkedIn says that its website will continue to be available in the Russian language, and the company will continue to negotiate and talk with Russian regulators in the hope of a comeback.
Russia has been quite rough with foreign technology companies over the course of the past few years. The Snowden leaks, as well as several leaks via Wikileaks and other organizations, have not helped.
The United States has lost the world’s trust, and, by extension, Microsoft and other American companies have lost it as well.
Russia will do what it wishes to do; if LinkedIn wants to continue operation within the Russian borders, it must comply.