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Russia will soon require foreign tech giants to open local offices: Report

Russia on Thursday passed legislation that obliges foreign tech giants to either set up a local branch or open a legal entity in the country by January 2022, Reuters reported. This legislation is part of Russia's efforts at "internet sovereignty" and is targetted at foreign companies with more than half a million daily users in Russia, the report added. This is aimed at bringing US companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube under Russian jurisdiction. Although the bill needs to be approved by the upper house of parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin, this is widely expected to happen, the report stated. Companies that do not comply with these rules could be excluded from search results and banned from advertising and operating in Russia, the report added. India's IT Rules effectively demand the same Russia has the company of India, which in February, through the IT Rules 2021, mandated social media intermediaries like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram to have a physical contact address in India published on its website. In a recent letter sent to Twitter, the government clarified that this address should belong to the social media intermediary and not to another entity such as a law firm representing the company, effectively signalling that foreign companies operating in India must have local offices. Russia doubling down on US tech companies In recent months, Russia has been targetting multiple US tech companies. In March this year, the Russian internet regulator Roskomnadzor announced that access to Twitter will be slowed down in the country following what it…

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