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Google and Telegram face hefty fines for not playing ball with Russia over illegal content

The fines are part of a larger crackdown waged by Russian authorities on US tech giants.

Once again, a Russian court has fined Telegram and Google millions of rubles (Russian currency) for violating its internet laws by not removing banned content from their platforms, according to a Reuters report. Telegram has been fined four million rubles and Google has been fined 2 million rubles, the report added. While the violations by Google and Telegram aren't exactly clear, this isn't the first time they have been fined by a Russian court. Several other tech giants have also borne fines in the country which has recently enforced laws that require social media companies to take down content deemed illegal under Russian law as well as comply with government requests for content takedowns within 24 hours or face fines. Reuters reported that Google alone has been levied more than 32 million rubles in previous fines and its failure to clear them has led to threats from a Russian regulator of a fine amounting to 5-20% of Google's turnover in the country. Russia’s crackdown on Big Tech March 2021: Russian internet regulator Roskomnadzor announced that access to Twitter will be slowed down in the country due to the platform's inaction in taking down content inciting minors to self-harm or commit suicide. May 2021: Twitter, Google, and Tiktok were fined 19 million, 4 million, and 1.5 million rubles respectively for not removing banned content. July 2021: Russia passed a set of new rules which force foreign tech companies with more than ‘500,000 visitors a day’ to open local offices. August 2021: Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp were reportedly…

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I cover health technology for MediaNama but, really, love all things tech policy. Always willing to chat with a reader! Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

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