Russian court backs LinkedIn block

Russian court backs LinkedIn block
Moscow City Court has upheld a ruling to block the LinkedIn professional network website.

Russia’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor said the company had failed to comply with data privacy law which obliges internet companies to store the personal data of Russian users on servers within the country’s borders.

Moreover, LinkedIn holds information on third persons who aren’t registered on the site without their consent.

“As soon as we receive a declaration of intent from the court, we will include on the register of violators of the right of data privacy and forward notification of blocking the resource to the operators,” said Roskomnadzor spokesman Vadim Ampelonskiy as quoted by Interfax.

Earlier this year, a lower Russian court supported the regulator’s claim LinkedIn interfered with rights and freedoms of citizens.

Roskomnadzor is not going to single out the US-based companies, according to head of the agency, Alexander Zharov.

“We are planning to make an absolutely ordinary case. Since LinkedIn has ignored our letters when we were inviting them to discuss the issue of personal data localization, and after a few letters we were forced to go to court,” he said.

A LinkedIn spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the company had asked for a meeting with the Russian watchdog to discuss its data localization request.

The law on personal data privacy came into effect last year. Since then Roskomnadzor has checked 1,500 companies to make sure they comply. LinkedIn is the first foreign company to publicly disagree with the regulator.

LinkedIn is the world's largest business and employment oriented social network. As of 2015, it had 400 million users with five million people registered in Russia.