Russia is reportedly threatening to slow Google down if it doesn’t delete links to ‘prohibited’ websites

  • Russia has threatened Google with a slowdown over ‘banned content,’ state media reports.
  • An official said 20% to 30% of links are to illegal content, state-owned news agency TASS reported.
  • Google was fined last year over the issue, and has one day to respond to the demands.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Russian communications regulators have threatened Google with service-wide slowdowns unless it removes links to prohibited websites in its search results, state-owned media outlet TASS reported on Monday.

“Google does not fully fulfill its obligation to exclude links to Internet resources with information prohibited in our country from search results in Russia,” a representative of the country’s Roskomnadzor office told TASS.

A Google spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Google was fined 3 million roubles, or $41,000, over the issue in December and the regulators gave the company one day to respond to its demands.

If Google does not filter the content by tomorrow, the government said it will slow down the traffic across all of Google’s services in Russia.

“20% to 30% of links to content prohibited in Russia are not removed from search results, including websites of terrorist and extremist organizations, websites with pornographic images of minors, as well as online stores selling drugs,” the official said.

The official added that Twitter previously removed 91% of prohibited content after a similar demand, leaving Google in the crosshairs of the Roskomnadzor. The unfiltered content “directly harms Russian users,” the official said.

US tech giants have clashed with the Russian regulators in recent years, with threats from Moscow of fines and slowdowns directed at the companies for distributing content related to political protests, including over the imprisonment of Putin-critic Aleksei Navalny.

This is a developing story…

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