Russia has officially barred professional social network LinkedIn for failing to comply with the country’s personal data storage laws.
The country’s communications regulator, known as Roskomnadzor, announced the ban today, accusing the U.S. networking firm of “rights violations” for not storing the data of Russia’s more than six million LinkedIn users on Russian servers.
The ban comes after the District Court of Moscow backed Roskomnadzor’s request to block the professional network.
The Kremlin told Reuters the ruling was legal, adding that Putin had no plans to interfere, especially as the law requiring U.S. companies to use Russian servers was approved by President Vladimir Putin two years ago. It came into effect last September.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters the government was not concerned the move might be seen as censorship.
Interfax news agency quoted Roskomnadzor spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky as saying LinkedIn’s site will be blocked by all Internet service providers within 24 hours. Provider Rostelcom has already blocked access and MTS and Vimpelcomhave said they would follow suit within 24 hours.
LinkedIn told Reuters members from Russia were starting to report their inability to access the site.
“Roskomnadzor’s action to block LinkedIn denies access to the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses,” a LinkedIn spokeswoman said.
LinkedIn officials are to meet with Roskomnadzor officials after the Russian regulator receives approval to do so from the government.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.