Russia fines Google $100 million, and Meta $27 million, over ‘failure to remove banned content’; Blocks Website of Group That Tracks Political Arrests

A Russian court fined Google nearly $100 million Friday for “systematic failure to remove banned content” — the largest such penalty yet in the country as Moscow attempts to rein in Western tech giants.

The fine was calculated based on Google’s annual revenue, the court said. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s Internet regulator, told the court that Google’s 2020 turnover in the country exceeded 85 billion rubles, or about $1.15 billion.

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Russia fines Google over illegal content breach
A Moscow court has fined Google 7.2bn roubles ($98m; £73m) for repeated failure to delete content deemed illegal in Russia.

Details of the offending content were not specified in the announcement by the court’s press service.

This is the first time in Russia that a technology giant has been hit with a fine based on their annual turnover.

Russia blocks website of group that tracks political arrests [AP]
A Russian organization that tracks political arrests and provides legal aid to detainees said Saturday that government regulators blocked its website, the latest move in a months-long crackdown on independent media and human rights organizations.

OVD-Info reported that Russia’s internet and communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, blocked the group’s website. The organization said in a tweet that it wasn’t formally notified about the decision and doesn’t know the reason for the action beyond that it was ordered by a court outside Moscow on Monday.

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