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Russia orders new fines for Google and Telegram

google 1 - Russia orders new fines for Google and Telegram

Moscow: A Moscow court ordered fresh fines for US tech giant Google and Russian-founded encrypted messaging service Telegram, accusing the companies of not removing illegal content.

Telegram was fined four million rubles (49,440 euros) and Google two million rubles, the court’s press service said on its Telegram channel.

It did not disclose the exact nature of their offenses.

Russia has piled fines on the world’s biggest tech companies in recent months, with authorities accusing them of not moderating their content properly and interfering in the country’s affairs.

Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other foreign tech giants have received fines of up to tens of millions of rubles in recent years.

Telegram was founded by Russian brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, who are based outside the country.

During Russia’s parliamentary elections in September, Apple and Google agreed to remove a voting app created by allies of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Google also blocked two videos on YouTube, which it owns, in which Navalny supporters shared the app’s instructions.

Navalny accused Google and Apple of acting as the Kremlin’s “accomplices” and said they had acted as “liars and hypocrites”.

Telegram, which is widely used in Russia, had also removed the voting instructions at the request of Russia’s media censor.

Authorities have in recent years sought to tighten their grip over the Russian segment of the internet, increasing measures to block access to online content.

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