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Technology Social Networks: Why Russia multiplies its attacks against Meta and Google

18:35  25 december  2021
18:35  25 december  2021 Source:   lexpansion.lexpress.fr

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Russia sentenced on Friday Meta and Google giants to record fines, for the first time indexed to the income of both companies on the spot.

La Russie a condamné vendredi Google et Meta à des amendes record de 87 millions et 23 millions d'euros pour n'avoir pas supprimé des contenus © AFP.com/kirill KudryAVTSEV Russia has sentenced on Friday Google and Meta to record fines of 87 million and 23 million euros for failing to delete

content for such powerful companies, advanced amounts will change not much. Google and Meta (former Facebook) have been sentenced on Friday in Russia to the respective fines of 87 million and 23 million euros, for not deleting "prohibited" content, linked to "religious hatred", Information "Not reliable" or promoting "terrorist or extremist organizations".

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According to the Telecom Constable, the Roskomnadzor, the Facebook and Instagram social networks (META property) have even more than 2000 prohibited content in Russia. For Google, this figure reaches more than 2600. If there is far away, for Google, 2.4 billion inflicted by the European Commission - for other reasons - the signal launched by the Kremlin with regard to the giants of the Western Tech is very strong.

RECORD

fines on the one hand, these amounts remain the highest ever inflicted on the two companies. And far away. According to the Press Agency AP, Facebook had cumulated until October a little less than a million euros of fine, for reasons more or less similar. Since 2014, a Russian law also requires web companies store the data of their Russian users in Russia, which all do not do, exposing themselves to sanctions.

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For Facebook, the number has been multiplied by 23. For Google, the NGO Reporters Without Borders estimated about 100,000 euros the amount of the various sanctions imposed. The reason is simple: in a situation of "recidivism", the two giants also saw these indexed fines on the basis of their income in Russia.

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These fines finally symbolize a new threshold in repression with regard to social networks. Inflicted at the dawn of 2022, they closed a year marked by a resumption of these tools by the Kremlin, and by an unprecedented closure of the Russian Internet, which goes straight towards the creation of its "rune".

Redemption of vkontakte, deletion of Tor ...

"A hardening is inevitable, because the Russian president is deeply concerned about the Internet," emphasized at the beginning of the year, with Express , the Tatiana Stanovaya Politologist. Vladimir Putin had actually declared the giants of the Internet were "competing de facto with the states", denouncing their "attempts to brutally control the society".

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The Russian President had actually saw his opponents ligken on the Internet, anonymously, or at the sight of all. In January, political opponent Alexei Navalny, since imprisoned, published on YouTube (Google) a long survey on the "Putin Palace" on the shores of the Black Sea. An area as secret as well as luxurious, more than doubtful financing. This video is precisely "prohibited" content that Google is called to delete, in Russia.

In addition to the fines, spread throughout the year, Moscow had subsequently forced Google, already him, and Apple, to withdraw from their virtual stores in Russia the application of the opponent imprisoned Alexei Navalny, just before the legislative elections .

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Vladimir Putin, is not more tender with local actors, put in step, or simply taken over in hand. This is the case of the social network Vkontakte, Facebook clone, now under the control of Gazprom-Media, a subsidiary of the energy giant whose majority shareholder is neither more nor less than the Russian government.

The Kremlin has, shot, this fall, accelerated the hunt for services to circumvent this new Internet under control. The TOR network, allowing anonymously the origin of certain connections, and input gate to the Darknet, is blocked since the beginning of the month. Six VPN services (virtual private networks), allowing to bypass blockages on famous sites, like Google or Facebook, connecting to foreign-based servers, have also been rendered inaccessible. Draws, in hollow, the dream of an "rune" . A controlled Russian Internet, and closed to foreign connections, allowing it, ensure the authorities, to protect against a magnitude computer attack. But above all, to extinguish all opposing voice on his cyberspace.

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