Expatica news

Russian court upholds decision to block LinkedIn

A Russian court on Thursday ruled that professional networking website LinkedIn can be blocked under a controversial new law because it does not store local users’ data inside the country.

“Moscow City Court recognised the legality of blocking LinkedIn,” the court’s spokeswoman Ulyana Solopova told AFP.

The court rejected an appeal by LinkedIn and upheld an August decision by a Moscow district court that the website was in breach of the law, after the Russian government communications watchdog launched legal action.

The spokesman for Roskomnadzor watchdog, Vadim Ampelonsky, told Interfax news agency that LinkedIn could be blocked as early as next week, as soon as the watchdog receives a formal court statement.

A representative of LinkedIn told Interfax that users “give consent for their personal data to be used” and argued there had been no mass call from Russians for the site to be closed.

“Blocking breaches the rights of citizens who are registered on this site, since their access to the site will be shut off,” the unnamed representative said.

The court ruling in August said that the administrator of the domain, LinkedIn Corporation, was located outside Russia’s borders.

It said this breached the law that requires foreign messaging services, search engines and social networking sites to store the personal data of Russian users inside Russia.

Sites that breach the law are added to a blacklist and internet providers are obliged to block access to them.

The law was passed in 2014 despite a storm of criticism from internet companies, and entered into force in September 2015.