Monday, 09 December, 2019


Moscow is warning Google against election ‘interference’

Protesters attend a rally in central Moscow Protesters attend a rally in central Moscow
Bennie Garza | 13 August, 2019, 04:57

The watchdog added in its letter that Russian Federation would consider Google's failure to respond to the request an "interference in the sovereign affairs of the state, as well as a hostile influence [over] and obstruction of democratic elections in Russian Federation".

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Minister-Counsellor of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Tim Richardson, and presented him with an official protest against the U.S. encouraging the unauthorized rally on August 3 by publishing the rally's route.

Google should stop "promoting illegal rallies" on its video hosting YouTube, Roskomnadzor said in the wake of Saturday's protest rally.

The latest round of protests, estimated to be the largest in eight years, follows the exclusion of opposition and independent candidates from the city council's elections.

It said the channels use "advertising instruments" such as "push notifications" to "disrupt elections" and warned Google that Moscow will view inaction on its part as "meddling in Russia's sovereign elections".

Unlike for demonstrations held the previous two weeks, when police made more than 1,000 arrests at each, organizers had a permit for Saturday's event.

At the time, Google's Russian division issued a statement saying that it will "consider all justified appeals from state bodies" and that it requires advertisers "to act in accordance with the local law and our advertising policies".

OVD-Info said 79 people were also detained in St. Petersburg, 13 in Rostov-on-Don, two in Bryansk, and two more in Syktyvkar as "solidarity" rallies attracted smaller crowds there and in other cities.

Search engines are required to share encryption keys, as well as the personal data of Russian social media users on servers within the country, with security services.

Moscow has a track record of putting regulatory pressure on Google, one of the main rivals of Russian internet search company Yandex (YNDX.O). That year Google also removed YouTube videos uploaded by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, though the government's official rationale was that the videos violated laws prohibiting campaigning in the day before an election.

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