Russia Forces Companies That Provide Online Services To Store Data Within Its Borders

Josh Evans Contributor
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Russia continued its efforts to exercise tighter control over the Internet by passing a bill Tuesday night that would require all online services like Google or Facebook that operate within the country to store personal data within its borders.

According to the bill, all websites, apps and other services used by Russians will have to store the personal data of its Russian users within Russia by September 2016, TechCrunch reports. The new law could potentially be very costly for companies to adhere to, as they would have to establish and maintain new physical servers within Russia’s borders.

Companies would also be restricted in how they are allowed to send data outside the country. Those that fail to comply run the risk of being blocked by the country’s carriers under orders from the government’s telecommunications agency.

The policy stands in contrast to the standard approach taken by most other countries. Under safe harbor agreements, other countries, particularly in Europe, allow companies based in the United States to store their data in American servers while still operating outside the U.S.

Russia has made several other attempts to gain greater control over Internet use, including proposals that would expand powers against websites accused of piracy and force websites to turn over user data to law enforcement.

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