Further to our earlier publications on the new law regulating foreign tech companies’ activities on the Russian internet (the Law), in this post we continue describing sanctions that may apply to foreign tech companies which fail to comply with the new regulations.
If a foreign tech company breaches the Law, the Russian personal data and tech regulator (Roskomnadzor) may partially or fully restrict access to the foreign tech company’s internet resources.
After identifying a breach of Russian laws by a foreign tech company, the sanctions may be implemented by Roskomnadzor using special equipment for Deep Package Inspection (DPI) used by Russian communication services providers. Restriction of access will apply until the breach is remedied and will be stopped by the regulator within one day following its decision on withdrawal of the sanction imposed on the company.
Although no such sanctions have yet been imposed under the Law, Roskomnadzor has blocked and slowed down major foreign internet resources in the past. The first major incident related to blocking Telegram in 2017, which was not successful. It resulted in significant disruption of various internet resources in Russia while Telegram itself remained available (more details here).
Recently, Roskomnadzor has obtained new resources for traffic management and monitoring (the DPI equipment referred to above) and now has a broader choice of legal instruments for traffic management using such equipment. This year, Twitter was sanctioned by restricting/slowing down access to its website, which was mostly successful although it also triggered certain disruptions to the Russian internet – presumably due to malfunctions in Roskomnadzor’s equipment (in Russian).
In view of the above, actions taken by Russian authorities to restrict access to foreign tech companies’ internet resources are likely to be technically successful.
You may read more on this topic here:
- the new law on foreign tech companies’ activities;
- the methodology to be used by Russian authorities to determine foreign tech companies subject to the new law;
- implementation of the sanction banning payments to foreign companies;
- implementation of sanctions informing users of foreign companies in breach of Russian laws and prohibiting search engines from displaying such foreign companies’ resources in search results;
- implementation of sanctions relating to the ban on advertising; and
- implementation of the sanction on prohibition of personal data collection and cross-border transfer.