A Moscow court has fined Google $98m for repeated failure to delete content deemed illegal in Russia.
Details of the offending content were not specified in the announcement by the court’s press service.
This is the first time in Russia that a technology giant has been hit with a fine based on their annual turnover.
Google told AFP news agency that it would study the court ruling before deciding on further steps.
Russian authorities have increased pressure on tech firms this year, accusing them of not moderating their content properly, and interfering in the country’s internal affairs.
Hours after the Google verdict was announced, a 2bn rouble fine was handed to Meta, the parent company of Facebook, for similar content-related offences.
Earlier this week, Twitter was also handed a 3m rouble fine for similar charges.
This is not Google’s first brush with Russian authorities over content laws. In May, Russia’s media watchdog threatened to slow down the speed of Google if it failed to delete 26,000 instances of unlawful content, which it said related to drugs, violence and extremism.
President Vladimir Putin has pushed for development of a so-called sovereign internet, which would give the government more control over what its citizens can access.
Critics have accused Russia of using the campaign to clamp down on free speech and online dissent.
The country’s media regulator has blocked dozens of websites linked to jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, whose campaign groups have been labelled “extremist”.
Google and Apple were also forced to remove an app dedicated to Navalny’s “Smart Voting” campaign, which gave users advice on tactical voting to unseat Kremlin-aligned politicians.
Websites like LinkedIn and Dailymotion have already been blocked for refusing to co-operate with authorities, and six major providers of Virtual Personal Networks (VPNs) – which help users to conceal their online activities – have been banned.
Earlier this year, Russia also introduced a new law requiring all new smartphones, computers and smart devices sold in the country to be pre-installed with Russian-made software and apps.
The government said the move would help Russian tech firms compete with foreign rivals.
- Lil Win shares photos of his traditional wedding
- Microsoft appoints former UG student, Abigail Okyere, as Chief of Staff
- A Plus and Feli Nuna trade insults over boyfriend’s role in her career
- Aggrieved NPP supporters in Aowin set party office on fire over constituency elections
- We’re investigating claims that late Sir John gifted portions of Achimota Forest to relatives – Lands Ministry
- ‘Companies wanted to pay me less because I am an Ewe-speaking artist’ – Edem
- Police deploy ballistic experts to Nkoranza to investigate death of Albert Donkor
- ‘I will urge Cheddar to bring more tigers; it’s a good idea to boost our tourism’ – A-Plus
- Government to launch campaign for people to report possible terror attacks
- ‘Speak thy servant heareth’ – SALL residents petition Bagbin again over no representation in Parliament
Full details: Achimota Forest lands, gold businesses and guns in Sir John’s will
Social media users react to viral image of Kendrick Lamar drinking pure water
GIPC CEO and others tour Tyler Perry Studios following Michael Blackson’s call
Ogum Narteh expresses worry over Kotoko home form
Francis-Xavier Sosu: Uncertain policy environment poses greatest threat to recovery efforts, macroeconomic stability
346 terrorist attacks recorded in Africa in 1st quarter of 2022
DOL: Samartex secures Premier League qualification with three games to spare
Five key moments that won Man City the Premier League
MozzartBet Ghana presents new Nissan Kicks car to winner of “Hit the Highest Odd Promotion”
Stanford Seed Transformation Network launches updated business directory to support economic growth
Publishers start printing textbooks for new curriculum; books to be ready in 120 days – President of Publishers Association
Ghana records $1.33bn trade surplus in April 2022
Today’s front pages: Monday, May 23, 2022
Outstanding businesses awarded at Ghana West Africa Business Excellence Awards
We’re investigating claims that late Sir John gifted portions of Achimota Forest to relatives – Lands Ministry