Google pays fines to Russia over banned content

Published October 26, 2021
A file photo of the Google logo. — AP/File
A file photo of the Google logo. — AP/File

MOSCOW: US tech giant Google has paid Russia more than 32 million roubles ($455,079) in fines for failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal, the company and a Russian lawmaker said after talks on Monday.

Russia last week said it would seek to fine the US tech giant a percentage of its annual Russian turnover later this month for repeatedly failing to delete banned content on its search engine and YouTube, in Moscow’s strongest move yet to rein in foreign tech firms.

Vasily Piskarev, a lawmaker who heads a parliamentary commission to investigate foreign interference in Russia, on Monday said Google’s representatives had expressed a desire to engage in dialogue and the company had paid more than 32 million roubles in outstanding fines, news agencies reported.

Marco Pancini, YouTube director for interacting with state authorities in EMEA, said in a blog post that Google had paid all enforced fines on time. These stood at 32.5 million roubles for this year, communications regulator Roskomnadzor said last week.

Roskomnadzor on Monday said it has the technical capability to slow down the speed of YouTube, Interfax reported, but that administrative measures are currently sufficient.

In 2020, Google’s compliance with requests to delete content was 96.2pc, Pancini said, and in the first half of this year, it removed over 489,000 videos, but Russia said too much banned content still remained available.

Piskarev said last week that this included child pornography.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2021

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