Moscow Court Levels More Fines Against Google For Failing To Delete Banned Content

A woman works on a laptop at a Google facility in Moscow. (file photo)  

A Moscow court has ordered Google to pay more fines for violating Russia’s rules on banned content as the government continues to push foreign firms to open offices in Russia and store Russians’ personal data on its territory.

The magistrate court of Moscow’s Taganka district ruled on August 19 that Google must pay a total of 6 million rubles ($81,500) for "committing three administrative offenses."

Two days earlier, the same court ordered Google to pay 14 million rubles ($190,000) on similar charges regarding five cases concerning the failure to delete banned content.

The same court has previously fined Google, Twitter, and Telegram for similar offenses.

The U.S. technology giant has also been fined for refusing to localize the personal data of its users in Russia.

Moscow claims it is trying to rein in Western tech giants and bolster what it calls its Internet "sovereignty."

But many critics say authorities are trying to quell dissent with parliamentary elections looming in September and the ruling United Party’s popularity slumping.

In June, the court fined Facebook 17 million rubles ($229,000) and Telegram 10 million rubles ($135,000) for what it called "administrative offenses" after the two companies failed to remove content deemed as being banned by Russia.

With reporting by TASS and Interfax

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