Russia Punishes Google

( When Russia is taking more productive steps towards stopping Big Tech than the United States, you know there’s a problem.

Last week, a court in Moscow fined Alphabet Inc. – the parent company of Google – 6 million rubles (or $80,000) for not deleting content that is considered illegal in Russia. It’s the second penalty of its kind to be imposed on the American tech giant in the space of just a week, indicating Russia’s commitment to stopping Google from sharing banned content online.

Over the last year, Russia has hit Google and other Big Tech companies with a number of fines. Some relate to the publishing of banned content online while others relate to the companies’ failure to localize data for Russian users.

The Tagansky District Court ruled on Thursday that Google would be issued three administrative fines, totaling 6 million rubles. And while Google confirmed that they had been fined, they didn’t provide any comment on the content that caused the fines or whether they will be adjusting the way they operate in the country to avoid future fines.

Where are the American courts fining Google for restricting content in America?

In July, Russia fined Google 3 million rubles (around $40,000) for violating the country’s personal data legislation. Again, Google confirmed the fine but did not offer any further details.

Russia and Big Tech are at loggerheads. Moscow repeatedly fines social media companies not just because of alleged breaches of national law, but in an effort to make the social media companies open up offices in Russia.

Fining them doesn’t sound like a great incentive…

It doesn’t help Google’s case that the Big Tech company has blocked the YouTube accounts of a number of pro-Kremlin politicians, media commentators, and public figures.

LinkedIn, a Microsoft-owned social media platform for business professionals, has already been completely blocked in Russia for breaching a data storage law that was passed in 2015.