On Friday, a court in Russia sentenced US technology company Google to a record fine of 7.2 billion rubles for failing to remove certain “banned” content from the internet. According to the judge in Moscow, Google is guilty of “recidivism”.
Russia has been cracking down on major technology players in recent years, which is considered censorship by the West. Last month, Google and the messaging service Telegram were fined for similar infringements of 2 million and 4 million rubles, respectively.
In April, Apple was fined millions for abuse of dominant position, and in September, both Apple and Google were accused of meddling in the Russian parliamentary elections. As a result, the website of opponent Aleksey Navalny, among others, was taken offline.
Russian technology companies also see the downpour. Earlier this month, VK, which controls the social network VKontakte in Russia, got a new CEO. It concerns Vladimir Kirienko, son of a close associate of President Vladimir Putin.