Russian authorities have refused to bow to pressure and pleas to reopen LinkedIn. According to Fortune, all parties [LinkedIn and Russian authorities] failed to reach an agreement. This means that the public still won’t be able to access the professional network group for the 5th month running.
Recall that public access to LinkedIn was blocked by Russia last November; a move that was highly criticized by many. The block came into effect after a court in Russia found LinkedIn guilty of breaching a law that requires holding Russian citizens’ data to store it on servers within the country.
On Tuesday, LinkedIn and Russian regulator Roskomnadzor both announced to the public that they were seeking for solution to the issue that led to the closure; but admitted that talks were unsuccessful:
“While we believe we comply with all applicable laws, and despite conversations with Roskomnadzor, including meeting with them in Moscow in December 2016, we have been unable to reach an understanding that would see them lift the block on LinkedIn in the Russian Federation,” a LinkedIn spokesman said by email, per Fortune.
Roskomnadzor on the other hand in a statement, said Microsoft-owned LinkedIn had refused to shift ground.
Russia’s reason for insisting that LinkedIn hosts its data within the country is based on its desire to protect its citizens. However, this has been disputed in many quarters; with most people saying the country is only doing this to gain access to the data.
LinkedIn’s battle with the authorities will no doubt come as a big warning to other websites. Though, at the moment, the professional network group appears to be the only victim of this rule. Twitter and Facebook got things going for them as they currently have their data housed within Russia. Reports, however, suggest that Apple and Google have also complied with the law—leaving LinkedIn as one of the biggest websites yet to house its data within the country’s server.
In an email sent to TechCrunch last November, LinkedIn said it remained committed to meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss their data localization. The company in a statement said:
“LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for the entire global workforce. We are starting to hear from members in Russia that they can no longer access LinkedIn,” said a spokesperson. “Roskomnadzor’s action to block LinkedIn denies access to the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses. We remain interested in a meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss their data localization request”
The US embassy in a statement issued shortly after the block was announced, criticized the decision; describing it as “troubling.” In a statement made available to the press, spokesman Maria Olsen said:
“This decision is the first of its kind and sets a troubling precedent that could be used to justify shutting down any website that contains Russian user data,” said spokesman Maria Olsen in a statement given to various media.”
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