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A user holds a smartphone with an opened Facebook page in Moscow, Russia. A user holds a smartphone with an opened Facebook page in Moscow, Russia, June 10, 2021 (AP photo by Pavel Golovkin).

Russia Turns Up the Heat on Big Tech

Monday, Sept. 20, 2021

While Congress debates new online privacy rules and the European Union slaps ever more fines on tech giants, another government has been increasing the pressure on Silicon Valley: Russia.

Over the past year or so, Moscow has employed ever more punitive measures against Western technology companies in order to force them to bend to its wide-ranging demands on issues like content censorship, local data storage and market practices. The latest development came last Friday when, in response to pressure from the Russian government, Apple and Google removed an app from its online stores that was meant to encourage users to support candidates aligned with opposition leader Alexei Navalny in legislative elections that took place over the weekend. Russian authorities this summer outlawed Navalny’s political movement and branded it as “extremist.”  ...

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