Moscow court upholds 4-million-ruble fine against Twitter for refusing to localize Russian users' data
A Moscow court has upheld a 4-million-ruble ($53,360) fine against Twitter, which was penalized last month for refusing to store Russian users’ data on servers located inside Russia in accordance with an anti-terrorism law enacted in 2015. Citing procedural violations, Twitter tried to challenge a lower court’s ruling, but the company’s appeals case was rejected. The same lower court imposed an identical fine on Facebook, which has not challenged the decision.
Russia’s federal censor, Roskomnadzor, first ordered Twitter and Facebook to localize all Russian user data in 2018. The following spring, after both companies issued what Russian officials described as perfunctory responses, the authorities fined Twitter and Facebook 3,000 rubles ($40) each, while also extending the deadline to local Russian users’ data.
In December 2019, lawmakers adopted legislation that increases the fines for failing to localize Russian user data, raising the maximum penalty from 5,000 rubles ($65) to 18 million rubles ($240,120). In January 2020, Roskomnadzor launched a new case against Twitter and Facebook for failing to comply with data-storage requirements.