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Roskomnadzor takes administrative action against Google for failing to remove banned sites from search results

Source: Roskomnadzor

Russia’s media regulation and censorship agency, Roskomnadzor, has opened an administrative case against Google for its alleged refusal to delete information banned in Russia from its search results.

According to the censorship agency, Google’s search results have previously included sites that are blocked in Russia, including ones containing extremist, pornographic, and suicide-related content. Roskomnadzor claims that on average, Google does not remove 30 percent of content prohibited in Russia from its search results.

As such, Roskomnadzor has opened an administrative case against Google for the repeated non-performance of the duties of a search engine operator. Under this article Google, as a legal entity, could face between 1.5–5 million rubles in fines (about $20,000–$65,550). 

By law, search engine operators are required to remove sites blocked in Russia from their search results. In order to do this, they have to be connected to Roskomnadzor’s registry of prohibited sites. In 2019, Google was fined 500,000 rubles (about $6,550 today) for refusing to connect to Roskomnadzor’s registry and an additional 700,000 rubles (about $9,000 today) for allegedly including banned content in its search results.

As previously reported by the Russian business newspaper Vedomosti, Google deletes search results containing links to banned sites regularly, but it does so on a case-by-case basis, not automatically. 

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