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Roskomnadzor tells Apple and Google that failing to delete Navalny’s app constitutes ‘election interference’
Once again, Russia’s federal censorship agency has demanded that Apple and Google take down Alexey Navalny’s mobile apple. This time, however, Roskomnadzor (RKN) is claiming that refusing to do so will be regarded as interference in Russia’s upcoming elections.
As reported by Interfax, Roskomnadzor sent notices to the American tech giants at the request of the Russian Attorney General’s Office, on the grounds that Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation is considered an “extremist” organization banned in Russia.
“Failure to take action is a violation of Russian law, entails administrative liability (article 13.41 of the Russian Administrative Code), and can be viewed as interference by the aforementioned American companies in elections taking place in the Russian Federation.”
Under Administrative Code article 13.41, failure to comply with restricting access to banned information is punishable by fines up to four million rubles (nearly $55,000) for the first offense. Roskomnadzor also noted that involvement in the activities of an extremist organization is considered a felony.
RKN first demanded that Apple and Google remove Navalny’s app from the App Store and Google Play in mid-August. Days later, mobile operators and Internet providers began blocking the app in Russia.
In addition to containing the posts from Alexey Navalny’s blog, the opposition politician’s mobile app has a “Smart Vote” function.
In July, Roskomnadzor blocked Navalny’s website and more than 40 other sites linked to the Anti-Corruption Foundation.
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