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Google To Withdraw Engineers From Russia

Google has confirmed that they intend to move their engineers out of Russia, although some of their staff will remain, including their sales and marketing teams.

The Kremlin. Image obtained with thanks from Greg Westfall on Flickr.
The Kremlin. Image obtained with thanks from Greg Westfall on Flickr.

The government passed a law requiring companies to store their users’ data locally. They said this law is designed to facilitate the protection of user data, but it would enable them physical access to user data as well. This may concern opponents of government surveillance. If the data isn’t stored in Russia, it would be harder for the government to access it, and they can’t just seize data centres outside Russia.

Apart from that, critics are concerned that it may facilitate censorship.

From the BBC website:

‘The aim of this law is to create… (another) quasi-legal pretext to close Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all other services,’ internet expert and blogger Anton Nossik told Reuters news agency.

According to the BBC, social networks were heavily utilized for protests against Vladimir Putin’s return to office in 2012.

Many technology firms like Google store user data in enormous datacentres around the world, and in Google’s case, user data is not normally stored locally in any country.

‘We are deeply committed to our Russian users and customers and we have a dedicated team in Russia working to support them,’ said the firm in a statement.

Do you think that the government is trying to tighten their grip on the Internet, or are they just trying to protect their citizens’ data?

Please feel free to discuss this in the comment section below, or comment on it in the Privacy And Security section of the Brainstorm Project on Kompulsa. The Brainstorm Project aims to stimulate innovation by providing as many people as possible with scenarios as well as idea pitches to consider, and an environment on the pages in which they can easily chat via instant messaging or the comment section if they wish to collaborate.

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Source: BBC.

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