QR.bizNewsRussian telecom watchdog urges Google to ban promoting illegal rallies on YouTube

Russian telecom watchdog urges Google to ban promoting illegal rallies on YouTube

Roskomnadzor said it complained to Google about unspecified "structures" allegedly using tools, such as push notifications, to spread information about illegal mass protests, "including those aimed at disrupting elections".

Although Putin continues enjoys approval ratings that would make Donald Trump swoon, dissatisfaction over his totalitarian rule-as well as police brutality against demonstrators-has further fueled dissent.

The Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communication, or Roskomnadzor, communicated the demand after weeks of rallies over Moscow's city council election.

If Google fails to take proper measures, Russian Federation will consider this as meddling in its sovereign affairs and hindering democratic elections in the country, the watchdog warned.

The sanctioned demonstration on Saturday attracted an estimated crowd of more than 50,000 people, the largest turnout at a Moscow protest in several years.

Google did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

This time, however, Russian authorities have been eager to stop the demonstrations as soon as possible to prevent them from piggybacking on other issues that have raised discontent in Russia, including falling living standards and endemic corruption. Towards the end of 2018, it was fined 500,000 rubles as it did not comply with the authorities' requirements of removing some search results. The Russian government earlier made Google remove a YouTube advertisement by Alexei Navalny, the opposition candidate earlier a year ago.

Additionally, Roskomnadzor's bungled attempt to ban encrypted messaging service Telegram a year ago resulted in the agency blocking millions of Amazon and Google IP addresses. The agency also demanded that Apple and Google remove Telegram from their respective app stores.

Klimov recalled that the day before the rally, the US Ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and rebuked due to the publication of a scheme for holding the previous protest rally (August 3) on the embassy's website.

Russia's State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin Anton Novoderezhkin  TASS

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