In the wake of Snowden's revelations, Russia enacted a new law in July requiring all Internet companies conducting business in the country to store Russian citizens’ personal data in local data centers.
Today, Russia's media watchdog Roskomnadzor has sent notifications to Google, Facebook and Twitter, demanding they register as what the agency calls "organizers of information distribution", which means that they must store Russian users' data (including metadata) on servers located inside the country.
In addition, the companies have also been asked to comply with the bloggers law, which specifies that any website with more than 3,000 daily visitors will be considered a media outlet, and hence will comply with a strict set of requirements including avoidance of “extremist calls”, hate speech, slander, and obscene language. The law also says that the website will be responsible for the accuracy of the information published.
Google, Facebook, and Twitter "must make a decision about placing their data centers in Russia, and about the law on bloggers", said Maxim Ksenzov, deputy chief of the Roskomnadzor, adding that if the companies fail to do so, they will be subjected to administrative sanctions.
While Ksenzov did not elaborate any further on what kind of sanctions Russia may apply, Sergei Kopylov, who is the head of legal services at Russia's domain name registration center, said the media watchdog has the right to blacklist those platforms that fail to comply.
If implemented properly, the law would also benefit the commercial data storage market in Russia, that may reportedly reach about $550 million this year. The news comes just a few weeks after there were reports that Google is considering moving Russian users' personal data to servers inside the country.