Facebook may be forced to shut down in Russia

Authorities want user data to be stored locally

Alexander Zharov, head of Russia’s communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor.

Alexander Zharov, head of Russia’s communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor.

 

Facebook will by shut down in Russia next year if it fails to comply with requirements to store user data locally, according to the head of Russia’s state communications watchdog.

“The law is mandatory for everyone,” Alexander Zharov, head of the regultor, said on Tuesday. “Roskomnadzor will be forcing foreign internet companies to comply or shut down in the country.”

President Vladimir Putin signed a law in 2014 that requires global internet firms to store personal data of Russian clients on local servers.

Companies ranging from Google to Alibaba complied, while others like Twitter . demanded extra time to evaluate the economic feasibility of doing so.

In November, Roskomnadzor ordered Russian carriers to block access to LinkedIn, citing non-compliance with the law on personal data storage.

Russia is seeking to cut dependence on foreign technology amid political tensions with the US.

It has been developing a secure messenger to replace WhatsApp for government officials and tried to make its Internet less dependent on foreign communications nodes.