Saturday, 14 December, 2019

Police Officer Punches Female Protester During Protest in Moscow, Russia

Russia demands Google not to promote'illegal events on YouTube Over the past five years Russia has introduced tougher laws on search engines
Deanna Wagner | 13 August, 2019, 04:56

Silhouettes of mobile device users are seen next to a screen projection of Youtube logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018.

In the letter, state internet watchdog Roskomnadzor warned Google about YouTube channels using push notifications to disseminate information about "unauthorized (illegal) mass events" meant to disrupt elections. The media regulator said Moscow will take the appropriate measures should the USA video-sharing giant refuse to comply.

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 agency characterised Google as promoting "illegal mass events" by allowing "a number of structures with YouTube channels" to use advertising tools including push notifications.

Moscow has a track record of putting regulatory pressure on Google, one of the main rivals of Russian internet search company Yandex.

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Industry experts believe that Google has been put in a sticky position where it will have to choose between retaining the protesting people's freedom of expression while protecting itself from drawing further ire from Moscow.

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.

These technologies can not be used without the assistance of certain Western organizations and owners of network companies, the senator noted. But as Al Jazeera noted, the protest, which apparently directed the agency's ire towards Google (with organisers claiming some streams reached 50,000 people or more), was approved by the Russian government.

Google has not responded to Russian officials' allegations yet. No details were given about the extent of the alleged misuse of the video-sharing platform.

The protests erupted when the news came that opposition candidates were banned from running in the upcoming Moscow city elections set to take place in September. Protest tally NGO White Counter estimated that nearly 50,000 people attended the opposition's arrest-laden demonstration.