Facebook has an important meeting in the months ahead. Russian authorities stated that they will meet with Facebook representatives to talk about the company’s compliance with new laws and regulations.
“Facebook confirmed that they are going to visit the Russian Federation for talks with us either in late December or early in January,” Alexander Zharov, head of the Russian telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor, told Reuters on Tuesday. “We will discuss with them all the issues, including localization of databases and prompt removal of prohibited content.”
The Russian regulators also declared they will not pursue any oversight activities of Facebook for the remainder of 2017. Zharov noted that the California-based company did not confirm the establishment of a Russian representation as rumors swirled earlier this year.
The main concern for Facebook is that the new laws require the social networking giant store personal data of its Russian users in local servers. If not, Facebook likely will meet the same fortune of LinkedIn, who was blocked in Russia after a court ruling found that the social networking firm was guilty of violating the same data storage law.
Even though this law has been applied selectively, there are Russian representatives that want to see Facebook in compliance with the law in order to continue operations in the country. Leonid Levin, chair of the Duma (Congress) committee on communications and information policy, said the hope is, “it would not come to blocking Facebook in Russia,” as he expects the Menlo Park company to be able to negotiate with Roskomnadzor.
It is important to notice that the Russian Justice Ministry recently passed a law to “recognize media outlets as foreign agents consistent with proposed legislative amendments,” the Russian official news agency, Interfax, published this notice on November 14, when State Duma Vice-Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy, who supervises the working group preparing countermeasures against the U.S. restrictions on the activity of Russia media outlets, told reporters.