Access To LinkedIn Now Officially Blocked In Russia

Image courtesy of HowToStartABlogOnline.net

In 2014, the Russian government introduced a law requiring that any online service storing personal data of Russian people must store that particular data within the country’s borders. Today, career-networking site LinkedIn became the first major U.S. website to be blocked because of this new law.

Since August, LinkedIn, which is in the process of being acquired by Microsoft for $26 billion, has lost twice in Russian courts in its attempts to remain accessible to its users in the country.

After the most recent legal defeat on Nov. 10, the company said it was trying to negotiate a deal with the Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor. However, that agency posted a brief statement this morning explaining that LinkedIn was now to be blocked in Russia in accordance with the court rulings.

BBC News reports that MTS, the nation’s largest wireless provider, is already actively prohibiting users from accessing LinkedIn. According to Time.com, Russia’s major broadband provider Rostelecom has also moved to bar its users from the site.

“LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for the entire global workforce. We are starting to hear from members in Russia that they can no longer access LinkedIn,” the company said in a statement to TechCrunch. “Roskomnadzor’s action to block LinkedIn denies access to the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses. We remain interested in a meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss their data localization request.”

As TechCrunch notes, LinkedIn got around similar requirements in China by building what is effectively a separate site that is hosted locally. It’s unknown if the company intends to follow that same path in Russia, where it has around 5 million users — only around 1% of its total global user base.