The same Russian federal organization that blocked Pornhub—Roskomnadzor—now prevents users from accessing the social network LinkedIn, but is there a way to unblock LinkedIn?
LinkedIn? Gets LinkedOut by Russia
Just a month or two ago, Russian regulator Roskomnadzor made headlines when it blocked Pornhub in the country. People fought back and tried to keep visiting the site. However, the regulator remained firm in its stance. Now social network LinkedIn is next on the chopping block (blocking chop?)
In a statement on Roskomnadzor’s website, it mentions the original Moscow District Court decision in August for the ban.
It also cites a newer case from November 10 to uphold the decision. LinkedIn made a statement to TechCrunch, saying:
“LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for the entire global workforce…Roskomnadzor’s action to block LinkedIn denies access to the millions of members we have in Russia…we remain interested in a meeting…to discuss their data localization request.”
According to the Kremlin, the decision was legal, and President Vladimir Putin doesn’t plan to interfere with the situation. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was asked whether this move was because of censorship, but he said there were “no such concerns.”
Reason For The Ban
In short, the social network failed to transfer Russian user data to servers within the country. Violating a new Russian law that requires all online sites to store personal data on servers in Russia. A Google Translation of the law says:
“When collecting personal data, including through information and the internet telecommunications network, the operator is required to provide a record that the systematization, accumulation, storage, updating and retrieval of personal data of citizens of the Russian Federation, is held on databases located in the territory of the Russian Federation.”
The company tried to meet with Russian regulators in November to stave off the ban. In a separate statement, it sounds as if LinkedIn never got this meeting. It’s unclear if the company tried to buy more time or bargain.
When the company first launched in China, it built a separate site and hosted data inside the country. Helping it meet China’s regulatory rules. If the company can’t do the same thing with Russia, it leaves out five million Russian users.
Russia says that this law is a way to protect the personal data of its users. Many dispute this reason and claim that the Russian government wants easier access to its peoples’ data.
The Moscow Times reports that some people thought Roskomnadzor banned the social network as a negotiation tactic with other companies. David Homak, a software engineer, said:
“No one will stand up for LinkedIn, it’s not that popular in Russia and does not have specific interests in Russia…the defenseless position of LinkedIn makes it a perfect target.”
As with most blocks and bans of this nature, you can use a VPN like LiquidVPN to get around Russia’s LinkedIn block. For Russian users, just select a server in a different country. You’ll be using the business social network in no time.