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Russia Orders Apple to Open Local Offices By End of Year

Russia has ordered thirteen tech firms, including Apple, to open local offices in the country by the end of the year, reports Reuters. Failing to do so could result in restrictions or outright bans.

The demand was made by state communications regulator Roskomnadzor on Monday; however, it lacked clarity on what companies were required to do.

On July 1, the law “On the activities of foreign persons in the information and telecommunication network“ Internet ”on the territory of the Russian Federation” (Federal Law No. 236-FZ) was adopted, according to which foreign Internet companies with a daily audience of more than 500 thousand users will have to open their own authorized representative offices on the territory of the Russian Federation.

The list of such companies is published on the official website of Roskomnadzor; it includes 13 foreign companies that own 22 information resources.

In addition to the requirement to establish a branch / representative office / Russian legal entity from January 1, 2022, the Law imposes a number of responsibilities on foreign persons. So, they must place on their website an electronic feedback form with Russian users, register a personal account on the Roskomnadzor website for interacting with authorities, install a recommended attendance counter on the information resource (the list of recommended attendance counters is determined by Roskomnadzor and is posted on the main page of the website 236-, foreign persons are also obliged to restrict access to information that violates Russian law.

Firms on the list include Google, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Telegram, and Apple. Roskomnadzor says companies that violate the legislation could face advertising, data collection, and money transfer restrictions, or an outright ban. However, the extent of the presence they must have in the country is still unclear.

“There is no explanation in the law, no clarification as to what the legal form of the organisation’s representation should be,” Karen Kazaryan, head of analysis firm Internet Research Institute told Reuters.

More details in the full report linked below…

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