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Moscow Court Levels More Fines Against Google For Failing To Delete Banned Content


Google did not immediately respond to RFE/RL's request for comment. (file photo)
Google did not immediately respond to RFE/RL's request for comment. (file photo)

A Moscow court has leveled more fines against Google for violating Russia's rules on banned content.

The five fives handed to the U.S. technology giant on August 17 amount to a total 14 million rubles ($190,398), a minute fraction of the company’s $180 billion in revenue last year.

The magistrate court of Moscow's Taganka district found Google "guilty of committing five administrative offenses" and sentenced it to fines of 4 million rubles, 1.5 million rubles, 5 million rubles, 1.5 million rubles, and 2 million rubles, the court’s press service said.

Google did not immediately respond to RFE/RL's request for comment. A spokesperson for Google confirmed the first two fines but gave no additional comment, Reuters said.

The latest penalties come less than three weeks after the court fined Google 3 million rubles ($40,750) for its refusal to localize the personal data of its users in Russia.

The court previously fined Google 9.5 million rubles ($129,249) under three administrative protocols for refusing to delete prohibited information.

The fines are part of an effort by Moscow to force foreign firms to open offices in Russia and store Russians' personal data on its territory. Moscow claims it is trying to rein in Western tech giants and bolster what it calls its Internet "sovereignty."

But many critics say authorities are trying to quell dissent ahead of parliamentary elections in September.

The court last month fined Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram for failing to delete content that Moscow deems illegal.

In May, Russia's communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, demanded that Google delete what it said was prohibited content on its YouTube channel or face being fined. Roskomnadzor had demanded that YouTube remove about 5,000 "prohibited" videos, of which it said some 3,500 incite "extremism."

With reporting by Reuters and TASS
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