- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Russian officials want veto power over online political content, and they’ve indicated a willingness to ban Google, Facebook and Twitter to obtain it if necessary.

The encryption technology used by the U.S. media giants prevents Russian authorities from individually targeting content when they choose not to comply with requests. The only option Russian authorities have for immediate compliance is taking down the whole site.

Russian legislation enacted in 2014 allows prosecutors to block online protest planning without a court order if the event isn’t sanctioned by the government.

“In our letters we regularly remind companies of the consequences of violating the legislation,” Vadim Ampelonsky, a spokesman for Roskomnadzor told Reuters May 21. The agency is responsible for monitoring Russia’s information technology and mass media.

“We realize they are registered under U.S. jurisdiction. But I think in this case, they should demonstrate equal respect to national legislation,” Mr. Ampelonsky said, Reuters reported.

The Russian official added that if companies like Facebook fail to comply with the Kremlin’s demands, then officials “will need to apply sanctions.”

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