- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Twitter is appealing a Russian court ruling that found the company in violation of the country’s controversial data localization law, regional media reported Wednesday.

Interfax reported that Twitter has asked the Tagansky Court of Moscow to reverse a recent decision that risks potentially culminating in the company being blacklisted by Russian internet regulators.

Handed down on April 5, the original ruling found Twitter in violation of legislation requiring companies to domestically store the data of Russian users and give the government specific details about how that information is handled.

Twitter was fined 3,000 rubles, or roughly $50, but could be banned completely if it fails to comply.

Yulia Sukhinina, a spokesperson for the court, said that Twitter has challenged the ruling but that proceedings for its appeal have not yet been scheduled, Interfax reported.

Twitter declined to comment when reached by The Washington Times.

Enacted in 2015, the Russian data localization law has seldom been used in the years since against U.S. companies. LinkedIn was banned for failing to comply in 2016, however, and last year regulators ramped up efforts to bring both Twitter and Facebook up to snuff.

Roskomnadzor, the Russian government’s internet and media watchdog, sent letters to Twitter and Facebook in December asking each company to outline the specific steps they planned to take to adhere with the data localization law. Both companies responded in January, but their answers “did not contain specific information about the localization of databases of Russian users in the territory of the Russian Federation or about the time frame for such localization of databases to occur,” the head of Roskomnadzor, Alexander Zharov, said previously.

Facebook was found guilty of breaching the data localization law and fined the same amount as Twitter on April 12. The social network did not immediately return a message about any potential plans to appeal.

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