linkedin pixabay geralt

Maria Olson, the spokeswoman at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, said the US government urged the Russian authorities to immediately restore access to LinkedIn. She also pointed out that the restrictions harmed both the competition and the Russian people.

“The United States is deeply concerned by Russia’s decision to block access to the website LinkedIn,” Olson said in a statement sent to Reuters. “This decision is the first of its kind and sets a troubling precedent that could be used to justify shutting down any website that contains Russian user data.”

During his visit to Ljubljana, Slovenia, Russian Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov commented on the situation:

“We hope a constructive dialogue can solve this situation. All foreign companies have to act in line with the law and there are many that have no problems with respecting the legislation.”

LinkedIn is the first major social network to be blocked under a new law. It requires that the personal data of the Russian citizens needs to be stored on servers located physically in Russia.

The company responded to its Russian users via an email. The message says that LinkedIn is “considering all possible ways to resolve this situation.”

A new legislation

As we previously reported, the order against LinkedIn was issued by Roskomnadzor, the national communications regulator. The legal procedure against LinkedIn was initiated due to a new legislation regarding the storage of personal data.

According to Roskomnadzor, LinkedIn didn’t provide any “substantial answer” to its two inquiries.

LinkedIn defended itself saying that its users “are factually located in the [virtual space] outside the Russian Federation, and provide their personal data there”. The company denied  it violates any Russian users’ rights since they voluntarily accept the site’s terms of use.

However, LinkedIn failed to meet the requirements set by Roskomnadzor. The Moscow District Court upheld the initial legal ruling from August.

The company issued a statement last week, saying that the decision “has the potential to deny access to LinkedIn for the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses.”