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LinkedIn has decided to not comply with data storage regulations in Russia. The confirmation was made by Russia’s communications watchdog on Tuesday. Microsoft’s newly acquired business-social network sent a letter to the watchdog refusing to make changes.

Consequently, LinkedIn is likely to remain banned in Russia. The company informed the communications watchdog with a letter.

“The company has refused to carry out the requirement to move its storage sites holding the personal data of Russian citizens onto the territory of the Russian Federation, thus confirming its lack of interest in working on the Russian market,” regulator Roskomnadzor said in a statement.

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We reported last November on Roskomnadzor’s decision to block the network in Russia. The regulator started a legal procedure against LinkedIn because of new legislation for storage of personal data. Under the new law, companies holding data for Russian citizens must house the data within the country.

Roskomnadzor said it received no meaningful response from LinkedIn. The company argues The company argued that its users “are factually located in the [virtual space] outside the Russian Federation, and provide their personal data there”. LinkedIn denied that it violates any Russian users’ rights since the users voluntarily accept the site’s terms of use.

Reaction

The US government weighed in on the blockade. Maria Olson, the spokeswoman at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, said the government was “deeply concerned”. Olson said that the block sets a “troubling precedent” that could lead to more websites and services being subject to the same rules.

LinkedIn has been unrepentant since the block was enforced. The company has suggested from the start that it would be unwilling to comply with Russia’s decision:

“LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for the entire global workforce. We are starting to hear from members in Russia that they can no longer access LinkedIn. Roskomnadzor’s action to block denies access to the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses. We remain interested in a meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss their data localization request.”

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