Russian Official Threatens to Block Google

The Russian government has been putting pressure on internet companies in what it has described as a campaign to block harmful content

File photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside in Moscow, Russia, December 3, 2018.
Alexei Nikolsky,AP

A Russian communications official has threatened to block Google in Russia unless it complies with a law banning certain websites.

The Russian government has been putting pressure on internet companies in what it has described as a campaign to block harmful content. Russia adopted a law in September requiring search engines to comply with the state registry of banned websites and omit the banned content from search results.

While the registry does contain websites promoting hate speech and self-harm it also includes a plethora of websites blacklisted for explicitly political reasons, such as a Ukrainian news website.

Russian news agencies on Wednesday quoted deputy Communications Oversight Agency chief Vitaly Subbotin as saying that authorities may push for amendments that would let them block search engines like Google if they fail to comply with Russian law.