Russia opens civil cases against Facebook, Twitter

The communication watchdog claims Facebook and Twitter had not explained how and when they would comply with legislation that requires all servers used to store Russians’ personal data to be located in the country. (AFP)
Updated 21 January 2019

Russia opens civil cases against Facebook, Twitter

  • Russia has introduced tougher Internet laws in the past five years
  • Moscow plans to impose stiffer fines on technology firms that fail to comply with Russian laws

MOSCOW: Russia’s communication watchdog said on Monday it was opening administrative proceedings against Twitter and Facebook for failing to explain how they plan to comply with local data laws, the Interfax news agency reported.
Roskomnadzor, the watchdog, was quoted as saying that Twitter and Facebook had not explained how and when they would comply with legislation that requires all servers used to store Russians’ personal data to be located in Russia.
The agency’s head, Alexander Zharov, was quoted as saying the companies have a month to provide information or else action would be taken against them.
Russia has introduced tougher Internet laws in the past five years, requiring search engines to delete some search results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services and social networks to store Russian users’ personal data on servers within the country.
At the moment, the only tools Russia has to enforce its data rules are fines that typically only come to a few thousand dollars or blocking the offending online services, which is an option fraught with technical difficulties.
However, sources in November said that Moscow plans to impose stiffer fines on technology firms that fail to comply with Russian laws.


Reuters TV crew hit by rubber bullets as police disperse Minneapolis protesters

Updated 31 May 2020

Reuters TV crew hit by rubber bullets as police disperse Minneapolis protesters

  • ‘A police officer that I’m filming turns around points his rubber-bullet rifle straight at me’

MINNEAPOLIS: Two members of a Reuters TV crew were hit by rubber bullets and injured in Minneapolis on Saturday night when police moved into an area occupied by about 500 protesters in the southwest of the city shortly after the 8 p.m. curfew.
Footage taken by cameraman Julio-Cesar Chavez showed a police officer aiming directly at him as police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd.
“A police officer that I’m filming turns around points his rubber-bullet rifle straight at me,” said Chavez.
Minutes later, Chavez and Reuters security adviser Rodney Seward were struck by rubber bullets as they took cover at a nearby gas station.
On footage captured as they ran for safety, several shots are heard ringing out and Seward yells, “I’ve been hit in the face by a rubber bullet.”
Asked about the incident, Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder requested a copy of the video and made no immediate comment.
Seward is seen in later footage being treated by a medic near the scene for a deep gash under his left eye. Both men sustained injuries to their arms, and Chavez was hit in the back of the neck.
The Reuters journalists were clearly identified as members of the news media. Chavez was holding a camera and wearing his press pass around his neck. Seward was wearing a bullet proof vest with a press label attached.
The incident was the latest attack on a journalist covering the protests that have erupted around the United States after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
A black CNN journalist was arrested on camera while covering the protests in Minneapolis on Friday.
A Louisville, Kentucky, television reporter yelled, “I’m getting shot” as she was seen live on camera on Friday being hit by what appeared to be a pepper ball. The Louisville Metro Police Department apologized for that incident.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, according to the New York Times, had received about 10 reports involving journalists during the recent protesting, ranging from assaults to menacing.