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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) LinkedIn And Russian Authorities Fail To Reach An Agreement Over Website Access

The social networking platform for professionals, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) LinkedIn, and Russian authorities have not reached an agreement meant to restore access to the site in Russia. This was disclosed on Tuesday by the communications regulator of Russia, Roskomnadzor, and LinkedIn.

“While we believe we comply with all applicable laws, and despite conversations with Roskomnadzor, including meeting with them in Moscow in December 2016, we have been unable to reach an understanding,” a spokesperson for LinkedIn said via email.

Data center location

After the talks were declared unsuccessful by both parties, Roskomnadzor said that the fact that LinkedIn had yet to move the data storage facilities holding Russian users’ data was a confirmation that it was not interested in operating in the Russian Federation.

Access to the LinkedIn website was blocked in Russia after a court declared that the Microsoft-owned firm was guilty of flouting the law. In Russia, firms that hold the data of Russian citizens are required to store the data in data centers that are located within the country’s borders. This is according to a law that was passed in 2014. Many foreign-owned internet firms have yet to comply including Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).

Security services

While the official argument is that the law would enhance the protection of privacy for Russians, storing data on Russian soil would also ease the surveillance activities of security services in Russia. And since in Russia technology companies are required to install backdoors for use by the security services, it would be easier to force foreign-owned internet firms to comply with this aspect when their data centers are located within Russia.

LinkedIn’s website would not the first to be banned in Russia though as the same happened to Wikipedia two years ago. This was because of allegations levelled against the online encyclopedia in which it was accused of promoting use of drugs. The ban, however, only lasted a few days.

Despite not being available in Russia, LinkedIn said that it would still be available in Russian.

In Tuesday’s trading session, shares of Microsoft Corporation edged up by 0.20% to close the day at $64.40 a share.

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