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The court’s press staff did not provide any information on the offending text in its announcement. This is the first time in the history of Russia that a technology behemoth has been fined based on its annual revenue. According to the AFP news agency, Google will analyze the court’s decision before taking any further action. This year, Russian authorities have stepped up their pressure on tech companies, accusing them of not adequately filtering their material and interfering in the country’s internal affairs.

Hours after the Google verdict, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, was fined 2 billion rubles for similar content-related violations. Twitter was fined 3 million rubles earlier last week for similar offenses. This isn’t the first time Google has had a run-in with Russian authorities over content rules. In May, Russia’s media watchdog threatened to throttle Google’s speed unless it removed 26,000 instances of illegal content relating to drugs, violence, and extremism.

President Vladimir Putin has pushed for the creation of a “sovereign internet,” which would allow the government to have more control over what information its citizens have access to. Russia has been accused by critics of exploiting the campaign to suppress free speech and online opposition.

Hundreds of websites affiliated to imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, whose campaign groups have been labeled “extremist,” have been blacklisted by the country’s media regulator. An app dedicated to Navalny’s “Smart Voting” campaign, which gave users guidance on tactical voting to defeat Kremlin-aligned MPs, was also ordered to be removed by Google and Apple.

Websites like LinkedIn and Dailymotion have already been stopped for refusing to cooperate with authorities, and six major VPN providers have been banned. VPNs enable users hide their online activities. Russia also passed a new rule earlier this year requiring all new cellphones, PCs, and smart gadgets sold in the nation to be pre-loaded with Russian-developed software and apps.

The change, according to the administration, will help Russian tech firms compete with overseas competitors.

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