Google and the Russian Law: A Mismatch

October 8, 2021

I think this may have been a social visit. You know. A couple of people who wanted to snag a Google mouse pad or one of those blinking Google lapel pins. “Court Marshals Visit Google’s Moscow Office to Enforce Censorship Decision” asserts in “real” news fashion:

In the run-up to Russia’s parliamentary elections on Sept. 17-18-19, the Kremlin’s battle against online dissent brings new developments almost daily. Tech giants are not spared, with Google at the forefront earlier this week. Court marshals visited the company’s Moscow office to enforce an injunctive measure to remove the opposition-minded ‘Smart Vote’ site from search results. This online voting recommendation system was designed by the team of jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny.

Yep, just a casual drop in. Fun. Censorship? I think it depends on whom one asks.

What happened? Google and Apple rolled over. I assume that digital countries understand that real countries have some powers that commercial enterprises lack?

Do you remember when Sergey Brin hoped to ride a Russian rocket into space? Not going to happen this week.

Stephen E Arnold, October 8, 2021


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