World Bulletin / News Desk
Alexander Zharov, head of the Federal Communications Agency, or Roskomnadzor, said at a press conference that Facebook must comply with a controversial 2014 law requiring foreign companies to store data on Russian citizens on servers located in Russia.
“The law is mandatory for everyone,” said Zharov. “Roskomnadzor will be forcing foreign internet companies to comply or shut down in the country.”
Some cybersecurity experts have raised concerns that the law, known as Law No. 242, opens companies up to penetration by Russian intelligence agencies. But many technology firms have complied, including Alibaba, Alphabet and eBay. Others, like Facebook and Twitter, have been notable standouts.
When making his remarks Tuesday, Zharov said Twitter had agreed to comply with the law by the middle of 2018.
Zharov blocked Russian access to popular business social network LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, last November for not following the law.
He called Facebook a “unique service” but said the government would shut down access within a year if it did not start storing data locally.
"That will certainly happen in 2018,” he said.
Facebook did not return a request for comment.
As relations between the United States and Russia has deteriorated over the past few years, the latter has focused on reducing its dependence on foreign tech services. The government has been developing a clone of messaging service WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, for Russian officials.
Earlier this month, Facebook announced that an operation out of Russia spent an estimated $100,000 on some 3,000 political ads on the platform in the U.S. during the 2016 presidential election.
Shares of Facebook dropped in midday trading Tuesday amid the Russia news but closed up 0.82 percent compared to the previous day’s close.
Trump administration makes request following backlash over its immigration policy
President says he will take ‘preemptive’ action to halt the actions that have drawn widespread criticism
Al-Sadr’s Sairoon bloc fails to form governing coalition with Al-Wataniya, National Wisdom Movement
Top Trump advisers arrive in Cairo after earlier stops in Jordan, Saudi Arabia
Official results of May 12 elections have been dogged by controversy
Muhammed Ebu Dekka was wounded by Israeli gunfire on May 14, says Palestinian Health Ministry
Protestors march from Bryant Park to United Nations headquarters
U.S. withdrew from UN rights council, accusing it of being hypocritical and biased against Israel
New rule is latest effort by Trump to dismantle former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act
Foreigners buy over 2,400 houses, marking a 36.1 percent rise year-on-year, according to official report
Over 1.4 million Turkish expats have cast their votes
Antonio Guterres 'would have much preferred for the United States to remain in the Human Rights Council,' spokesman says
Long sentence would set ‘strong precedent’ against Islamophobia
"Officials do not want to report these crimes," Trump says without presenting any evidence
Israeli national security adviser meets Russian counterpart in Moscow to discuss Syrian developments