Google has received a hefty fine of $98 million from the Russian government. Government officials are attempting to financially pressure the tech giant into deleting content it deems illegal and harmful. However, much of the content tied to their attempted band is tied to opposition leader Alexei Navalny. According to The Verge, Google will “study the court documents when they are available and then decide on next steps.” With that said, a government official recently told Bloomberg that “very unpleasant measures” will be instituted if Google’s review of court documents doesn’t result in them in complying with Russia’s demands.
This is not the first time that Russia and Google have been at odds. The two entities are currently feuding over the tech company’s decision to ban a Russian news channel from its services. According to Google, the decision to remove RT’s YouTube channels is tied to US and UK sanctions against the channel’s owner. In response, Russia has slowed down the services of Google, Meta and Twitter until the ban is reversed. Additionally, Russia mandated a law that requires smartphones, computers, and TVs come with software from Russian developers pre-installed. Not to mention, Russian officials have reportedly threatened to prosecute locally-based employees of Google and Apple if they did not remove political opponents’ voting apps from their app store.