A Russian court fined WhatsApp messaging service Meta Platforms and Snap Inc, owner of Snapchat, accused of refusing to store Russian users’ data in the country, news agencies reported.
Moscow has clashed with tech giants over content, censorship, data and local representation in disputes that have escalated since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24.
A Moscow court fined WhatsApp 18 million rubles ($301,255) and Snap Inc 1 million rubles, news agencies reported.
Russia restricted access to Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms, as well as its Twitter network, shortly after the start of the conflict in Ukraine, a move critics say is an attempt by Russia to exert greater control over the flow of information.
Meta was found guilty of “extremist activity” in Russia and its appeal against that decision was rejected in June, but Moscow has allowed WhatsApp to remain available.
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