Russian officials said they are considering a ban on Facebook for the start of 2018 unless the social network is willing to comply with the country's new privacy and user protection rules.
Russia previously banned LinkedIn for the same reason in November 2016. According to the country's new laws, Facebook must store data on Russian users on servers located in Russia, and not move information overseas.
"We will make sure the law is complied with, or the company will stop working in the Russian Federation," said Alexander Zharov, head of communications regulator Roskomnadzor — Russia's privacy watchdog — told Interfax yesterday.
"There are no exceptions here," he added. "The law is obligatory for all."
Zharov says that Facebook will have to comply with the new law by the start of 2018, or it could be banned.
Roskomnadzor — Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media — manages a list of banned sites that local ISPs must block. It has previously used this list to temporarily block other major websites such as Wikipedia, Reddit, or PornHub.
Zharov also said that Twitter has already agreed to the demands of Russian officials and has informed Roskomnadzor that it plans to move data on Russian users on Russian servers by mid-2018.
In another part of the globe, Chinese authorities have finished implementing a ban on Facebook's WhatsApp IM client.
Chinese officials began blocking WhatsApp in mid-July when they managed to stop the sending of files and images and later blocked WhatsApp video calls.
Now, according to a recent report, Chinese censors appear to have upgraded the country's Great Firewall (GFW) technology to detect and block the NoiseSocket protocol that WhatsApp uses to send text messages, completing the ban.
Officials did not provide an official reason for the ban, but it may be related to WhatsApp adding support for encrypted conversations that China's famous state surveillance apparatus cannot break.
Also this week, South Korean officials said they were pondering a ban on Tumblr after the company refused to remove pornographic content from its network.
According to local reports, Tumblr received 22,468 requests from the Korean government from January to June related to pornographic content hosted on its blogs but rejected all requests claiming it was based in the US, had no physical presence in the country, and wasn't subject to Korean laws.
"We will consider blocking Tumblr if the problem becomes serious,"
said Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) Vice Chairman Heo Wook on Tuesday.
Heo also pointed out that Tumblr is famous for its loose policies and that's one of the reasons why the social network is now filled with adult-themed blogs. KCSC said that around 10% of Tumblr's entire content is of pornographic nature.