US embassy and Sberbank lead objections as LinkedIn is banned

LinkedIn yesterday became the first major social network to fall foul of the Russian authorities when the country’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor  ordered public access to its website to be blocked.  The Interfax news agency is reporting that the proscription will come into effect in the next 24 hours while Rostelcom, has reeported that  it had already blocked access. MTS and Vimpelcom, confirmed that  they would be following suit  within the allotted time frame.
Although LinkedIn has confirmed that it is receiving reports from some of its six million Russian subscribers that their  access had been blocked, it has not yet affected those of them using their mobile applications to log on, according to the Russian banking and financial services company  Sberbank which has been among the first major companies to voice concerns over the commercial  implications of the ban.
“Blocking LinkedIn will significantly complicate the work of Sberbank,” a press officer said. “We anticipate significant difficulties on the part of the bank recruiters, and potential candidates…We think that for a number of professions the search for candidates will increase by 1-3 days for one position, recruiters’ duties will grow and we might have to use agencies more often.”
The ban has been imposed after LinkedIn was found guilty of violating 2014 data storage legislation  stipulating that the personal data of Russians can only be processed and stored in Russia. The company appealed against the decision last week, but this was rejected by the Moscow City Court. The Kremlin said that the decision was legal and that President Vladimir Putin did not plan to interfere in the case.
Critics of the move are claiming that this is  the beginning of a concerted attack on the free dissemination  of information in Russia, and  the United States  was also  “deeply concerned” its US Embassy’s spokesperson in Moscow Maria Olson said earlier today.
“This decision is the first of its kind and sets a troubling precedent that could be used to justify shutting down any website that contains Russian user data. We urge Russia to restore access immediately to LinkedIn,” she said.”We will continue to work with LinkedIn and other U.S. companies labouring under this and other anti-competitive and counterproductive market restrictions imposed by the Russian Government to the detriment of the Russian people,” she stressed. 

Source: tass