The Russian government is preparing to block LinkedIn, the networking website favoured by professionals and business people.
“The access will be shut within days,” said Vadim Ampelonskiy, spokesman for Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications regulator, in comments reported by The Washington Post, which was quoting a Bloomberg story.
“LinkedIn failed to provide documents on moving personal databases to Russia,” added Ampelonskiy.
Russian law stipulates that websites such as LinkedIn which have huge amounts of personal user information store that data in the country, not beyond its borders.
Russian authorities had made LinkedIn aware of this, and had also notified similar services run by Google, eBay, Booking.com and Uber, all of which have taken steps to move their data to Russian territory.
Only LinkedIn seems to have fallen foul of Roskomnadzor’s directives.
In a statement published on The Washington Post website, LinkedIn was quoted as saying:
“The Russian court’s decision has the potential to deny access to LinkedIn for the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses.”
The data curtain
More than 100 million people in Russia use the internet, out of a total population of 140 million, according to Internet Live Stats.
And, according to Statista.com, the number of registered members LinkedIn members in Russia stands at more than 5 million.
This is a fraction of the total number of social network users in the country, which Statista estimates at 72 million.
However, 5 million is still a significant number of users and Russia is LinkedIn’s 14th largest market by this criteria.
While it’s probably the leading website for professional and business networkers, Twitter is the third-largest social media website in the world overall, with more than 300 million users, according to some reports.
But here is the top 10 according to eBizMBA.com:
- Facebook – 1.1 billion users
- YouTube – 1 billion users
- Twitter – 310 million users
- LinkedIn – 255 million users
- Pinterest – 250 million users
- Google Plus – 120 million users
- Tumblr – 110 million users
- Instagram – 100 million users
- Reddit – 85 million users
- VK – 80 million users
LinkedIn was recently bought by Microsoft for $26 billion, possibly as part of the software giant’s plan to integrate a number of services – including Skype – into one enterprise package.