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LinkedIn-Russia: US Says Concerned Over Decision to Block Professional Networking Site (ndtv.com) 95

The US government said on Friday it was deeply concerned over Russia's decision to block public access to networking site LinkedIn, saying it created a precedent that could be used to justify blocking other sites operating in Russia. From a report: LinkedIn, which has its headquarters in the United States, is the first major social network to be blocked under a new law that requires firms holding Russian citizens' data to store it on servers on Russian soil. Internet services analysts say other tech firms, including Facebook and Twitter, could also find access blocked unless they move data onto Russian-based servers. Maria Olson, spokeswoman at the US Embassy in Moscow, said Washington urged the Russian authorities to restore access immediately to LinkedIn, and said the restrictions harmed competition and the Russian people. "The United States is deeply concerned by Russia's decision to block access to the website LinkedIn," Olson said in a statement sent to Reuters. "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."
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LinkedIn-Russia: US Says Concerned Over Decision to Block Professional Networking Site

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  • Honest doubt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ruir ( 2709173 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @03:04PM (#53316489)
    What the hell has USA to do with the will of a sovereign country? Are you fucking joking with us?
    • Because RUSSIA!!!!!

      and TRUMP!!!!!!

    • Re:Honest doubt (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @03:19PM (#53316675)

      There is a powerful segment of opinion, mostly among the rich and influential in the USA and elsewhere, that nation states are on the way out, to be superseded by some vague but wonderful world society. Rather less wonderfully, two forces look set to take over the power and authority that nation states are supposed to relinquish: multinational corporations and the US government. (Those two forces, of course, are far from separate and in fact are heavily intertwined). These ideas are associated with the so-called "neocon" movement.

      In this particular case the argument is that the Russian government has no right to insist that its citizens' data must be stored only in Russia. Information wants to be free! As for what right the US government has to dictate to the Russian government, well that is the issue that is being tried right now. If the Russians had stood for LinkedIn's previous practices, that would have been one tiny step away from national sovereignty and towards the rule of corporations. (As prefigured by TTP and TTIP). Now that the Russians have come out against the practices, Washington denounces them for being petty tyrants.

      The only national government that is not scheduled for destruction under this scheme is, of course, the US government. Well, someone needs to be at the wheel while the world undergoes creative destruction! Thus the US government is the only one that stands relatively unchallenged by corporate power. Perhaps, gradually and almost imperceptibly, the US government might shade into a world government. However, the recent moves by the BRICS and others to reduce their reliance on and commitment to elements of the Washington-centric world structure, such as the IMF, the World Bank, and the ICC, suggests that many national governments are fully aware of the plan for their dissolution, and have no intention of going quietly into that good night.

      • I'll buy that when I'm allowed to move to the US and/work for US companies. Until that happens, this globalization shit is nonsense coming from them.
        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          You'll be buying nothing, you are the one to be bought and sold. The US government is already owned by multinational corporations and those corporations are just using the US government that they already own, to extend their ownership to all the other nations across the globe and basically enslave everyone. Real full fledged delusional nut burgers, they call people crazy when that is pointed out because yes that stuff is crazy but they still try to do it. It's simply time to get those crazies out of executi

    • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @03:31PM (#53316809)
      Russia simple said that if you store citizens social media information for that country then you have to do it in that country. Considering the abuses that data is subject to when it is stored in the United States, it is had to say that such a requirement isn't reasonable. Not that I trust Russia to not commit the same or similar abuses, but the Obama administration is completely hypotricital in saying that Russia is in the wrong here.
      • Worse, if Russia had signed a "free trade" agreement with the U.S., Russia's actions could be considered wrong.
      • This line of argument is as wrongheaded as the line of argument used to justify government mandating minimum wage.

        You see, minimum wage is the limit on minimum ability. It is not about a company being forced to pay some minimum to the lowest hires, it is about the overall plank for the lowest hires to be set at a certain ability that corresponds to the minimum wage. This means that the lowest runs of economic ladder are kicked from under the people who are at the bottom of it.

        Minimum wage prevents people

    • Not just that, why is the US involved in what is essentially a transaction b/w a foreign country and a multinational corporation, like Microsoft? And how does it affect US national interests regardless of whether or not LinkedIn is banned?
    • What the hell has USA to do with the will of a sovereign country? Are you fucking joking with us?

      Linked in is an embarrassment to the Russian government, as it leaks out information about US salaries, and US standards of living and job opportunities that the Russia does not provide to the general population.

  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @03:09PM (#53316569)

    The rationale is that LinkedIn has not promised to keep personal information about Russian citizens on servers that are physically in Russia. The government believes that information on Russian citizens should be stored in Russia only. That seems a reasonable principle for a government to follow.

    • It's not reasonable if I have it right. Slashdot probably has "personal data" about Russian users, but is not intentionally stored in Russia. It's a law completely at odds with the global, distributed nature of the internet.

      • Unless you want some of that internet distributed to you.
        • It will do a little of that, but I suspect the consequences will lean heavily toward even more speech suppression of the Russian people.

          • Gotta keep that unemployment rate high by cutting off the job contacts!
            • "19 Oct 2016 - Russian unemployment rate was recorded at 5.6 percent in May of 2016, down from 5.9 percent in the previous month. The figure came below market expectations of 5.8 percent and was the lowest October 2015. The number of unemployed people decreased by 217 thousand to 4.3 million". http://www.tradingeconomics.co... [tradingeconomics.com]

              • And they'll be able to reverse that trend by eliminating one of the top professional job sites.
                • by Cederic ( 9623 )

                  Nonsense. LinkedIn is used as a recruitment aid but it's a single website and not even the first one I'd go to for job hunting.

                  When it's not the first one anybody would go to (in Russia) then others will step in and provide the needed services.

                  • We covered that earlier in the thread, where I said they want some of that internet business brought to Russia to cover the gap.
          • And? That is their problem to deal with.
            • I'm inclined to agree, but it's also reasonable to care about the freedoms of all people rather than just the small arbitrary group that you were born into.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      No.... a reasonable principle for a government to follow would be to require warnings, and let people make the choice; it's their personal information after all, they should be able to make informed consent, and accept the risk (to derive the gain), if they want.

      Also... a reasonable protest would be to have an Internet-wide blackout where millions of the US-based websites that are most popular in Russia will of their own free will block access to all Russian IP addresses in protest of the censorship, a

  • by kaatochacha ( 651922 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @03:18PM (#53316667)

    Run everything from wherever the hell you're currently doing it. Have a synched copy on a server in Russia that's encrypted up the wazoo. Never use it for live traffic.

    • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @03:34PM (#53316833)

      Yes, they'll never notice. Russians know absolutely nothing about computing.

      • Yes, they'll never notice. Russians know absolutely nothing about computing.

        This comment made my day, thank you sir :)

    • by dj245 ( 732906 )

      Run everything from wherever the hell you're currently doing it. Have a synched copy on a server in Russia that's encrypted up the wazoo. Never use it for live traffic.

      Is that really necessary? With current CDN technologies/strategies, would it not be a simple affair to put all Russia-based user data on a Russian server and pull it from there? The copy (nonlive version) could still be in the US or wherever. It's not as if I'm going to care about an extra 3 seconds of page loading time for the just-about-never times that I look at Russian Linkedin user profiles.

      The law is still stupid but it doesn't sound particularly difficult to comply either.

  • that it didn't think of it first.
  • The real issue here is censorship and control. Russia, like many countries, wants the ability to censor and control the Internet, and like all such countries, finds that they can't pass laws to do that because the Internet isn't always inside their borders. Therefore they want to force all companies accessible over the Internet within Russia to be physically present within Russia proper, so that if they decide they want to censor them, rifle through their stored data, or shut them down completely, they only
    • by HBI ( 604924 )

      It's no different than China's policy, really. Or North Korea's. The difference is that Russia has more economic power than the NKs but less than the Chinese.

      This goodness is spreading around the globe, though, so expecting Russia to be the last place this happens would be foolish.

    • I do however very much question the actions of Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.

      Just to help you make yourself just a tad clearer: why do you "question the actions of Vladimir Putin and the Russian government"? What specific things have they done that make you so suspicious of them?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Most ironic post ever.
      The real issue here is censorship and control. The US, like many countries, wants the ability to censor and control the Internet, and like all such countries gets fucked off when another country refuses to allow it to spy on their citizens.

      Remember that Russian media is State-controlled

      Yes, totally unlike the corporate-controlled American media.
      ANYONE who thinks for a second that the US media didn't collude to...
      -stop Ron Paul from having a chance at becoming president
      -stop Burnie Sanders from having a chance at becoming president
      -

      • Gee, all that angry-sounding commenting might have been relevant if I had ever said anything whatsoever about the U.S. government or U.S.-based corporations, but I didn't now did I? By all means, go right ahead and keep embarassing yourself though by attempting to redirect the subject of the conversation away from Russia.
    • I believe it has more to do with Five Eyes [wikipedia.org] spying than with censorship. Intelligence agencies go to great lengths to map relationships between individuals using communication metadata. LinkedIn is a gold mine for this collected and categorized relationship data and the Five Eyes have complete access to it while Russia doesn't.
  • ... UK laws requiring data and operations to be physically located there?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      ... UK laws requiring data and operations to be physically located there?

      When the NSA calls up MI6 and asks for data from UK servers they get what they want. Somehow I don't think they get the same response when they ask FSB for data from Russia servers.

      And that's the difference.

      • My point is, surveillance and politics are already a reality that many US companies are dealing with the in UK. I understand companies not wanting to put an office in every country that enacts this kind of law, but if this is a corporate problem, why is the US government reaching out to Russia?
  • We should block LinkedIn here in the US too.

  • Honestly, having LinkedIn blocked is the least of the worries that US should have about Russia.

    They installed a sympathetic president. I would say they have good enough professional network.

  • Because USA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 18, 2016 @05:43PM (#53318165)

    ... to block public access to networking site LinkedIn ...

    Don't complain when Russia blocks sex-ed and homosexual web-sites, the USA's been there. Nor when foreign cooked foodstuffs are banned, the USA (and other countries) have been there.

    Russia has also banned yoga for being a religion, street-side bible-bashing and George Soros in the name of national security, US bureaucrats, Microsoft software and foreign GMO foodstuffs (a mostly US export).

    Despite the obvious anti-US sentiment, the US government complains only when the daily correspondence of Russian residents can't be copied to US servers. That nicely reveals US priorities.

  • by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @10:29PM (#53319879)
    Why is the US so concerned about LinkedIn being banned from Russia? Many US services are based from China, which is a much larger market than Russia, so why do they bother here?
  • It's a filter to filter out the people you don't want to have as employees. For example it constantly bugs you to give them your e-mail accounts so it can get your contacts!

Given its constituency, the only thing I expect to be "open" about [the Open Software Foundation] is its mouth. -- John Gilmore

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