Russia's state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said on Friday that it was taking punitive measures against a string of foreign IT companies including TikTok, Telegram, Zoom, Discord and Pinterest, according to Russian media.
"Roskomnadzor has decided to apply coercive measures against TikTok, Telegram Messenger, Zoom Video Communications, Discord and Pinterest, in the form of informing search engines of Internet users about violations by companies of the requirements of Russian legislation," the state watchdog said in an official statement.
Roskomnadzor further said that the measures were in response to the companies' failure to remove content that it had flagged as illegal, among other offenses, and would remain in place until they complied with Russian federal law.
The current law on internet content obliges large foreign IT companies with a daily audience of 500,000 or more people in the Russian Federation to create full-fledged representative offices in Russia, register a personal account on the watchdog's website and post an electronic form on their resource for feedback from Russian citizens or organizations, according to Russia's Roskomnadzor.
Otherwise, a number of coercive measures are provided for these companies, up to a complete block of provided services in the territory of the Russian Federation, according to Interfax.
"The measures taken will remain in place until the complete elimination of violations of Russian legislation by foreign companies," the department concluded.
"The measures taken will remain in place until the complete elimination of violations of Russian legislation by foreign companies"Roskomnadzor
Russia takes action against foreign IT companies
Russia has repeatedly threatened to fine sites - including Google, that violate harsh new laws criminalizing the spreading of "false information" about the Russian army. Enforcement measures were already introduced against Google and Twitch.
In addition to informing users about alleged violations of Russian federal law in search engines, Google was also banned from advertising its resources on Russian sites, similar actions were taken against Twitch and Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. ("Wikipedia"), according to Tass.
On Tuesday, Russian courts fined US-based live streaming service Twitch 2 million rubles ($33,000) and messenger service Telegram 11 million rubles ($179,000) for violating military censorship laws.
Reuters contributed to this report.