Twitter Violates Russian Laws, Roskomnadzor Says

Twitter has been constantly violating the Russian laws, including the government’s fight against extremism according to head of Russia’s federal communications agency, Roskomnadzor. The head of the agency, Alexander Zharov, said it is baffling why Twitter denied Russia’s account information requests while it approved 80 percent of U.S.’ requests.


“A legitimate question arises with Roskomnadzor on whether such a position by a company operating on the Russian territory is acceptable,” Zharov told reporters on Sunday as reported by Reuters.

Russia’s reaction came in the wake of the recently released Transparency Report from Twitter. The company noted a spike in Russia’s account information requests with the country being one of the new countries under this category for 2014.

Russia’s surge in request was particularly noted during the half of 2014 after the authorization of its “bloggers law” in August 2014, Twitter said in its report. Russia had requested for a total of 108 account information “to which we have not provided information,” Twitter said.

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Twitter, on the other hand, granted 80 percent of U.S.’ 1622 requests, involving 3,300 accounts. This made U.S. the most active country in seeking information, comprising 56 percent of all requests received by Twitter.

Turkey became the second most active country with 356 requests that Twitter had also denied. Japan came in next with 288 requests involving 343 accounts of which Twitter granted 36 percent. The United Kingdom came subsequently, followed by Russia. U.K. had 116 requests involving 371 accounts – 35 percent of which was approved by Twitter.

Twitter received account information requests 40 percent higher than the previous reporting period, seeing 128 percent more affected account holders Twitter said. The company assured that it continues to uphold the right to provide notice to the affected users when the company is not otherwise prohibited.

Twitter also received 184 percent more account removal requests from Russia of which it granted 13 percent. However, the social media site refused to remove the accounts of “popular opponents of the Russian government” Zharov said. The agency will send inquiry as to why Twitter had responded that way, Zharov told Sputnik International.

Twitter saw 84 percent more removal requests by mid-2014, affecting 348 percent more accounts with the majority of the requests coming from Turkey, Russia and Germany. Overall, Twitter withheld 85 accounts and 1,982 Tweets in different countries across the globe.