Roskomnadzor forces Google to remove links to online casinos from search results

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The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) opened an administrative case against Google for the IT giant’s refusal to connect to the register of banned sites. Access to this database is necessary for search engines in order, in accordance with the current legislation, to exclude sites prohibited in Russia from search results, which include pages with online casinos.

According to Russian law, resources blacklisted by Roskomnadzor must not only be blocked by Internet service providers, but also removed from search results so that users cannot use links to go to the site using special plugins, anonymizers and VPNs. At the end of September 2018, amendments to the Code of Administrative Offenses came into force, according to which a fine can be issued for failure to comply with this provision of the law. Google is currently facing a fine of 500,000 to 700,000 rubles. The owners of the IT giant can avoid punishment if the search engine is connected to the information system of Roskomnadzor before December 11 and starts filtering search results more strictly. In 2018, Roskomnadzor stepped up its activities to block sites with prohibited information, which include online casinos and unlicensed betting resources. Every month, thousands of sites are blacklisted by the regulator, most of which are working mirrors of online casinos. Roskomnadzor regularly updates the list of blocked resources. In the first half of 2018 alone, access to 22 thousand pages with illegal bets and gambling was restricted in Russia.

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