7 Feb 2019 09:20

Google removing 70% of links to websites banned in Russia - newspaper

MOSCOW. Feb 7 (Interfax) - The U.S. search engine Google has started to remove search links to websites that are banned in Russia, the newspaper Vedomosti reported on Thursday.

The newspaper said it has been informed about it by an employee of a major Internet company, and a source in Russia's telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor has confirmed this information.

Vedomosti said that, according to the source, Google "is not removing all of the links listed in the register at this point, but a majority of them - around 70%."

"A source close to Google has also confirmed that the company is currently removing part of links listed in the register. But it is not an automatic process - the company is looking into the grounds based on which this or that website was banned," the newspaper said.

Representatives of Google and Roskomnadzor have officially declined to comment on reports about the removal of search links, Vedomosti said.

The list of websites access to which Russian providers have been ordered to limit is compiled by Roskomnadzor. This register includes websites that contain calls for extremism, pro-suicide propaganda, pornography, etc. Since November 2017, search engines have also been obliged to remove links to banned websites from search results. Google's long-time reluctance to filter search results in accordance with these norms drew repeated complaints from Roskomnadzor, Vedomosti said.