The country has just passed a bill that would allow the government to ban any and all online services that do not store personal data of Russian users on local servers.
And if this is not enough, these companies would not be allowed to send data outside of Russia, unless they are able to provide security and privacy assurance — makes one wonder how these guarantees could be provided in the first place.
Anyway, the first bill that requires personal data of Russians to be stored inside the country has passed the State Duma yesterday, which is the lower house of the Federal Assembly.
If it gets the necessary stamps of approval, then all online services like Facebook, Gmail, Skype, OneDrive, and Office 365 will be forced to find a way to store local data in the country.
And in case the associated companies fail to comply, access to these services will be restricted.
Luckily, they will have until September 2016 to do so, meaning Microsoft and friends have plenty of time to build local datacenters within Mother Russia. However, this is still a big inconvenience for technology companies around the world, and that is without even talking about the costs involved.
Technology giants like Microsoft, Google and Facebook will manage, but there is every possibility that some smaller companies might opt to cease operations in the country instead.
That, or the Russian government might ban and block these sites on their own.