Google and Apple complied with the demands of the Russian authorities and the LinkedIn app is no longer available in the local app stores. Both iPhone and Android devices can no longer download the professional networking application.
LinkedIn was blocked in Russia for violating laws ordering internet firms to store all information about Russian citizens inside the country's borders. Google and Apple were in a bind but the tech giants had to comply with the country's demands.
Russia's move to deprive it citizens with services of a web provider does not come as a surprise. Following China's move to block The New York Times app, governments are showing that they can still sway tech companies. Although Google and Apple are supporters of free speech and open internet policies, they had to comply with China's, and now, Russia's demand.
A report by The New York Times confirmed that Apple was asked to remove the app about a month ago. The paper also asked for a statement from Google but the company chose not to confirm anything although they explained that the company complies with the local laws in countries where they operate.
LinkedIn is quite popular in Russia. The app has millions of users in the country and prohibiting access to this networking service could affect both companies and employees. The ruling to block LinkedIn came as a surprise to many people. Although Russia has a law against storing information about its citizens in servers outside the country. LinkedIn is not the only company with these practices but it is the only one sanctioned.
The internet law in Russia has been ignored for years and it was the first time that authorities imposed a heavy fine on violators. As reported by The Verge, this could be due to the tension between Russia and the U.S. Just a few weeks back, U.S. authorities accused Russia of rigging the presidential elections on the orders of Pres. Vladimir Putin. This could have been the reason for the demands made on Apple and Google to remove LinkedIn.