Facebook did not pay a fine of 3 thousand rubles. for refusing to provide Roskomnadzor with information on the localization of data from Russian users. According to lawyers, in order to recover money from a company that does not have an office in Russia, it will be necessary to institute proceedings in California jurisdiction. Roskomnadzor did not have any real tools to put pressure on foreign social networks besides the threat of blocking, experts say.
Facebook did not comply with a court decision to pay a fine of 3 thousand rubles, two sources told Kommersant. A decision on a fine in a lawsuit filed by Roskomnadzor was issued on April 12 by a justice of the peace plot No. 422 in the Tagansky district of Moscow for refusing to provide information on the localization of data from Russian users. As TASS stated in the Tagansky court, the decision entered into force on June 25, the company had 60 days to voluntarily pay a fine. “Now that the deadline has passed, the bailiffs will take charge, but it’s not yet clear how to get the money: the company has no assets in Russia, the closest infrastructure is in Eastern Europe,” explains one of Kommersant’s interlocutors.
“There is no information on the execution of the court order in the case file, the court sent the necessary requests, an answer is expected,” the court told Kommersant. The Federal Bailiff Service (FSSP) did not respond; Roskomnadzor declined to comment. Facebook did not respond to the request. Earlier, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said that the social network will refuse to store user data in states that violate human rights, and is ready to block in these countries.
The Facebook audience in Russia in June, according to Mediascope, amounted to 41.8 million people - so many Russians aged 12–64 enter the social network from desktop computers and smartphones at least once a month.
Twitter, reported in early August in Roskomnadzor, paid a fine of 3 thousand rubles., Imposed by the same court on April 5. After that, at the end of August, a social network through a lawyer filed a complaint with the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, a decision on it has not yet been made. According to the case file, Roskomnadzor, in particular, demanded from social networks a certified block diagram of the location of places where data is stored, a contract for the sale of server capacities or a copy of the lease for a data center in the Russian Federation.
Placing Twitter and Facebook servers for storing personal data in the Russian Federation will mean that there will be points to which Russian law enforcement officers will be able to request information about the user, so companies are not keen to fulfill the requirements, said Karen Ghazaryan, a leading analyst at the Russian Electronic Communications Association.
“Steps towards Russian regulation, which is rarely perceived as liberal in the world, can play against the image of Facebook. Ultimately, in the event of increased pressure from the corporation, it will probably be easier to give up work in the Russian Federation, as the Russian Facebook audience is less than 1% of the global, ”said Internet Ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev. But we can hardly talk about a fundamental decision on non-payment of a fine, he said. “I think it’s simpler: the company that doesn’t even have a Russian office simply didn’t get the demand,” Mr. Marinichev explains. In his opinion, in the absence of a further reaction of Facebook to claims, more aggressive actions of Roskomnadzor can be expected, up to large fines and the threat of blockages.
Questions have accumulated on Facebook, for example, the network is less likely than others to execute decisions by the authorities to remove illegal content, but so far the decision to block has not been discussed, a Kommersant source familiar with the situation says.
The Code of Administrative Offenses provides for the possibility of collecting a fine from a foreign person who does not have assets in Russia on the basis of an international agreement, but now the Russian Federation is not in such agreements, notes Anastasia Rastorgueva, managing partner of the Barshchevsky and Partners board. “The FSSP does not have authority in the United States, with which Russia has not signed a single convention on the recognition and enforcement of judgments,” confirms Alexey Sirenko, managing partner of Yusters. In his opinion, in order to recover a fine, Roskomnadzor will have to initiate a lawsuit in California jurisdiction.