The main events of the week:
Twitter meets Roskomnadzor
On December 8 Alexander Zharov, the head of Roskomnadzor, held a meeting with Twitter’s Vice-President for Global Public Policy, Colin Crowell, and Sinead McSweeney, the Director for Public Policy in EMEA. A press release on Roskomnadzor’s website states that during the meeting with Twitter Russian regulator discussed compliance with new regulations. The parties also agreed to maintain regular communication and Twitter developed a special communication channel for the regulator. Additionally, Twitter created a special contact form for Russian authorities.
Google developers leave Russia
The tech giant confirmed its plan to move Russian engineering office abroad. The decision to move is linked to recent regulatory developments that require all tech companies to have servers within the country and store users’ personal data within Russia. There are approximately 50 engineers employed in Russian offices and Google will offer them an opportunity to move abroad and continue working in a new office. Google also moved from Norway and Sweden.
Bad week for Uber
Uber had a very bad week. All the company’s operations were banned in Spain in accordance with a recent court decision. In addition to the ban in Spain, its operations in New Delhi and Thailand were suspended as well. In New Delhi a woman accused one of the Uber drivers of rape which has caused public outcry. The company was also sued in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland.
London airspace closed
London airspace has been closed for two hours due to the computer system failure. Officials say that there was a power outage at the NATS control center in Swanwick, England. The shutdown affected London’s busiest airports Heathrow and Gatwick as well as Luton, Stansted and London City airport.
A hacker group calling itself the “Guardians of Peace,” or GOP, sent new threats to Sony Pictures Entertainment employees. A warning message was displayed on employees’ computer screens. Last week GOP broke into Sony’s computer systems and obtained access to the company’s documentation, passwords, unreleased movies and personal data. Four movies were leaked to torrent trackers and employees’ medical data has been leaked as well. Further, personal email conversation between Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin were published last week.
Fake accounts are illegal
Russian regulator Roskomnadzor announced that fake social network accounts violate personal data laws. Roskomnadzor explained that accounts using other people’s names and photos are a clear example of illegal use of personal data.
Pirate Bay raided and shut down
The Pirate Bay has been raided and taken down. Swedish police raided a server room in Stockholm and seized servers and computers. The Pirate Bay investigation lasted several years and it is the first time in 7 years the service has been completely taken down.
Google News leaving Spain
Google shut down its News aggregator service in Spain. Recently adopted legislation requires news aggregators to pay taxes on all posts from Spanish media sources. Google shut down Google News in Spain as well as deleting all links from its international news service. New legislation only covers aggregator services and will not affect the search system itself.
Cyber intelligence law
A controversial Cyber Intelligence Bill was adopted by the Congress. The Cyber Intelligence Bill will introduce broader powers of security services allowing them to collect, preserve and share communications information of all citizens without a preliminary court order.
New cybersecurity policy in Lithuania
A new National Centre of Cyber Security will open in Lithuania. It main function is to secure state information, react to cyber threats and advise on improvements to protect critical information. The Centre will have broad powers to surveil and intercept online communications.