Russia fines Twitter, Facebook for keeping data abroad

A Moscow court fined social networking giants Twitter and Facebook for ignoring a Russian law requiring them to store Russian citizens' user data inside the country.

The court slapped the U.S-based companies with fines of about $63,000 for failing to move their servers containing data of Russian users into Russia, Russian news agencies reported.

They have 10 days to appeal.

Both companies have been in a long-running dispute with Russia's Internet watchdog 'Roskomnadzor' since a 2014 law passed requiring messaging services, search engines and social networking sites to store Russian data inside Russia.

Russia has already blocked the Telegram messaging app and LinkedIn professional network, although the former remains widely accessible in the country.

Twitter and Facebook are widely used by the political opposition in Russia and activists have expressed concern that locating data inside Russia will make them vulnerable to prosecution.

(with news agency inputs)