Russian Federation

[RU] Foreign IT giants receive special law

IRIS 2021-8:1/32

Andrei Richter

Comenius University (Bratislava)

On 1 July 2021 a law was signed into force by the President, with an aim to provide “equal conditions of work for Russian and foreign entities on the territory of the Russian Federation” (Article 2). It foresees that all Internet companies, including social media, that service (daily) at least 500 000 users in Russia and do it through: (1) either providing resources in Russian (or other languages of the RF), or (2) publishing advertising targeting customers in Russia, or (3) processing personal data of clients from Russia, or (4) receiving monetary means from Russian individuals and legal entities, shall open their official branches, representative offices or subsidiaries with a direct online account with Roskomnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) and strictly follow the norms of the Russian law (Article 4). 

A failure to comply with this requirement shall result in sanctions on the foreign entity such as a ban on advertising by or on this entity, a ban on search results with its resources, a ban on personal data concerning trans-border transfers, limitation of money transactions, a partial or complete ban on access to the services provided (Article 9).


  • Federal Statute on the activities of foreign entities in information-telecommunication network, "the Internet" on the territory of the Russian Federation, N236-FZ of 1 July 2021

This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.