Russia Accuses Google of Meddling in Upcoming Elections

Russian authorities have accused Google of interference in upcoming regional and municipal elections by permitting opposition chief Alexei Navalny to purchase promoting area on YouTube for his movies urging supporters to not vote for officers who’re in favor of controversial pension reform.

Voters in a number of areas go to the polls on Sept. 9 to elect governors, deputies and members of native legislative assemblies. Navalny, who’s serving a 30 day jail sentence for taking part in anti-government protests earlier this 12 months, has referred to as for election day protests in opposition to authorities plans to boost the retirement age.

The Central Election Fee (CEC), Basic Prosecutor’s Workplace, and state media regulator Roskomnadzor despatched written complaints to Google over Navalny’s election-related YouTube advertisements, native information wires reported Monday.

Google bought YouTube in 2006.

“Mr. Navalny buys promoting instruments from Google to place out details about a political mass occasion on Election Day, Sept. 9, on YouTube,” mentioned CEC member Alexander Klyukin in accordance with Interfax.

Navalny’s web site dedicated to the unpopular proposal to boost the retirement age urges viewers: “Don’t vote for officers who help the [pension] reform.”

“A scarcity of a becoming response will likely be, in impact, thought of direct interference in Russia’s inside affairs,” state-run RIA Novosti quoted Roskomnadzor deputy head Vadim Subbotin as saying at a Federation Council assembly.

Deputy Prosecutor Basic Alexei Zhafyarov famous that Google is just not required to answer the complaints, however warned YouTube’s mum or dad firm of doable authorized penalties.

Senior Overseas Ministry official Andrei Nesterenko mentioned U.S. media shops have been “inches” from violating Russian election regulation.

Roskomnadzor quickly blocked YouTube and different Google providers, together with Gmail, this spring after the regulator started imposing a court docket order to limit entry to the Telegram social media platform.

However Roskomnadzor’s Subbotin informed Interfax that the state media regulator doesn’t plan to dam YouTube in Russia over the alleged election interference.

Google informed The Moscow Occasions that whereas it will not touch upon explicit circumstances, “Google will contemplate all legitimate requests from governmental our bodies.” 

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