Google fined in Russia over search results: report

Russia fined tech giant Google 500,000 rubles, or approximately $7,500, on Tuesday for violating a legal requirement to remove certain entries from its search results, according to Reuters.

The fine comes after Moscow declared in November it was opening a civil case against Google after the company failed to join a state registry showing it lists websites banned by the Kremlin for containing illegal information.

ADVERTISEMENT

Alexander Zharov, head of watchdog Roscomnadzor, said Russia could file a new case against Google if it did not join the registry.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who will testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, is expected to tell members that he leads Google “without political bias.”

Pichai will say Tuesday that having a political bias would go against Google’s “core principles and our business interests.”

“We are a company that provides platforms for diverse perspectives and opinions — and we have no shortage of them among our own employees,” he will say, according to a transcript of his remarks released Monday.

Russia has implemented stricter cyber laws over the past several years that require search engines to delete certain search results, as well as mandating messaging services to share encryption keys with intelligence agencies and social networks to store Russian users’ private information on servers in Russia. 

While Google appears to be resisting pressure from Russia, the company faced backlash for considering creating “Dragonfly,” a censored search engine specifically for China.

Google said in November that the company had not yet decided whether to launch the Dragonfly platform, dubbing it “an exploratory project,” and promising that privacy reviews would be completed before any product was launched.