LinkedIn is becoming LinkedOut, at least in Russia.
Our friend Vladimir Putin passed a law in 2014 that said that any company that operates in Russia needs to store it’s user’s data in country. Most U.S. companies protested against it, although it is believed that a few have an architecture that allows them to do that.
LinkedOut is not one of those companies, apparently.
Yesterday a Russian court ruled that LinkedIn violated this law and today Russian Internet providers have begun blocking LinkedIn.
Putin claims the reason for doing this is to protect their citizen’s privacy. After all, Russia and Putin are known to have a keen concern for their citizens and, especially, for their citizen’s privacy.
An alternative reason might be to make it easier for the KGB to spy on and to hack into dissident’s conversations. However, that would be at odds with Putin’s desire to protect his citizen’s privacy, so that can’t be the real reason.
In any case, LinkedIn is quickly becoming LinkedOut.
From a revenue standpoint, these social networks do not want to lose any users, so I am sure that are trying to figure out a way to deal with it. Surely, the Kremblin hopes these companies come on their hands and knees, begging for another chance.
Some companies thought that Putin was just kidding, but maybe not.
The other thing that Putin is requiring is that anyone using encryption turn over his or her encryption keys to the government. I am sure that is not sitting well with LinkedIn either.
On the other hand, LinkedIn only has around 6 million users in Russia so they might decide to tell Putin to Stick it. It’s not clear.
This small size may have actually made linked in a target. If other social media sites – ones that have tens or hundreds of millions of users – that might create a bit of a tense situation, but by taking down LinkedIn, they can pretend that they are actually implementing the law.
We have not heard anything from President Elect Trump. Since he and Putin are best buds, I assume that he will fix this problem for LinkedIn as soon as he moves in to the White House. Or maybe sooner.
Information for this post came from The Washington Post.