Russia bans SoundCloud — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

Russia’s media watchdog has blocked access to the music streaming platform over “calls for civil unrest” and “extremism”.

SoundCloud, one of the world’s largest music sharing and streaming services, was blocked in Russia on Saturday. National media regulator Roskomnadzor banned the platform following a request from the attorney general’s office.

The services violated Russia’s “information protection law,” according to data presented by Roskomnadzor. The platform violated a policy that prohibits “calls for massive civil unrest, extremist activity” and spread “false information of public importance” it could have serious consequences for public peace or people’s lives and health, the agency said.

The exact reason for the blockage remains unclear. Neither Roskomnadzor nor the Attorney General’s Office has made a statement on the matter so far.

The Berlin-based music sharing and streaming service that allows its users to upload, promote and share audio also did not comment on the ban.

Russia’s media watchdog has already fined several Western tech companies multiple times for breaking Russian laws. In July, it fined US tech companies such as Tinder, WhatsApp and Snapchat for failing to comply with Russian data localization regulations. Russia’s national Internet and media watchdog previously reported that about 600 representative offices of foreign companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, PayPal, Booking and LG, among others, had located the storage of personal data of Russian users as required.

In March, Russia also banned Facebook and Instagram after naming their owner, US tech giant Meta, an extremist organization for its refusal to remove what Moscow considered to be fake content about the conflict in Ukraine.

Earlier this week, Roskomnadzor accused Apple of “discriminatory restrictions” on its removal of all apps from Russian social media company VK from its App Store. The US tech giant responded by citing the need to comply with anti-Russian sanctions, explaining that VK’s apps are distributed “by developers majority owned or majority controlled by one or more UK Government sanctioned parties.”

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