Russian authorities have required Apple and Google to remove the LinkedIn app from the App Store and Google Play in Russia, reports The New York Times. The move comes a couple weeks after Russia blocked LinkedIn’s website.
When LinkedIn’s website was blocked, the apps stopped functioning properly. Removing them from the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store may not have cut off access to content, but it sent a signal that countries can push the tech giants to remove the apps.
The New York Time Reports that Direct blocking of websites has been done by China, Russia, Turkey and several other nations for years, usually through their state-run internet service providers. But civil rights groups say the pressure authoritarian governments are now placing on Apple and Google is a new wrinkle.
More nations have enforced their own internet laws in recent years. Turkey intermittently blocks social media, such as during the attempted government coup last summer. It has also forced YouTube to remove content it considers disparaging of its modern-day founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. European nations have also drawn up their own privacy laws and in 2014 a court declared its citizens could demand internet companies like Google unlink information about users upon request.
The New York Times notes that most American companies operate in Russia while violating the law, making the blocking of LinkedIn a rare occurrence.