Russia investigates Google, Facebook, Twitter
The Russian government initiated an investigation on the local unit of the world's most popular search engine, Google. According to reports, the probe was launched due to allegations of probable tax evasion and privacy abuse by the company. Other popular web services including Twitter and Facebook will also be investigated by Russian authorities, according to a Russian lawmaker today.
Due to protests being arranged mainly through the Internet and social media, some officials of the country blamed these foreign companies for various wrongdoings in relation to Internet censorship. However, the Kremlin claims that there have been no solid plans regarding Internet curtailing.
An investigation on the involvement of Google in the mass protests as well as possible tax evasion incidents has been initiated, according to Ruslan Gattarov, a member of the Russian Upper House. No concrete data regarding the amount of tax involved was disclosed.
Civil unrest prompted the country's economy to decline slightly in recent months. In the second quarter, despite showing an increase of 1.9%, economists believed that the country failed to hit the target. Academics in the country said that Russia is now currently under technical recession. The claim was supported by major Russian industries consistently shrinking in the past 6 months.