Russia Demands Google Cease Sending YouTube Push Notifications For Protest Livestreams


Russia's communications watchdog Roscomnadzor has asked Google LLC to stop advertising what it calls "illegal mass events" on its YouTube service.

Russian Senator Andery Klimov said on the day of the protests that YouTube was used by the opposition to promote the rallies that were reportedly peaceful at first until some protesters made a decision to take their cause to the streets, RT reported.

Russian Federation has accused foreign governments and media of backing the demonstrations, which have seen tens of thousands rally in recent weeks demanding free local elections.

Roskomnadzor said it complained to Google about unspecified "structures" allegedly using tools, such as push notifications, to spread information about illegal mass protests, "including those aimed at disrupting elections". More than 200 people were detained, according to OVD-Info, a group that monitors police.

The watchdog also said that Google, as the owner of YouTube, will be deemed exemplifying "hostile influence [over] and obstruction of democratic elections in Russia" if it fails to comply with the regulator's requests.

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Russia's opposition figures have organized rallies in downtown Moscow over the past three Saturdays after they were denied candidacy in the Moscow city council election slated for September 8.

Russian senator Andrei Klimov on Monday said senators will be also calling in envoys of countries which "attempted to meddle in Russia's domestic affairs", news agency Tass reported.

Saturday's protests saw tens of thousands of people taking to the streets of the Russian capital and other cities after some of the country's internet celebrities and musicians urged their millions of social media followers to attend the demonstrations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

There was no immediate comment from Google.

Google has faced pressure from Roskomnadzor before, including laws requiring search engines to delete some results (with Google being ordered to cough up around $11,298 in 2018 for non-compliance).