Apple and Google have agreed to remove LinkedIn from iOS and Android app stores in Russia, according to a new report from The New York Times. In November, the service was ruled to be in violation of a 2014 law requiring all data collected on Russian citizens to be stored within Russian borders. Moving data within Russian borders has been widely viewed as a first step towards more aggressive surveillance measures, and many web companies have declined to relocate their data centers to comply with the law.
Acquired by Microsoft last year, LinkedIn is the largest service to fall victim to the new law so far. Web access to LinkedIn was blocked in November through cooperation with the state telecom, but was still accessible to users with a VPN. The block caused serious problems for the mobile apps, but they remained available on iOS and Android app stores in the wake of that order. That has now changed, and the app is no longer available to download in either store.
Apple drew fire earlier this week for withdrawing the New York Times app in China under similar pressure. China blocked web access to the Times in 2012.
While Russia’s data localization measures are particularly aggressive, it’s far from the only country to adopt such measures. The Information Technology Industry Council tallies a total of thirteen countries with some form of data localization law, including the United States, which requires Department of Defense partners to store the division’s data within U.S. borders.
Still, the move is likely to inflame tensions between Russia and the US, which have hit a peak in recent weeks. Earlier today, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a public report accusing Russia of mounting an espionage campaign that included the leaking of email archives from the Democratic National Committee, with the ultimate aim of swaying the US presidential election.
“We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes,” the report concludes.