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Russia to Block Business-focused Social Network LinkedIn after a Court Ruled it broke Law on Data Storage

The Moscow city court rejected LinkedIn's appeal against a ruling that it had broken a law that requires personal data on Russian citizens to be stored on servers within Russia

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A sculpture of LinkedIn's logo is seen on a terrace outside the offices of the business-oriented social network, in San Francisco, California, Sept. 22, 2016. VOA
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Moscow, November 12, 2016: Business-focused social network LinkedIn faces being blocked in Russia after a court ruled it broke a law on data storage.

The Moscow city court rejected LinkedIn’s appeal against a ruling that it had broken a law that requires personal data on Russian citizens to be stored on servers within Russia, court spokeswoman Ulyana Solopova told The Associated Press.

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Solopova says LinkedIn can appeal Thursday’s ruling. The case was brought by Roskomnadzor, the Russian state telecommunications and media regulator.

LinkedIn’s website was still accessible on Moscow internet connections as of Thursday afternoon, though Roskomnadzor representative Vadim Ampelonsky told the Interfax news agency that LinkedIn would be blocked as soon as the agency received the full text of the court’s ruling, likely next week.

“LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for the entire global workforce,” the company said in a statement. “The Russian court’s decision has the potential to deny access to LinkedIn for the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses. We remain interested in a meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss their data localization request.”

Russia’s main antitrust regulator, the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS), also announced Thursday it had opened a case against Microsoft, which is in the process of concluding a $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn.

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Separate case against Microsoft

The FAS said Microsoft was accused of abusing a dominant market position by failing to give enough time for anti-virus developers to adapt to the Windows 10 operating system, allowing them a matter of days rather than the two months allowed previously. The FAS argues that gave an unfair advantage to Microsoft’s own Windows Defender, anti-virus software built into the operating system, and hurt competitors including Russia’s Kaspersky Lab, which filed a complaint to the regulator.

“Such actions lead to an unjustified advantage for Microsoft in the program market. Our task is to ensure equal conditions for all participants in this market,” FAS deputy head Anatoly Golomolzin said in a statement.

Kaspersky spokeswoman Yulia Shlychkova said the company was also preparing a complaint to be sent to the European Commission.

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Company founder Eugene Kaspersky accused Microsoft of trying to drive anti-virus software makers out of the Windows market, adding in a blog post that “a dominating antivirus is a security threat in and of itself.” (VOA)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)