Russia has added several technology companies including Amazon Web Services, the largest cloud company in the world, to its list of firms Russia wants to open local offices in the country or face possible bans or penalties.
Other companies added to Russia’s state communications regulator list of potential bans this week include fellow cloud computing company DigitalOcean, web hosting service specialist Bluehost, and Network Solutions LLC— all based in the United States. Many of the largest technology companies on the planet have stopped business and operations in Russia since its invasion of Ukraine.
In November 2021, just a few months before Russia invaded Ukraine, the country’s Federal Service for the Supervision of Communications, IT and Mass Communications—known as Roskomnadzor—published a notice containing a list of foreign internet companies that it said must open representative offices in Russia or face restrictions.
Included in Russia’s initial launch of companies that could face punishments were: Google, Apple, Twitter, TikTok, Telegram Messenger, Zoom Video, Likeme, Viber Media, Discord, Pinterest, and Twitch.
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On June 21, 2023, Roskomnadzor added a total of 12 new companies to the list including AWS, DigitalOcean, Bluehost and Network Solutions.
The remaining companies added to Roskomnadzor’s list this week are Kamatera, FastComet, GoDaddy.com, DreamHost, Lonos, HostGator.com, wpengine Inc., and Hetzner Online.
According to Russia’s Roskomnadzor, all of these companies face restrictions on data collection, advertising, and services for receiving or transferring funds if they fail to set up local offices inside the country.
AWS Helps Ukraine
AWS and parent company Amazon have previously stated their commitment to support the Ukrainian people and have condemned Russia’s invasion.
Last year, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded AWS the Ukraine Peace Prize for the support AWS has shown the Ukraine government and the Ukrainian people during Russia’s invasion. In 2022, AWS began to no longer accept new customers in Russia.
“A lot of the Russian intent was not only an acquisition of territory, but erasure of Ukrainian identity and culture,” said Stephen Schmidt, chief security officer at Amazon during his keynote presentation at AWS re:Inforce 2022. “And that’s something that we didn’t think was something that should be stood for.”
AWS has been working with Ukraine government officials to keep vital government services operating along with Ukrainian educational and banking institutions in a move to keep their applications and data secure.
As of late 2022, the cloud giant has committed more than $75 million in aid for Ukraine.LEARN MORE: Cloud Platforms
Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at [email protected].
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