Russian watchdog says Twitter ignoring its requests: TASS

A person holds a magnifying glass over a computer screen displaying Twitter logos, in this picture illustration taken in Skopje September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Ognen

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian agency that regulates media said on Tuesday the micro-blogging site Twitter had refused 108 requests for account information and was “consistently not satisfying the requirements of the Russian law”, the state-run news agency TASS reported.

Alexander Zharov, the head of Roskomnadzor, was also quoted as saying Twitter had refused its requests to block some accounts.

“A legitimate question arises with Roskomnadzor on whether such a position by a company operating on the Russian territory is acceptable,” Zharov also said, according to the report.

Twitter said on Monday Russia had requested content be removed 91 times between July and December, the second-largest number after Turkey. It said it had complied with 13 percent of the Russian requests but denied several demands to silence Kremlin critics.

Moscow has tightened Internet controls since opposition activists made use of social media to organise mass protests against President Vladimir Putin in 2011 and 2012.

Last June, Roskomnadzor asked Twitter to block a dozen accounts it deemed “extremist”.

Roskomnadzor said it had held talks with Twitter’s head of global public policy, Colin Crowell, in Moscow in December on “compliance with the Russian law” by the micro-blogging site.

Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Larry King