Russian regulator blocks Google News, cites Ukraine conflict -Interfax

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The logo of Russia's state communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, is reflected in a laptop screen showing Google start page, in this picture illustration taken May 27, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/Illustration/File Photo

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March 23 (Reuters) - Russia's communications regulator has blocked the news aggregator service of Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google, accusing it of allowing access to what it calls fake material about the country's military operation in Ukraine, Interfax news agency said on Wednesday.

"We’ve confirmed that some people are having difficulty accessing the Google News app and website in Russia and that this is not due to any technical issues on our end," Google said in statement.

"We’ve worked hard to keep information services like News accessible to people in Russia for as long as possible."

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Interfax said Roskomnadzor, the regulator, had acted on a request from the office of Russia's prosecutor general.

"The American online news resource in question provided access to numerous publications and materials containing inauthentic and publicly important information about the course of the special military operation on the territory of Ukraine," Interfax quoted the regulator as saying.

A new Russian law makes it illegal to report any event that could discredit the Russian military.

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Reporting by David Ljunggren and Paresh Dave, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Michael Perry

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Thomson Reuters

Covers Canadian political, economic and general news as well as breaking news across North America, previously based in London and Moscow and a winner of Reuters’ Treasury scoop of the year.

Thomson Reuters

San Francisco Bay Area-based tech reporter covering Google and the rest of Alphabet Inc. Joined Reuters in 2017 after four years at the Los Angeles Times focused on the local tech industry.