U.S. Tech Firms Face Showdown With Russian Censors

Stop Making Sense

Sam Schechner And Gregory White report for the Wall Street Journal:

‘[…] Until now, companies have often complied with Russia’s legal orders to remove content, rather than risk a government blackout. But the firms have become more wary as the government has given itself new powers to regulate the Internet. And the very public nature of this episode leaves the U.S. tech companies facing a dilemma.

On one hand, cooperation with governments like Russia’s risks damaging their reputation among users, and goes against the libertarian values of Silicon Valley. But U.S. Internet firms need to expand in large markets to meet the growth expectations that have raised their valuations to stratospheric levels.

Similar tensions played out this year in Turkey, where the government demanded the removal of content on Twitter and YouTube that alleged government corruption. Twitter and YouTube resisted some of the requests, leading the government to temporarily block them…

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